When the 2006 Tour de France route was announced last week, Tour directors Tour directors Jean-Marie Leblanc and Christian Prudhomme and ASO President Patrick Clerc made some juvenile cheap shots at Lance Armstrong.
The UCI, which has been negotiating with Tour organizers to include the Tour de France in the new UCI ProTour, denounced Clerc's discourse and withdrew from these negotations. UCI President Pat McQuaid told Clerc that he regretted attending Thursday's presentation revealing the 2006 Tour de France route. "You decided to remove the conditions of serenity and without pressure for the ProTour negotiations," McQuaid wrote in a letter, adding cycling's governing body was "surprised" and "indignant" about the anti-doping discourse offered up by Clerc to open the 2006 Tour presentation.
Team managers and sport directors complained that the Tour itself was hardly even mentioned. "I could tell certain people in the crowd, other directors, almost got up and left," Discovery Channel Johan Bruyneel said Thursday.