Tour owner could quit UCI calendar

The Tour de France could be withdrawn from next year’s UCI international calendar, it has been claimed.

Tour owner Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) is understood to be worried about a lack of progress in governing body UCI’s reform programme, report Reuters.

There is no immediate risk of the 2016 Tour and ASO’s other big races not happening, but they could do so outside of UCI control.

In response the UCI said: “We have been working for many months on reforms.”

The proposed changes that the UCI wants to bring in next year include fewer teams in the top flight, an effort to avoid race clashes and a big race every weekend.

“There is a general consensus on the direction towards which the reform should be driven,” said a UCI statement.

“We are hopeful of finalising soon our discussions with all stakeholders, whether races organisers, teams, riders, around a project that will restore the credibility in our sport.

“We want to promote the sport in both existing and new markets, make the cycling season understood and attractive to fans and recognise the UCI WorldTour as part of a larger and interdependent system.”

ASO also owns top tier classics Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and the Vuelta a Espana.

The ASO was contacted by BBC Sport but has yet to issue a response.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/33203538

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