ProTour to head to Kazakhstan in 2011?

April 13. VeloNation

by Jered Gruber

ProTour to head to Kazakhstan in 2011?The ProTour could be looking to head to Kazakhstan in 2011. Vice-President of the Kazakh Cycling Federation, Nikolai Proskurin, is pushing for a possible spot on the ProTour calendar for the central Asian nation next season via two one-day races.

Several luminaries, including Eddy Merckx and UCI President, Pat McQuaid are set to visit Kazakhstan in late May with the idea of making the race a reality in 2011. The two races would run in June in the time between the Giro and the Tour and would take place in the country’s capital of Astana for one of the races and further south in the city of Almaty for the other. Each race would carry a budget of about half a million US dollars.

This would be a notable step forward for the country, as not a single UCI event will be held in Kazakhstan in 2010 save for the National Championships.

At first glance, two one-day races in Kazakhstan would seem a bit of a stretch, but with the mondialisation of cycling, a workable date on the calendar, and a lot of money – all of these factors and more could do much to shorten the distance from Europe to Kazakhstan in 2011.