UCI President Pat McQuaid came out fighting the day after losing his battle to stop Spain?s Alejandro Valverde riding the world championships in Stuttgart.
Following a day of meetings concerning the future of the ProTour, McQuaid emerged to unveil the 2008 ProTour calendar that includes the Tour Down Under in Australia but leaves out the major European races in France, Italy and Spain.
Replying sternly to Stuttgart?s sports councillor Susanna Einsemann, who is trying to stop Bettini and other riders racing on Sunday because they have refused to accept loss of a year?s salary and so sign the UCI?s ?commitment to a new cycling? document, McQuaid confirmed that Bettini would be able to race, and slammed Einsemann for using the world championships to play politics.
?The UCI would like to formally guarantee that he (Bettini) can start. We regret he hasn?t signed the document but he can still start,? McQuaid said.
?I believe Mrs Einsemann said to the media that the agreement signed by UCI and local organisers allowed the local organisers to stop Bettini riding. I guarantee that it does not do so. It does not go against the rules of the UCI.?
?There?s an opportunity for a wonderful world champs which can do good for cycling and Stuttgart, but it?s been hijacked by politicians. The UCI would like to denounce the action of Mrs Einsemann. It seems she?s following a strategy that is political and commercial.
“The organisers still haven?t paid a substantial amount of money to UCI and it seems she?s trying to use certain actions to find her way out of that obligation. It also seems to us that Mrs Einsemann is using the problems of doping, that are very complex to advance her own political strategy.?
2007 ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NEWS
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Official 2007 Road World Championships website: www.radwm2007.com.
Union Cycliste Internationale: www.uci.ch.