An agreement between the French Cycling Federation (FFC) and the French government was finalized today which protects race organizers from large fee increases which threatened several classic races.
Spearheaded by FFC president David Lappartient, National Cycling League (LNC) president Marc Madiot and the Ministry of the Interior's Michael Bart, the accord limits the increase to 15% per year through 2014.
The French government introduced new standards for the hourly rate for police and gendarme support in October, increasing the €2.40 per man hour rate to €12.33. In early December, the organizer of Etoile de Bessèges said his race could not go forward if the increase, which amounted to a 1,000-fold increase for the race, was implemented.
Other events like the Tour Méditerranéen, Tour du Limousin, 4 Jours de Dunkerque, Tour of Normandy, Route du Sud and Tour de Poitou-Charentes all faced huge increases in costs before the December 22 agreement was drafted.
The newly signed deal also spells out the roles and responsibilities of the race marshals and provides for a monitoring committee to handle any problems implementing the agreement.