March 11, 2008 – On Monday the International Riders’ Association (CPA) requested a meeting with UCI president Pat McQuaid reports Reuters. This follows the war of words between the UCI and ASO (Amaury Sports Organization), organizer of Paris-Nice taking place in France (March 9-16) and being staged outside of UCI guidelines.
ASO excluded ProTour team Astana despite UCI regulations guaranteeing the team a spot in all ProTour races. McQuaid responded to ASO by threatening suspensions of up to six-month and fines up to about $9,500 CDN for riders competing in Paris-Nice and also threatened to exclude participating teams from future ProTour events. Despite these threats, the race began on schedule.
The CPA issued a statement referring to concern about the, “uncertainties over the disciplinary sanctions the riders could receive today and in the next races.” The CPA requested a meeting with McQuaid after the conclusion of Paris-Nice this Sunday.
Meanwhile, an article on the St. Louis Today blog site suggested that Mother Nature is on the side of the UCI. The ironically named “Race to the Sun” Paris-Nice met with foul weather yesterday, forcing the ASO to shorten the first stage from 184.5km to 93.5km. The stage was won by Big Gert Steegmans (QuickStep) who was quoted as saying that riders were ready to start when race organizers sent them back into the bus because of cold, wet and windy weather.
Read the guardian.co.uk story here.
Read the St. Louis Today article here.