By Gerard Knapp in Adelaide
Armed with new marketing collateral produced by a research firm, the International Cycling Union is set to meet in three weeks with representatives of the three Grand Tours in an effort to resolve their differences that threatens to derail the fledgling concept of the ProTour, the UCI's attempt of amalgamating the world's top road races under one umbrella structure.
UCI president Pat McQuaid said on Sunday, January 22, 2006, at a press conference in Adelaide, South Australia, he is hopeful the race organisers will accept their conditions and become part of the ProTour "between now and 2008".
He said the research firm gave a presentation during a meeting held on January 18 in Geneva between the UCI and its supporters, notably the ProTour teams and their sponsors, represented by Patrick Lefevere, president of the AIGCP and director of the Quick.Step squad, as well as Paolo Del Lago from Liguigas.
The research is designed to show the potential of the ProTour and that it has a solid commercial future that could deliver benefits to all parties via increased exposure and television coverage. He said following the presentation, all three reiterated their support for the ProTour concept.
Click here for more from McQuaid, including comments on the JCTDU becoming part of the ProTour and the Olympic fate of the track kilo and 500m.