Tour of the Mediterranean: Race organiser Aimar says it will go ahead
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Friday, January 6, 2012

Tour of the Mediterranean: Race organiser Aimar says it will go ahead

by Shane Stokes at 10:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
French stage race rescued after financial dispute

Tour of the MediterraneanJust over one month from the start of the Tour of the Mediterranean, race organiser Lucien Aimar has confirmed that the 2012 edition will indeed take place. The 1966 Tour de France winner has fought to save the event and following the resolution of some outstanding issues, the important early-season contest is set to go ahead.

“I received a letter from the Federation indicating that at this point, the financial obligations of the OCC [Olympic Club Costebelle] to the National League of Cycling are addressed. In short, our annoyances are ironed out. We will now look forward,” he told Var-Matin.

On December 19th the French cycling federation (FFC) announced that the race would not proceed as usual. “The conditions for scheduling in 2012 have not been met…the Tour Med 2012 can not be organised,” it said then in a brief statement.

French website Cyclism’Actu then reported that the problem was due to an unpaid amount of €23,000, owed to the Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme (LNC) after a stage in 2010 was shortened due to bad weather.

Aimar denied this, saying that a cheque had been paid to settle the amount. However he added that the LNC was seeking payment of €11,500 euros of primes from the cancelled stage to Biot. Aimar claimed that it had previously agreed that these primes didn’t count because of the changes to the stage.

Whatever the truth of things, it appears that he issues have been resolved. On Tuesday there was a meeting between FFC president David Lappartient and the president of the LNC Marc Madiot, and apparently the meeting was a successful one.

"All is well,” said Aimar. “The last details are being sorted out. I even think that this Tour of the Mediterranean will be a good year. The stage towns are investing, and now the teams are responding.”

According to Var Matin, a total of eighteen teams have been signed up thus far. These include the ProTeam squads AG2R La Mondiale, Astana, Garmin Cervélo, GreenEdge and Vacansoleil, as well as ProContinental teams such as Cofidis, Europcar and Acqua e Sapone. Aimar has indicated that a total of thirty teams wish to take part.

The race launch will take place on January 30th in Collobrières, when more details will become available.


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