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Women's San Sebastián to take the place of planned Itzulia stage race

Lucy Kennedy
Lucy Kennedy on the podium of the 2019 Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa (Image credit: Getty Images)

Organisers of Itzulia Basque Country and Clasica San Sebastián have confirmed the cancellation of the first edition of the Women's Itzulia stage race. The Women's WorldTour event was due to take place in May but has been listed on the UCI's page as 'postponed'. 

They will, however, put on a Women's Clasica San Sebastián on July 31, which will be a part of the UCI Women's WorldTour.

The Itzulia women's race was intended to take the place of the one-day classic, organisers said in a press release, because of questions over dates for the proposed women's Tour de France, which presumably would take place in July and conflict with the Clasica San Sebastián events.

"The idea of the Itzulia Women's race was that it should inherit the mantle of the women's Classic, which was set to be seriously compromised by the placing of the women's Tour de France so close to it on the calendar," a statement by OCETA Chair Julián Eraso read.

"That is why we have worked very hard to change the dates of the event and make it longer, thus creating an Itzulia Women's race. But this year there is to be no women's Tour de France, so the Women's Classic is to go ahead."

The first Donostia San Sebastián Klasikoa Women took place in 2019 and was won by Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott). It was not held in 2020 because of the extensive calendar reshuffle because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 2021 race will take place on the same day as the men's WorldTour race and, Eraso said, "We can reveal that it will share part of the men's route, though there may be changes with respect to the previous event. We hope to be able to stage both events and bring major cycling back to Donostia and Gipuzkoa as things were in 2019, albeit with increased health measures."

The organisers will hope to put on both the Itzulia women's race and the Classic in 2022.

"We know it will not be easy, but the Basque Country and women's cycling deserve a race like this and we will carry on working to provide them with one," Eraso said.