Status of Tour de Georgia raised

The UCI gives the Tour de Georgia a significant boost in its profile by raising its event rating, ma

The UCI gives the Tour de Georgia a significant boost in its profile by raising its event rating, ma

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The International Cycling Union has given a significant boost to the profile of the Tour de Georgia by raising its event rating from 2.1 to 2.HC, the highest category for races that are not part of the ProTour. Next year's event, which takes place between April 18-23, will be the only high-category race in North America in 2006.

"In just three years the Tour de Georgia has set the standard as one of the top professional races in North America," said Gerard Bisceglia, chief executive officer of USA Cycling. "USA Cycling is pleased that the UCI has elevated the status so that it receives special attention internationally. The rating is significant to continue the recognition the event deserves from athletes, media and spectators with a global focus."

The route for the 2006 race is under development and an announcement of the route, host cities and initial participating ProTour teams is expected later this year. Once the route is announced, the event website will be refreshed with information for spectators to make travel plans.

"As one of the largest, annual sporting events in the state, the Tour de Georgia generates a tremendous amount of publicity for the state and our local communities, as well as creating a new focus on the sport of cycling itself. Georgians can be proud that this is also the largest platform for the Georgia Cancer Coalition to spread the message about clinical trials and survivorship, and our joint mission to defeat cancer," said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports, which has been involved in managing the race for the past three years.

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