Tour of Britain to be longer in 2005

Next year's race could be an eight or nine day event, and would visit Scotland. The Auld Enemy was avoided this year not because of ancient antipathies but because another promoter had organised a Tour of Scotland and the two events could not go head to head.
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The Tour of Britain organisers want their event to be one of the events of the UCI's ambitious new ProTour calendar which, if successful, would mean the top pro teams would be obliged to send squads.

Michael Heal, communications director of the Tour of Britain, said it was a "top priority" for Scotland to be included in next year's event.

There's also a possibility that one stage could be held in Ireland, although this would provide financial and logistical headaches for the young Tour of Britain.

"There's a willingness and desire to extend the Tour into Scotland," said Heal.

"We couldn't include Scotland this year because there was already a Tour of Scotland."

This was scheduled for 25-29th August but fell through.

"Before it was cancelled we had already decided there would not be enough backers for two stage races in Scotland so reluctantly had no Scottish stage," said Heal.

No date has yet been set for next year's Tour of Britain, although Heal said it would likely be some time after the Tiur de France. With no Olympics next year, the Tour of Britain could be held in August.

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