Tour de France may withdraw from 2016 UCI calendar

Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:35pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Tour de France organizers ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) have threatened to withdraw their races from the International Cycling Union calendar over a lack of progress in the UCI's reform program, Reuters has learned.

A source close to the UCI's management committee told Reuters that ASO had sent a letter saying they would withdraw from the 2016 calendar if the reforms do not go forward, with their main concerns centered on ensuring major race dates do not clash.

There is no risk of the Tour and the ASO's other major races not taking place but they could do so outside the umbrella of cycling's governing body, leading to a potentially damaging split.

The ASO, who own the Tour de France, the top-tier classics Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the one-week Paris-Nice and the Criterium du Dauphine, were not immediately available for comment.

A split would mean the ASO could make their own team selection for their races. This year teams from the UCI World Tour get automatic spots for the Tour and other prestigious events.

The ASO and UCI were also at odds between 2005 and 2008 when the Tour de France organizers refused, along with their counterparts at the Tour of Spain and Giro d'Italia, to be part of the UCI Pro-Tour that later became the World Tour.

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