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BREAKING: New UCI Pro Tour Format Announced!

Damn, the news is just relentless this week. I'll let VN's Andy Hood do the 'splaining:

Among the changes: The three grand tours - Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España - as well as Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Giro di Lombardia - will be designated as part of a new European calendar. Races will be allowed to pick and choose teams as they see fit, though the Tour will be obligated to include all 18 ProTour teams.

Other major European races, such as Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Flèche Wallone and Paris-Tours, will fall under hors categorie designation and be limited to 50 percent participation of ProTour teams.

18 ProTour teams - two less than the 20 from past three seasons - will part of the cycling league, with guaranteed starts in the Tour de France but not in other major races not part of the redrafted ProTour.

A new world calendar will be introduced in 2008 that includes the remaining ProTour events, the world championships, a ProTour final and the Olympic Games, with the addition of new ProTour events such as the Tour Down Under in Australia, for a total of about 90 racing days.

New races will be developed in Russia and China. There was no mention of the Tour of California in the UCI's plans.