so where does it go from here...

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Id go with the Feds and support them.

The Pro-Tour has started with the sport in a state of flux. Belgian Tom Boonen, the most successful rider in recent years, has described the situation as "pure chaos".

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The season will effectively take place on two separate circuits, the Pro-Tour and the races run by organisers of the big Tours, who reject the series run by the International Cycling Union.

"The situation is terrible ... nobody knows who is in charge. We need somebody to come along and show leadership," former world champion Boonen told Reuters TV.

His Quick-Step team chief Patrick Lefevere, who also heads the International Professional Cycling Teams, said the sport was "in a worse position" than last year when a row between the two sides cast doubt over the start of the season.

Last year the UCI threatened to punish any team taking part in the Paris-Nice race in March after dropping it from the Pro-Tour over a dispute with organisers Amaury Sport Organisation. ASO also own the Tour de France.

But a crisis was averted before the start after a temporary deal was struck between the UCI, ASO and IPCT.

"We are in the same position as last year, in fact we are worse off. The season just limped on last year and now we are back to square one again," said Lefevere.

"Unless there is an agreement soon I expect the same problem to erupt before Paris-Nice. Again the biggest victims are the teams and the riders."

UCI and ASO actually reached an agreement for this season. At a meeting in November, they agreed to disagree.

As a result the Pro-Tour will have to do without some of the biggest events, most notably the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Tour of Spain.

"You can't say the Pro-Tour is weakened, you can say this is a transition year," said UCI president Pat McQuaid.

"It would be a lie to say we have the best events but we have the best teams and this is a global Tour, which is taking cycling to developing countries."

McQuaid told Lefevere not to worry about the start of the season since UCI had agreed the Big Tour organisers could invite whatever team they wanted.

An ASO spokesman said: "We invite the teams we want in the races we want and that's as simple as this."

The only exception will be the Tour de France in which both sides agreed the 18 Pro-Tour teams should be invited.

The feud between the Pro-Tour and the races run by organisers of the big Tours has the potential to get worse after the national federations of France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria and Luxembourg told the UCI this week they would take the side of the big Tours should they have to make a choice

Pulled from eurosport.

Keith Oates

Penarth, Wales
This has been discussed here several times Yenners, it really is sad and the only losers are the cyclists and the fans. The I'm bigger, more powerful, more important syndrome is most walks of life.
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