The power struggle between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is still going
on. Professional teams and riders fear sanctions from the UCI and some teams changed their roster for Paris - Nice.
Francaise des Jeux team manager told sportwereld.be that Philippe Gilbert will not start at this years edition of Paris
- Nice and race the Tirreno - Adriatico instead. Madiot said: "I do not want my captain suspended.". Madiot continued
by saying: "If necessary we will start with eight French riders in a race that is now part of the French calendar. Gilbert
will ride Tirreno-Adriatico instead. I still have to talk with him [Gilbert, editor] about this."
Quickstep and Rabobank also changed their roster. Quickstep team manager Patrick Lefevere decided that Tom Boonen, Gert
Steegmans and Paolo Bettini will now start at the Tirreno - Adriatico. Rabobank's Joost Posthuma was selected for Paris -
Nice as well but will instead supprot Thomas Dekker at the Italian stage race.
The International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) will now have to decide if ASO or UCI will win this
round in their ongoing battle that started with the introduction of the UCI Pro-Tour in 2005. ASO skipped one clausel of an
additional contract that the teams have to sign before they can start at Paris - Nice. ASO no longer demand that the
race organiser of Paris - nice. Tour de France and several other races have the right to ban or send a team home on the basis
of "doping rumours". If the teams sign the contract with ASO, the UCI will lose an important stage in the ongoing power struggle
The French teams decided that they will start at Paris -Nice. Other teams did not decide yet. Quickstep team manager Patrick
Lefevere said he didn't know yet. Lefvere said: "We do have the intention to start but we have to choose between
the gun and the guillotine."
UCI president Pat McQuaid repeated yesterday evening that the UCI will punish riders and teams "who ride these illegal
races outside the UCI rules."
On Sunday the European Cycling Union (UEC) adopted a resolution in which its members asked the French Cycling Federation
(FFC) "not to authorise Paris-Nice, or any other major international race, outside the regulations of the UCI." The UEC
resolution also wants the UCI "to undertake a complete review of the ProTour during 2008, and to bring proposals
for a revised structure to the UCI Congress in September 2008, for approval for the 2009 season." The resolution was approved
by 18 national federations, seven national federations voted against the resolution. The seven countries who voted against
the resolution are Belgium, France,Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria and Greece.
The president of the French Cycling Federation,Jean Pitallier will now try to organise a meeting with the French secretary
of state for sports, Bernard Laport and Pat McQuaid. Pitallier said: "I already invited the state secretary." Pitallier continued
by saying: "But I would like to point out that the last time the French state tried to arbitrate between the two parties,
the UCI wasn't even willing to talk."