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Saeco Speaks Out!
By Podofdonny
Date: 8/2/2002
Saeco Speaks Out!

The Saeco-Longoni Sport team leaves the international team association:

"It's a failure and is controlled by the race organisers."

In a letter to president Manolo Saiz, the manager of the Saeco-Longoni Sport team, Claudio Corti has officially communicated, and in an irreversible manner, the decision of the team to leave the AIGCP (Associazione Internazionale Gruppi Sportivi Professionistici, the International Association of Professional Cycling teams).

"I believe that the AIGCP has betrayed the very reason why it was established," Corti said.

Our ideals, if there were ever any, and the internal running of the association, were inspired by a vague concept of democracy. We do not have any political power or any function regarding the future prospects in which our sport can find serenity and a better chance of development."

Corti also criticised the confused behaviour of the association regarding the case involving Gilberto Simoni at the Giro d'Italia and the consequent exclusion of the Saeco-Longoni Sport team from the Tour de France.

"I think it would have been logical to expect a stance from the AIGCP and a declaration of solidarity, instead all we got was total silence. Obviously the association looks after the interests of some and not others, or perhaps only the interests of some to the detriment of others."

The Saeco-Longoni Sport team openly accuses the association. The letter continues:

"Simoni has been absolved and our team has paid a very high price." It's unacceptable that the association has not considered the event as a problem for them to resolve, instead they preferred not to get involved."

"All I can say is; continue to accept the logic of those with the power and accept with heads bowed every old and new situation ordered by the tour de France organisers." Corti also touched on the position of the teams regarding the organisers of the Championship of Zurich: "I find the decision of the association to boycott the race absurd for an economical problem which isn't fundamentally important. The Saeco-Longoni Sport team will ride the race. If the AIGCP agrees or not with our decision is not very important because from today we are no longer members."

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