The UCI has agreed to extend the Tour Down Under’s WorldTour licence until 2015, the organization announced Wednesday.
The Australian race was the first non-European event to be added to the UCI
ProTour in 2008.
It is now the opening race of the year on the WorldTour, being held in January, and has become, according to a statement released by the UCI, “the main sporting event organized in South Australia.”
The statement also quoted UCI president Pat McQuaid, who pointed out “the impressive development of Australian cycling which has an excellent ambassador in Cadel Evans, World Champion in 2009 and winner of the Tour de France this year.”
On Tuesday the UCI announced that it had granted a WorldTour license for four years to the Tour of Beijing, which will be held for the first time this October.
In announcing that decision, McQuaid said that “despite the strategic importance of the Tour of Beijing – which has already been highlighted several times – this race did not receive any beneficial treatment. The licence was awarded to the event by an independent body after an in-depth evaluation of all the elements in the file. It is the result of the excellent work carried out by the Chinese authorities in close collaboration with Global Cycling Promotion.”
Global Cycling Promotion is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UCI.
The pro cycling teams association has promised to boycott the Beijing race to protest the UCI’s ban on race radios.