By Gregor Brown in Foix
Details of the new teams' organisation have become clearer after the announcement Tuesday that the ProTour teams would not renew their licenses to the UCI's ProTour system.
"We are united and becoming a group, this is the fundamental aspect," Roberto Amadio, Team Manager of Liquigas, explained to Cyclingnews on the morning of Tour de France's stage to Foix.
One day before, information was released regarding the meeting of 17 ProTour teams (excluding team Astana who was not at the Tour) and the organisers of the Grand Tours Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. They came together in a united front against the International Cycling Union's (UCI) ProTour that started in the 2005 season.
It was the fourth meeting, after one in Frankfurt and two in Brussels, for the new and unnamed project. Patrick Lefevere, Team Manager of Quick Step, explained that the real push for change started 20 days ago and promoted the meeting on Tuesday in Pau during the most recent rest day of the Tour de France.
The teams included will be the same as the ones in the current ProTour system, but with the addition of wild cards. "It will include 18 teams with a strong number of wild card Pro Continental teams. If those teams are in the same boat as us they have to do the same controls, the same financial controls and everything."
Amadio added, "The agreement gives the right to the teams to participate in all the races, but it is not an obligation that they participate. However, there will be a percentage of teams that have to participate."
A list of teams or races within the project is not yet publicly available.
The project does not involve the UCI. "We talked with the UCI," said Amadio. "We have not yet had a response. I hope that the UCI reflects well on this because all the parties need each other. I hope with this we have a good solution and that cycling finally calms down."
The next meeting scheduled will take place Monday, on the Tour de France's second rest day in Cuneo.