The organisers of the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the second round of the women's World Cup in 2014, expressed their disappointment with the newly UCI classified women's Gent-Wevelgem being put on the same date, March 30, as their race.
The president of Cycling Sport Promotion, Mario Minervino, had hoped that the UCI would protect the World Cups by preventing any such conflicts.
"We are very disappointed," Minervino said after attending the UCI seminar for race organisers. "The International Cycling Union is not protecting World Cup races as in the past. We are not afraid of competition, we just want to protect the event."
While the World Cup provides an opportunity for women to score more UCI points than the 1.2-ranked Gent-Wevelgem, the Belgian event is held on the same day as the men's WorldTour event and provides extra exposure for the women's teams and their sponsors.
Minervino was pleased with several changes which have been introduced to the World Cups: the introduction of intermediate sprint, mountains and young riders classifications each with associated jerseys as well as additional UCI points.
"The relaunch of women's cycling was much talked about, as well as the new rules relating to the points system and the three categories: leader, sprint and GPM. This was a good opportunity to propose solutions to the calendar issues. We are not against concurring events, but we need new rules that protect the organizers. Among other things, the UCI complimented our organization and the excellent work undertaken in our side events."
Minervino insisted that the race must be held on March 30, and cannot be moved. "The Trofeo Binda is very important and fundamental in the women's calendar and is also a major event for the area. With the mayor of Cittiglio, Fabrizio Anzani, we have made plans for next year. Following requests from the mayor of Laveno, Maria Graziella Giacon, and the Councillor for Sport, Roberto Bianchi, the race will again start from Laveno Mombello. We plan to follow the same program as in 2013, including the junior race in the morning and the Cycle! ride."
The women's World Cup beings with the Ronde van Drenthe on March 15, 2014, then heads to Italy before returning to Belgium for the Ronde van Vlaanderen on April 6 and La Fleche Wallonne on April 24. The Chongming Island round in China takes place on May 18, and then the series takes a two month break before resuming with the new Sparkassen Giro World Cup on August 3.
The Open de Suède Vargarda TTT and road World Cups follow on August 22 and 24 before the conclusion at the GP de Plouay on August 30.
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