Teams deny Paris-Nice participation

The three non-French ProTour teams who reportedly said they intended to ride Paris-Nice in spite of...

The three non-French ProTour teams who reportedly said they intended to ride Paris-Nice in spite of a UCI ban, have all subsequently denied a report published yesterday claiming they would participate.

"This release (...) is not true as far as the Rabobank Cycling Team is concerned," team spokesman Jacob Bergsma told Cyclingnews. Matthias Wieland, Gerolsteiner spokesman, also indicated to Cyclingnews that no decision would be made before the International Professional Cycling Teams (IPCT) meeting on March 2.

Meanwhile, the Rabobank team director at the Tour of California, Erik Breukink, spoke in a heated manner about the issue to Cyclingnews. "Rabobank is 100% behind the UCI, and we don't agree with ASO. I believe most ProTour teams are behind the UCI."

T-Mobile's team manager Bob Stapleton took a conciliatory approach: "We want to work with all parties toward a fair resolution. It is essential that the events, teams, athletes, and governing bodies of the sport work together to improve and grow the sport." In California, T-Mobile team director Brian Holmes told Cyclingnews, "It's too early to decide anything. There was a meeting last night with (UCI president) Pat McQuaid, but we didn't go over Paris-Nice. T-Mobile hasn't made any decisions yet. We want ASO and the UCI to come to a resolution first."

The directors of the ProTour teams present at the Tour of California met with the UCI president before the start of stage six on Friday night, but the head of the world governing body of cycling did not want to comment on the talks afterward. A few of the ProTour team directors also met before the start of Saturday morning's stage.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

October 4, 2008 - New ASO chief to maintain values
September 26, 2008 - UCI declares peace, appoints new VP
August 30, 2008 - UCI re-signs five ProTour races
August 22, 2008 - ProTour: Bouncing back or lame duck?
August 19, 2008 - Stapleton analyses 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - Feedback on 'world calendar'
August 18, 2008 - UCI announces 'world calendar'

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

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