Positive vibes over TDU's ProTour debut

Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur has said feedback on the Australian race's ProTour debut...

Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur has said feedback on the Australian race's ProTour debut has been positive from abroad, after doing a tour of Europe. The former Olympian attended the World Track Cycling Championships in Manchester before heading to the Union Cycliste Internationale headquarters (UCI) in Aigle, Switzerland, where he met with the body's president Pat McQuaid and ProTour manager Alain Rumpf.

"South Australia has provided the perfect platform for the sport of cycling to expand across the planet," said a proud Turtur. "It has always been the intention of the UCI that the UCI ProTour would be used as a vehicle to promote the sport of cycling worldwide by bringing the best teams in the world to the best events on the five continents."

While Turtur cannot comment on the current situation between the UCI and Tour de France organiser Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), he said in a statement that he does not agree with the ASO’s current position.

"The UCI has embraced the concept of the globalisation of our sport and the Tour Down Under will strongly continue to support them 100 percent as they are the peak international body for the sport," he said.

Turtur also held meetings with the Tour Down Under’s European coordinator during his trip, with the pair focusing on UCI ProTour team updates for 2009. The 2009 Tour Down Under will be held January 18-25, 2009. The full race route details will be announced in July 2008 with team and rider announcements being confirmed in September/November 2008.

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