The Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) and Union Cycliste International will seek to increase the communications between their bodies, after representatives from each met with a selection of riders in Geneva yesterday. The professional cyclists body met with the sport's international governing body to discuss the disciplinary action that will be taken against teams and riders that contested this month's Paris-Nice.
"A delegation of riders expressed their grave concerns regarding the state of professional cycling," read a joint press release following the meeting. "The CPA also explained how the riders find themselves in very weak position in this context."
Riders are expected to be punished by the UCI's Disciplinary Commission after defying the governing body's instructions.
The ongoing UCI Vs. Grand Tour organisers dispute flared again in late February, when ASO announced on February 26, 2008 that it would hold Paris-Nice outside the aegis of the UCI and had recruited the French Cycling Federation (FFC) to sanction the event. ASO then appointed the French anti-doping agency, AFLD, to be in charge of the doping controls for the event. The UCI warned that any rider that contested the event would face disciplinary action, however it did little to deter the UCI-registered teams and riders to contest an event outside of the body's sanction.
"The UCI explained it was sympathetic to the points of view expressed by the CPA and the riders and reminded the participants of the various stages that had led to the current situation," added the release. "The UCI also made it clear that it is the role of its Disciplinary Commission to decide on the appropriate sanctions for riders who participate in an event which has not been registered on the UCI's calendar by the French Cycling Federation."
The release from the CPA and UCI announced that the two would endeavour to work closely in order to ensure the stability of the sport's international structure. The relationships are however expected to be strained yet again in the future, with the underlying problem of the UCI and Grand Tour organisers' dispute no closer to a resolution.
"The CPA and UCI decided to step up their exchanges of communication with a view to defending the federal structure which is currently under threat and yet so essential for the protection of the interests of all parties, particularly the riders," it concluded.
Earlier this month French Federation of Cycling (FFC) president Jean Pitallier called on the international governing body's board to resign. Pitallier lashed out at the body, under the guidance of which his organisation operates, saying its only interest was creating a monopoly within the sport. "At this stage, they'd better resign," Pitallier stated. "His ambition is to be the Bernie Ecclestone of cycling. He wants to make cycling a private company."
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'