After the announcement on Wednesday from the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) that a unanimous agreement had been reached with all member teams for participation in Paris-Nice, the UCI has said it believes several teams were not consulted about the decision. The dispute centres around Paris-Nice organiser Amaury Sports Organisation's (ASO) decision to run the event under sanctioning of the French Cycling Federation, and outside of UCI regulations.
AIGCP president Eric Boyer signed the statement declaring that, "The conditions of participation proposed by the organisers Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) will be discussed by a directing committee on Friday, February 29."
But the UCI insists that not all team managers were present at the meeting, and some were opposed to the AIGCP's proposals. "After having consulted several team managers, the UCI notes that Mr Boyer's statements do not correspond to the actual situation: several teams were not consulted. It is thus false to assert that the teams unanimously decided to participate in the Paris-Nice," read a UCI statement issued on Saturday.
"Not only did a restricted number of team managers attend the AIGCP meeting, but the majority of these declared that they were opposed to the contents of the press release of 27 February." added the statement. "The truth is thus that the teams did not come out in favour of participation in the Paris-Nice irrespective of the conditions. In fact, several teams contacted UCI seeking to take part in the Paris-Nice under UCI regulations."
With less than a week before the start of Paris-Nice, the governing body is continuing its appeal to teams and riders to support UCI regulations, insisting that refusal to comply will have far reaching consequences, such as the lack of insurance for riders and potential suspensions of up to six months.
"The UCI reiterates its appeal to the teams and their riders to respect UCI regulations as set out in the contract they have signed. Those involved in cycling must be protected by a single set of regulations. Cycling must be governed by a structure that reconciles the interests of all and must not be subject to the diktats of the entity with the most financial influence.
"The UCI demands that ASO should register its events, starting with the Paris-Nice, on the calendars agreed in Treviso in accordance with the commitment made by the President of the French Cycling Federation. The UCI wants the Paris-Nice to go ahead, but under the framework of UCI regulations."
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