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The peloton climbing one of the few average-size mountains during stage two.
Teams Association against separate Historical and ProTour systems
The International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) has called for a single system of how teams for major races are selected in 2011 and asked for a more important voice on how professional cycling is run.
The International Cycling Union is currently thrashing out details of a new system, as it tries to reel back control from major race organisers on how teams are invited to the sports biggest races.
Under current plans, a first system will determine the participation rights in historical calendar races such as the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana. This system is based on the 2010 UCI World Rankings and gives the first 17 teams in the ranking the right to participate. A second system, announced this week by the UCI, determines participation rights for ProTour events such as the Tour of Flanders, Tour Down Under, and Eneco Tour.
The AIGCP defends the interests of the leading professional teams and is headed by Garmin-Transitions team manager Jonathan Vaughters. The association wants a single, easier to understand system.
“The AIGCP is concerned that there will not be a singular system to determine race participation in 2011. As it stands now, two systems, operating independently of one another, will determine participation in the World's largest cycling events,” it said in a statement.
“The AIGCP believes that a better solution is to create one cohesive system, which will ultimately make cycling easier to follow and appreciate for sponsors, fans and athletes.”
“The AIGCP believes that having two systems independent of one another will not help the sport in its progression forward. The shared goal of the UCI, the teams, the ASO and all race organizers is to continue to progress the sport of professional cycling. The AIGCP believes this will not happen unless all of these parties are able to work together to create one system.”