Presidential Tour of Turkey wants WorldTour status by 2014
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Friday, March 09, 2012

Presidential Tour of Turkey wants WorldTour status by 2014

by VeloNation Press at 9:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Organisers confirms Rabobank as ninth ProTeam in event

Mark RenshawOn a day when it has been reported that eight ProTeams have indicated that they wish to be involved in a rival series of races, the organisers of the Presidential Tour of Turkey have put their backing behind the UCI’s WorldTour.

The country’s president Abdullah Gül and the race organisers want to become part of the UCI’s highest level in 2014, giving them just over two years to prepare.

“We have been working very hard since 2008, analysing the teams and riders’ needs,” stated the race director Abdurrahman Açikalin. “Two years from now, we hope we will fulfil all the requirements of the Pro Tour council. Globalisation is underway.”

The WorldTour is primarily concentrated in Europe, although the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia, the Grand Prix of Quebec and Montreal in Canada and the Tour of Beijing in China also feature.

It is thought that new races could also be in the pipeline for Russia, plus a second in China.

The Presidential Tour of Turkey began in 2008 and has grown since then, with organisers pinpointing safety and accommodation as two of the factors in teams’ interest in taking part.

This year a number of big names have been confirmed, including the sprinters Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), Robbie McEwen (GreenEdge), Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD), Marcel Kittel (Project 1t4i) and Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox). Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) has also said that he will take part.

Race organisers revealed today that Mark Renshaw and his Rabobank team will come on board following the UCI’s decision that the Rusvelo team cannot participate. It is understood that the reason for this is that it has close links with the ProTeam Katusha, which will also take part.

Rabobank’s addition is a boost as it increases the number of WorldTour teams from eight to nine.

According to the team’s directeur sportif Adrie Van Houwelingen, the race is a welcome addition to its calendar. “We applied lately but we absolutely wanted to participate,” he said. “We’ve decided to come to Turkey with two great sprinters, Mark Renshaw and Theo Bos. Despite what happened in 2009 when he was involved in a crash with yellow jersey Daryl Impey, Theo has kept an excellent memory of Turkey. We’ll soon designate one of our climbers for the stage finish at the top of Elmali on day three.”

The mention of the 2009 race refers to an incident on the final stage when Bos put eventual race winner Impey into the barriers. The South African managed to cross the line to seal his win, but was hosptalised and had facial surgery. Bos was suspended by the UCI over the matter.

Aside from Rabobank, the other WorldTour teams which will take part are Ag2R-La Mondiale, Astana, Greenedge, Katusha, Lampre-ISD, Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Saxo Bank. There will also be a large number of Pro Continental squads in the race.

Açikalin will concentrate on preparing for the April 22nd start, while also scaling up the push for WorldTour status.

“Our president, Mr Abdullah Gül, and the Turkish government are very supportive of the event because of the worldwide exposure it gives to our country,” he explained.

“They absolutely want the Cycling Presidential Tour of Turkey to become one of the world’s biggest races. Two years ago, they committed to the renovation of the roads and a big portion of the 1400-km route has already been resurfaced and works should be completed by 2014.

“Our bid for the World Tour status is solid and cycling is blooming in Turkey. The country deserves to be part of the crème de la crème of world cycling.”


2012 Presidential Tour of Turkey:

Stage 1: Alanya-Alanya 148 km
Stage 2: Alanya-Kemer 185 km
Stage 3: Tekirova-Elmali 148 km
Stage 4: Fethiye-Marmaris 130 km
Stage 5: Marmaris-Turgutreis 170 km
Stage 6: Bodrum-Kusadasi 181 km
Stage 7: Ephesus-Izmir 118 km
Stage 8: Istanbul (from Europe to Asia) 114 km


Teams: Ag2R-La Mondiale, Astana, Greenedge, Katusha, Lampre-ISD, Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Rabobank, Saxo Bank, Accent Jobs-Veranda Willems, Andalucia, Bretagne-Schüller, Caja Rural, Colnago-CSF Inox, Colombia-Coldeportes, Europcar, Farnese Vini-Italia, Project 1t4i, Spidertech, Team NetApp, Team Type 1, UnitedHealthcare, Utensilnord-Named, Salcano-Arnavutkoy and Konya-Torku Seker Spor.
 

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