ProTour team participation in NE events against UCI regulations
By Shane Stokes
The planned running of Paris-Nice as a national event and the participation of UCI ProTour teams in the race looks to be in serious question following the news that the UCI has issued a directive to the relevant teams stating that they cannot take part in the event.
It was confirmed earlier this week that following the failure of talks with the UCI, ASO was seeking to sidestep the governing body by joining up with the French Cycling Federation (FFC) and run the race as a national event.
However the UCI circulated a letter to the ProTour teams on Wednesday evening, pointing out that current regulations prohibit NE events from including ProTour teams. According to article 2.1.009 of the UCI regulations, "only the UCI Continental teams of the country, regional and club teams, national teams and mixed teams may participate in national events. Mixed teams may not include riders from a UCI ProTeam [ProTour team]."
The UCI and ASO have been at loggerheads in recent months, with the previous existing tension over the ProTour escalating into all-out battle. Fellow Grand Tour organisers RCS Sport and Unipublic declared their support for the French company, taking on the governing body over the top-ranked series.
The three organisers have directly challenged the UCI by excluding the 19th ProTour team Unibet.com from their races. ASO has suggested that it is doing so in order to comply with French laws regarding gambling, but the team has nevertheless been able to compete on French soil this season by using unbranded jerseys.
Read this full exclusive news feature: Paris-Nice plunged into uncertainty
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