Tracey Gaudry, chief executive officer of the Amy Gillett Foundation charity, has been unanimously elected as president of the Oceania Cycling Confederation for a four-year term. She will also become the first female member of the UCI’s Management Committee since Germany’s Sylvia Schenk, who served on it from 2000 to 2005.
The change in presidency at the regional federation followed a decision last week by the Guam Cycling Federation to change its vote from incumbent Mike Turtur, who also had the support of Fiji, and instead back Gaudry, whose candidacy was backed by Australia and New Zealand, an apparent vote of no confidence against the existing president.
Turtur, team pursuit gold medallist at Los Angeles in 1984 and a member of the UCI’s Track Cycling Commission, had been asked to stand aside by Cycling Australia as a result of a perceived conflict of interests between his presidency and his role as race director of the Santos Tour Down Under.
That in turn reflects heightened sensitivities over transparency at the national federation in the fallout of the Lance Armstrong scandal, which led to national men’s road co-ordinator and GreenEdge sports director Matt White losing both those roles after confessing to doping. Vice president Stephen Hodge also resigned after admitting using drugs during his racing career.
Until Guam changed its stance, it appeared that the Oceania Cycling Confederation might be heading towards crisis, with Turtur likely to remain in his post due to Fiji holding the casting vote, meaning the change in leadership desired by the region’s two major cycling powers would have been thwarted by the two smaller national federations.
Besides heading the Amy Gillett Foundation, set up to promote cycle safety in memory of the cyclist killed in Germany in 2005 when a newly qualified driver lost control of her car and ploughed into the 29-year-old and fellow members of the Australian squad, Gaudry has represented her country at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, is a director of AustCycle, and has served on Cycling Australia’s board.
“It’s a privilege and honour to be elected President of the Oceania Cycling Confederation, to represent the cycling communities of Oceania alongside a new Executive and carry responsibility for reform and progression to the UCI Management Committee,” said Gaudry in a statement.
“For me, cycling is a way of life and a great sport. I and the Oceania members believe now is the time to build upon what is already great about cycling and not allow history to dictate the future.
“I am motivated to ensure that cycling can capture the opportunity we have for greater grass-roots participation and competition in the Oceania region, and furthering efforts towards effective anti-doping reform and equity globally."
Klaus Mueller, president of Cycling Australia, welcomed Gaudry’s election, saying:
“Tracey is an outstanding person, with an impeccable cycling and professional record. She’s the perfect person to fight the challenges cycling is currently facing head on.
“Tracey’s a leader and she’ll make a significant contribution at Oceania and UCI levels to the betterment of cycling.”
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.