By Gregor Brown
Members of the International Professional Cycling Teams (IPCT) met Yesterday in Brussels to discuss the current disintegrating situation between the ASO, organizer of the Paris-Nice, and the UCI ProTour. The group, comprised of 17 ProTour teams, insisted that the two parties come together to reach a solution for the economic interests of the cycling teams and, thus, have requested a meeting on Monday in Brussels.
Angelo Zomegnan, events director of RCS Sport, has continued to back his fellow Grand Tour organizer. "If an invite arrives from them then you don't refuse it," he said to La Gazzetta dello Sport, referring to the teams who are considering not racing in the Paris-Nice. RCS Sport has maintained a low profile during the ongoing warfare, but its upcoming race, Tirreno-Adriatico, run almost simultaneously as the Paris-Nice, has also gone against UCI's wishes by not inviting Unibet.com. For now it is a question of wait and see for the teams and RCS Sport; the meeting on Monday will have to bring about solutions.
Roberto Amadio, Team Manager of Liquigas and a strong figure in the IPCT, is not impressed with the ongoing battles between the two groups. "We constructed our teams for racing, but if Monday comes and there is not a solution then we will know who is to blame," said the Italian, who is currently in Belgium for the Omloop Het Volk and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne.
"We run professional cycling teams, in other words, our sponsors risk their money. We do not need these e-mail games between the UCI and organizers; we want that they see each other in the face and understand if the rules of cycling can be preserved. The ball is in our hands, but now they both have to be quiet and stop being arrogant, while ruining the forward progression."
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'