Grand Tours out of the ProTour

After three years of disagreement, UCI president Pat McQuaid has said the governing body is ready to accept demands from Grand Tour organisers to no longer be part of the ProTour system. Changes to the ProTour calendar could be made as soon as next year after both parties agreed to resolve their ongoing feud by September 21.

"We've sent proposals to the organisers of the three three-week Tours before September 21," McQuaid told AFP. "We have agreed to meet their demands which consist of no longer being part of the ProTour. We've been at loggerheads for the past three years, it can't go on." McQuaid had previously said he was prepared to negotiate technical aspects of the ProTour but was not prepared to scrap it altogether.

In a recent interview with Cyclingnews, Patrice Clerc, president of Tour de France organisers ASO (Amaury Sports Organisation) said: "Since the beginning, we don't want to be part of [the ProTour], and ask to find a different solution - they don't want to. Every time we found some acceptable common grounds, it was put in the trash. Now, if the UCI changes its opinions, its government, its direction - maybe then things could be different."

Having studied the UCI's latest proposals, which are thought to insist on promoting the ProTour series globally, Clerc told AFP: "They are extremely worrying as regards the future of cycling."

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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