Richmond Virginia to host 2015 UCI Road World Race Champs
Decision sparks controversy on a big day for UCI announcements
Richmond Virginia will host the 2015 UCI Road World Championships following the withdrawal of the only competing bid, by Oman, this morning. Ponferrada in Spain was named by the UCI as the host of the 2014 championships.
In a statement released by the UCI Management Committee which is meeting in Copenhagen, where this year's Road World Championships are currently under way, UCI President Pat McQuaid welcomed the decision to give the 2015 championships to the US city as part of the organisation's process of, globalisation in cycling, "Which will allow the American continent, where our sport is enjoying an impressive development, to once again host the most important event of the UCI calendar, 12 years after the Canadian edition in the town of Hamilton”.
By the time the Road World Championships make it to Richmond it will be almost 30 years since they last took place in the United States when Colorado Springs played host back in 1986.
Usually the selection of a host city for the World Championships would attract little comment, outside of Ponferrada there has been little hoopla about the destination of the 2014 champs, but the selection of the US city has already provoked comment. That's because Richmond’s bid was advised by a marketing agency called Shadestree Sports, owned by Darach McQuaid, the brother of UCI president Pat McQuaid. While both McQuaid brothers have constantly denied accusation of undue influence being brought to bear. The 11th hour withdrawal of the Omani bid has only added to the furore in some quarters.
The issue is likely to be raised again in the forthcoming UCI elections if, as is expected the election for the role of UCI President is contested with the former Russian/Ukranian/Belgian/Moldovan classics specialist and man of many passports Andre Tchmil strongly rumoured to be going to put his hat in to the ring possibly with the backing of Russian billionaire Igor Makarov, the man behind the Katusha cycling team of which Tchmil was until recently head. Makarov is also a member of the UCI Management Committee.
To accommodate next year's Olympics some changes to the 2012 calendar were announced: The Tour of Poland (July 10 - 16) will move forward in the calendar while the Classica San Sebastien (Aug 14), the Tour of Beijing (Oct 10 - 14) and the Giro de Lombardia (Oct 20) will move back.
Next year's World Tour Calendar wasn't the only reshuffling announced either - with changes in the ranks of blazerdom seeing former British Cycling President, Brian Cookson move from being President of the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission to head up the Road Commission while Marian Stetina takes Cookson's place on the Cyclo-cross commission.
In other announcements today the UCI "endorsed" the make up of the Athlete's Commission which it decided to set up in 2010 and make "responsible for overseeing the interests of cyclists of all disciplines". The Athletes Commission's members are drawn from the ranks of the top riders in particular disciplines who are either elected by their fellow riders or appointed by the UCI… presumably those members of the commission already enjoyed the UCI's endorsement.
Florian Rousseau (FRA/appointed) – President
Dario Cioni (ITA/appointed),
Cadel Evans (AUS/elected),
Philippe Gilbert (BEL/elected) representing Road
Judith Arndt (GER/ elected),
Marianne Vos (NED/ elected) representing Women Road
Anna Meares (AUS/ elected),
Teun Mulder (NED/ elected) representing Track
Georgia Gould (USA/ elected),
Greg Minnaar (RSA/appointed) representing MTB
Vilma Rimsaite (LTU/appointed),
Roger Rinderknecht (SUI/appointed) representing BMX
Sven Nys (BEL/appointed) representing Cyclo-cross
Jiri Jezek (CZE/ elected),
Lukas Weber (SUI/appointed) representing Paracycling.