Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Spanish woes, UCI looking on

The International Cycling Union (UCI) is closely following the evolution of the situation concerning the three Spanish events in the UCI WorldTour - Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, Volta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian – which are currently facing economic related difficulties that could threaten the continued organisation of these benchmark races for professional cycling.

Conscious of the fundamental importance of saving cycling’s heritage, as well as the International Federation’s vital role in helping all involved in the sport, the UCI immediately took action in order to evaluate these cases and study possible measures that could be taken.

To ensure the best possible support for the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, the UCI has already established the necessary contact with all the parties implicated on an institutional level. At this stage discussions are focussed UCI’s possible participation   in a sustainable development plan for this event over the coming years, the terms of which are yet to be defined.

Concerning the two Basque races, UCI is also in the process of collecting all the information necessary in order to come up with an intervention strategy that can deal with the urgency of the situation and at the same time the principals of solidarity that govern the UCI WorldTour.

The UCI reiterated that in 2011 a contribution from the UCI WorldTour reserve Fund was deployed in favour of the GP Ouest France de Plouay, a French UCI WorldTour event.

UCI President Mr Pat McQuaid declared, “In this very difficult economic context facing the organisers, the cycling world expects the structures put in place by the UCI to be capable of providing a concrete contribution to the movement as a whole. I can guarantee that we are working all-out, and that despite the fact that the resources at our disposal are fairly limited, we will do all we can to offer our support to the organisers.

“Although it is true that the globalisation of cycling is our strategic priority,” added Mr McQuaid, “the roots and traditions of this fantastic sport are what make it so rich and we must be capable of preserving them.

“Among its other prerogatives, the UCI also deals with these very important aspects that are linked to the stability and economic reinforcement of the professional sector,” the UCI President concluded. “I therefore hope that the UCI will once again be able to contribute to finding a solution.”