Extra day for Basque Country

The Tour of the Basque Country's request for an extra day of racing has been agreed for the next thr

The Tour of the Basque Country's request for an extra day of racing has been agreed for the next thr


The organisers of the Tour of the Basque Country have been told by the International Cycling Union that they can add an extra day to their race. Next year's event will now take place between April 3-8.

The Diario Vasco paper that organises the long-established five-day event had made the request after the UCI ruled that split stages were not allowed in ProTour events following the Giro d'Italia's announcement of a split stage for the final day of their 2006 race. The Basque Country race has traditionally finished with a split stage comprising a morning road race and a short afternoon time trial.

The addition of a day to the race includes, for the moment, each season up to 2008. The Basque Country organisers have already got commitments from towns in the region to host stages up to this date and would not have been able to accommodate them all if an extra day had not been granted. The race will return to a five-day format in 2009.

The stages for next year's race will now run as follows: stage 1, Irun-Irun; stage Irun-Segura; stage 3, Segura-Lerin (Navarra); stage 4, Lerin-Vitoria; stage 5, Vitoria-Zalla; and the final time trial will now take place on Saturday, April 8 in Zalla.

The Diario Vasco is also reporting this morning that there are plans afoot to shorten the international calendar from 2009. The news comes from a meeting of Italian teams, who have been told that the UCI is considering cutting as many as four days from the itinerary of the major tours, including one of the two rest days. More on this story when we have it.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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