Now the Vuelta a España is adding a women's race

http://www.lavuelta.com

Following the news that the ASO is adding a women's race on the Champs Elysées to this year's Tour de France - La Course by Le Tour de France - it was surely only a matter of time before la Vuelta stepped up!

According to this piece on Cyclingnews, the race's director Javier Guillén says that the ITT finish for this year's Vuelta means it's not possible for 2014, but that he's planning on adding a women's day race next year.  The idea of the women racing along the Paseo del Prado is fantastic, and it would be great for Spanish women's cycling, which has really suffered in the last few years.

The economic crisis was to blame for the loss of the GP Ciudad de Valldolid, which was a round of the Road World Cup that was cancelled in 2012.  Despite Pat McQuaid saying he was concerned by the loss and the UCI would try to help the race, the race still looks like it's gone - as has the earlier Spanish World Cup round, which ran from 2002-2006.

Spain has only two UCI-ranked races left on the women's cycling calendar, both in the Basque region - the day race, Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, and the Emakumeen Bira stage race, a traditionally mountainous race which is especially valuable for the peloton, as it has been the hilly races that had disappeared from the calendar, while the countries that are developing new women's races tend to be as flat as their "low countries" description implies.  Just as with La Course, having a women's race added to La Vuelta is important for what it represents, and for the country's cycling culture.  And if the big companies like Unipublic and the ASO are seeing the development of women's cycling and something to compete with each other over, that's all to the good - here's to them keeping this up and developing their races futher, the Giro d'Italia stepping up, and a women's Paris-Roubaix appearing!

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