Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport is busy in Budapest preparing for this year’s Grande Partenza but is also working on the future of women’s racing, with afoot plans to create their own women’s Giro d’Italia and bring back a women’s edition of Milan-San Remo.
Milan-San Remo Donne would be held on the same day of the men’s race in late March, while RCS Sport CEO Paolo Bellino indicated a women’s Giro d’Italia would start after the men’s race at the end of May.
The Milan-San Remo Donne would likely be part of the women’s WorldTour calendar, while the Giro Donne would continue at that level, having regained the top-tier status this year. This would spark some changes to future race calendars.
The Trofeo Alfredo Binda is currently held the day after Milan-San Remo and so may change dates to avoid a packed weekend of racing, while the Giro Donne has traditionally had an early-July slot so that television coverage follows on from live coverage of the men’s Tour de France.
With the new Tour de France Femmes set for late July, moving the Giro Donne to early June would allow the biggest names in the women’s peloton to target both races.
“We are working to launch a Milan-San Remo for women, because I think that it’s a spring monument event that should be for the women,” Bellino told a select group of media, including Cyclingnews in a video call on Tuesday.
“We are working to guarantee it for next year. It would be on the same day, so it would be in the same format as Strade Bianche.”
RCS Sport owns the men’s Giro d’Italia but Bellino revealed that the Italian Cycling Federation owns the Giro Donne, with the 2022 edition organised by Italian digital broadcaster PMG Sport and Starlight.
The 10-day race is now in its 33rd edition, having been called Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile before 2021, and was the only women’s Grand Tour until the creation of the Tour de France Femmes. RCS Sport seem confident of taking over the Giro Donne but avoided creating a rival race for 2022.
“My intention was to organize a Giro d’Italia for women this year but I thought it was much better to work together with them (the organisers of the Giro Donne) instead of creating a new race,” Bellino revealed.
“We are discussing with the national federation to see if there are opportunities to work together. My intention is to define something by the beginning of June because there is a question of the calendar, and how to pack everything together.”
“I think that in the next few months you will have some good news regarding this event. We would like to move it closer to the men’s Giro d’Italia but the women’s calendar is very tough, which is good and also offers good opportunities.
“Women’s cycling is growing very quickly and I think that in the next four or five years there will be incredible growth of the cycling movement. Luckily we also have some incredible female riders that have achieved incredible results.”