Posted by Editoress on 01/13/12
The Tour de l'Abitibi organizers have announced that they will no longer be a part of the Nations Cup international series for Junior men. Abitibi, which will celebrate its 44th edition in 2012, takes place in the in Rouyn-Noranda region of northern Québec, and has long been considered the premier stage race for Junior men in North America. This year, it will take place from July 16th to 22nd. The race will still retain an international sanction.
The UCI decided in 2008 that the Nations Cup would be open to national squads, but gave Abitibi permission to continue to invite smaller, regional teams (often provincial and composite teams). However, the UCI will no longer make that exception for the race, so organizers decided to forego the Nations Cup status, and continue to foster local rider development. With its international sanction, Abitibi can still accept national squads.
"It is with pride and conviction that the board of directors of the Tour has decided to continue its mission to promote the development of young riders, rather than continue to hold the title of the Nations Cup," said the organizers in a statement.
The President of the Tour de l'Abitibi, Suzanne Fortin, told the local newspaper Abitibi Express that "The Tour de l'Abitibi should remain an event where the international elite meet, but it must also remain focused on the development of young riders from regional clubs."
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