Greg LeMond and Jonathan Vaughters to attend Change Cycling Now summit in London

Meeting on Sunday & Monday also includes new group calling for fans to be given voice in future of sport

by Simon_MacMichael   November 29, 2012  

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Greg LeMond, Jonathan Vaughters and representatives of a new group set up to push for fans to be given a voice in shaping the future of the sport will be attending the Change Cycling Now summit being held in London on Sunday and Monday, which will discuss the need to reform the sport with specific focus on the culture of doping that continues to tarnish it.

The presence of double world champion LeMond, now restored as the most successful American cyclist in the history of the Tour de France, and Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and manager of the Garmin-Sharp team, adds extra weight to the line-up at the conference, announced earlier this week by Jaimie Fuller, chairman of compression clothing business Skins.

Attendees previously announced include Michael Ashenden, the Australian blood doping expert who devised and ran the UCI’s biological passport programme, and Irish pro cyclist turned journalist Paul Kimmage.

Also present will be Gianni Bugno, like LeMond a two-time world champion, who now heads up the professional riders’ association the CPA, and Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency whose Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong case sent shockwaves through the sport.

They will be joined by Emma O’Reilly, former masseuse at US Postal who was one of the first to blow the whistle on Lance Armstrong’s doping, and David Walsh, the author and Sunday Times journalist to whom she made those revelations, and Bike Pure, the organisation that is campaigning for a drug-free sport.

In a blog post on the Skins website, Fuller said: “At the last count, there were at least a dozen others who will be with us in London and their absence from this list certainly does not lessen their influence.

“The quality around the table makes one thing certain: This won’t be a two day bitching session. That would achieve nothing and it would be easier to go down the pub and do that over a beer. (Now there’s a thought…)

“Equally, it would be easy for us to say; “we’re representing the fans” and then make lots of short term, positive noise and leave it at that. But the whole point of this is to genuinely give the fans a chance to join with the likes of legends such as Greg LeMond and force change on cycling, its drug culture and, indirectly, the problems within others sports as well. I can’t tell you how privileged and proud I am that Greg and all the other members of the group have agreed to join us.”

If the names so far announced are hardly the guest list of an annual convention of the Lance Armstrong fan club – several have spent years calling for action to be taken against him and ultimately were key in bringing about his downfall – equally they include high-profile critics of the way cycling is being run by the UCI.

Significantly, besides his role at Garmin-Sharp, Vaughters also presides over professional teams association the AIGCP, and his presence, along with that of Bugno, makes clear that it’s not just a meeting of dissenters from the UCI line.

Equally, however, the strong focus on the men's road side of the sport has led to some criticism on Twitter that those involved in other disciplines, including track, cyclocross, mountain biking and BMX, not to mention women's cycling, may not have the opportunity to contribute to the debate.

A new group set up with the aim of calling for fans to be given a say in the sport – it’s careful to make the distinction that it doesn’t claim to represent fans per se – will also be represented at the two-day meeting, which will be followed by a press conference on Monday evening.

Those attendees are @festinagirl - given it's her profile on Twitter that has led to her being involved in the conference, she believes it's appropriate to remain anonymous - and Scott O’Raw, who tweets as @velocast, both of whom will be familiar to many who engage with road cycling via Twitter.

According to its website,

Cycling Fans' Voice is an organisation dedicated to seeking representation for one of the sport's key stakeholders: the fans of professional cycling.

We believe that the opportunity has arisen to work with other stakeholders - riders, teams, organisers and manufacturers - and together seek equal and fair representation at the sport's governing body, the UCI. The aim is clear; to bring the YOUR ideas and YOUR wishes for YOUR sport into the decision-making process.

In setting up this organisation, we do not claim to represent the voice of the fans. We feel we wish to facilitate that voice being heard - and make it heard for the first time.

It is with this in mind that we will be working alongside Change Cycling Now, an organisation committed to creating an opportunity for EVERYONE to help generate positive changes for the future of professional cycling.

