Tour of Battenkill returns to UCI calendar

Men's and women's races will take Philadelphia's spot

The Tour of the Battenkill will return with men's and women's pro races this year, taking the date previously used by the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, which was cancelled for 2017.

Last held for professional riders in 2012, the Tour of Battenkill will take place June 3, with UCI 1.2 status awarded for both men's and women's race. The race is also part of USA Cycling's Pro Road Tour. An amateur event of the same name will take place two weeks before the pro races.

Organiser Dieter Drake is hopeful of attracting a strong women's field upward of 100 riders. This year will be the first time the Tour of Battenkill has held a professional women’s race. The men's race will comprise of 200 kilometres, while the women take on 100 kilometres in the Battenkill Valley of upstate New York on a course that features several dirt-road sections.

Before moving ahead with plans Drake received the blessing of Philadelphia International Cycling Classic's race organisers, who are hopeful of returning to the UCI race calendar in 2018.

"We're taking the spot that Philly had but it's just for this year," Drake told Cyclingnews.

"I spoke to the folks at Philadelphia, the race director Robin Mortin and she gave us her blessing. We'll have a men's and women's race and they'll both be 1.2 on the UCI calendar."

The news of Battenkill's re-emergence comes after a wave of North American races were pulled from the calendar due to financial constraints and a lack of sponsorship dollars.

"We saw a lot of cancellations, Philadelphia being the biggest, and we decided to come back because we put something together on short notice. Also our budget doesn't even compare to a race like Philadelphia. We have the capabilities, the infrastructure and the people to do it."

The Tour of the Battenkill last held UCI events in 2010 and 2012 for the men only. Caleb Fairly and Francisco Mancebo were winners, respectively.

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