Update on the story: CCA has officially announced the cancellation of the UCI women’s races in 2010
Due to the retirement of the event organizer, the Canadian Cycling Association has determined it must announce the cancellation of three UCI sanctioned races for Elite women for 2010. The cancelled events are: Montréal Women’s World Cup (May 29th, 2010), the Tour de Grand Montréal (May 31st – June 3rd, 2010) and the Tour de PEI (June 6th-10th, 2010).
Following the event organizer’s decision to not host these events in 2010, it was determined that it would not be economically and administratively feasible to keep the events on the calendar. An alternative UCI women’s road event and date is under consideration.
The CCA is disappointed with the cancellation. The CCA stands behind the CCA/UCI brands and delivers premium international cycling events to the most passionate and loyal teams, athletes, and fans of the sport. The CCA’s first priority is to ensure that all events live up to the required standards. The CCA would like to recognize and thank Daniel Manibal and his organization team for their dedication to Women’s cycling over the years. The sport is indebted to them for their hard work and support to make these events well known around the world
Previous story: Three UCI Women Races in Serious Jeopardy
The Montreal World Cup, the Tour du Grand Montréal and the Tour of PEI are all in serious jeopardy for 2010 which would reduce by more than half the number of UCI races for women in North America.
The first alarm was raised by Rob Jones/Canadian Cyclist a few days ago when the long-time organizer Daniel Manibal stated that sponsorship was a problem and that the two new Men’s ProTour races in Quebect were making it “even harder to attract sponsors and arrange the necessary road closures.”
The news was even worse today, as Manibal confirmed to Rue Frontenac that he had retired and that the Montreal World Cup and the Tour du Grand Montréal will only happen this year if a new organizer is found.
According to Rue Frontenac, Manibal announced his decision to the UCI, the Canadian Cycling Association and the Fédération québécoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC) back in December. “I told them that I was retiring from organizing international cycling events for personal reasons and because I am no longer able to financially support the organization of these races year after year.”
Manibal had been organizing international races for the past thirteen years.
Another paper, la Voix de l’Est confirmed that three of the host cities for the Montreal World Cup had so many difficulties in communicating with the organizers of the race that the cities of Granby and Mont-Saint-Hilaire have already removed the race from their respective budgets.
In its twelve years of existence, the Montréal World Cup – the only Women’s World Cup held in North America – has crowned winners such as Judith Arndt, Dede Barry and Fabiana Luperini. Last year, Emma Pooley (Cervélo TestTeam) did something that is very rarely seen at a World Cup Event, she attacked in the first 400 meters of the climb of the first lap and went off to claim victory riding solo in the wind for the next 110 kilometers.
Started eight years ago, the 5-stage/4-day Tour du Grand Montréal held a UCI 2.1 category making it the highest UCI ranked stage race for women in North America. In 2009, the Cervélo TestTeam dominated by winning four stages, the overall team classification, the overall individual classification by Kirsten Wild who also claimed the Sprints classication.
The UCI calendar only had five women’s races for 2010 in North American. If these three races are canceled, it would leave only the Liberty Classic in Philadelphia and the new La visite chrono de Gatineau in Quebec as UCI events.
What will be the impact to the two remaining races if the three long standing events are canceled? Typically, the European-based racers and teams would race Liberty Classic, and the two Montreal races in one travel block, now with only two one-day races, the expenses and travel hit might just be too much for them. And without international presence, can the organizers pull in sponsors?
As Rob Jones said, “it looks like North American women’s road racing is about to suffer a serious blow”.