ASO: Paris - Nice will take place - 17 Pro - Tour teams will start

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28.02.2008/Paris - Nice and Tour de France Organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announced that its race will take place under the umbrella of the French Cycling federation. Seventeen of the eighteen Pro - Tour teams announced they will start at this years edition of Paris - Nice after ASO threathned that teams who will boycott the race might not get an invitation for this years Tour de France. Astana will not start, the Kazack team did not receive an invitation.

On Monday the International Cycling Federation said in a press release that :"This measure is utterly irregular and will have far-reaching consequences for all parties involved." The UCI also threathned teams who will start at this years edition of Paris - Nice.

On Tuesday the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) released a statement saying that: "Despite the hostile positions taken by the UCI President, Paris-Nice will take place as planned from the 9th to the 16th of March and will be organised according to the technical rules of the French Cycling Federation, in application of the French law."

On Wednesday the International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) announced that seventeen of the eighteen Pro - Tour teams will start at the French stage race. The AIGCP made an appoitment with UCI president Pat McQuaid for a meeting next week to discuss the ongoing crisis in the sport. According to French newsagency AFP participating teams have to sign a contract with race organiser ASO which allows ASO "immediately exclude those from the race who could damage the image of the event or the organiser." The AIGCP will speak about this contrct tomorrow.

Meanwhile ASO decided not to announce this week which teams will be invited at this years Tour de France. The race organiser wants to wait how things will develope in the coming week. Observers said that ASO took this decision to put pressure on the teams to stand with ASO in the ongoing power struggle between ASO and UCI.

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