Bugno to call off rider protest, will meet McQuaid to discuss radio situation
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bugno to call off rider protest, will meet McQuaid to discuss radio situation

by Shane Stokes at 11:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
First step towards new negotiations over race communication

Race radioThe threatened protest by teams at next weekend’s races looks set now to be called off, with CPA rider association chief Gianni Bugno and UCI President Pat McQuaid agreeing to hold talks on the race radio issue. It will be one of several topics to be discussed by them at the meeting.

Bugno has written to the UCI to request a meeting with McQuaid, who told VeloNation yesterday that he wouldn’t hold any discussions as long as there was threat of action.

“I am not going to meet people with a gun to my head…that is not the way to do business,” he stated then. “Let them call off the protest, and then I am prepared to sit and talk to anybody.”

Bugno has indicated to McQuaid that he is prepared to ask the riders to suspend the planned wearing of race radios in this weekend’s events, providing both can meet and discuss the issue. The riders had previously been set to defy the UCI ban and use the devices in Criterium International and the GP E3 Harelbeke.

Radios were used earlier this year on day one of the Challenge Mallorca races, the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca. It was won by Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo), but the UCI withdrew its officials and said afterwards that the results were void.

Today’s development will hopefully be the start of a new push to work together and negotiate a mutually acceptable compromise between riders, teams and the governing body.

“The UCI is always open - and has always been - to discussion with all sides in a calm and constructive atmosphere,” its spokesman Enrico Carpani told VeloNation, referring to the radio issue. “We are pleased with the initiative of Bugno, and the UCI president has said a meeting will be set up as soon as possible.”

It is not yet certain when those talks will take place.

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