Grand Tour organisers reply to UCI communique
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
After the first meeting of the UCI's ProTour Professional Cycling Council in Brussels on Monday, April 11, the organisers of the three grand tours, ASO (Tour De France), RCS (Giro d'Italia) and Unipublic (Vuelta a España) have issued their own strong communique, taking clear exception to many of the points that the UCI included in their document.
In the Grand Tour organisers communique issued Wednesday, ASO, RCS and Unipublic avowed their continuing solidarity against what they construed as divisive manoeuvres of the UCI. Furthermore, the GT organisers have rejected the authority of the new Conseil UCI ProTour (CUPT), that has replaced the CCP as the primary authority to govern pro cycling. Their reasoning is that although the CUPT claims to "represent all the players in professional cycling" who have invested in "an autonomous manner", which govern the major races on the ProTour calendar, the three Grand Tour organisers are not represented in the new structure of the CUPT.
Thus, the organisers of the three Grand Tours have further solidified their position against the UCI's ProTour governing body, saying that "we can not in any case agree that our dialogue with the UCI is (being) pursued in a serene and constructive atmosphere, which foresees encouraging perspectives towards a definite agreement."
All of the polemics between the UCI and the GT organisers have now put the participation of the "UCI ProTeams" in the main races of ASO, RCS and Unipublic in doubt. The three GT organisers are now saying that these latest moves are an unacceptable violation of the agreement that they developed in meetings on December 1, 2004, where the three GT organisers accepted that all the UCI ProTeams would ride in their races in return for certain unspecified conditions from the UCI. The overall relationship between the UCI and the Grand Tour organisers continue to deteriorate with no resolution in sight.