Cycling's governing body makes amends with Tour

UCI ends four years of conflct

Cycling's world governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), and Tour de France organisers heralded a new era in the sport on Thursday by announcing an end to their four years of conflict.

The end to the conflict also concerns organisers of the other two major tours, the Tour of Italy and the Tour of Spain, who have also been at loggerheads with the UCI in recent years.

The UCI said: "This agreement marks the start of a new, postive era for the whole cycling family," adding they would seek to end sanctions against the French federation early on Friday.

Organisers of the three major tours have been in conflict with the UCI since the establishment in 2004 of the ProTour circuit.

The ProTour series, the brainchild of former UCI chief Hein Verbruggen prior to his departure, has been on shaky ground following a split with major race organisers over unresolved issues.

The absence of such flagship races as Paris-Nice, the Tour de France, and a number of big one-day classics such as Paris-Roubaix has effectively left the Pro Tour racing calendar split into several categories.

In March earlier this year, the Paris-Nice was held as a French federation event outside the auspices of the UCI.

McQuaid hit back in bizarre fashion, threatening the riders and teams with sanctions if they took part. In the end, all of the teams invited took part.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008 

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