In a move that can be seen as a further ratcheting up of the pressure on the UCI and its ProTour series of races the organisers of the Tour de France said Wednesday they are having talks in Madrid on the possibility of buying up to 49 percent stake in the Tour of Spain.
"There is a hypothetical possibility of a minority participation, of between one to 49 percent, in the capital of Unipublic," a subsidiary of Spanish television group Antena 3 and which organises the Tour of Spain, said Patrice Clerc, the president of the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).
"We considering all possibilities to work together," he told a news conference. "There is a possibility but no decision has yet been taken," said the head of the ASO, which organises the Tour de France, the Dakar Rally and the Paris-Nice and Paris-Roubaix cycling races.
Clerc also reaffirmed the ASO would not reverse his decision in February to bar reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador and his Astana team from competing in this year's race as a result of doping scandals.