Tour de Romandie in new hands
A fierce battle for the rights to organise Switzerland's Tour de Romandie cycling race has ended with the International Cycling Union (UCI) deciding in favour of the marketing company, IMG Switzerland.
IMG will run the Tour for the next 10 years after beating off competition from the event's former organiser, Daniel Perroud, and the Italian company, RCS-Sport.
"The decision shows that our presentation was the best," insisted the delighted head of IMG Switzerland, Marc Biver.
IMG, which last year acquired the rights to promote Switzerland's biggest cycling tour, the Tour de Suisse, has pledged to preserve the "identity" of the Tour de Romandie, although Biver admitted his company would be examining possible "synergies" between the two races.
Biver said he would be providing further details about the company's plans at a press conference on Wednesday.
After hearing of the decision, Daniel Perroud refused to accept Biver's conclusion that the best bid had won.
"Ten days ago Marc Biver told me he had already been assured of victory by the UCI," Perroud explained. "I don't believe they even bothered to read our presentation or took into account the success of the last Tour."
"We finished with a success," Perroud continued. "We will bounce back."
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