Australian cyclist Chloe Hosking has said that she will apologise to Pat McQuaid for calling the UCI president “a bit of a dick,” although she is likely to stick by the point she was underlining, namely that world cycling’s governing body does not do enough to support female riders.
Hosking, bronze medallist at the women’s road race at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, made her remarks after winning the opening round of the Jayco Bay Criterium Series on New Year’s Day in the colours of the Specialized-Lululemon team, the successor outfit to her former HTC-Highroad team.
In a statement released yesterday, Hosking said: "I have to apologise for how I phrased my comments, I wasn't that eloquent," reports The Age.
Her criticism of McQuaid was based on comments the UCI president made last year saying that female pro cyclists did not deserve a minimum salary, with the newspaper saying that 50 per cent of them do not receive any money from their teams.
"Women's cycling every year is getting stronger and stronger," insisted Hosking. "It needs to get more recognition and I'm not going to apologise for what I said, but I do apologise for how I said it."
Hosking’s national federation, Cycling Australia, announced on Sunday that it would "be seeking an explanation from Chloe before making any decision regarding disciplinary action".
"All our members have the right to express views contrary to those of the UCI, but it is not acceptable for any member of Cycling Australia to personally denigrate others.
"Name-calling does nothing to enhance the reputation of professional women's cycling. Under the Cycling Australia code of conduct and UCI regulations, Chloe is afforded the right to be treated with respect by her fellow riders, administrators and officials of the sport. Therefore she should afford the same rights to them."
Hosking, however, defended the point she was making. 'I think it [women's cycling] needs to get more recognition and I'm not going to apologise for what I said, but I do apologise for how I phrased it,'' she explained.
''This has got the world talking about women's cycling hasn't it?''
For his part, Mr McQuaid said that he did not wish to respond to Hosking’s criticism, and likewise the UCI has not issued any statement in response to the cyclist’s remarks, which come days after Italy’s two-time road world champion Giorgia Bronzini said that her rainbow jersey was worth just as much as that won by Mark Cavendish.
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.