There will be no live coverage of the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships elite women’s race, with 90 minutes of the men's race broadcast on GCN+.
There was confusion over where fans could watch the races, the women's taking place on Saturday October 7, and men's on Sunday October 8, until GCN+ announced that it would be showing footage from the men's race only.
GCN Racing wrote on X: "Sadly the women's is not being broadcasted so we cannot provide footage."
it is! https://t.co/bk1niVBFGb We have it! Sadly the women's is not being broadcasted so we cannot provide footage ☹️October 6, 2023
In a statement released on Saturday - the day of the race - the UCI said that it had been "informed by the Local Organising Committee" that the race would not be broadcast due to "no TV production."
It added: "The UCI regrets this decision and invites all fans to follow the race live on social media. Fans will also be able to follow the race via the riders' lap times" - sharing a link to its tracker.
"As of the next edition of the UCI Gravel World Championships, UCI will make it mandatory for event organisers to provide TV production for both the Men Elite and the Women Elite races," the UCI said.
The UCI requires all events within its top tier Women's World Tour road racing calendar to provide live footage. Last year, it relegated the RideLondon Classique from a WorldTour race to the ProSeries class, after organisers failed to provide the live TV coverage required of each stage.
At the time, the UCI said that the race had shown an "unacceptable lack of respect for the teams and riders involved in the competition."
The UCI ran the inaugural Gravel World Championships in 2022. Speaking ahead of the race, the man tasked with organising the event - Erwin Vervecken - told Cycling Weekly: "It’s a new concept, we still have to prove ourselves, it will take a few years, probably three to five. It just takes time."
That year, both events were covered by GCN, with highlights released after the event.
Responding to the news of the lack of coverage on X (formerly Twitter), the union for female cyclists, the Cyclists' Alliance wrote: "Have you heard about the plans to broadcast the women's race at #UCIgravelWorlds? There are none. The UCI is providing footage of the #gravelworldschampionships race for the men, only."
Australian rider Chloe Hosking added: "The UCI: 'we have a duty to guarantee, above all, equal opportunities for all competitors in cycling competitions.' Also the UCI: there's a new discipline and new event. Let's only broadcast the men."
Last year's women's race was won by Pauline Ferrand Prévot.
The 2023 race in Veneto, Italy, is said to be a technical affair, over a 140-kilometer (87-mile) course, with a total of 1660 meters (5446 feet) of climbing.
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