Fans are encouraged to sign up to news by entering their email address on the website, as well as engaging with Cycling Fans’ Voice on Twitter.

Change Cycling Now is also encouraging those who share its goals to use social media to get the message across, including liking its page and sharing it on Facebook, and following it on Twitter and tweeting a message, the suggested text of which is

Hi. A global group has come together to Change Cycling Now.  Follow them @cyclingchange and at the Facebook page  http://www.facebook.com/ChangeCyclingNow

According to Change Cycling Now, the reason for that request to share and tweet, rather than simply liking and following, is that by doing so the message is amplified among the individual’s Facebook friends and Twitter users – and the louder the message, the more likely its campaign is to work.

 

29 user comments

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@festinagirl is a self-righteous and delusional tweeter, hiding very happily behind a pseudonym to spout sometimes vicious attacks and innuendo. She might not be postioning herself as representing fans, but even so she has no credibility whatsoever.

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
29th November 2012 - 19:20

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Sam, I agree. The likes of @festinagirl and UCI Overlord are not representative of most cycling fans. In fact I think they are part of the problem. Their constant questioning of results by riders they don't like damages the sport further and prevents trust between fans and riders. Why did this group decide that she represented fans.
As for Velocast, recently they attacked David Millar for getting involved in the politics of the sport. Now it looks like they are doing the same.

posted by NeilG83 [224 posts]
29th November 2012 - 20:42

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Agree it's a total mess - entirely of the UCI's making.

Change Cycling Now would really need to sort out their direction/message if they really want 'fans' to take it seriously let alone the professional ranks.

I agree that the twitter people should stick to what they do best - satire/comedy/criticism, to get involved with this dilutes everyone's credibility including their own.

It seems to be Fuller's initiative - I've had a few email discussions with him - he's certainly driven and genuine but he's not what you would call 'steeped in cycling' and coming at this from a fans perspective - albeit a fairly new fan.

I think it's better to comment constructively after Saturday.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
29th November 2012 - 22:09

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Festinagirl is in reality probably a fat 40 year troll living in the attic of his mums house
Lemond for uci president

posted by Simmo72 [274 posts]
29th November 2012 - 23:43

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Well I have nothing bad to say about Festinagirl, she's been brilliant with my campaign to raise funds on my page.

Why tell the cycling world all about you if its not required?

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8682 posts]
30th November 2012 - 0:10

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It's great getting all these 'attendees', but how about getting some actual fans/supporters of cycling in the door.

I second LeMond for UCI president!

Tripod16

posted by Tripod16 [109 posts]
30th November 2012 - 10:04

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Neil,

Please take this in the spirit it was intended.

Firstly, I criticised David Millar, not for getting involved in the politics of the sport, but because he hasn't addressed the conflicts of interest which he must surely face i.e. he is part owner of a Pro Tour team (Slipstream Sports) and his sister, Fran, is head of business operations at another (Sky).

Secondly, can I invite you to read the open letter I have just published at http://velocastcc.squarespace.com ? I can assure you that I have no interest in going into politics. I am merely arguing that fans need representation, and my attendance at the Change Now Summit is do precisely that, and with other people who are willing to discuss change within the sport. However, that representative will not be me.

Thanks,

Scott.

posted by Velocast Scott [3 posts]
30th November 2012 - 10:13

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Simmo72 are you @festinagirl as you're clearly 40 or maybe i'm @festinagirl ?

posted by SimonT1971 [35 posts]
30th November 2012 - 10:52

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I very much doubt that even the presence the great Lemond can make up for the immense damage done by having attendees like Vaughters and that shrill anonymous troll, and total Vaughters suck-up, who goes by the banal festinagirl moniker.

posted by pisserenden [3 posts]
30th November 2012 - 10:59

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Change Cycling Now seems to be a mixture of self-serving, anti-doping campaigners, journalists, ex-dopers and commercial interests. Many of who have conflicting roles. I am certain they do not represent the interests of cyclists nor of cycling fans. Nor do I believe this is the correct way to effect change. They appear to be focused on the top level of professional road cycling and little else.

