It was neither the UCI nor the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) which made the latest move in the ongoing power struggle between two of cycling's well-known players. Instead, it was the French Cycling Federation (FFC) taking a step into the fray when it said that it would require Paris-Roubaix to be registered on one of the UCI's calendar.
As a result of escalating developments in the dispute between the UCI and the ASO, Paris-Nice was run last month under FFC sanctioning but with no UCI affiliation as it appeared on neither the ProTour nor any other UCI calendar. Under the FFC sanctioning and no longer subject to ProTour rules, ASO was free to invite the teams it chose.
"The French Federation has required ASO to run its next edition of Paris-Roubaix as a race inscribed on the UCI Calendar, in the category of 'monuments' of professional road cycling," said the FFC according to the AFP. "ASO gave its agreement in principle. The FFC will contact the UCI tomorrow (Thursday) to start the process necessary to make this happen." The FFC said it was responding to communications with UCI President Pat McQuaid and Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) president Renato Di Rocco.
The new calendar, which has been called a "historical" calendar by some, was proposed in late January as compromise that would keep some major European events as part of a UCI calendar without requiring them to be on the ProTour calendar. The UCI and five national federations had come up with a separate calendar to include the Grand Tours and four (of five) 'monuments' of cycling: Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España, Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Giro di Lombardia.
Paris-Roubaix, set for April 13, is expected to be joined by other ASO events UCI's new calendar.