LeMond says emergence of challenger in UCI presidential election is a good thing
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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

LeMond says emergence of challenger in UCI presidential election is a good thing

by Shane Stokes at 7:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
American pleased to see Cookson step forward, emphasises importance of choice

Greg LeMondTriple Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has said that he believes this week’s emergence of a challenger to Pat McQuaid in the UCI’s presidential elections is an important development and one which will benefit the sport, and has once again suggested that McQuaid should stand down.

“I don’t know Brian Cookson personally but I think that competition is good in the presidential election,” LeMond told VeloNation on Wednesday. “I believe that voters should have choice when determining who the next president should be, and thus having more than one candidate is important.”

LeMond has been outspoken against the UCI, saying on several occasions that he believes change must happen for the sport to regain its credibility. He was one of those who was part of the Change Cycling Now pressure group when it met in London in December, and at one point was held up as a potential presidential challenger.

That gesture was a largely symbolic one and LeMond never seriously explored that option. However he was then, and is now, convinced that McQuaid should consider stepping aside due to the unanswered questions which arose during the Armstrong years and during the federal/USADA investigation into the Texan and his US Postal Service team.

“I think the fact that there is actually somebody running against Pat, as well as the fact there has been an actual reaction in Ireland against him, speaks pretty loudly that people in cycling want change,” said LeMond. “I do want to depersonalise it from Pat McQuaid in a way; it’s more a case that after what happened in the last ten years, that there needs to be change for the good of the sport.

“I think that Pat should do the right thing and embrace that change. That means stepping aside, even if he says he wasn’t personally at fault. It’s what usually happens when you are the CEO of a company which has had problems; in that case, heads usually roll at the top, even if it is the lower management which was the issue.”

“If you look at everything which happened in the last year with the Armstrong exposure, if things don’t change now after that, then when will change occur?”

Aside from being just a question about who leads the UCI, LeMond argues that this period of time should be used as a catalyst to transform the sport and the UCI itself.

“If people really wanted to do the right thing, they should use this moment to say, ‘let’s look at how we do the elections now [electoral system reforms – ed.], let’s look at how we make sure that there is no conflict of interest and so there is parity for everybody.’

“This is the right moment to look at whatever needs to be done to help the sport and to give it a better future.”

LeMond will speak extensively to VeloNation's Shane Stokes about his career and also give his thoughts on current-day cycling, the UCI and Lance Armstrong in a lengthy interview at the Lime Tree theatre in Limerick, Ireland, on Friday June 14th. Tickets costing €15 can be purchased online, with all proceeds going to the Get Back charity.


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