French races saved from disproportionate cost increase

Home Office meeting successful, 2011 events to take place as planned

The organisers of French cycling races have escaped the worst as a meeting held on Wednesday in the country's Home Office was successful. French cycling federation (FFC) president David Lappartient, national cycling league president Marc Madiot and Pierre-Yves Thouault from Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) met with Home Office representatives in order to reach an agreement regarding a government decree that looks to align the wages paid to police officers and gendarmes for providing security at cycling races.

"It went well," Madiot told L'Equipe. "The ministry was open to listen about the issue. We were told that there would be no threat to cycling races. The increase will be affordable for all the organisers without compromising security conditions."

Instead of a five-time increase for supporting the cost of the French police officers and gendarmes providing security at races, the wage alignment will be limited to 15 percent each year on the basis of the public forces' hourly rate of 2,40 Euro applied in 2010, and not on the 12,33 Euro in effect as of 2011.

This means that France's race organisers, whether amateur or professional, will be able to make their races happen in 2011 instead of having to fear cancellation because of a massively increased security budget.

The convention on "the principle of covering cycling races by public forces" will be finalised on Jaunary 5. Moreover, talks will continue throughout 2011 "to establish which of the prerogatives are the responsibility of the public forces, and which are those incumbent to the organiser", according to a FFC communiqué.

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