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Giro d’Italia sides with UCI in ASO fight

Giro d’Italia organizer RCS Sport stood in implicit support of the UCI following Friday’s announcement that ASO would pull the Tour de France and other events out of the UCI’s WorldTour in 2017.

Though Giro d’Italia director Mauro Vegni would not state definitively that his race will be part of the WorldTour in 2017, he did express support for the sport’s “institutions” — like the UCI.

“All discussions will be held inside of the sport’s institutions,” he told VeloNews via a spokesperson. “The institutions are the strength of our system.”

The last time ASO and UCI butted heads in similar fashion was in 2005-2008, when ASO refused to be part of the ProTour, the precursor to the WorldTour. In that quarrel, RCS stood with its fellow race organizer, also refusing to place its marquee event into the ProTour calendar.

In the latest fight, RCS has mostly sided with the UCI. When ASO threatened to pull its races from the UCI calendar in June over the same issues it raised this week, RCS openly backed the reform process.

“RCS Sport has never been opposed to the Reform Project and is ready to analyze and discuss all technical issues related to it with all relevant parties involved, first and foremost with the UCI,” it said in a statement at the time.