The UCI announced the 2007 ProTour schedule of races. Added to the list this year is the Tour de Romandie. All in all, there are 27 races on the calendar that teams will be required to attend and points will be earned towards the white UCI ProTour leader.
The ProTour will start it’s third year under some serious storm clouds. Tensions between the Grand Tours and the UCI continue to mount. Some public spats include the Vuelta de Espana refusing to acknowledge Alejandro Valverde as the ProTour leader during race presentations at the conclusion of the Vuelta.
Where could this lead? Well look closer at the schedule. If there is a break from the Grand Tours, it would be much worse than a classics calendar and a Grand Tour Calendar. The organizers of the Grand Tours also organize many of the premiere classics on the ProTour Schedule. Eleven of the 27 races on the ProTour calendar are organized by the Grand Tours. Take a look:
- Le Fleche Wallone
- Tour de France
- Milan-San Remo
- Giro d’Italia
- Giro di Lombardia
- Vuelta a Espana
If these pull out and form a competing organization to the UCI, what happens to cycling?