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Teams oppose boycott

The International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) will not back a possible boycott of the Grand Tour organizers events, the group's new president Eric Boyer said Friday. The possibility of a protest was raised earlier this week by the ICPT (International Professional Cycling Teams) following an announcement by RCS Sport which left four ProTour teams (Astana, Crédit Agricole, Bouygues Telecom and Team High Road) out of the Giro d'Italia.

Nine of the 18 ProTour teams (Astana, Team High Road, Rabobank, Milram, CSC, Quickstep, Lampre, Liquigas and Saunier Duval) hinted of a boycott if the Grand Tour organisers continue down the path of excluding ProTour teams from their events, but Boyer was strongly opposed to the idea. "A boycott is tantamount to crippling its own riders," he told AFP. "It is a bad idea."

"The teams are more or less the victims of the situation, the disparity of views between the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the three organizers (ASO for France, RCS Sport for Italy, Unipublic for Spain)," said Boyer. "Two years ago we realized that the ProTour has not worked. For two years, everybody has shown good will. Now, in 2008, we are at an impasse."

The UCI granted the three companies their wish of being left off the ProTour calendar this year, but that did not end the dispute. The national federations suggested a new calendar which placed the races of these three organisations on a separate class, but this suggestion has not moved forward as of yet. "It is necessary that the rules of participation are suitable for everybody, teams, organisers, federations," said Boyer.

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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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.