The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) released a statement today stating its concern over top teams being left out of cycling's big events. It comes on the heels of the Giro d'Italia organisers not inviting such ProTour teams as High Road and Astana to the 2008 race, although the race or teams were not mentioned directly.
"No race, even the most important one, can exist without the riders," read the release by the CPA, which is headed by ex-professional Cédric Vasseur. "However, some organisers' current policy [leads us to] think that the riders' talent is despised and that nothing else counts except the glory of the races.
"However, is it not logical that the best riders, integrated in solid and structured teams, take part in the most important events? It is at least essential to clearly and definitively lay down objective and intangible rules of selection. The ProTour system has at least this advantage. Now more than ever, what professional cycling and the riders need is stability instead of confusion."
The CPA is concerned with job loss resulting for sponsors who have or may pull out of the sport, and noted the need for "common sense."
"Cycling cannot escape from modernization and must adapt itself to the surrounding economic context if it wants to survive. Other sports have understood that very well. ... In the absence of clear rules, the riders will at the end always be the losers.
"The victims [are] the riders, who require nothing else more than to practice their sport under good conditions, appeal to the decision-makers' common sense."
Of note is that George Hincapie, Roger Hammond, Michael Rogers are all on team High Road and representatives for their countries on the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC) – part of the CPA.