McQuaid calls out problems with Grand Tour invitations

UCI President Pat McQuaid reacted Wednesday to the omission of four ProTour teams from the Giro...

UCI President Pat McQuaid reacted Wednesday to the omission of four ProTour teams from the Giro d'Italia start list by race organizer RCS Sport. He said it was like "taking a step back 20 years."

"I do not understand" said McQuaid to the AFP. "The organizer of Giro (RCS Sport) knows the event is one of the greatest tests, but he does not include the best teams. The 18 ProTour teams are the top 18 teams in the world. Ok, the organizers have the right to invite whom they please, but everyone knows there is a hierarchy of races and also of teams."

McQuaid termed the team choices arbitrary, citing economic and national reasons and contrasted the selections with the UCI's work to look out for the whole sport.

"In my opinion, it will be necessary to return to rules about participation. The organizer must have responsibilities for the organization for his race, not for the participation," said McQuaid.

McQuaid pointed out an additional problem with the selection. One of the invited teams, the Swiss LPR, had not met wild card requirements with the biological passports.

The UCI is expected to announce this weekend the list of teams eligible for the wild card label. Grand Tour teams are expected to take part in the blood passport program, regardless of whether the team or the organizers finances it.

Look forward to the Tour de France invitations, McQuaid said, according to Reuters, that Tour de France organizers should invite Astana. He noted the ProTour team's completely new management, calling it blameless for past problems. "They're doing everything that is needed and doing even more. They should be given credit for that," said McQuaid.

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