Replacing Pat McQuaid

UCI congress

Many cycling fans love the sport but not the politics and certainly the mention of UCI President Pat McQuaid can quickly elicit boos and hisses from many. The case for the prosecution is quite strong, take your pick from the chaos in the sport, murky dealings, bizarre public statements and much more. But more recently frustration with the President has grown. Joe Lindsey sets out a strong case over at the Boulder Report.

Not many are making the case for the defence, least of all the UCI. For what it’s worth, I tend to think McQuaid’s got a mixed record. Let’s not forget he’s overseen the introduction of the toughest anti-doping rules, that the sport is spreading around the world athough I can hear irate readers saying he was never the driving force for these things, they’ve (had to) happen under his watch. But there’s a lot of behind the scenes activity where his chatty, relaxed ways can work wonders.

But if you wanted to replace the UCI President how do you do it? What’s the mechanism and who’s involved? A reader’s asked these questions this morning and it’s time to take a look.

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Fix simple things before any revolution

Vaughters Rhone alone
Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a sport where everyone worked together...

Maybe sometimes you look at your bike and think about getting a new part, some wheels or even another frame. The allure of something new and better can be hard to resist. But the only way to be sure it’s worth the upgrade is to do your homework, investigate the new product and then weigh up the benefits against the costs.

Cycling is looking a bit tarnished now. The hubs need servicing, the wheels don’t run true and the whole frame is looking outdated. But as much as we might want something shiny and new, we don’t know what the replacement is or how things might turn out.

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The UCI shoots itself in the foot (again)

The Swiss voted recently on a referendum for tighter gun controls. They rejected the proposal. The small Alpine state has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world, a figure especially high for Europe. I can’t help wonder if a ready supply of firearms explains why the UCI is limping. The Swiss-based governing … Read more

Save the UCI

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” Il Gattopardo, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa It’s open season on the UCI. I’ve been following the sport for some time and frustration from all sides with the performance of cycling’s governing body is common. Riders see their jobs and health at … Read more

UCI Corruption?

“Embattled” is word to describe the UCI President. Often Pat McQuaid is on the back foot, having to fight a rearguard defence to protect his organisation. The sport’s governing body does plenty of good, from regulating quirky forms of indoor cycling to encouraging the sport in Indonesia but iceberg-like, it’s the area of pro cycling … Read more

The UCI and lessons from Africa

The image above is a screenshot swiped from the Osun Defender, a Nigerian newspaper. It’s exposing corruption, in this case the award of a construction contract for a sports stadium to a family member. Or look to Sierra Leone, where a contract to supply the country’s army with rice just happened to go to the … Read more

Foal Play Down Under?

Pegasus, the team named after a mythical horse, believed it secured a last minute reprise and sent new documentation to Switzerland. This turned out to be unsatisfactory and the UCI sent the team to the knacker’s yard. I could write plenty about this process being unsatisfactory, it should not be the case that a team … Read more

McQuaid strikes again!

If it’s fashionable to dismiss Pat McQuaid outright in some circles, I think the story is more nuanced. With his background in race organisation, especially the Tour of Langkawi, the UCI President brings experience to open up the sport around the world, something that might not have happened if, say, a Frenchman or Belgian was … Read more

Can the UCI afford to prosecute Contador?

Loaded, and taking aim at the UCI? It’s an idea relayed by the Carrément Vélo podcast where pundit Nicolas Perthuis mentions a conversation with FDJ team boss Marc Madiot. According to Madiot, the UCI is currently evaluating whether it can afford to prosecute Contador and if it can withstand any appeals made by the Spaniard’s … Read more

Porte’s Contract Poker

Featuring an interview with Richie Porte, the great Real Peloton podcast touched on a curious story that’s worth a peek. Not so rich now Richie Richie Porte has a standard neo-pro two year contract with Bjarne Riis that ends after the 2011 season. Only with the stellar season he’s had, he got dollar-signs in his … Read more