Madiot and LNC could take UCI to CAS over 2017 WorldTour calendar

FDJ boss calls new calendar unacceptable

Marc Madiot is prepared to go all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to challenge the UCI's WorldTour reforms, with his Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme (LNC) group looking to take legal action over the new WorldTour calendar.

Madiot is the boss of French team FDJ, but also acts as president of the LNC, which seeks to organise and protect professional cycling in France. The body sees the new calendar, which was announced in August and expands the WorldTour schedule to 37 races thanks to the arrival of 10 newcomers, as a threat to the health of racing on French soil.

"The LNC has reached out on several occasions to the President of the UCI, without receiving any response whatsoever, about the future of professional French races," read a statement from the LNC.

They are set to convene on September 20 for a general meeting, where a formal challenge to the reform will be the main topic of discussion.

The statement said they would be exploring "all legal possibilities, including a recourse to CAS, that would allow us to contest the 2017 WorldTour calendar published by the UCI on August 2."

'Unacceptable'

Madiot has already spoken out in a personal capacity about his concerns over the proposed 2017 WorldTour calendar, describing it as "unacceptable" in a strongly worded blog for Cyclingnews.

"It's just impossible for a team of 30 riders to take part in all the 37 races of the new series," he argued, highlighting the impossibility of dealing with clashes where teams would be expected to send teams and resources to up to three different events at the same time.

"The calendar doesn't make any sense, with three WorldTour events clashing one week after the Tour de France: San Sebastian, RideLondon and the Tour de Pologne. We'd need forty riders to do it, but budgets can't be increased just like this in a few weeks."

Madiot also touched on his French interests, saying: "There's no way I'll skip some races in my country! Sponsors in cycling need their local exposure too and it's part of our duty to support local races as well." He also expressed his dismay that Paris-Tours wasn't one of the one-day races to be elevated to WorldTour status. 

"Teams haven't been consulted before this calendar was established and there'll be kind of a revolution," he promised, and seems to be doing his best to deliver.

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