Pay up or else: 60,000 Euros for each and every ProTour team or we won't turn up to the Giro d'Italia, says Patrick Lefevere.
This is the latest ultimatum from AIGCP president, who, after a long meeting in Maastricht the morning of the Amstel Gold Race, told Giro race organiser Angelo Zomegnan he has 48 hours to agree. If he doesn't, then the first Grand Tour of the year will be filled with second-string teams, Lefevere threatened.
In accordance with the UCI ProTour regulations, each ProTour team is to receive equal compensation for participation in each ProTour event; for the Giro d'Italia, this sum is €60,000. However, it has been reported that Zomegnan wishes to negotiate separately with each team, and pay larger teams more start money than the smaller teams.
"Unacceptable," said Lefevre, also team manager of the Quick.Step ProTour cycling team. "Every team must receive exactly 60,000 Euros."
Rabobank team manager Theo de Rooij told Cyclingnews that he is in full agreement with Lefevere and the AIGCP, adding that the ProTour teams "have asked for 10 percent more start money than previous years."
"In our opinion, this isn't too high a demand; if you see the extra costs we've had to make as a result of the vast scale of the ProTour, one should certainly approve of this. We have already incorporated the Giro into our calendar, and if we left it [out], it would disturb our planning. For Italian teams like Fassa Bortolo and Lampre, it is an even larger step, because they have planned their entire season around the Giro," said de Rooij.