The Cyclists' Alliance (TCA), widely considered the de facto union for women's professional cycling, has expressed concerns over the UCI's recent revision of the 2020 UCI International Road Calendar.
The sport governing body announced Wednesday the broad lines of the new calendar with a priority on the three Grand Tours, five Monuments, World Championships, European Championships, National Championships, but there was limited information about the Women's WorldTour that has been all but wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have repeatedly approached the [UCI] to be apart of the discussions concerning the 2020 UCI women's race calendar. This announcement comes without the rider's interests or voices represented. We continue to press the UCI that we want to be involved in future plannings," The Cyclists' Alliance posted on Twitter Thursday.
In its press release, the UCI revealed that it collaborated with organisers; AIOCC, and leaders of ASO, RCS, Unipublic and Flanders Classics; teams (AIGCP) and riders (CPA) to determine a revised calendar. However, there was no mention of initial involvement or discussions with women's events, riders or team representatives such as the TCA.
The main subjects of the UCI's press release were to announce the rescheduled dates of the Tour de France, which will now take place from August 29 to September 20. It also announced that it had pushed back the suspension of all events to July 1.
These have a significant effect on the Women's WorldTour. The date change for the Tour de France meant that ASO has had to postpone La Course, which was originally scheduled to take place on July 19 in conjunction with stage 21 of the Tour de France. ASO said it has not determined a new date for the one-day women's race.
The necessary suspension of races until July 1 for important health precautions during COVID-19 now impacts the ten-day Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile (also known as the Giro Rosa) that was scheduled for June 26-July 5.
Only one round of the 22-event Women's WorldTour has been contested this year at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race in February, while 14 events have been either cancelled or postponed.
There are currently eight races that remain with their original dates on the Women's WorldTour calendar including Postnord Vågårda TTT and Road Race (August 8-9), Ladies Tour of Norway (August 13-16), GP de Plouay (August 22), Boels Ladies Tour (August 25-30), Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta (September 5-6) and Tour of Guangxi (October 20).
Although the TCA has expressed concerns over the lack of discussion surrounding the women's calendar, the CPA Women's Chapter, led by Alessandra Cappellotto, confirmed to Cyclingnews that it has discussed the women's calendar with the UCI.
Although she did not provide the details of the discussions with the UCI, Cappellotto said she will be meeting with the UCI again on Friday, April 17 to specifically address the women's race calendar.
"The CPA is constantly in contact with UCI and the women's calendar, which is already the subject of attention, will be discussed next Friday, April 17 in a meeting between the CPA Women and UCI," Cappellotto told Cyclingnews.
However, according to the UCI's press statement, any decisions regarding the Women's WorldTour will not be announced until May 15, and subject to the health precautions and restrictions amid the COVID-19 crisis.
"The UCI, in parallel and in close collaboration with the different parties concerned, continues its work to be able to announce, on 15 May 2020 at the latest, a revised version of the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar and a new version of the entire UCI International Calendar (men’s and women’s races across all cycling disciplines). This calendar will nevertheless remain dependant on the world health situation."
We have repeatedly approached the @UCI_cycling to be apart of the discussions concerning the 2020 UCI women's race calendar. This announcement comes without the rider's interests or voices represented. We continue to press the UCI that we want to be involved in future plannings. https://t.co/ExDXc6fCfDApril 16, 2020
2020 Women's WorldTour - original calendar
- February 1: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race - Elite Women's Race (Australia)
- March 7: Strade Bianche (Italy) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- March 15: Ronde van Drenthe – UCI Women's WorldTour (the Netherlands) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- March 22: Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio (Italy) - POSTPONED until June 2 because of Covid-19
- March 26: AG Driedaagse Brugge – De Panne (Belgium) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- March 29: Gent – Wevelgem in Flanders Fields (Belgium) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- April 5: Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres (Belgium) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- April 19: Amstel Gold Race Ladies (the Netherlands) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- April 22: La Flèche Wallonne Féminine (Belgium) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- April 26: Liège – Bastogne – Liège Femmes (Belgium) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- May 7-9: Tour of Chongming Island UCI Women's World Tour (China) - POSTPONED because of Covid-19
- May 14-16: Amgen Tour of California Women's Race empowered with SRAM (United States) - CANCELLED because of lack of funding
- June 8-13: The Women's Tour (Great Britain) - POSTPONED because of Covid-19
- June 26 – July 5: Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile (Italy) - CANCELLED because of Covid-19
- July 19: La Course by Le Tour de France (France) - POSTPONED because of Covid-19
- August 8: Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden TTT (Sweden)
- August 9: Postnord UCI WWT Vårgårda West Sweden RR (Sweden)
- August 13-16: Ladies Tour of Norway (Norway)
- August 22: GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglomération Trophée WNT (France)
- August 25-30: Boels Ladies Tour (the Netherlands)
- September 5-6: Ceratizit Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta (Spain)
- October 20: Tour of Guangxi – UCI Women's WorldTour (China)
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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