January 09, 2007
UCI takes ProTour/Grand Tour squabble to EC
The UCI is planning to ask the European Commission to intercede in the ongoing squabble between the UCI and its ProTour and the organizers of the three grand tours: The Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, and the Vuelta a España.
The UCI posted a press release on its website:
The UCI has today decided to prepare a formal complaint to the European Commission concerning the anti-competitive conduct of the organizers of the Grands Tours.
The organizers of the Grands Tours have acted as a cartel in order to protect their own dominant position in the field of professional road cycling.
In particular the organizers of the Grands Tours have deliberately tried to undermine the development of the UCI ProTour.
This conduct is detrimental to the interest of teams, riders and the wider development of cycling in Europe and in the world as a whole.
The UCI has repeatedly tried to engage the organizers of the Grands Tours in a constructive dialogue; however they have refused to cooperate in any meaningful way leaving the UCI with no alternative other than to seek intervention by the European Commission in this matter.
I find it hard to side with the UCI on this one: The national tours own the crown jewels of the sport (not just the GTs), and the UCI is trying to get them to treat their biggest events like every other race. If you agree with the UCI, make your case in the comments.
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