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Organisers of men's Gooikse Pijl announce new women's GP Oetingen

Circus-Wanty Gobert's Danny van Poppel (right) wins the 2020 edition of the Gooikse Pijl, with the organisers announcing a women's edition – the GP Oetingen – to take place in March 2021
Circus-Wanty Gobert's Danny van Poppel (right) wins the 2020 edition of the Gooikse Pijl, with the organisers announcing a women's edition – the GP Oetingen – to take place in March 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The organisers of the men's one-day Gooikse Pijl have announced a women's edition of the race, to be called the GP Oetingen, which will be held in March 2021.

The postponement of Women's WorldTour stage race the Ronde van Drenthe has opened up a slot on the racing calendar in March for the new Belgian one-day race, which, like the men's race, will be ranked UCI 1.1.

"With the GP Oetingen, we're creating a Gooikse Pijl for elite women," Danny Sketch – the chairman of the Gooik Sportief group that organises the Gooikse Pijl – told Sporza on Monday.

"The two races are held on different dates, but complement each other perfectly," he said, with the new GP Oetingen set for March 14 and the men's race for September 19.

"We immediately set the bar high for our women's race and want to bring a wonderful field of participants to Oetingen," Sketch continued. "Because the Ronde van Drenthe has been cancelled [likely postponed], we were able to take over the date of the WorldTour race."

The new race will take place in the same area of central Belgium as the men's race in South Flanders, some 20 kilometres west of Brussels, on a 12km circuit around the town of Oetingen, which the women will complete 10 times.

This year's men's Gooikse Pijl was won by Circus-Wanty Gobert's Danny van Poppel, ahead of Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal) and Arvid De Kleijn (Riwal Readynez).