Grand Tours: This town ain’t big enough for the two of us
UCI: It ain’t?
Grand Tours: No it ain’t!
UCI: I’ll fix that (builds bigger city)
UCI: Now is it big enough?
Grant Tours: No!
Adapted from Bugs Bunny Rides Again (1948)
In the never ending battle between the UCI and the Grand Tours, the UCI reacted to the first shot fired by the Grand Tours with a strongly worded whimper.
ASO, the organizer of the Tour de France, made good on its promise to only invite 18 ProTour teams. Therefore, the latest ProTour team Unibet was denied entry into the first Grand Tour event Paris-Nice. Unibet is the 19th ProTour team replacing the departed Phonak.
The UCI returned fire with a quote that started out strong:
“Without going into details right now, at the moment we are looking at what measures we could take in relation to the Paris-Nice situation.”
You go girl! Then, Pat follows that up with:
“There is a general agreement that the ProTour is good for the future of cycling. It needs some changes, everybody is aware of that, but it requires that everybody gathers around the table and starts working together. We can then look at those changes and introduce them. The UCI is prepared to sit down with the Grand Tour organisers and discuss those things. “
Sit down and discuss? What? Come on Pat, they just just raised the battle flag, took dead aim and fired. If they wanted to talk, they would have invited you over for a little tea. I would have figured an Irishman would know when talking was over and the time to pun down the pint and bring up the fists had come.
Get in there and start swinging.