UCI 2009 World Calendar

The International Cycling Union rolled out the new World Calendar structure that will administer  professional cycling from 2009 onwards yesterday.

“The structure is born of the need, shared by all, to return to a calm, stable environment,” said UCI President, Pat McQuaid at a press conference in the Business Centre at Geneva Airport, Switzerland.

The  UCI President,  Pat McQuaid admitted that the tensons that had been ongoing within the cycling fraternity for the last number oy years and whch had peaked during the 2008 Tour de France was now confined to the history books.

“It is a great day for the International Cycling Union that we are in a position to present the regulations that will govern the new 2009 World Calendar.

“The World Calendar brings together the biggest road cycling events in the world and that is important.

“A new structure has been approved by all the stakeholders in professional road cycling (organisers, teams and riders) and that this launch marked a new start for cycling.

“The new structure would allow cycling and everyone involved in the sport to return to a calm, stable environment that would favour the global development of cycling.

“A lot of water has gone under the bridge in the last number of years and it is refreshng to see so many people present to hear the long awaited developments.

“I am grateful that the management of Editions Philippe Amaury (EPA) for their contribution to establish the new formula and also expressed his gratitude to the Working Group that drew up the regulations for the 2009 World Calendar. This Working Group brought together representatives of all aspects of professional road cycling. Also he was delighted that all the season’s major events could now coexist harmoniously within the new World Calendar.

Cycling has experienced a very severe conflict over recent years which has caused it considerable harm.

“Despite the unfavourable conditions of recent years, cycling as a whole has continued to develop. However, I will not try to claim that the problems encountered, of which you are all aware, have not affected the stability and calm background that our sport needs.

The tensions that affected cycling peaked during the 2008 Tour de France and we found ourselves in a rather sad situation for our sport. Fortunately, these difficulties were the catalyst for us all to realise that it was no longer possible to continue in this way.

The UCI took up its responsibility, enshrined by its mission statement, to find a solution. The solution was only possible with the contribution of all the parties concerned. In this respect, the structure that is about to be presented to you represents the successful outcome of a genuinely collective effort.

I would ask you not to place too much credence on talk of problems still to be overcome that you may hear today or in the coming weeks. There are still points of disagreement, that is clear, but these are of a completely different nature to those that were tearing cycling apart just a few months ago.

The World Calendar that we are presenting today is the synthesis of the needs of all those involved in professional cycling. It takes into account the heritage of our sport as well as legitimate ambitions for the global development of cycling. These two components can from now on coexist harmoniously within the World Calendar (UCI ProTour – Monuments Calendar).

Beyond the designations, structures and regulations, the hard work of the last few months has produced a formula that will allow races to take place within an appropriate framework, allowing the riders and teams to compete in the biggest races in the world and cycling fans to witness the highest quality events.

What is important is that cycling has now regained its unity and harmony. There are no winners or losers, but rather a reciprocal respect of the role and importance of all the stakeholders.

But perhaps a winner does actually exist; the winner is the sport of cycling.

Neither component of the World Calendar will dominate the other. The UCI ProTour is not in competition with the Monuments Calendar. The UCI ProTour is rather a vision that has won over the teams and organisers because they realise that it is good for cycling.

I would like to express a desire. My wish is that cycling retains its unique nature in a calm environment, an environment that encourages growth, under the banner of the International Cycling Union., said Pat McQuaid who now can forward to a harmonisation with the cycling fraternty.

The cycling calendar will encompass both the existing ProTour as well as the new Historic events, which includes each of the Grand Tours, all of the major Classics and several of the most important stage races.

2009 World Calendar:
Jan 20-25: Tour Down Under; March 8-13: Paris – Nice;
March 11-17: Tirreno-Adriatico; March 21: Milan-San Remo;
April: 5: Tour of Flanders; April: 6-11: Tour of the Basque Country;
April 8: Ghent – Wevelgem; April 12: Paris – Roubaix;
April 19: Amstel Gold Race;April 22: La Flèche Wallonne;
April 26: Liège – Bastogne – Liège;April 28 – May 3: Tour of Romandy;
May 9-31: Giro d’Italia; May 18-24: Tour of Catalonia;
June 7-14: Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré; June 13-21: Tour of Switzerland;
July 4-26: Tour de France;August 1: San Sebastian Classic;
August 2-8: Tour of Poland; August 16: Vattenfall Cyclassics;
August 19-26: Eneco Tour UPT August 23: GP Ouest France;
August 29-Sept 20: Vuelta a España; October 17: Tour of Lombardy.

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