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UEC calls for World Cup revival

The European Cycling Union (UEC) has declared its willingness to work with the International Cycling Union (UCI) in getting the sport's top series organized for 2009. UEC has called for a return to the World Cup system, which was replaced by the current ProTour series, after saying it was seriously alarmed at the current state of international cycling.

"It is necessary that in 2009 the system of road cycling within UCI returns to the system which existed and functioned before the establishment of the ProTour," said UEC in a fax to "2009 should become a transitional year for the preparation and agreement on the system of road cycling in the years to come. Everything positive from the years past should be maintained, however.

"We believe that only in this way it is possible to meet the interests of national cycling federations associated in UCI and UEC, the organizers as well as team representatives," it continued. "On behalf of its member federations the European Cycling Union declares its readiness to actively share in these agreements within the UCI."

The UEC's call comes after the UCI's ProTour concept took a critical blow earlier this month when the teams unanimously voted they would not re-new their licences for 2009. The teams have formed an alliance to negotiate with the UCI and major race organizers in an effort to form a new world series.

After a second meeting of the team's working group during the Tour de France it was announced that the body wished to keep the ProTour name, with a different structure, if the UCI was willing to negotiate. The UCI however has claimed the recent events are powered by its arch rival Grand Tour organizers who, it says, are trying to start a rival international federation.

"The European Cycling Union (UEC), which associates 48 European national federations, is seriously alarmed by the current situation in world road cycling," said the announcement. "The European Cycling Union does not feel entitled to consider the validity of the arguments on both sides involved in the dispute.

"We demand that the disputes and polemics, that don't solve anything at all, be terminated immediately and that floor is given to European national federations, both to those where professional cycling plays an important role as well as to those actively working on developing professional cycling in the world," it added.

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