Firstly one has to understand how cycling is structured. The UCI is actually a body of elected representation of over 170 cycling federations, and encompasses eight cycling disciplines. It is much bigger than what ‘fans’ see and is not limited to just road racing, the Worldtour, or pro cycling. If you want change in cycling, then it should be done from within. Support your local club, even as a non-cyclist. Get involved in the sport. Then your voice can be heard.

Festinagirl IMHO is a toxic, self-opinionated, extremely left wing woman. She comes from a political family, and frequently rants against almost anything in a totally negative way. At heart she may be a good person. Just totally misguided. Her avatar on Twitter says it all.

I recognise the need for change, this simply is not the way to do it. I do not support Bruyneel either. However, I do agree with his comment: ““A bunch of douches r gonna meet in London 2 change cycling.”

Change and governance has to come from the UCI. Creating just another group will not help.

http://www.changecyclingnow.org/attendees

posted by philsinclair [11 posts]
30th November 2012 - 11:17

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Gkam84 wrote:
Well I have nothing bad to say about Festinagirl, she's been brilliant with my campaign to raise funds on my page.

Why tell the cycling world all about you if its not required?

Great that she's helped you with your fund-raising. However, its immensely hyprocritical on her part to criticise the UCI for failing to be open and transparent, when she hides behind a pseudonym and trolls away on Twitter.

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
30th November 2012 - 11:20

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NeilG83 wrote:
Sam, I agree. The likes of @festinagirl and UCI Overlord are not representative of most cycling fans. In fact I think they are part of the problem. Their constant questioning of results by riders they don't like damages the sport further and prevents trust between fans and riders. Why did this group decide that she represented fans.
As for Velocast, recently they attacked David Millar for getting involved in the politics of the sport. Now it looks like they are doing the same.

Agree. They have no problem with spreading rumours about teams and riders over Twitter, blogs and podcasts, yet are already getting extremely offended that their own motives and practice of hiding behind pseudonyms (being known to only the 'privileged few') are being called into question.

Double standards? Never

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
30th November 2012 - 11:24

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Velocast Scott wrote:
Neil,

Please take this in the spirit it was intended.

Firstly, I criticised David Millar, not for getting involved in the politics of the sport, but because he hasn't addressed the conflicts of interest which he must surely face i.e. he is part owner of a Pro Tour team (Slipstream Sports) and his sister, Fran, is head of business operations at another (Sky).

Secondly, can I invite you to read the open letter I have just published at http://velocastcc.squarespace.com ? I can assure you that I have no interest in going into politics. I am merely arguing that fans need representation, and my attendance at the Change Now Summit is do precisely that, and with other people who are willing to discuss change within the sport. However, that representative will not be me.

Thanks,

Scott.

Scott, you criticise Millar repeatedly about speaking out about the UCI. Vaughters also gets into the politics of the UCI, yet you do not criticise him?

And you are also extremely ready and quick to criticise any rider who says nothing, or does not say exactly what you want them to say. Or is Wiggins, who sends you off into the deep end seemingly just by sharing the same planet as you.

Sorry but your approbation and criticism is doled out an an extremely selective basis according to whether you personally like the person or not. Your attempts to try to justify otherwise sound very hollow.

As for conflicts of interest: 2 of the main protaganists, Jamie Fuller and Paul Kimmage, are both in the midst of legal action with the UCI. How about that for a conflict of interest?

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
30th November 2012 - 11:36

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Thanks for the reply Scott. Having read your open letter this morning I now understand why you were invited to attend.
I thank you for being proactive in doing something to change the sport, but like other posters I have a problem with the list of attendees, which is list of people clearly have an axe to grind against the UCI.
Also, to be clear I actually agreed with what you said about David Millar's open letter to Rabobank.

posted by NeilG83 [224 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:17

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Hmmm, I can't believe the negativity here. I think this is a good thing: a frank on the table discussion about taking cycling forward, a way of putting pressure on the UCI and a way to keep momentum rolling after the downfall of Armstrong.

