Greg LeMond calls for change in UCI Leadership on Eve of the Presidential Election
  April 18, 2014 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Greg LeMond calls for change in UCI Leadership on Eve of the Presidential Election

by Steve Jones at 9:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Pat McQuaid has demonstrated he is not capable of being an effective and stable leader

Greg LeMondThree time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has once again voiced his support of Brian Cookson in tomorrow's UCI Presidential election.  In a press release LeMond calls tomorrow's election "one of the most important days in modern cycling".

Incumbant Pat McQuaid and his supporters have been at work in recent months attempting to assure his candidacy for the post following the refusal of his home country to support his nomination for tomorrow's ballot.  Undeterred by the clear message Irish Cycling had sent by not supporting his continued role as UCI President, the Irishman decided he would try bending the rules.  He initially gained nomination from the Swiss federation for candidacy, but was it was later abandoned with the federation which stated, “After having carefully considered the arguments of the claimants in the arbitration brought against Swiss Cycling’s Decision of 13 May 2013 to nominate Mr. Pat McQuaid for UCI Presidential election, a majority of the Board’s member decided, in light of the legal issues regarding the validity of said Decision and of the general interest of Swiss Cycling, to (i) revoke the Decision of 13 May 2013 and (ii) to withdraw Swiss Cycling’s nomination of Mr. Pat McQuaid for (re)election as UCI President,”

With his nomination lost now in two countries and nominations from countries where he did not hold residence unable to gain legitimacy, McQuaid's supporters decided to attempt a path of constitutional 'house cleaning' in order to secure his spot.  The new strategy of the Irishman was to retroactively change the wording of Article 51.1 of the constitution, to allow a candidate to gain nomination “either by the federation of the candidate (as is the current text) or by 2 federations other than the federation of the candidate (new clause)”.  The move was not well-received by the cycling community, and only served to underscore the questions around how the UCI has been run during his era.  Cookson said the move "smacks of attempted dictatorship", which certainly resonated within the community.

LeMond appealed to those who will be placing their votes tomorrow by saying, "I beg of you to vote with your eyes open. The UCI has been dragged through the mud for way too long. Pat McQuaid has demonstrated he is not capable of being an effective and stable leader.  His history of bullying, public denigration of cyclists and rule bending is unacceptable. What this sport needs more than anything right now is positive change. The only way for change to happen is with new leadership: someone that people can count on to put cycling first and not their personal ambitions."

McQuaid has continually tried to distance himself from doping scandals in the sport, claiming things have improved on his watch, despite his many years of denial about the doping culture that dominated cycling.  Simply put, he was at best incredibly clueless and worst sickeningly tolerant of the doping that occurred in cycling. Either way, it is imperative that someone occupying a position with such visibility and importance be neither.

VeloNation spoke to Betsy Andreu this evening about her thoughts on the election and she said: "For cycling to not only get healthy and thrive, Brian Cookson is the only choice for the sport.  The sport has been nothing but scandal ridden under McQuaid's rule.  Brian Cookson is the only way not only out of the demise but into the good.  Under his rule, cycling can become respected once again.  This can only help the sport financially in the long run."

Shane Stokes, VeloNation's editor, has written a detailed analysis on how McQuiad has fallen short of what he has promised in his manifesto, and we would encourage everyone to consider the points it calls to attention.

In his statement, LeMond continues with another clear reason to vote for Brian Cookson in tomorrow's election: "When I look at all of the countries in the world and see which country is thriving," LeMond said, "it is impossible not to think of British Cycling and what Brian Cookson had done for the sport in England: look at his track record. Look at what he has done for British Cycling, not just at the elite level of cycling, but look at the explosion of non-racers riding their bikes in England. Who would not want this for cycling?"

"Please do the right thing and vote for Brian Cookson," LeMond concludes.

Greg LeMond's Complete Statement:

Dear UCI delegates:

Tomorrow is one of the most important days in modern cycling. The future of our sport will be impacted greatly by the election of the new UCI President.

Earlier I made clear my belief that the sport needed new leadership and I still feel the same today. Pat McQuaid has had many opportunities to take that leadership, to tell the world of cycling that the past is the past, and that this sport will never allow what took place over the last 20 years to ever happen again. He had his opportunity and failed. It is time now for change.

I truly believe that if there is no change in the leadership of the sport that the impact will be felt for years to come, in every aspect of the sport. From the parents that do not encourage their children to take up cycling as a sport of choice, to the sponsors who are sick and tired of the scandals and their costs, both social and financial.

We need to show that there is a democracy in place at the UCI. That cycling’s officials can be trusted to act in the best interest of the majority, not in their own private interests. Why would anyone invest in cycling without trust in the sport and its governing body?

I beg of you to vote with your eyes open. The UCI has been dragged through the mud for way too long. Pat McQuaid has demonstrated he is not capable of being an effective and stable leader.  His history of bullying, public denigration of cyclists and rule bending is unacceptable. What this sport needs more than anything right now is positive change. The only way for change to happen is with new leadership: someone that people can count on to put cycling first and not their personal ambitions.

When I look at all of the countries in the world and see which country is thriving, it is impossible not to think of British Cycling and what Brian Cookson had done for the sport in England: look at his track record. Look at what he has done for British Cycling, not just at the elite level of cycling, but look at the explosion of non-racers riding their bikes in England. Who would not want this for cycling?

It is up to you, the voters that get to decide the future of cycling. If you truly care about this sport there is only one option, and that is to cast your vote for Brian Cookson.

Please do the right thing and vote for Brian Cookson.

      comments




Subscribe via RSS or daily email

WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC