Makarov rules out opposing McQuaid for UCI presidency, but says governing body needs ‘reorganisation’
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Makarov rules out opposing McQuaid for UCI presidency, but says governing body needs ‘reorganisation’

by VeloNation Press at 3:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Says Tour of Russia ready to go in 2014, but that seven million euro fee is blocking project

Igor MakarovCurrent president Pat McQuaid may well face challengers when the UCI elections take place in September, but it appears that Igor Makarov will not be one of those seeking to take over the top slot.

Makarov, the president of the Russian Cycling Federation and the head of the Russian Global Cycling Project, the structure which controls the Katusha and Rusvelo squads, said today that he would not run in the elections. Although he is a current management committee member, he was scathing in his assessment of the governing body, saying that he believes there is need for reform.

“There should be some reorganization. The UCI president is the head of both the union and the management committee. I think it’s not right,” he said, according to R-Sport. “The UCI's structure is a structure from the last century.”

Asked if he would challenge McQuaid, he ruled that out. “No, it’s not true,” he said. “I have said many times that I have so many positions and I’m very busy. I’m totally focused on my current work, including the project for the development of cycling in Russia.”

Makarov, a former national team competitor, also works outside cycling. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Itera oil and gas company, and is extremely wealthy.

Relations with the UCI became strained recently when the Licencing Commission refused Katusha’s application for WorldTour licence registration. The team was initially forced to compete as a Pro Continental team, missing the Santos Tour Down Under, but earlier this month won an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and had the licence reinstated.

That has left a sour taste in his mouth. He has suggested that the commission didn’t have the cycling experience to be able to accurately assess the situation.

“Behind the scenes I learnt that this committee included five Swiss citizens who had never ridden a bicycle and they made the decision whether to give or withhold the license. It’s not criticism, but a question," he said.

In contrast, the UCI has stressed the independence of the Licencing Commission, saying that their positions from outside the sport make them more neutral in assessing the criteria for WorldTour registration.

Says Tour of Russia delay is down to huge fees:

Makarov also commented on the delay in holding a Tour of Russia, which has been talked about for many years. He states that the reason it has not yet occurred is because of the high costs that they have been told they would have to pay.

“We sent an inquiry to the UCI, but it turned out that we had to pay seven million euros to a private company for the license for the Tour of Russia,” Makarov said. “This is also a question I intend to discuss with the UCI. Why should I pay seven million? We thought the organization of the race was included in this price, but we were wrong.”

It is not clear if he is referring to the Global Cycling Promotions company, a for-profit offshoot of the UCI, but it was previously mentioned by GCP head Alain Rumpf as being an event that GCP was likely to organise.

According to Makarov, the Russian government wants to see the race go ahead and that the areas in question plus sponsors are all in support. He said that the race could take place as early as next year, but that the seven million euro fee is a stumbling block.

“We have already established an organizing committee, everything is ready and has been discussed, but there is some financial limit.”

He also said that he wanted to see the country host the world road race championships for the first time.

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