Tour of the Battenkill loses UCI status for 2011
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tour of the Battenkill loses UCI status for 2011

by Jered Gruber at 11:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
News follows the Tour of the Gila's same announcement from a day ago

The murmurs that the Tour of the Battenkill might not end up as a UCI 1.2 event in 2011 have come to fruition. According to race organizer, Dieter Drake, the latest news that Pro Continental squad and ProTeams will be allowed to race in National Racing Calendar criteriums, but not in the Tour of the Battenkill broke the back of the race.

"It's been a tough year for event sponsorship for sure, but this latest blow by USA Cycling today to allow criteriums access to Pro Continental teams and ProTeams at NRC events while UCI-level races like Battenkill are restricted to just Pro Continental teams is just too much to bear."

There's no denying the words of Drake. The race foots a major bill and provides a much more significant race infrastructure compared to an NRC criterium, but in the end, the best teams the 1.2 ranked road race could expect would be from the second division, whereas an NRC criterium could field numerous ProTeams.

"What race would not want to invite the best teams in the world? I think it's a great opportunity for NRC criteriums to have access to the best teams, but not at the expense of races like Battenkill and others that are meeting a much higher standard as UCI-level road events. We're being punished for it by default. It just does not make any sense whatsoever to maintain the event at the UCI level under these conditions."

The race, won last year by Holowesko Partners's Caleb Fairly, will continue in 2011, but will not be present on the UCI Americas Professional Cycling Tour.

The famed event, which takes in the hilly paved and dirt roads in the region around Cambridge, New York, is now pending review as a smaller race, but will still hopefully be a part of the National Racing Calendar. The race was originally scheduled for April 16th, but the new, restructured race would now take place on April 10th, coincidentally, the same day as Paris-Roubaix.

The news of the step down from UCI status for the Tour of the Battenkill comes within a day of the announcement of the Tour of the Gila to also step down from the UCI ranks and back down to an American NRC race.

Yesterday, Sean Petty, USA Cycling's Chief Operating Officer, announced that the Tour of the Gila would not be a part of the UCI Americas Tour calendar in 2011.

"We are disappointed for Jack Brennan and the Tour of the Gila for not being able to secure the necessary financial support to conduct a UCI calendar race in 2011. We understand the challenge and applaud Jack and SRAM for being able to continue this great event as one of the most difficult races on the NRC calendar."

While the globalization of cycling continues with great momentum around the world, America still seems to struggle to hold on to major UCI races. The Amgen Tour of California is the only of the three American 'Grand Tours' remaining after the Tour de Georgia and Tour of Missouri closed up shop. The Quiznos Pro Challenge will be a big addition to the calendar in 2011, but as a first year race, there's no telling what will become of the race in coming years.

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