Cycling News Flash for February 17, 2006
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Grand Tours' Trophy blocked by UCI
The International Cycling Union has announced that it will not authorize the organisation of the "Trophée des trois Grands Tours" (Trophy of the three Grand Tours), which had been planned by Grand Tour organisers ASO, RCS and Unipublic when the three race organisers announced their withdrawal from the ProTour series in December 2005.
In a press communiqué, cycling's governing body stated that the UCI ProTour Council (UPTC) has unanimously decided not to support the project. "The UPTC has noted that this project does not respect the principles of the road cycling reform as introduced by the UCI. In particular, this project lies on a financial approach which is counter-productive, and which would harm the visibility of the cycling calendar, demonstrating moreover, a lack of responsibility towards cycling as a whole," the statement read.
As a conseuqence, and "in accordance with article 1.2.026 of the UCI cycling regulations", the UCI is not going to authorize the organisation of the Trophy, which was meant to encourage team participation in the three major stage races by providing an overall prizefund of 2 million Euro.
Instead, the UCI has reminded the three organisers that "within the frame of the 2006 UCI ProTour, the position of ASO, RCS and Unipublic will be the same as in 2005," meaning that their events will remain registrated on the ProTour calendar and that the 20 ProTeams' participation in the races will be mandatory although ProTour points will be awarded.