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Cyclists unhappy at being caught in power struggle between UCI and ASO

Cyclists unhappy at being caught in power struggle between UCI and ASO

A group of professional cyclists is upset about the ongoing dispute between the International Cycling Union and the organizers of the Tour de France, and believes the riders are the victims.
The Associated Professional Cyclists said Wednesday that its riders just want to do their jobs.
"What the riders desire is first of all to have the possibility to exercise their job with serenity and in the respect of the established regulations," the CPA said in a statement. "The riders are deeply shocked and exhausted by the conflict which has been lasting for too long."
The Amaury Sports Organization, which owns the Tour de France, also runs next month's Paris-Nice race. It has defied the UCI by saying Paris-Nice will go ahead under its own rules.
"The decision ASO took not to organize Paris-Nice according to the UCI international regulations put the riders in front of a dilemma of which they are incontestably the victims and the hostages," the CPA said.
UCI president Pat McQuaid wants teams to boycott Paris-Nice. But pressure from sponsors combined with the event being the first major stage-race of the year likely means that most teams will start on March 9.
"I want to be certain of racing in well organized events and Paris-Nice is among those," Credit Agricole rider and CPA council member Thor Hushovd told sports daily L'Equipe. "I am already concentrating on the race. And I don't want to lose too much energy thinking about this debate. Everyone's had enough of this."
On Monday, McQuaid sent a letter to all professional teams explaining why the UCI will not oversee the 75-year-old race organized by ASO.
ASO answered Tuesday by saying the race would go ahead as planned and would be organized according to the technical rules of the French Cycling Federation.
That would make the FFC responsible for overseeing doping controls if the UCI withdraws its anti-doping officials. The UCI could also threaten to keep ASO races outside of its proposed scheme of anti-doping passports.
"This conflict goes beyond us," said Hushovd, who represents Scandinavia on the CPA council. "It is a political scrap between UCI and ASO where power and money are involved. We are powerless, we can only follow the different episodes."


Updated : 2021-05-08 00:43 GMT+08:00