Battle lines are continuing to be drawn in the ongoing row over the UCI’s decision to press on with its ban on two-way radios during races, with the European Cycling Union (EUC), which unites the continent’s national cycling federations, perhaps unsurprisingly coming out in support of the governing body.
That backing is firmly at odds with the stance adopted by team managers through their organisation, the International Association of Professional Cycling Groups (AIGCP), as well as the riders themselves, represented by the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA).
As reported on road.cc last week, the latter, chaired by Italian legend Gianni Bugno, is threatening strike action at three races in Belgium, France and Italy the weekend after next.
Part of the opposition to the ban is on safety grounds, highlighted during Saturday’s crash-strewn stage of Paris-Nice. As a World Calendar event, radios were allowed on that race, enabling team cars to quickly come to the aid of stricken riders.
In view of that opposition, the world governing body has made a point of highlighting the support it has received from the EUC, which followed a speech given to its members by UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UEC’s annual general meeting in Slovenia last week.
In a statement on its website, the UCI said: “This stance is very important in the current situation, as it clearly confirms the leanings of those representing the federations of all European countries, among which figure some of the world’s principal cycling movements.
“The UCI is therefore happy to learn of the UEC’s solidarity, which demonstrates that it shares its vision of cycling’s fundamental values and of the measures to be taken to protect them.
“In reasserting its determination to oppose any menaces or demonstrations that this rule may engender – strikes by riders or even boycotts of races by teams - the UCI remains confident in each and everyone’s sense of responsibility to ensure that the interests of the sport can override the controversies and conflicts of power.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.