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ASO set to announce Tour picks

Tour de France organizer Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) said Sunday it would announce next week which teams it has selected for this year's race. ASO made the announcement after holding "constructive" talks with teams ahead of the final stage of Paris-Nice, which it also organises.

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By Agence France Presse

Tour de France organizer Amaury Sport Organization (ASO) said Sunday it would announce next week which teams it has selected for this year’s race.

ASO made the announcement after holding “constructive” talks with teams ahead of the final stage of Paris-Nice, which it also organises.

Eric Boyer, chairman of the teams’ international association (AIGCP), said after the talks that “we discussed the problem of condition of participation, in order to know if upcoming ASO events would go ahead under the same framework as Paris-Nice. It seems that is the case, in which case we will negotiate our conditions for taking part as we did for Paris-Nice.”

Paris-Nice, Europe’s first major stage race of the season, went ahead after acromonious mudslinging between ASO and the UCI.

ASO controversially opted to hold the “Race to the Sun” under the aegis of the French federation, and not the UCI, which promptly warned riders they faced bans and fines for participating in a non-UCI sanctioned event.

UCI chief Pat McQuaid accused ASO of colluding to form a private league with the backing of the French sports ministry and of using its Tour de France credentials to force teams to participate in Paris-Nice.

Boyer insisted once again Sunday that the AIGCP was not contravening regulations and urged McQuaid to hold a dialogue.

“He shouldn’t forget that it is the riders who are competing and he should come and tell us he understands what we want, which is to race.,” he said.