By Monika Prell
The ProTour teams are pondering a very important question; will they be on the side of the UCI or on the side of the organisers of the three Grand Tours (ASO, Unipublic and RCS Sport)?
The UCI is steadfast that the ProTour teams do to participate in Paris-Nice, but the ASO, organiser of this race and also of the Tour de France, announced that teams that do not participate in Paris - Nice might also not be allowed to participate in La Grand Boucle.
Today, the teams, as part of the International Professional Cycling Teams (IPCT), have a meeting in Paris to decide what they will do. All French ProTour teams are willing to compete Paris-Nice, and some teams are pressured by its sponsors to ride the Tour de France, like the Belgian team Predictor-Lotto.
The situation is also very complicated for José Miguel Echávarri, who has a Spanish team with a French sponsor, Caisse d'Epargne. According to the Spanish newspaper AS he declared, "I've got the impression that we, the teams, are like a tennis ball in a match of strength between the UCI and the Tour. I've got my opinion but I'll reserve it for the meeting."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split
October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
September 26, 2008 - UCI declares peace, appoints new VP
August 30, 2008 - UCI re-signs five ProTour races
August 22, 2008 - ProTour: Bouncing back or lame duck?
August 19, 2008 - Stapleton analyses 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - Feedback on 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - UCI announces 'world calendar'