Cycling: Teams, organisers agree on Paris-Nice contract

5th March 2008, Comments 0 comments

Cyclists and organisers of Paris-Nice stage race have reached agreement over contracts for the event after weeks of uncertainly.

   PARIS, March 5, 2008 - Cyclists and organisers of next week's
Paris-Nice stage race have reached agreement over contracts for the event
after weeks of uncertainly, team body the AIGCP said Tuesday.
   It had looked as if the first major European stage race of the season would
go ahead under a cloud after organisers ASO controversially opted to hold it
under the aegis of the French federation, and not the International Cycling
Union (UCI).
   The latter promptly warned sanctions against participants, in the wake of
major race organisers, such as Tour de France and Paris-Nice organiser ASO
(Amaury Sports Organisation), splitting from the UCI's Pro Tour series amid a
complex contractual dispute.
   AIGCP said the ASO had accepted to make some changes to team contracts for
the race, where 17 ProTour teams and 20 in all will take part.
   "My role was to present the 20 team principals with two questions,"
explained Eric Boyer, chairman of AIGCP, who warned the UCI "it would be a
mistake" to suspend any rider taking part in next week's event.
   "First, do you intend to participate in the Paris-Nice? The reply was
unanimously 'yes.'
   "Then, do you accept the contractual conditions? There, it was a question
of 'yes, but.' So we asked for some amendments to the contract."
   Those will include acceptance that the French Olympic conciliation body
CNOSF can step in as arbiter in the event of disagreements.
   "The decision of the teams to participate in the Paris-Nice is linked to
their wish to guarantee the interests of their sponsors as well as their
sporting interests and those of their riders," a AIGCP statement read.
   The AIGCP also called on all parties concerned to engage in a "structured
dialogue" to prevent a repeat of the fallout which has marred the run-up to
the race.

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