Vuelta organisers determined to keep three-week tour

Ignacio Ayuso

Ignacio Ayuso (Image credit: AFP)

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Ignacio Ayuso, president of Vuelta a España organiser Unipublic, has responded to reports that the UCI is considering a shortening of the Spanish Grand Tour so that it may share the September calender with other races such as the Deutschland Tour or the Tour of Poland.

"The UCI just wants to frighten us and divide us from the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia, but the UCI knows very well that the three Grand Tours go hand-in-hand," Ayuso told Spanish sports newspaper AS yesterday.

"We can compete with the German Tour or the Tour of Poland. The Vuelta will take place, and the ProTour teams prefer to participate in the Vuelta."

UCI President Pat McQuaid recently told Cyclingnews that the calendar issue had not yet been resolved but it was nothing to do with the ongoing saga between the UCI and the Grand Tours.

According to a letter signed by Alan Rumpf, the UCI's ProTour Committee co-ordinator, changes to the Vuelta would not take place until 2008. The route for next year's race is due to be announced on December 13.

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