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Merckx calls for cycling to "regain its dignity"

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 01, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 18:59 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, March 1, 2008

In the midst of the ongoing battle between Grand Tour organizers and the UCI, cycling legend Eddy...

In the midst of the ongoing battle between Grand Tour organizers and the UCI, cycling legend Eddy Merckx has called for an end to hostilities that are hurting the sport.

"It's bad to see the confrontation between the UCI and the organisers of the big races," said Merckx according to Reuters. "They have to work to restore cycling's image and not get involved in such conflicts. I really hope they'll reach an agreement because the sport has to get out of this crisis," added Merckx. "They have to set an example to the new generation, to make cycling attractive for young riders."

Merckx lamented the doping-related problems that have plagued cycling and commented on the decision of Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) to exclude Team Astana from the Tour de France - a decision which will prevent last year's winner Alberto Contador from defending his title.

"I don't think it would be normal for last year's Tour winner Alberto Contador to miss the race this year," said the five-time Tour winner Merckx. What Merckx is asking is for those involved in the conflicts "to help cycling regain its dignity".

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