World cycling's ruling body officially announced the creation of a UCI-backed race in Russia on Wednesday.
It will be held as a ProTour race for the first time in the region of Sochi, the venue for the 2014 winter Olympics, on May 20-24, 2009 - although it will be in direct competition with the Giro d'Italia.
The UCI (International Cycling Union) remains in conflict with the organisers of some major stage races, such as the Tour de France, Spain and Italy. Currently the Tour de France is no longer part of the ProTour that was established by the UCI three years ago.
The UCI on Wednesday also evoked the possibility of again tinkering with the dates for the world road race championships as of 2012.
Traditionally held at the end of August up to 1994, they were moved to October then the end of September in order to balance the international cycling calendar, and to allow the Tour of Spain to be held in September.
Now the UCI is studying moving the championships from September to the start of August. A decision is set to be made during the 2008 world road race championships in Varese, Italy.
© AFP 2008