ProTour proposes eight-man grand tour teams

President of the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC), Vittorio Adorni, responded to the grand tour organizers...

President of the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC), Vittorio Adorni, responded to the grand tour organizers statement issued on December 12, 2006, where they had called for a reduction in the number of teams automatically qualifying for entry into their races; the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España. Adorni suggested a reduction in the number of riders to accommodate wild card, or non-ProTour, teams.

"I propose to the teams that they come up with eight-man teams for the grand tours instead of the nine allowed, to let the organizers have space for more wild card teams," said Vittorio Adorni, President of the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC), according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"With the reduction, the 20 ProTour teams, which have the right to race in all three grand tours [Giro, Tour and Vuelta], could make extra space for a maximum of five wild card teams, more than the two wild cards now. This is not an easy solution but one that is not impossible to realize."

Angelo Zomegnan, director of the Giro d'Italia, was not pleased with the idea proposed by Adorni and took time to reiterate that the organizers of the grand tours were developing other plans.

"The idea was proposed three years ago but then the UCI rejected this proposal," said Zomegnan to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The key point remains that the ProTour does not have to be a closed system, for this we have proposed 18 teams in 2007 and 16 starting in 2008. 25 teams, also for reasons of security, are too much. I believe in cycling for elite, not for elitists."

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