If in 5 years nothing has changed and Tour De France speeds keep rising, then you can criticize this as an opportunity lost. Otherwise be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem, or a critical bystander.

I myself would like to get involved. We potentially stand on the cusp of bringing a new, fairer, cleaner way to Cycling, and potentially something that can extend to all Sports.

"Don't be a hater". I heard that from so many people who criticized me for doubting Armstrong, let's put that attitude into changing cycling.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:21

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What would you like to propose instead? I don't think you can criticize unless you have a better alternative. These people have been shut down by the UCI, they have repeatedly hit a wall and now they have a forum. The UCI have had their chance. By creating this conference they are giving voice and putting pressure on the UCI to change the sport. Without this pressure the UCI seem happy to continue with 'business as usual'. So don't think this is the only option, this an option. If you have better idea then why not try to be part of the solution?

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:31

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Sam1 wrote:
@festinagirl is a self-righteous and delusional tweeter, hiding very happily behind a pseudonym to spout sometimes vicious attacks and innuendo. She might not be postioning herself as representing fans, but even so she has no credibility whatsoever.

+1.

At this level I don't understand the pseudonym. We're talking about people's careers, businesses, livelihoods yet Anon. from the Home Counties or wherever won't even use her real name.

Based on what I've seen on Twitter, I am pretty sure that she/he/it will not be representing my views as someone who follows the sport.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1906 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:35

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Sam1 wrote:

Scott, you criticise Millar repeatedly about speaking out about the UCI. Vaughters also gets into the politics of the UCI, yet you do not criticise him?

And you are also extremely ready and quick to criticise any rider who says nothing, or does not say exactly what you want them to say. Or is Wiggins, who sends you off into the deep end seemingly just by sharing the same planet as you.

Sorry but your approbation and criticism is doled out an an extremely selective basis according to whether you personally like the person or not. Your attempts to try to justify otherwise sound very hollow.

As for conflicts of interest: 2 of the main protaganists, Jamie Fuller and Paul Kimmage, are both in the midst of legal action with the UCI. How about that for a conflict of interest?

Who would you like to see there? This doesn't have to be the end of things. You make out like this is the only chance to voice opinions. I personally would like it if you were more constructive in your approach to this.

They have their reasons for inviting certain people, most of which appears to be that they want people who are passionate about cleaning up the sport. Note that the issue is that the UCI have marginalized these sorts of people and so they have decided to take things into their own hands. There are very few people that have tried to do this and have not come up against (or been attacked by) the UCI, so a conflict of interest is bound to arise. Underlying all this is the idea that people are here to change sport for the better, so I would imagine that they will try to set aside any vendettas. But if the UCI had worked with people in the first place I think we wouldn't be where we are now......!?

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1079 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:43

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To be fair, I don't think that anyone (least of all Lady Festina of Bexhill) actually says that festinagirl was invited to represent anything other than herself and her own toxic views. There is certainly no indication that she has been invited as a reasoned voice of the collective fanbase.

posted by pisserenden [3 posts]
30th November 2012 - 12:44

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Why do you all have a problem with pseudonyms... ?

Not everyone wants or is able to use their "real" name.

And given that people seem to be remarkably aggressive on these sorts of issues, I wouldn't want to make myself identifiable.

posted by hoski [62 posts]
30th November 2012 - 14:00

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hoski wrote:
Why do you all have a problem with pseudonyms... ?

Not everyone wants or is able to use their "real" name.

And given that people seem to be remarkably aggressive on these sorts of issues, I wouldn't want to make myself identifiable.

Particularly when accusing riders and teams of doping...no, certainly wouldnt want one's real name to be known then.

