Back on UCI calendar, further upgrades hoped for Tour of Battenkill
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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Back on UCI calendar, further upgrades hoped for Tour of Battenkill

by Shane Stokes at 2:55 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Race organiser speaks about race status and plans

Tour of the BattenkillTour of the Battenkill race promoter Dieter Drake has expressed satisfaction with the race’s return to the UCI calendar in 2012, and said that he hopes to keep building the event in the years ahead.

Drake’s event is billed as America’s toughest 1 day race and now has UCI 1.2 status for next season. He has secured increased sponsorship for the event and believes that if the momentum continues, that it could be possible to move higher on the calendar in subsequent years.

“If all goes well and our sponsorship is in place, we hope to be able to upgrade the event with the UCI in future years,” he told VeloNation today. “This is also the first of 5 events on our Great American Cycling Series and we hope it will inspire similar growth with those events and with other ‘classic-style’ events around the US.”

The Battenkill race had a one year hiatus from the UCI’s calendar in 2011. It was recently confirmed as securing National Racing Calendar (NRC) status for 2012, and now a place on the international calendar follows.

“We’re really happy to be back at the UCI level for 2012,” he told VeloNation. “This will bring additional value to our spectators, our sponsors, and our professional teams racing next April 15. We hope pro teams will use the race as a springboard for the rest of their seasons.”

Drake said in January that he was not impressed that ProTeams and Pro Continental squads were allowed race in NRC criteriums but not in his own event, due to its 1.2 ranking. He didn’t seek UCI status as a result.

Now, months later, he is ready and willing to return to the UCI calendar. “While we won’t be able to invite ProTeams under UCI rules, invitations will be sent to UCI Pro Continental, UCI Continental, and successful elite-level teams around the world that we think will be competitive,” he told VeloNation. “This is the exact same template that was used for our 2009 and 2010 events where we had some really great competition on the very difficult, 200k, Classics-style course.”

USA Cycling COO Sean Petty is pleased that Drake’s event is once again on the calendar. “We have been discussing this possibility with Dieter Drake for several months and made the UCI aware that we may request the Tour of the Battenkill to be added to the America Tour calendar if Dieter’s sponsorship plans came together,” he said in a release.

“We are pleased to have Battenkill return to the UCI calendar because it offers such a unique challenge for the riders. Now the Pro Continental teams will be able to participate, which is great for everyone.”

The race will be the 17th of 29 events scheduled as part of the UCI America Tour, and the first of seven such events in the US next season. It will also be ranked as a HC event on the NRC programme. It features several tough climbs, including dirt road sections.

Drake underlined that the race is more than just about the 1.2-ranked contest, saying that it was just part of a full programme which caters for many. “We plan on hosting the event for many years to come using this format, with a Pro/Am on Saturday and UCI Pro on Sunday during a single weekend.

“This brings professional racing right to our large amateur participation and spectator bases. We expect nearly 3000 amateurs and several thousand spectators in 2012, as we’ve had for a number of years.”

Brett Tivers (Garneau-Club Chaussures-Norton Rose) took this year’s race, which was held in April. He beat Jesse Anthony (Kbs-Optumhealth) by eleven seconds, with Brendan Housler (Mt. Borah Custom Apparel-Minerva Design) 47 seconds back in third.
 

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