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Yet another UCI WorldTour race in China in 2012, the Tour of Hangzhou

Added: saturday 11 February 2012 at 01:43:00
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    Yet another UCI WorldTour race in China in 2012, the Tour of HangzhouAfter the Tour of Beijing, immediately for its first edition added to the UCI WorldTour in 2011, it's the turn for the Tour of Hangzhou this time. The Professional Cycling Council decided during its meeting on Thursday and Friday in Geneva to accept to modify the UCI WorldTour 2012 calendar and add this ... new race in China!

    The Tour of Hangzhou, new UCI WorldTour 2012 race

    The Professional Cycling Council or PCC is a body which was created in 2000 by the UCI which is presided by Vittorio Adorni, a former Italian pro cyclist, in the 60s and World Champion in 1968. Adorni is also a coopted member of the UCI Management Committee.

    Next to Adorni the CCP is made up of
    - 5 members appointed by the UCI (the Swiss Rocco Cattaneo, the French Roger Legeay, the Spaniard Ramon Mendiburu, the Irish man Stephen Roche and the German Erik Zabel [who's called Eric by the UCI!]), all former riders
    - 2 representatives of the organisors: the French Charly Mottet, sports manager of the Canadian races Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, and Christian Prudhomme, director of cycling at ASO and thus director of the Tour de France
    - 2 representatives of the teams: the Italian Roberto Amadio, manager of the Liquigas-Cannondale team, and the American Jonathan Vaughters, manager of the Garmin-Barracuda team
    - 2 representatives of the riders: two Italian former pro riders, Gianni Bugno and Dario Cioni
    With this set up it seems quite clear that for almost any decision suggested by the UCI, a majority will vote positively ...

    This committee met in Geneva, in Switzerland, on Thursday and Friday and took some decisions. The most important among those is what the UCI in a press release calls a change (which) could be introduced to the 2012 UCI WorldTour calendar, adding that this is all about the addition of a new event in China.

    This race, which will be called Tour of Hangzhou, will be made up of 5 stages from Wednesday 17 till Sunday 21 October 2012, in the week which follows the Tour of Beijing, and it will take place in and around the city of Hangzhou.

    As soon as the race gets UCI WorldTour status, the Tour of Hangzhou will be the 29th race on the UCI WorldTour calendar and the 5th race outside Europe after the Tour Down Under (Australia), the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (Canada) and the Tour of Beijing. Getting this license only seems to be a formality since the UCI says that he Tour of Hangzhou must now apply to the Licence Commission for a UCI WorldTour licence in order to complete the administrative process!

    Do you remember how the UCI announced the date change for Il Lombardia? According to that press release the change (...) allows athletes to directly benefit from their World Championship form on the UCI WorldTour. Don't you think the real reason was actually to make way for this race in China to find its place in the calendar?

    Pat McQuaid's comments

    Pat McQuaidPat McQuaid, the UCI president, said about CCP's decision: It is a natural step for cycling which is currently enjoying a period of huge growth worldwide. This will generate great visibility for teams and riders and can be expected to give a big boost to cycling. The injection of funding directly benefits the sport with financial returns from the new races re-invested into cycling and also profiting teams and other stakeholders down the line. It is no secret that success breeds success and the current boom in cycling is good news for cyclists and cycling lovers across the board. We are very pleased with today's decision which comes as part of UCI's ongoing sustainable development of the sport.

    I can not really agree with the forelast sentence since I don't understand how this new race can be good for cycling lovers. Indeed, in China we saw there was hardly any public at the first edition of the Tour of Beijing (apparently the organisor dropped some "fake" public on the sides of the road when he was asked about it) and cycling lovers in other countries had quite a hard time to follow this race correctly and where that turned out to be possible, the race turned out not to have a very interesting race route which could have brought some excitement to it. That all makes it difficult to believe that will be different for the Tour of Hangzhou!

    Good news for cyclists? Is that also what you read in Pat McQuaid's comments? Strange ... I still remember quite well how the riders reacted during the Tour of Beijing and their comments mainly focused on two points: the horrible pollution and the fact that the season became even longer, with the jetlag effect as a bonus!

    Comments on Twitter

    Mark RenshawSo far I've mainly seen "cycling lovers" comment this decision and they were almost all against this way of cycling development by the UCI in China, but the riders and teams representatives haven't really comment yet, maybe because the press release was published only around 6.30PM on Friday night.

    The first rider who announced what he thought of this was Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) who said: So another race in October, just great... Teams struggle to fill races after July.. The Australian rider doesn't really seem to be convinced of the interest of this new race!

    Adam HansenHis compatriot Adam Hansen, of the Lotto-Belisol team, seems to be a bit more positive and says: Problems in Cycling R TV rights dont go 2 teams/federations. UCI racing Bejing/Hangzhou will be money in our pockets 1day #support #GoodThing.

    As a reminder: Hansen participated in 2011 in the Tour of Beijing and Mark Renshaw didn't.

    The other decisions of the CCP

    During its meeting, the CCP took two other decisions:
    - approval of a request from the Tour of Poland to add one more race day in 2013 – and to run from July 27th to August 3rd – as to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the race
    - a change to the rules so that UCI ProTeams who have not submitted all essential documentation as per art 2.15.069 bis by October 20, which is by the date of the sporting evaluation, would be excluded from the UCI ProTeam registration process

    The CCP also took note that further to the CAS decision earlier this week concerning Alberto Contador, the UCI will today ask its Licence Commission to issue a ruling on whether the Saxo Bank-Sungard* team should retain its place in the UCI WorldTour. If the points obtained by Alberto Contador, representing approximately 68% of the Saxo Bank-Sungard* team's total points, are disregarded, his team would no longer be considered to fulfill the sporting criterion required for the UCI WorldTour

    * the UCI apparently forgot it registered the team for 2012 simply as Team Saxo Bank and that the name Sungard is thus no longer part of the name of the team! Such mistakes don't really make the UCI look as a professional organisation ...

    PS In case you're interested, the tourofhangzhou.net domain name has not been claimed yet ... On Twitter the name has been claimed already but not necessarily by the people behind the project ;-)!

    source background photo for the illustration of this article: SJ photography

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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Currently 3 comments!
  1. http://www.les-actus-du-cyclisme.fr/article-cyclisme-encore-une-nouvelle-course-uci-worldtour-en-chine-en-2012-le-tour-of-hangzhou-99096121.html

    | Roland TISSIER | saturday 11 February 2012 at 12:35:15

  2. Moet je deze wedstrijd niet in de UCI kalender zetten?-;)

    | Tonn Vergouwen | saturday 11 February 2012 at 21:41:42

  3. Nee, zolang deze er niet officieel op staat niet ...

    | Thomas Vergouwen | saturday 11 February 2012 at 21:50:48

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