By Gregor Brown in Ley
Saunier Duval Team Manager Mauro Gianetti was shocked to hear of the positive blood-doping test of Alexander Vinokourov (Astana), but the Swiss believes that the system is working.
"The system functions," noted Gianetti Wednesday morning in Orthez. "It is not important who the riders are, big or small. The riders who want to make cycling dirty don't have a place here. This is clear."
The former winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège formed Saunier Duval-Prodir in 2004, one year before the ProTour started and he is determined to keep his team at the top even if it means within a new league.
Christian Prudhomme had hinted at this new league Tuesday during ASO's press conference in response to Vinokourov's case. "It is clear it [the current system] is a failure," blasted the Frenchman.
"I think it is a good idea to make a league that is cleaner, with better functions, however, the system is not so bad at the moment," continued Gianetti. "We must change the riders who have the bad mentality."
The ProTour began with the 2005 season. "It is not a ProTour problem; it is a problem of the riders. The UCI ProTour was born four years ago and in this time they can't keep up. It is now four years old; it is too stationary.
"All the talks between the UCI and the organisers. They have made themselves too static and now we must move [forward]. A new [version] of the UCI ProTour? I don't know, but for sure we have to change."