Tour de France teams to be named this week
By AFP | Monday, March 17, 2008 10.37am
Who will be invited to the Tour this year? Tim de Waele
Tour de France organiser ASO said Sunday it would reveal next week which teams it has selected for this year's race.
Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) made the announcement after holding "constructive" talks with teams ahead of the final stage of the Paris-Nice event which it also organises.
The teams' international association (AIGCP) chairman, Eric Boyer, said after the talks that "we discussed the problem of condition of participation, in order to know if upcoming ASO events would go ahead under the same framework as Paris-Nice.
"It seems that is the case, in which case we will negotiate our conditions for taking part as we did for Paris-Nice."
Paris-Nice, Europe's first major stage race of the season, went ahead after acrimonious mudslinging between the ASO and the International Cycling Union (UCI). ASO controversially opted to hold the "race to the sun" under the aegis of the French federation, and not the UCI, which promptly warned riders they faced bans and fines for participating in a non-UCI sanctioned event.
UCI chief Pat McQuaid accused ASO of colluding to form a private league with the backing of the French sports ministry and of using its Tour de France credentials to force teams to participate in Paris-Nice.
Boyer insisted once again Sunday that the AIGCP was not contravening regulations and urged McQuaid to hold a dialogue. "He shouldn't forget that it is the riders who are competing and he should come and tell us he understands what we want, which is to race."
© AFP 2008
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