Financial cutbacks have forced Swiss Cycling to cancel its women’s program, in order to save funding in the amount of CHF 500,000 for next year because of a lack of sponsors. The cutbacks will affect the support programs for elite women road riders, consisting of training camps and participation in races abroad, according to initial reports in Neue Zurcher Zeitung and CyclingTips.
The cutbacks have also forced the federation to let go of their women’s national team coach Christian Rocha, who was hired in 2011 to help strengthen the women’s program.
Rocha expressed his disappointment in Swiss Cycling’s decision to cancel their women’s program, especially after committing to the last four years, saying, “Women’s road cycling is not like that of men’s, over a sufficiently large base with privately funded teams, not elsewhere and certainly not in Switzerland. That is why this task must be taken over by associations.
“Leading organizations in women’s road cycling have recognized this, including those in the Netherlands, Italy, France, the US and Germany. They have programs that are not primarily aimed at the support of top riders, but to the strengthening of the central structure.
“They should have given us another four years.”
Swiss Cycling’s director of sport performance Thomas Peter noted, however, that the progression that he had expected from the women’s program did not materialise, and that the program has compared poorly to other programs, despite having more promotion compared to the men’s program.
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