By Gregor Brown
"We have not heard from [President of the UCI] Pat McQuaid recently," noted RCS Sport events director Angelo Zomegnan Friday morning to Cyclingnews. The Italian director of Tirreno-Adriatico, Giro d'Italia and Giro di Lombardia, had read about the letter that the UCI sent to the ProTour teams, insisting that they do not participate in Paris-Nice.
"Yes, yesterday, I read the letter. I think that, yet one more time, the UCI has caused problems for the teams without any solutions," he said. Zomegnan commented on ASO's decision to stick with its invitation of 19 ProTour teams. "We will run our race just like Paris-Nice, who ever wants to come can come, who ever wants to stay at home can stay at home; period."
Does this mean RCS Sport will continue without Unibet.com, even with the disapproval of the UCI? "Yes. We will go on to have our races without Unibet. In my house we invite who we want, not who the UCI says."
The Tirreno-Adriatico, run nearly at the same time as the troubled Paris-Nice, March 14 - 20, could be yet another sticking point for the UCI in its quest to keep the ProTour intact. Riders and teams have voiced their concerns over the ProTour-Grand Tour fallout but a solution has yet to be reached, and it is uncertain if every ProTour team will participate in the Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split
October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
September 26, 2008 - UCI declares peace, appoints new VP
August 30, 2008 - UCI re-signs five ProTour races
August 22, 2008 - ProTour: Bouncing back or lame duck?
August 19, 2008 - Stapleton analyses 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - Feedback on 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - UCI announces 'world calendar'