Astana, whose short history has been filled with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster, recieved an up message from the UCI. Since no decision has yet to be made regarding Astana’s ProTour license, they will be permitted to ride.
“The position is that we will follow the ProTour rules,” he stated. “There is no provision in the ProTour rules for the suspension of a team. There is however a provision for the withdrawal of a ProTour licence, and the licence commission met yesterday and discussed the situation as regards Astana. They have asked for a meeting with the Astana personnel, asking those running it to state their case. That is an ongoing process but, for now, they can continue.”
This is good news for Alexandre Vinokourov who has to be the worst case of “Wrong place at the Wrong Time” I have ever seen. This guy has singlehandedly tried to keep his career and his country’s cycling program going. He has shown guts and determination. I was never a big fan but I admire his tenacity.
I do have to snicker at Pat McQuaid’s comments. Follow the rules? Why start now. With all the leaks coming from your office in the Floyd Landis case, Do you even know where the rule book is? I mean, you admitted to breaking the rules by leaking private information because you thought that L’Equipe would leak the information first!
In related news, Pat McQuaid showed a rare moment of humanity when commenting on the Phonak suspension case. You may want to record this moment because I don’t think it will happen again.
“The situation is that you have a team which is going to fold up at the end of the year. If we were to start a process against Phonak it would be a long time before it is concluded. So it is futile from that point of view. Plus you have the other aspect that you have many riders who are looking for jobs now and they will have to put in performances in races in the rest of the year. They need to find new employers.”
Thank you Pat. These guys make next to nothing and jobs are scarce in this sport.