Joined: 20 Feb 2002
|Posted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:30 pm Post subject: Tour of Britain a draw for UCI ProTeams in 2011
Preparations for the 2011 Tour of Britain, the final Tour to be held before the 2012 Olympic Games, are gearing up, with race organisers SweetSpot Group revealing an increased interest from teams looking to ride Britain’s national Tour this September. More than eight UCI ProTeams have indicated that they wish to ride The Tour of Britain, including the four ProTeams who rode the 2010 event, plus the newly formed Leopard Trek squad, who boast former Tour of Britain King of the Mountains winner and Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck and 2006 Tour of Britain winner Martin Pedersen among their ranks.
A number of UCI Professional Continental and UCI Continental teams have also approached SweetSpot to try and secure a place in Britain’s biggest professional cycle race.
“As ever we’ve had far more teams approach us with a view to riding The Tour of Britain than we could ever hope to accommodate”, said Race Director Mick Bennett.
“It is rewarding for everyone here in the team at SweetSpot to have so many ProTeam squads wanting to be a part of The Tour of Britain, and we are certainly aiming to have 50% of the field in September made up of ProTeams.
“The fact that The Tour of Britain is ideally situated less than a week before the World Championships take place in Denmark means we will continue to attract world-class riders targeting the Worlds and looking for a tough race in which to hone their form.”
The Tour of Britain will also be inviting the leading three UCI Continental teams as per the amended UCI regulation 2.1.007bis. This states that organisers of UCI Europe Tour events must invite (and accept) entries from ‘the first three UCI Continental teams in the classification…for the relevant continental circuit’, ‘drawn up on the basis of individual points for the end of the 2009-2010 season.’
The UCI will inform The Tour of Britain after the end of January as to which UCI Continental teams must be invited.
Commenting on this, Race Director Mick Bennett said;
“We have always sought to have a mixture of ProTeam, ProContinental and Continental professional teams racing in The Tour of Britain as we believe this makes for the most exciting and entertaining racing. However the current communiqué from the UCI has put us under pressure to increase the number of Continental teams competing in the event.
“Last year we had six Continental teams competing, five of which were British, and while we would obviously want those teams to return again in 2011, we must also now take into account that the leading three Continental teams from the UCI Europe Tour have to be invited, plus the additional interest from some of the world’s biggest teams, such as Leopard Trek.
“In an ideal world we would be able to incorporate all of these entries; unfortunately we cannot. Over the coming weeks once we have been notified by the UCI of the teams we must invite then we will look to finalise the 2011 entry list, taking into account a number of factors. I’m sure though that come Sunday 11th September there will be a world-class line-up taking to the start line in the Scottish Borders.”
The Tour of Britain is currently registered at the 2.1 level by the UCI, allowing for up to 50% of the field to be made up of UCI ProTeam outfits, while UCI Professional Continental, Continental and National teams may also be invited to take part.
Current legislation in the UK under the Road Traffic Act (Cycle Racing on Highways Regulations 1960) means that to have over 100 riders competing in a cycle race on British roads, permission has to be sought from the Chief Constable of every police force that the event passes through. For the 2011 Tour of Britain this would be total almost twenty police forces across England, Wales and Scotland.
The Tour of Britain is currently reviewing the situation with a view to making such an application and opening up entry spots for additional teams beyond the sixteen squads currently due to be invited.
The names of the invited teams who will participate in the 2011 Tour of Britain, which runs from Sunday 11th to Sunday 18th September, will be announced at the National Launch in the Spring. Full details of the route, which will begin in Scotland and finish in London, will also be announced at the launch.