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Cycling business group files complaint against governing body

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PARIS (Reuters) – The Velon business group, which represents 11 elite cycling teams, has filed an anti-trust complaint with the European Union against the Union Cycliste Internationale, claiming the sport’s governing body has been trying to hamper their business.

“In the past year the UCI has tried to stop what Velon and the teams have pioneered in their joint business on new races (the team v team “Hammer Series”) and technology,” Velon said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Velon and its shareholder and partner teams hoped and expected that its initiatives would be supported by the UCI, as had been the case in previous years.

“However, in the past 12 months the UCI has used its regulatory power and political leverage to seek to block the business activities of Velon and the teams in an incorrect and unlawful manner.”

Member teams of Velon are Bora-hansgrohe, CCC Team, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, EF Education First, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton-Scott, Team Ineos, Jumbo-Visma, Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates.

None of the Hammer Series, which have had a limited impact since their implementation in 2017, are part of the UCI’s World Tour which groups together the top races of the calendar.

Apart from the world championships, the major cycling races are privately owned, with French-based Amaury Sport Organisation having the lion’s share with the Tour de France and some major classics such as Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

The UCI were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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