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Hein Verbruggen: "We lost the war against ASO"

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29.03.2008/ In an interview with French daily newspaper 'Liberation', UCI Vice-President Hein Verbruggen admitted that the UCI "lost the war against ASO."

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Hein Verbruggen ( Cyclingheroes)

In in the interview in todays edition of French daily newspaper 'Liberation' UCI Vice-President Hein Verbruggen admitted that the International Cycling Union (UCI) is isolated. Verbruggen also said: "We have lost the war against ASO, or even worse, cycling lost."

Verbruggen introduced the UCI Pro-Tour at the time he was UCI President. ASO always was against the way Verbruggens Pro-Tour was organised and decided this year to leave the Pro-Tour, a decision which did not came unexpected after the problems between ASO and the UCI in the past few years.

This years edition of ASO's stage race Paris-Nice was organised under the umbrella of the French Cycling Federation (FFC). Verbruggens successor Pat McQuaid declared Paris-Nice to an "illegal race" but the professional teams decided to participate in the race anyway, although McQuaid threatened teams and riders who would start with sanctions. Verbruggen told 'Liberation': "We are islolated now."

Verbruggen added: "ASO showed its power in the world of cycling. They also had the support of the French sports minister and the French president. It was a lost case."

But the war of words is not over yet. Verbruggen attacked ASO, accusing ASO to "privatise cycling ignoring the existing rules with the purpose of creating new rules for its own interest."

According to Verbruggen "ASO has now their own private league." The French company does not share Verbruggens view and always denied to want to create its own league. ASO is supported by Italian race organiser RCS and Spanis race organiser Unipublic. Earlier this week the Tour de France organiser admitted to be interested in participating at Unipublic.

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