The aggressive response you see here is that of a number of cycling fans who are pretty disgusted with a certain section of primarily pseudonym tweeters and bloggers who are frequently spreading unfounded and baseless accusations, and who try to justify that by claiming that they're standing up for the future of cycling.

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
30th November 2012 - 14:57

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Sorry, but I have criticised Vaughters. I criticised JV for his idea of 'franchises' which I think would be terrible for the sport.

As to whether I like a particular individual or not. I have repeatedly said I like Bradley Wiggins, as an example. I interviewed him and found him to be nothing but charming. I said on this week's show that I thought he may be feeling trapped by the 'Wiggo' persona that seems to have been foisted upon him However, I still reserve the right to be critical of him or anyone else in the sport.

I've also said that Pat McQuaid would probably be great company; he just shouldn't be running the sport.

The Velocast is about comment and opinion and we make no bones about that. People agree with some bits, disagree with other bits and that's fine.

But I ask you again to read the home page of the website. I am trying to act with the best of intentions. Would you prefer I, or anyone else, did nothing? If you are happy with the way the sport is right now then that's fine too.

As to Paul and Jaimie's conflict of interests - and to an extent, the summit in general: this group is *discussing* change. None of them, as far as I have been told, see themselves as the next UCI President - and I would join you in criticising them if they did.

I could have refused to work with Jaimie and stuck to trying to organise a separate meeting. The criticism would then have been, "what, ANOTHER group?!". So I thought getting the idea that fans need to be listened to into any discussion would be better than nothing at all. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing at all. At least it's a start.

Scott.

posted by Velocast Scott [3 posts]
30th November 2012 - 15:08

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hoski wrote:
given that people seem to be remarkably aggressive on these sorts of issues, I wouldn't want to make myself identifiable.

Aggressive?

Really?

Has anyone threatened to go round to their house accompanied by some big blokes? I think not.

Some of us feel that, based on this person's tweets, 'festinagirl' may not be an appropriate choice of individual to attend a discussion of this subject at the highest level. That's an opinion, not a threat. Perhaps we will be proved wrong, I wouldn't have a problem with that, it would be a pleasant surprise.

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posted by Simon E [1906 posts]
30th November 2012 - 15:41

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Velocast Scott wrote:
Sorry, but I have criticised Vaughters. I criticised JV for his idea of 'franchises' which I think would be terrible for the sport.

As to whether I like a particular individual or not. I have repeatedly said I like Bradley Wiggins, as an example. I interviewed him and found him to be nothing but charming. I said on this week's show that I thought he may be feeling trapped by the 'Wiggo' persona that seems to have been foisted upon him However, I still reserve the right to be critical of him or anyone else in the sport.

I've also said that Pat McQuaid would probably be great company; he just shouldn't be running the sport.

The Velocast is about comment and opinion and we make no bones about that. People agree with some bits, disagree with other bits and that's fine.

But I ask you again to read the home page of the website. I am trying to act with the best of intentions. Would you prefer I, or anyone else, did nothing? If you are happy with the way the sport is right now then that's fine too.

As to Paul and Jaimie's conflict of interests - and to an extent, the summit in general: this group is *discussing* change. None of them, as far as I have been told, see themselves as the next UCI President - and I would join you in criticising them if they did.

I could have refused to work with Jaimie and stuck to trying to organise a separate meeting. The criticism would then have been, "what, ANOTHER group?!". So I thought getting the idea that fans need to be listened to into any discussion would be better than nothing at all. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing at all. At least it's a start.

Scott.

Firstly, thanks for responding Scott. You could easily have not bothered doing so, so an acknowledgement for doing that.

A couple of things that I would take up issue with in your response: when I refer to you now criticising JV, I mean in relation to conflict of interest. Now he part owns Slipstream as does Millar - a larger wedge in JV's case, I'm sure. But it cant be conflict of interest for one, and not the other.

Secondly, you respond to me citing your oft-referenced criticism - and more - of Wiggins. You find him charming - perhaps (to give just one example) you calling him a tosser on Twitter, might be a little misleading then?

