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"More than ever, A.S.O. remains committed to the European model and cannot compromise the values it represents: an open system giving first priority to the sporting criterion."

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18.12.2015 @ 14:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the organizers of the Tour de France, have decided to withdraw their races from the 2017 WorldTour calendar of the UCI. The French organizers do not agree with the reforms in cycling.

 

The UCI recently announced a major reform of the calendar. It had been a year-long process as the main stakeholders have had several disagreements. In June the ASO threatened to remove their races from the WorldTour calendar. Now they have turned their words into reality

 

In a statement, ASO make it clear that they are against the reforms of the WorldTour calendar that are is planned to come into effect in 2017. From then, 18 teams will get a WorldTour licence for three years.

 

“UCI has actually recently adopted, from season 2017, a Reform of the World Tour calendar characterized by a closed sport system. More than ever, A.S.O. remains committed to the European model and cannot compromise the values it represents: an open system giving first priority to the sporting criterion. It is therefore in this new context and within its historical events that A.S.O. will continue to keep these values alive," the statement reads.

 

ASO have registrered their races as HC events. This means that it is up to the organizers to decide which teams till be at the start and they are not forced to invite all WorldTour teams. It also means that only 70 percent of the teams can come from the WorldTour, meaning that only 15 of the 22 teams in the Tour de France will come from the highest category.

 

In addition to the Tour de France, ASO also organize other major races: Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Fleche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Dauphiné and the Vuelta.

 

The new development is reminiscent of the drama in 2008 when ASO and UCI were at odds over the ProTour. As a result, the ASO races were not part of the ProTour calendar.

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