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Non-doping controversy adds to rest day stress

By Brecht Decaluwé in Pau

News of Vinokourov's doping positive added stress to an already less than relaxing second Tour rest day for the national cycling federations of Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. The organisations came together in Pau with Grand Tour organizers ASO, RCS Sport and Unipublic to discussed the problems that cycling is currently facing.

The Grand Tour organisers faced off throughout the early season with the UCI over the ProTour, a situation that began when the UCI added more ProTour licensed teams than the organisers had agreed upon, and went critical prior to the start of Paris-Nice when the ASO denied entry to the team.

The organisers, UCI and teams reached a tentative accord on March 6 at a meeting in Brussels, and stepped to the table again at the rest day in Pau with little more success. A statement released after the meeting criticised the UCI heavily. "Despite the commitment to use dialogue rather than conflict which was agreed during the meeting in Brussels on March 7, the UCI keeps using the conflict-model to push through the Pro Tour, a system the organizers rejected since its founding while the national federations once again asked for a dialogue."

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