UPTC met in Geneva

The UCI ProTour Council (UPTC) met January 22 in Geneva, Switzerland, during an annual conference for UCI ProTour teams and organisers. They looked at the 2008 calendar, which will be affected by the Beijing Olympic Games in August and adjusted the dates of three events. The GP Ouest France-Plouay will happen August 15, 2008; the Deutschland Tour shifts to run from August 30 to September 7; and the Tour de Pologne will happen September: 15-21, 2008.

A press release from the UCI suggested changes to the license awarding procedure were forthcoming, but announced no details. It also took a stronger stand on the admission of ProTour teams to ProTour races saying "Following the announcement made by ASO, organiser of Paris-Nice, stating that the Swedish UCI ProTour team, Unibet.com would not be invited to this race, the UPTC has reaffirmed that the setting of participation conditions for UCI ProTour calendar races is its exclusive responsibility and cannot be decided by the organisers. The UPTC does not tolerate such an infringement to the rules." However, no specific consequences for breaking the rules were described.

Finally, the UPTC announced a plan to study the centralization of the management of TV rights and another to strengthen the fight against doping by allowing fraudulent practices to be more easily detected, cheats to be discouraged, and the encouragement of clean riders. Along with the program details still to be announced, will come an increase in the budget to combat doping.

The UPTC's next meeting will be held in Bruges, Belgium, during the Ronde van Vlaanderen on April 7. This race will host the official launch of the 2007 UCI ProTour.

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