UCI gives Belgium extra race in World Tour

Published:

 

AIGLE, Switzerland (AP) -- The International Cycling Union has added another one-day classic race in Belgium to the World Tour calendar.

The UCI says it granted the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke race a four-year license as a World Tour event through 2015.

The race on March 23, 2012, will open the Belgian spring classics season.

UCI President Pat McQuaid says the change in status recognizes the "remarkable heritage" of cycling in the Flanders region.

Its also gives Europe an extra berth on a 28-event program of one-day classics and stage races after Montreal, Quebec and Beijing were recently added.

The Harelbeke race has been staged since 1958. Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara won the past two editions.