80 pro cyclists representing 19 UCI ProTeams and four Professional Continental Teams took part, on April 20, in the last meeting of the CPA, the international rider's federation, organized in Liège. The persons in charge of the national associations of Germany, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland also attended the event, directed by the President of the CPA Francesco Moser and Jens Voigt, the riders' representative within the UPTC, the UCI ProTour Council.
During the first part of the meeting, Dr. Martial Saugy, from the laboratory of Lausanne, explained the procedures of the blood tests and of the Antidoping analyses that are used for detecting EPO, showing the absolute reliability of these methods. UCI doctor Dr. Mario Zorzoli and Christian Varin, UCI Antidoping coordinator, were also at the riders' disposal to answer the questions related to the various regulations regarding health and the fight against doping.
Many of the riders present in Liège shared concerns with regard to the possibility of cutting down (from 20 to 18) the number of UCI Pro Teams. This could call into question some of the important prerogatives acquired with the introduction of the UCI ProTour, they said, like employment stability, more favourable economic conditions and the guarantee to take part in the most prestigious races.
With regard to the wild cards, those in attendence in Liège said they were in favour of the observance of very rigorous criteria from a sporting, ethical and financial point of view at the time of the attribution of these invitations by the organizers. The riders also reiterated the importance of improving the safety during the races.