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Race organizers take action against ProTour

UCI President Pat McQuaid

UCI President Pat McQuaid (Image credit: Shane Stokes)

The association of race organizers (AIOCC) announced Friday, at the end of its general assembly meeting, that it intended to bring proceedings before the European Commission regarding the legitimacy of the ProTour. They called into question the "closed nature" of the ProTour. A majority, in this case 80%, of the 87 attending organizers, and not only Grand Tour promoters, supported the group's action. The organization told L'Equipe that it intended to the use the European Commission "to express its opposition to the system of competitions called ProTour."

UCI President Pat McQuaid responded to L'Equipe saying that the UCI would make itself available to an arbitration court considering the charge. "We are absolutely trustful of our vision of the ProTour and believe there is no obstruction [of fairness]. We are ready to provide the authorities of the European Commission with all the details and information which they will need. Obviously, we will comply with any decisions that are made, but we calmly await the decision."

Since its inception two years ago, the UCI's ProTour has met with mixed reactions. Many riders and organizers have opposed the ProTour and considered it too limiting, in terms of the numbers of teams, riders, and events included.

The European Commission, according to its website, "upholds the general interest of the [European] Union and is the driving force in the Union's institutional system. Its four main roles are to propose legislation to Parliament and the Council, to administer and implement Community policies, to enforce Community law (jointly with the Court of Justice) and to negotiate international agreements, mainly those relating to trade and cooperation."

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