Lefevere threatens grand tour boycott

Patrick Lefevere, chairman of the association of pro cycling teams and manager of the Quick.Step...

Patrick Lefevere, chairman of the association of pro cycling teams and manager of the Quick.Step team, has spoken strongly in Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws about the possible withdrawal of the grand tours - the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana - from the ProTour.

Lefevere believes the grand tours must continue to be part of the ProTour. "The teams paid for the ProTour. You don't buy something only to open it and found it's half gone," he said.

"Perhaps we should boycott Paris-Tours or the Tour of Lombardy. Then we'll hit the Tour and Giro organisers hard. Or maybe we could stay out of Milan-San Remo for two years, how big would the race be then?"

Lefevere believes that keeping teams away from the grand tours, and sending them to smaller races instead may force grand tour organisers to rethink their stance. "If we direct our riders towards the races in Germany or Poland instead of the grand tours, would they let that happen? If they [the grand tour organisers] don't accommodate our wishes, who says they will exist five years from now?"

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