Despite UCI calls for a boycott of Paris-Nice, race organisers ASO have insisted that their event will go ahead.
In a tersely worded press release issued late on Tuesday, ASO stated simply that ?despite the hostile position taken by the UCI president, Paris-Nice will take place as planned from March 9th-16th.?
?It will be organised according to the technical rules of the French Cycling Federation and in accordance with French law.?
UCI president Pat McQuaid responded to ASO?s statement by telling news agency AP, ?their [ASO?s] attitude to this is totally wrong.?
ASO races – which include Paris-Roubaix and the Tour – could be left out of the biological passport scheme, AP reported. McQuaid has also said that riders who participate in Paris-Nice could damage their chances of taking part in the Olympics, although he did not specify how.
Meanwhile the teams association (AIGCP) president Eric Boyer has said that he is currently conducting a round of conversations with different squads so that he can be sure of a unified response to the UCI?s call for a boycott.
?Once I know what everybody thinks, I?ll ask for an interview with the UCI.? Boyer said.
The ball is not just in the teams? court, though. Should Italian race organisers RCS decide to follow ASO?s path, then the next event to attempt to split off completely from the UCI could be Tirreno-Adriatico, which starts just four days after Paris-Nice.