Prague Grand Prix bike race ends in fiasco as stars pull out
It was billed as a cycling extravaganza, but it ended in fiasco. The stars of the Tour de France were supposed to be pedalling their way up and down Prague's Wenceslas Square on Wednesday, but dozens of them pulled out after an argument with the organisers over money.
"A lot of people were waiting for the riders because nobody knew what was happening. A lot of people came because last year was a great show, with Lance Armstrong, and 80,000 people wanted to see the same thing again. But in the few minutes before the start, the moderator said we have some technical problems."
"In the world of sport business it sometimes happens. This year, for example, there was a problem in Prague when the Evgenij Pluschenko skating show was cancelled in the Sazka Arena. Last year, the triathlon world cup was cancelled in Karlovy Vary. Sometimes it happens. It's a question of money, it's like in business. Some firms have problems, some firms grow up. It's normal I think."
So a sad day for Czech cycling, and something of a wasted day for the thousands who'd waited in the tropical heat to catch a glimpse of some of cycling's best-known stars. Both riders and organisers are convinced they were in the right, and the matter will now be settled in court.