UCI unveils ProTour calendar

The UCI ProTour Council finalized the 2008 ProTour format Thursday in a meeting at the Road World...

The UCI ProTour Council finalized the 2008 ProTour format Thursday in a meeting at the Road World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, adding the Australian Tour Down Under stage race to the calendar, but excluding the Grand Tours. The UCI said in a statement that it was "taking into account the fact that the organizers of the three major tours have confirmed that they do not wish their events to be part of the series."

The ProTour will be just one part of the UCI's world calendar, which also includes the UCI World Road Championships, the Olympic Games, and the Tour de France. According to the UCI, "the 18 UCI Pro Teams will have the right to participate [in the Tour de France], following a request from the teams."

The other races organized by the Grand Tour organizers ASO, RCS, and Unipublic, including the Giro d'Italia, the Vuelta a España, Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro di Lombardia will become part of the UCI Europe Tour, although they will be part of a new class, with unrestricted team participation, at the top of the European calendar's hierarchy.

Those organizers' other races like Tirreno-Adriatico, Paris-Nice, La Flèche Wallonne and Paris-Tours will become part of the existing hors-class (HC) portion of the calendar. The UCI is dropping the participation requirement for HC races which set a maximum of 50% UCI Pro Teams competing in any of these events.

ProTour events will be open to some continental professional teams, but they must first obtain a "new quality label" from the Licences Commission. No details were provided on what it will take to earn the label, but the UCI said generally in its statement that those continental teams "will have to undergo the same measures in the fight against doping as the UCI Pro Teams."

UCI World Calendar - ProTour 2008

UCI World calendar - non ProTour

UCI Europe Tour new events

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