It has been a sad state of affairs for women's cycling this month as the sport lost another race on the UCI calendar. Organisers of the 14th Trofeo Costa Etrusca have canceled the first day of a three-day event due to lack of funding, announced promoter Renzo Parietti.
"For sure we live in a time where economically it's not easy to find resources to invest in the sport, all of which is damaging to the movement of international women's cycling; in contrary it should have bigger investment and support," Parietti told Italian website Tuttobiciweb.
"But we have been penalised also from the other cycling events close to our dates, that are going to be happen in the Etrusca Coast, also in the month of March and they oriented the available resources in different ways from what we thought," he added.
America's newest UCI team Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 was schedule to support three of its riders at the three-day event with the US National Team of Mara Abbott, Katharine Carroll and Alisha Welsh. "I have to say it's very disheartening because it's a long way to send riders for a two-day race," said team manager Nicola Cranmer. "Everything for women in racing is a struggle, we fight for it all and to have anything taken away is really disappointing."
The two Trofeo Costa Etrusca races are UCI sanctioned 1.2 and will take place on March 20 and 21 in Italy, organised by the ACD Costa Etrusca. The coastline also caters for the UCI 1.1 men's race - the 15th Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi - on February 6, organised by ASD Costa degli Etruschi and BTF events.
"The two days of racing will be a high technical level and it will show a course at the same level for an international event like ours," Parietti continued. "We will insert, like always, spectacular parts with sections of climbing that will be challenging and where the riders with the best form will emerge."
According to Parietti, the event has received participation requests from top UCI teams because of its difficult courses and favourable weather conditions during the month of March. "We will do as usual, the correct evaluations between the quality and quantity factors, to be able to maximise the participation."
The UCI women's elite calendar recently lost three Canadian events - Montreal World Cup, Grand Tour de Montreal and the Tour of PEI - when organiser Daniel Manibal announced his surprise retirement.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and 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 men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.