UCI president Pat McQuaid has blasted major French race organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) for moving the Paris-Nice stage race from its control to the governance of the French Cycling Federation (FFC), saying the company is only interested in its profit margins. McQuaid announced yesterday that he'd contacted all professional cycling teams and asked them to boycott the event, unless ASO changes its stance.
"It doesn't surprise me that they would do it," McQuaid told Associated Press. "Their attitude to this is totally wrong. ASO's only objective is an ever-growing financial profit.
"Those interests are to some extent regulated by an international federation," he added. "Now they are going outside that, it is purely the law of supply and demand."
McQuaid threatened ASO in his release yesterday, saying that the world body couldn't and wouldn't allow its commissars or anti-doping staff to work on the event. Furthermore, he added that the event would have no standing in the UCI's eyes and that any results from the event wouldn't be recognised by the body.
While McQuaid hasn't yet said that teams who chose to participate in the event would be sanctioned, the Irishman would be forced to take action should the teams defy the governing body's orders. "We've made it clear the consequences of taking part in race outside the international rules," said McQuaid.