By Shane Stokes
Discovery Channel rider José Luis Rubiera has said that he hopes that the teams stand united and force ASO and the other race organisers to remain part of the ProTour. Speaking in advance of today's International Professional Cycling Teams (IPCT) meeting in Brussels, the deputy spokesman for the Professional Riders' Association (CPA) told the Basque website Urtekaria that together, the teams have a lot of strength. However, if they don't act as a single group, it could be disastrous for the ProTour and cycling in general.
"We do not know what is going to happen," he stated. "I hope that the teams are united so that they can demand that the Tour de France and its organization observes the rules of the UCI ProTour.
"I hope that an agreement is reached because the image which we are projecting world-wide is disastrous. The fans and sponsors could even become distrustful of a world of cycling that is divided. If they sit down and negotiate then they must come away with something. The solution is that ASO complies with the rules of the UCI ProTour."
Rubiera said that the system is not perfect and work still needs to be done to develop the ProTour. "We know that this category can be improved and the way to improve things is to propose changes and to look for solutions to the problems. It is the organizers of the races who must yield, but it is possible that the teams will not make a joint decision and some take part in the Tour, causing a fatal blow to the category [the ProTour]."