Wednesday, February 20, 2013

@UCI: "Talk First Rather Than Download Burden"

The UCI's announcement, posted on the UCI website on Monday, stated that there would be 19 ProTour teams for this season rarther than 18 as normal.  This followed the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport upholding Team Katusha's appeal of the UCI's decision not to issue the Russian team a WorldTour license.

The timing of these events most affected the Giro d'Italia as it had already invited the 18 ProTour  teams (not including Katusha) plus 4 wild cards as permitted. The Tour de France, coming two months later in the calendar and not having yet picked its wildcard teams, has decided to only invite 3 wildcards teams. The Giro has decided not to disinvite a team.

Last week, before the UCI decision, Michele Aquarone, Managing  Director at RCS Sports (owner of the Giro) had said, "What a mess. Now we have 19 teams so I’m curious to see what’s going to happen. We’ve planned everything for 18 teams and then the wildcard teams. We’re not ready for 19 WorldTour teams. Logistically everything has been set up for races like Tirreno and the Giro. I really don’t know how we’d have one more team in the race. I’m curious to see what the UCI are going to do. Maybe they’ll take one team out of the WorldTour because as it stands we’ve got an agreement for 18 teams, not 19. I just don’t know. At the moment I think we have to go back to 18 teams but I will speak to the UCI this week and help to work on finding a solution.”

Rightfully so, Aquarone is upset and had his this to say now, "I sent a message to Pat McQuaid, UCI President, and have not had a reply. We are surprised that no UCI manager has ever bothered to contact us, to find a solution, before the release of the announcment on Monday afternoon. It's unacceptable behavior. We always talk about how the sport has to grow, that we need to be more professional and organize everything in time. Instead, we find ourselves with one more team to race."
Acquarone continued, "We did the inspections, measurements of space for coaches and team vehicles, booked hotels, etc., for every stage. For Ischia (Stage 2, TTT, 5 May) we defined the ferry requirements.  Now we have to redo everything. What is the use of Mauro Vegni and his group to work all summer and then come these decisions? Beyond that, adding a 23rd team at the Giro  has a cost of at least 150 000 . I would expect the UCI to talk about it first rather than download this burden on our shoulders ".

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  1. Disappointing that one team will be left out the Giro d'Italia since they undoubtedly prepared tremendously for this race.

  2. No one will be left out, in the end the Giro decided to have the extra team.