Professional Cycling Council confirms Tour of Hangzhou to end 2012 season
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Professional Cycling Council confirms Tour of Hangzhou to end 2012 season

by Ben Atkins at 2:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Biological Passport to be extended to Continental teams; no Tour of Russia in 2013

uciThe International Cycling Union (UCI) Professional Cycling Council (CCP) met today in the city of Salzburg, Austria, to discuss issues pertaining to the rest of 2012, and into next year. Among the subjects discussed were the confirmation - pending a license - of the Tour of Hangzhou as part of this year’s WorldTour, and the extension of the Biological Passport programme to the lower levels of the professional sport.

On opening the meeting, UCI president Pat McQuaid spoke about the encouraging trend for governments and authorities to organise cycling events at all levels.

“Beyond the aspects related to competition, our sport is an ideal vehicle for fundamental values such as individual well-being and respect of the environment. This unique feature of cycling offers an extraordinary opportunity for development which dovetails perfectly with the UCI's strategy of globalisation. It is an opportunity of which we must be ready to take full advantage.”

Unsurprisingly, since it will be organised by Global Cycling Productions, a UCI subsidiary, the new Tour of Hangzhou has been - subject to being awarded a WorldTour licence on June 15th - confirmed as the final event of the 2012 WorldTour. The Chinese stage race will be run between October 17th and 21st, and will closely follow the Tour of Beijing (October 9th to 13th) which was run for the first time last year.

While China will be getting a new race, the newly proposed Tour of Russia will not be going ahead next year. The Russian Federation has decided not to organise the race, which was also slated to join the WorldTour, but the UCI has not ruled out it happening in the future.

“I can only confirm the race will not be held in 2013,” UCI press chief told VeloNation. “It’s not possible, at this stage, to foresee what will happen in the future. In my perception however, I wouldn’t say the project has been abandoned.”

CCP members were informed however, that the Eneco Tour, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour de Suisse, Tour of Poland, Volta a Catalunya, GP Ouest France-Plouay and Vattenfall Cyclassics all had their WorldTour licenses confirmed for the 2013-16 period. As well as Hangzhou, the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, Critérium du Dauphiné, Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal will all have their applications examined by the License Commission on June 15th.

With the UCI’s Biological Passport programme hailed as a powerful tool in the prevention of doping, Dr Francesca Rossi, Director of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) announced a proposal to extend it to teams at Continental level. The plan was approved of by the members of the CCP, who expressed a desire for it to be introduced from 2013.

While this would potentially add further costs to teams with considerably lower budgets than ProTeams and Professional Continental teams, the UCI declined to speculate on how much this would be, or who would bear the brunt of it.

“It’s too early to speak about financial aspect,” said Carpani. “Let the CADF decide to implement this and for sure more detail will follow.”

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