UCI extends Santos Tour Down Under’s WorldTour licence until 2015
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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

UCI extends Santos Tour Down Under’s WorldTour licence until 2015

by Shane Stokes at 9:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Big show of confidence in event

Ben SwiftOne day after the UCI awarded a WorldTour license to the new Tour of Beijing, it confirmed that the Santos Tour Down Under will be granted an extension to the license it currently holds.

The event will remain part of the top series until at least 2015, meaning that the next four editions of the race is guaranteed to feature the world’s top teams.

The event was first awarded the license, then called ProTour, back in 2008. It was the first contest outside of Europe to be given the distinction, and was followed last year by the Tours of Quebec and Montreal. The Tour of Beijing will take place in October and will be the fourth race at the top level outside of cycling’s traditional European heartland.

Commenting on the decision, the UCI pointed out that the race is the main sporting event organized in South Australia.

UCI President Pat McQuaid welcomed the decision of the UCI’s Licence Commission. He spoke of “the impressive development of Australian cycling which has an excellent ambassador in Cadel Evans, World Champion in 2009 and winner of the Tour de France this year.”

Today’s news is another big boost to the sport in Australia. In addition to Evans’ victory in the Tour, the country could have its first-ever UCI ProTeam next season. GreenEdge is building towards its licence application, and is thought to be chasing the signatures of many European-based professionals.

If it gets the nod from the UCI, it is likely to make its debut in the Santos Tour Down Under. Next year’s race runs from January 15th to 22nd.

Garmin-Cervélo’s Cameron Meyer is the most recent winner of the race.

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