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ProTour jersey tops rainbow stripes

Oscar Freire (Rabobank)

Oscar Freire (Rabobank) (Image credit: Sirotti)

World champion Oscar Freire will be starting at this year's Milano-Sanremo wearing the white jersey of the leading ProTour rider instead of his rainbow colours, the UCI announced on Thursday. According to the current regulations, the ProTour jersey has the priority over the rainbow jersey, but this is about to change. Adopted before the Cyclo-Cross World Championships in St.Wendel, Germany, at the end of January, a new guideline giving the World Champion the right to wear the jersey even if he's leading the ProTour is scheduled to become official before the Tour of Flanders on April 3.

"The director's committee has asked us to find a quick solution to protect the rainbow jersey's symbol," said Vittorio Adorni, chairman of the professional cycling council CCP. "The rule will change, but Freire will have to wear the UCI ProTour jersey at Milano-Sanremo." Adorni also said the CCP will a meeting in Brussels on April 11 to discuss the ProTour calendar of 2006.

The World Champion himself, meanwhile, is reported to have preferred the rainbow jersey. "The rainbow jersey is more important and has a great tradition," Oscar Freire said. "The ProTour jersey is new and a lot of people don't even know it."

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