Reports from a Turkish news agency suggest the Presidential Tour of Turkey is on the bubble in what would be its first year in the UCI’s WorldTour calendar.
According to report from DHA, officials from the Tour of Turkey want to move the race from its current April date to one in October or February. So far, only one WorldTour team has confirmed its presence in the week-long race (April 18-23), and WorldTour rules require at least 10 top-level teams to assure its current ranking. Race officials could not be contacted by VeloNews.
Officials traveled to a recent UCI meeting in Luxembourg to request a calendar change, but the request was denied, the report said. Organizers say they’re having trouble securing commitments from WorldTour teams due to an already crowded racing calendar and worries about security following a string of high-profile attacks across Turkey in the past 18 months.
The race is held along the southern and western Mediterranean Coast and concludes in Istanbul. Over the past decade, several top teams have made the trip to Turkey in what was considered a nice warm-up for the Giro d’Italia. Last year, however, only two WorldTour teams attended, and since it became a WorldTour race in 2017, teams seem to have become hesitant about racing there.
The UCI’s WorldTour expanded by 10 events for 2017, but the Tour of Qatar suddenly cancelled its event this season. Officials are hopeful that race will return in 2018.
WorldTour calendar changes are also putting the pinch on European races that go up against other events on the international calendar.