Aimar disputes claim that the Tour of Mediterranean owes money
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Aimar disputes claim that the Tour of Mediterranean owes money

by Shane Stokes at 7:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Race organiser intends to appeal over FFC’s cancellation of event

Tour MediterraneanTour of the Mediterranean race organiser Lucien Aimar has said that he doesn’t understand why the French cycling federation (FFC) yesterday announced that the race would not be held in 2012, and that he will appeal the decision. A short, blunt statement by the FFC stated simply “the conditions for scheduling in 2012 have not been met…the Tour Med 2012 can not be organised.”

Cyclism'Actu reported yesterday that the problem was due to an unpaid amount of €23,000, due to the Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme after a stage in 2010 was shortened due to bad weather. However Aimar told another French website that this issue no longer existed.

“The dispute was settled last week. We had a financial problem relating to the stage to Biot cancelled during 2010, but that's it.”

“Apparently, it's a decision that was taken by the board of directors of the league,” he told Velochrono. But its president, Marc Madiot, doesn’t even know. There was a dispute with the League. I have a letter which states that there is a balance of 23, 000 euros to resolve. This check is gone, and it has been debited. We have paid. But here, they return to the €11,500 euros of primes from the cancelled stage to Biot in 2010. It was accepted at first that these primes don’t have to be paid. So they would return to this point without informing me? I will appeal to the arbitration board of the FFC.”

Aimar, who is a former pro rider and who won the Tour de France in 1966, said that it was crucial to act fast. He explained that 25 teams are looking for an invitation, and there is just a month and a half until the race. “We are ready to go, we are only waiting for the authorisations from the Prefecture for the routes… I will appeal to the arbitration board of the FFC, but it will have to be done very quickly.

“This is really weird…if we were not in the rules, if we still owed money – but this is not the case! I don’t think they realise the harm they are doing to cycling. The bike does not need that.”

If Aimar’s version is indeed accurate, it appears both harsh and counter-productive of the FFC to announced the cancellation of the event, particularly without informing the organiser. The race has been run since 1974, has been won by big names such as Eddy Merckx, Gerrie Knetemann, Phil Anderson, Tony Rominger, Gianni Bugno, Frank Vandenbroucke, Laurent Jalabert, Jens Voigt and last year’s champion, David Moncoutié.

If it doesn’t take place, it would leave a gaping hole in the calendar and end a 38 year run.


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