The global’s fine girl cyclists expressed those sentiments whilst requested to touch upon last week’s news that the Amaury Sport Organization may additionally get rid of La Flèche Wallonne Féminine and Liège-Bastogne-Liège from the UCI Women’s WorldTour for 2020.
The arguable selection became the first reported ultimate week by using DirectVelo, which quoted Tom Van Damme, president of UCI’s avenue commission. According to reports, ASO’s decision is reportedly tied to the UCI’s requirement for Women’s WorldTour promoters to provide forty-five minutes of live TV or streaming insurance for every event starting in 2019. ASO did not pay for stay insurance of the races in 2019.
The selection did no longer sit well with the riders.
“I felt that ladies’ cycling turned into progressing finely, and to lose those two races is a huge knock towards us,” stated Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM). “It’s the principal week of the spring. If it’s simply coming right down to TV insurance and cash, it’s simply tough to drop it like that.”
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC Team) stated the selection represents an “old school mentality” on ASO.
“It would be extraordinary if ASO saw the value in ladies’ biking and invested in us to grow the profile of ladies’ biking, due to the fact I consider they could obtain the rewards,” she stated. “You sense disheartened because we attempt so tough, and there’s been a lot first-rate momentum in the starting of the season round women’s racing.”
“There has to be more to it,” said Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo. “It doesn’t make feel because we’ve proven there may be an urge for food for there to be TV coverage.”
ASO did no longer comment on the state of affairs. An ASO consultant confirmed that organizers for both races are currently talking with UCI about the state of affairs.
In 2018 the UCI decided on numerous reforms for the Women’s WorldTour, consisting of the 2020 requirement for races to offer live television insurance at WorldTour races. At the time, UCI President David Lappartient criticized ASO for not doing extra to sell its ladies’ races. ASO is the owner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, La Flèche Wallonne, and the La Course by way of le Tour de France activities within the women’s WorldTour.
The standoff appears to be unresolved, and Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf stated that Van Damme is in discussions with various parties to broadcast each girls’ races probably. According to De Telegraaf, Walloon broadcaster RTBF is interested in broadcasting the women’s races at the 2 events.
The standoff places women’s teams in a difficult situation. Since La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, each characteristic enormous crowds and status—La Flèche Wallonne has been held every season for the ultimate 22 years—lady riders said they could now not be inclined to bypass both races, even though the activities lacked Women’s WorldTour category.
“I assume groups would nonetheless go,” said Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb). “There’s more cost is going to races that have TV coverage, so we will see if this impacts which races teams pick out to do.”
Deignan stated the tiny size of the girls’ racing calendar manner ladies groups look for all possibilities to race. So, announcing no to an occasion might area each person in a challenging role.
Deignan wondered if girls’ groups could have more luck if WorldTour guys’ races got worried.
“I assume it’d communicate louder if the men said, ‘If you’re not going to have girls there, we’re no longer going to be there too,’” Deignan said. “Maybe we can ought to get innovative.”