French company ups stake in Spain's Unipublic from 49 per cent to 100 per cent...

Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) have taken full control of Unipublic, the Spanish company that owns the Vuelta a España.

ASO had owned 49 per cent of Unipublic since 2008, buying that stake from Antena 3 Television, last year renamed Atresmedia Corporación.

According to reports in the Spanish press last week, Atresmedia’s accounts for 2013 revealed that it had sold its 51 per cent stake to ASO. That news has now been confirmed by Unipublic’s managing director, Javier Guillén.

Quoted on the website Ciclismo a Fondo, he said that ASO taking full control of Unipublic was in line with a “road map” that had been drawn up at the time it acquired its original shareholding in 2008.

He added that ASO was committed to preserving the Vuelta’s Spanish character.

Last month both ASO and Giro d’Italia owners RCS Media Sport dismissed speculation that the French company was in talks to buy the Italian business’s cycling properties, which also include Milan-San Remo, Tirreno Adriatico and il Lombardia.

Besides the Tour de France, ASO itself also owns races including Paris-Nice, the Critérium du Dauphiné, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flèche Wallonne, and Paris-Tours.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.