France’s Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme has announced that the Tour Méditerranéen will not take place in 2015 due to the race’s ongoing financial difficulties, which include a failure to pay moneys owed from last year’s event.
The Tour Méditerranéen was not included on the UCI Europe Tour calendar when it was published last September, and throughout the winter, it seemed increasingly unlikely that the event would take place. In December, both LNC president Marc Madiot and the French Cycling Federation stated that the race would not be inscribed on the UCI calendar for 2015.
Nonetheless, André Martres, head of the organising committee at the Association Olympique Cycliste Mediterranée, last week announced that the Tour Méditerranéen would indeed take place this year and a reduced, three-stage route slated for February 12-14 was published on the race website.
Following talks with the LNC and the FFC on Wednesday, however, Martres has accepted that the race will not take place this year, although he remains hopeful of reintroducing the Tour Méditerranéen to the calendar in 2016.
“The organiser still owes the LNC and the FFC a significant sum,” the LNC said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. “The Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme has looked several times to reach a solution with the organiser but on each occasion, he has not respected his commitments.”
The LNC statement added that scratching the race from the 2015 calendar would prevent it from accruing further debts and said that the events of this winter will not prejudice the prospects of the Association Olympique Mediterranée organising the race in 2016.
Although similar sagas have plagued the Tour in past years, this will mark the first time that the Tour Méditerranéen has been absent from the calendar since it was established in 1974. Charles Rouxel won the inaugural edition and its roll of honour includes Eddy Merckx (1977), Phil Anderson (1985 and 1991), Gianni Bugno (1995), Michele Bartoli (2002) and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (2012). Last year’s race was won by Steve Cummings.