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One week to go for Estonian Cycling Weekend

More than 100 competitors from 13 countries will line up for the biggest professional cycling race in Baltic, the Estonian Cycling Weekend on May 23 and 24.

The event begins on Saturday with the Tallinn to Tartu Grand Prix, taking the riders from the country's capital to the second biggest city in Estonia. Approximately 20 teams will start, amongst them Mitsubishi Jartazi and Team Designa Kokken.

Race director Indrek Kelk hoped that the event will bring top level cycling closer to the Estonian people. "The riders will race through the country within four to five hours, and everyone interested can see the race close to their homes," said Kelk. While a cycling peloton is a common sight in many European countries, it is still exceptional in Estonia.

The next race will be held on the following day, on Sunday in the city of Tartu. The 2008 SEB Tartu Grand Prix takes place on a 12,5km circuit and ends after 15 laps. The parcours on city streets offers long straights, tight corners and power draining hills.

Both competitions - Tallinn-Tartu GP and SEB Tartu GP - are UCI Europe Tour class 1.1 races.

On the third day, cycling amateurs can join the professionals for the 27th SEB Tartu Rattaralli, either on a longer 133km route or on a shorter 69km distance. Last year, the Tartu Rattaralli had 4231 finishers, which made it by far the most popular cycling event in Estonia.

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