MOSCOW, February 27 (R-Sport) - Exorbitant license fees are the only thing holding back plans to stage a cycling Tour of Russia, national cycling federation president Igor Makarov said Wednesday.
Russia's cycling chiefs have long hoped to set up a stage race across the country, with a possible route heading from the Black Sea resort of Sochi north to Moscow, via St. Petersburg.
“We sent an inquiry to the UCI, but it turned out that we had to pay seven million euros to a private company for the license for the Tour of Russia,” Makarov said.
“This is also a question I intend to discuss with the UCI. Why should I pay seven million? We thought the organization of the race was included in this price, but we were wrong.”
Makarov, who has been the head of the federation since 2010, said the price was the only stumbling block and that race organizers had full government support.
“We want to stage the Tour of Russia, the country's government supports us, as do the regions, the money is allocated and the sponsors are ready to finance it,” Makarov said.
“We want to hold the first race next year. We have already established an organizing committee, everything is ready and has been discussed, but there is some financial limit.”
Makarov, a member of the UCI's management committee, also said Russia should host the UCI road-racing world championships for the first time.
“I wrote several letters to the country top officials and found understanding,” he said.
Russia would use the road route from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, but it is in poor condition, he said.
“The track where the Olympics were held and where we’d like to stage the competition needs renovation," he said.