McQuaid reaffirms that UCI’s rules of participation will apply to Grand Tours
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

McQuaid reaffirms that UCI’s rules of participation will apply to Grand Tours

by Shane Stokes at 12:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia
 
Dismisses Christian Pruhomme’s uncertainty about adopting ruling

Pat McQuaidUCI president Pat McQuaid has insisted that the recently-announced rules for participation for ProTour and Historic Calendar races will apply in 2011, despite the reservations expressed by the organisers of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme said yesterday that he didn’t consider the UCI declaration as being done and dusted, indicating that ASO will take more time to decide if it would indeed give automatic rights of participation to the world’s top 18 teams.

It followed on from similar sentiments expressed by Giro race director Angelo Zomegnan, who indicated at the start of this month that he might stick to the previous agreement signed in Varese in 2008.

McQuaid dismissed these suggestions, saying that he had no doubts that the new system would take effect. “I don’t know what Christian Prudhomme is taking about, but my interpretation of the discussions that we have had with ASO is that it has been agreed,” he told VeloNation.

“The system which is going in place in 2011, which was announced by the UCI in Melbourne this year, is the system that will be used. I am absolutely confident that it will be place.”

The UCI’s plan was announced during the world road race championships in Geelong, and followed on from a management committee meeting that agreed on the ‘formal and complete merger of the UCI ProTour and “historical” calendars.’

“As a result of this decision, from the beginning of the 2011 season, all the world’s biggest races, which from now on make up the “UCI World Tour”, will be subject to the same participation rules,” it read. “The UCI ProTeams, the number of which will be limited to 18, will have the right to and be obliged to participate in all the UCI World Tour events, whereas organisers will be able to invite UCI Professional Continental Teams of their choice for the remaining places.”

Announced as a done deal, this pronouncement varied with what Prudhomme said yesterday. He sounded far less certain, according to Velochrono.fr. “We do not yet know the rules. This should be decided soon,” he stated. “Within a month, we should meet with the UCI and decide if we align ourselves with the new system or if we stick to the 2008 agreement.”

McQuaid insisted otherwise. “The UCI regulates the sport of cycling. The UCI decides what the rules are and what the rules will be,” he told VeloNation. “Christian Prudhomme doesn’t rule cycling, doesn’t organise cycling, or doesn’t decide who rides races – the UCI does.

“We have had discussions with ASO, and ASO have agreed to that.”

Those involved with the sport will hope that the situation is resolved as quickly as possible, and that the latest statements don’t indicate a return to the public disagreements and general tension which dogged the ProTour until mid 2008. McQuaid seems convinced that this will not be the case.

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Top 18 teams at end of 2010 season:

Team Saxo Bank, Liquigas-Doimo, Astana, Rabobank, Team Katusha, Team HTC – Columbia, Garmin – Transitions, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Caisse d'Epargne, BMC Racing Team, Team Radioshack, Cervelo Test Team, Euskaltel – Euskadi, Lampre-Farnese Vini, Sky Professional Cycling Team, Quick Step, Androni Giocattoli, AG2R La Mondiale

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