|Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida leads the ovreall GC at the Tour of Turkey into the final day (Bettini Photo)|
The UCI has announced that the 2017 Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey will take place between October 10-15 after it was postponed from its original April date.
The UCI added the stage race to the expanded 2017 WorldTour calendar but the organisers struggled to attract teams due to recent terrorist attacks, a failed military coup and oppressive action by Turkish President Recep Erdogan. A report in February said only one team had accepted an invitation to the race.
Thousands of dissidents, journalists and critics of Erdogan have been arrested in recent months, sparking concerns about safety and civil rights in Turkey. The country is due to vote in a referendum on April 8 that would give Erdogan sweeping powers. The Tour of Turkey was originally scheduled for April 18-23.
An initial request to move the race was turned down in January, but following a meeting of the UCI Professional Cycling Council (PCC) on 21 March in Brussels, the UCI agreed that the Tour of Turkey will be postponed to October 10-15 2017.
The UCI claimed the race has the continued support of the Turkish Government and the race organisation to ensure the success of the event.
The UCI specified that the date change is only for the 2017 season, revealing that the 2018 UCI WorldTour calendar will be confirmed in June at the next PCC meeting.
The October date will mean the Tour of Turkey comes after Il Lombardia on Saturday, October 7, and before the new Gree-Tour of Guangxi that will take place in China between October 19-24, which brings down the curtain on the long WorldTour calendar.
Article Source: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/tour-of-turkey-moved-to-october/