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With new name, Tour of Virginia joins NRC

Beginning in 2007, the Tour of Shenandoah will be known as the Tour of Virginia. Now a National Racing Calendar (NRC) event, the Tour of Virginia will run from April 24th to April 29th throughout Virginia.

Unlike previous editions, this year's Tour of Virginia will include parts of Virginia outside the scenic Shenandoah Valley. No details on the route or new host cities have been announced yet, but a majority of the course is expected to remain the same.

The Tour of Virginia aims to position itself as North America's answer to the Tour de L'Avenir. It traditionally showcases emerging national and international talent; in past years, the race has been a focus for many U25 teams. In 2006, winner Brent Bookwalter was only 23-years-old.

While the Tour focuses on U25 riders, older riders may participate. "Pro teams will, for the foreseeable future, be permitted to send older riders to this race, but the team leader must be U25." The cycling community will have an "opportunity to look at our best young talent and see for real what kind of leadership qualities they have at a relatively young age," said race director Matt Butterman.

An important mission of the Tour of Virginia is to inform the public about how to control the onset of diabetes and reduce the complications through exercise and a healthy lifestyle. To this end, the race will support Team Type 1, an all-diabetic racing team that will compete in the event.

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