A second UCI WorldTour stage race will likely take place in China in 2012 after the Professional Cycling Council approved the addition of the new event Friday. The group, which includes representatives of the riders, organizers and teams in road cycling, also called for the License Commission to today review how the CAS decision to sanction Alberto Contador will impact Saxo Bank’s current ProTeam license.
The five-stage Tour of Hangzhou in southern China will tentatively run from Wednesday October 17 through Sunday October 21. The event will open three days following the conclusion of the nearby Tour of Beijing. That event, in its second year, was initially scheduled to close the WorldTour calendar in 2012. The UCI License Commission will need to approve the addition of the event before it officially joins the top level of the sport. It was not immediately clear whether the UCI’s Global Cycling Promotions offshoot, which promotes the Beijing tour, would operate the Hangzhou race.
UCI president Pat McQuaid opened the two-day PCC meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, and called the Chinese expansion a “natural step for cycling.”
“This will generate great visibility for teams and riders and can be expected to give a big boost to cycling,” said McQuaid. “The injection of funding directly benefits the sport with financial returns from the new races re-invested into cycling and also profiting teams and other stakeholders down the line. It is no secret that success breeds success and the current boom in cycling is good news for cyclists and cycling lovers across the board. We are very pleased with today’s decision, which comes as part of UCI’s ongoing sustainable development of the sport.”
Saxo Bank review
In regards to Contador and Saxo Bank, the UCI will today request that the License Commission review whether the deposed 2010 Tour de France champion will be able to retain his 2011 UCI points for the team classification rankings. Contador scored 68 percent of the total points for Bjarne Riis’ squad last season and without his points, Saxo Bank will fall below the threshold to retain its license. The UCI would likely remove the squad from the ProTeam ranks for 2012 if that were to occur.
Other items emerging from the PCC meeting:
The 2013 Tour of Poland will expand one day and take place July 27-August 3.
Teams failing to submit all essential documentation for a ProTeam license by the October 20 deadline will be “excluded from the UCI ProTeam registration process.”