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Time running out for UCI's 2008 plans

The UCI will hold its yearly congress prior to the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany in three weeks time. The meeting will be used to sort out the details of season 2008, particularly regarding the UCI ProTour. Speaking at the weekend's ProTour and Women's World Cup event, GP of Plouay, UCI ProTour manager Alain Rumpf admitted the governing body is still in a difficult situation. Rumpf revealed that no discussion have taken place between the Grand Tour organisers and the UCI since ASO announced at the end of the Tour de France that they "don't want to hear about the ProTour, nor the UCI anymore".

"We feel sorry about this situation but the UCI remains open to discuss," said Rumpf. ASO isn't expected to make an announcement on its intensions prior to the 2008 Tour de France presentation on October 25, a month after the UCI congress. The French organisation wants to be able to choose all the starting teams for its event, rather than be bound to the compulsory inclusion of all ProTour-registered trade teams. The organisation has indicated that some of the squads could even be national teams, leaving the trade outfits with a lot of uncertainties as they prepare for the coming season.

On June 18, an agreement was reached by the members of the ProTour council (CUPT) for keeping the regulations the same for 2008 - it wants all Pro Tour teams in all ProTour races.

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