UCI announces 2008 road calendar

Tour de France given new category; Tour Down Under up to ProTour

The UCI's ProTour Council has announced the road calendar for the 2008 season.

The ProTour will continue, minus the big events organised by ASO, RCS and Unipublic. The Tour de France has been moved into a World Calendar, along with the Olympic Games and road world championships. The other big races, such as the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España and Paris-Roubaix, have been moved into the Europe Tour.

According to the UCI, the ProTour teams will have the right but not the obligation to participate in the Tour de France. But the other major races have more flexibility over which teams they invite.

The ProTour itself will start on January 22nd in Adelaide, Australia with the Tour Down Under, and finish on October 5 with an event yet to be confirmed. The UCI aims to develop the ProTour more along a global scale, with China, Russia and Britain interested in hosting races.

Major road races 2008

ProTour

January 22nd-27th: Tour Down Under (Aus)
April 6th: Ronde van Vlaanderen (Bel)
April 7th-April 12th: Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (Spa)
April 9th: Gent-Wevelgem (Bel)
April 20th: Amstel Gold Race (Ned)
April 29th-May 4th: Tour de Romandie (Swi)
May 19th-25th: Volta a Catalunya (Spa)
June 8-15th: Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (Fra)
June 14th-June 22nd: Tour de Suisse (Swi)
June 22nd: Team Time Trial (Ned)
August 2nd: Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian (Spa)
August 20th-27th: Eneco Tour (Bel, Ned, Lux)
August 25th: GP Ouest France-Plouay (Fra)
August 29th-September 6th: Deutschland Tour (Ger)
September 7th: Vattenfall Cyclassics (Ger)
September 15-21th: Tour de Pologne (Pol)
October 5th: Finale (TBC)

World calendar

July 5th-27th: Tour de France (Fra)*
August 9th: Olympic Games Time Trial (Chi)
August 13th: Olympic Games Road Race (Chi)
September 25th: World Championships Time Trial (Ita)
September 28th: World Championships Road Race (Ita)

UCI Europe Tour (new events only)

March 9-16th: Paris-Nice (Fra) HC
March 12th-18th: Tirreno-Adriatico (Ita) HC
March 22nd: Milano-Sanremo (Ita)*
April 13th: Paris-Roubaix (Fra)*
April 23rd: La Flèche Wallonne (Bel) HC
April 27th: Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Bel)*
May 10th-June 1st: Giro d'Italia (Ita)*
August 30th-September 21st: Vuelta a España (Spa)*
October 12th: Paris-Tours (Fra) HC
October 18th: Giro di Lombardia (Ita)*

* = New class at the top of the hierarchy

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