Hey, there's no onus on liking him or his team but you do come across as carping on and on about them way beyond any other current pro team. There seems to be no balance. And after a while this just colours and detracts from other, more constructive comments that you have to make.

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
30th November 2012 - 17:13

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--

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
30th November 2012 - 17:14

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Yes, JV would have a conflict of interest if he ever decided he could be UCI President (that was my criticism of David Millar). As far as I know, Vaughters doesn't want that gig! You could argue that he is in "in politics" by the fact that he is President of the AIGCP. But that post has always been filled by a current DS, and I was told by JV that he doesn't agree with this. He's also stepping down from the role, as was detailed in the news recently.

As far Brad, I found him charming when I met him. At a later date I thought his actions and comments were unbecoming of - whether he likes it or not - an ambassador for the sport. Two weeks ago, while interviewing Rochelle Gilmore for the show, I praised him for supporting women's cycling, and last week I said I felt that, maybe, he was trapped by this "Wiggo" persona. You see, I choose not condemn out of hand or, indeed, deify anyone in the sport as living in extremis like that is.....well, just not right!

It's also worth pointing out that, as the Tour winning, season-dominating team that they've this year, Sky are the focus of a lot of people's attention. Maybe that you feel I've been carping on about Brad or Sky is just down to me believing they've been doing or saying a lot of really stupid things recently Wink

I guess what I'm saying is that there is balance; it's just forever shifting, self-correcting. Neither myself, nor John, are journalists. Given the absolute mess that journalism found itself in because of Armstrong, we really don't want to be journalists. I understand the need for that *kind* of balance. But I honestly don't feel it should come from us.

Cheers,

Scott.

P.S. Apologies to Neil. I never spotted your subsequent comment. Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

posted by Velocast Scott [3 posts]
30th November 2012 - 18:23

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I find this all terribly naive. For example, the UK has a representative, at an international level for cycling. He is called the elected president of British Cycling. Similar in 170 countries. I fail to see why a couple of jumped up unelected Twitter people espousing their own personal views, think they know better and should express those opinions internationally? Yes Scott, et al, I mean you. Go and support your local bike club. That is what they are there for. Change that first before you get above yourselves. BTW. cycling includes, MTB, BMX, TRACK, CX, Trials, Road, Indoor, Para and anyone who rides a bike. At amateur and Professional levels. So what is it exactly you want to change?
And for anyone who is desperate Festinagirl can be Googled. Beneath my dignity to expose her as I don't care. Unlike certain people in changecyclingnow who have done similar.

posted by philsinclair [11 posts]
30th November 2012 - 20:24

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What people have to understand is that Jaime Fuller has tried to create a forum for people to come together and " DISCUSS " their varying concerns regarding the place that " ROAD RACE CYCLING " currently finds itself !

This gathering will attract interest from Media and Fans of the Sport , but will not speak with ONE VOICE FOR ALL Stakeholders ! Had i lived near London i would certainly have wished to OBSERVE , perhaps offer an opinion or voice some concerns .

With 2 " Change.org Petitions " largely ignored by ALL & SUNDRY , i can say quite definitively , that the majority of Cycling Fans have NO INTEREST in a change of the " Status Quo "!
http://www.change.org/?fb_action_ids=4469444306142&fb_action_types=chang...
phat will be president in 2013 , re elected since there are so very few willing to put their shoulder to the wheel !

That Jaime & Jon V. and the other Attendees , give up some of their time to seek solutions to the quagmire that " UCI " has become should be applauded ! Think you have something to offer ? Sign on the petitions , no PC troops will break down your door ! Of course you could wander along and see if you could sit in as an observer ?

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [378 posts]
30th November 2012 - 22:26

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FARCEBOOK hijacked the link : Try this to sign on :
http://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/office-of-the-governor-general-of-au...

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [378 posts]
30th November 2012 - 22:39

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