UCI presidency: Greg LeMond says 'vote for Brian Cookson'; Pat McQuaid says 'vote for me'

Less than four weeks to go to vote that will determine who heads governing body for next 5 years

by Simon_MacMichael   September 1, 2013  

Greg LeMond at Change Cycling Now summit (credit Gerry McManus, Split Second Images)

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond is backing Brian Cookson’s bid for the UCI presidency. The news coincides with the revelation that the current president of world cycling’s governing body, Pat McQuaid, has written to the presidents of all member national federations to say why they should not vote for Cookson and instead elect him for a third term.

With the UCI presidential election now less than four weeks away, both men are continuing to campaign ahead of the vote to be held in Florence on 27 September, with McQuaid accusing Cookson, of wanting “a coronation not an election” after raising serious doubts over the validity of the incumbent president’s nomination.

Cookson, who has been criss-crossing the globe in an attempt to secure as many of the 42 votes that will cast in the secret ballot as he can, has also had his candidacy endorsed by Jean Pitallier, honorary president of the French national federation, the FFC.

Speaking at Eurobike, LeMond said: “I have met and spent some time discussing with Brian about where cycling lost its way, how it lost its way, and what to do to bring the sport back to where it is not only a sport that leads by example, but a sport that inspires people once again.
 


“I feel confident after meeting Brian that his interest is to bring honest and transparent leadership to a sport that so desperately needs it. My hope is Brian will be the one to bring all interested parties together to once and for all do what needed to be done years before, find solutions, both short term and long term, and to make it a priority that cycling comes first.
 


“The choice between Pat McQuaid and Brian Cookson is, I believe a clear one: only Brian can deliver the change cycling needs.”

LeMond himself was touted as a possible candidate for the UCU presidency following the Change Cycling Now summit in London last December.

The pressure group was set up in the wake of the publication of reasoned decision in the Lance Armstrong case by the United States Anti-Doping Agency USADA) by Jaimie Fuller, chairman of the compression clothing firm Skins, an outspoken critic of McQuaid’s leadership of the UCI.

In the letter sent to heads of the 175 national federations that belong to the UCI and from which the 42 voting delegates at the UCI Congress will be drawn, McQuaid takes direct aim at Fuller, accusing the Australian of pulling the strings on Cookson’s behalf.

Fuller, like McQuaid a resident of Switzerland, was among the parties that launched a legal challenge to the Irishman’s nomination by Swiss Cycling, withdrawn last month on the eve of an arbitration hearing scheduled to determine the issue.

The membership of Cycling Ireland had previously rejected nominating McQuaid for a third term, and he is now relying on nominations from the Thai and Moroccan federations, both of which he claims to be a member of.

McQuaid insists those nominations were both made ahead of the deadline of 29 June and that they are in line with the UCI constitution, a point he has been challenged on by Cookson and others.

Those nominations did not become public knowledge until almost a month after the deadline, and were revealed by the UCI in a press release that outlined a change to the UCI constitution proposed by the Malaysian national governing body with the support of the Asian confederation, which is openly supporting McQuaid.

The proposed amendment, to be voted on in Florence, would mean that a candidate for the UCI presidency could be nominated by any two national federations and, controversially, as framed it would apply retroactively.

That has led to McQuaid being accused of seeking to manipulate the election and subvert the democratic process. British Cycling has launched a legal challenge.

McQuaid’s letter, in which he insists he is operating within the electoral rules laid down in the UCI constitution, has been obtained by the website Inside The Games, and reads:

I am sure that you have read and observed the many media reports concerning the UCI elections... particularly the stories which relate to the election of the UCI President.

These news reports have left many within the cycling family questioning what is truly happening where I stand.

I would like to clarify my own position and, more importantly, to assure you that I will be standing for election for the position of UCI President, despite what you might be reading or hearing.

Events of recent weeks have left me seriously questioning whether Brian and his campaign supporters are trying to avoid an election by putting all their efforts into eliminating me from the race and so refusing Congress a choice between two candidates.

This was particuarly [sic] evident this week when Swiss Cycling, who had nominated me last May, made a last minute decision to withdraw my nomination following a legal challenge to that nomination which was orchestrated and bank-rolled by Australian businessman Jamie Fuller.

Mr. Fuller, who is the chairman of a global sportswear company, founded the Change Cycling Now pressure group and has a vested interest in the outcome of the election. He has publicly declared his support for Brian Cookson and his campaign.

Swiss Cycling's last-minute decision came in the face of mounting pressure from Mr. Fuller and his company whose actions threatened to condemn the Swiss Cycling Federation to financial ruin had it proceeded to an abritation [sic] hearing and lost.

Mr. Fuller was also a prime mover in a sustained campaign to ensure that Cycling Ireland did not maintain my nomination. I do not need to recount all of the events which occured from the time that the board of Cycling Ireland voted to support by nomination.

Mr. Fuller has made a number of statements to trumpet his success. The first even came almost a full day before Swiss Cycling offfically [sic] announced its decision. He was quoted in one interview as saying:

"You will find tomorrow that Cookson's phone will be ringing off the hook with people telling him: we really want to support you".

Commenting on the decision by Swiss Cycling he also said: 'Just remember, you not only have to drive the stake through the heart but cut off the head too".

To me this was a clear reference to his success in ensuring that Cycling Ireland, in the first instance, withdrew my nomination and that Swiss Cycling did likewise.

For his part, Brian Cookson is threatening an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if the election does not go his way and Congress vote to elect me as President.

"When the question of a possible appeal to CASwas put to him in a recent interview he stated: 'I think we at British Cycling have expended enough on lawyers for the time being but I wouldn't rule anything in or out.'

It is clear that Brian's [sic] wants a coronation and not and election. I am frankly astonished that he is already showing such disrespect for Congress and its right to chose and elect its President. There are others also who are motivated to ensure I do not stand for election and will stop at nothing to achieve their objectives.

I have respected and adhered to the UCI rules at all times while my opponent and his supporters have been content to mire the election in legal cases and legal argument in an attempt to discredit me and to overthrow me.

However I wish to assure those who support me that I will continue to defend my right to be a candidate, under the rules. I have worked very hard for our sport this past eight years as UCI President to bring the sport of cycling to new countries around the world so that they too can come to experience all that we love about the sport, and to combat doping.

My mission now is to complete my strategy to globalise cycling and to ensure that we continue to have a clean sport where riders can race and win clean and where they are never faced with having to make the same choices as past generations. We must never stop moving towards cycling's bright future.

22 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Surely he's squirrelled enough money away by now that he can do the only decent act remaining to him - piss off and not disgrace the sport any more.

posted by Nick T [871 posts]
1st September 2013 - 17:43

5 Likes

A few things I'd take from that.

1. Not taking anything away from Jamie Fuller but McQuaid is giving him far too much credit. I'd say Fuller had no bearing on Cycling Ireland overturning his nomination.

2. The typos in this press release/letter alone would indicate that either the UCI's PR department aren't on top of the detail or Pat is bypassing them and making it up as he goes along. Maybe both.

3. In contrast, Cookson's seems to have hired Alistair Campbell to run his press office.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [180 posts]
1st September 2013 - 17:43

5 Likes

I expect he's worried about being able to control what dead bodies might float up if he is not there to weight them down. Worried in a legal liability kind of way.

Charlie Horse

posted by ch [114 posts]
1st September 2013 - 18:15

4 Likes

so true...

flexcamp's picture

posted by flexcamp [19 posts]
1st September 2013 - 18:23

5 Likes

Pat isn't putting forward much of a case for people to vote for him in that letter. Just reads like a load of 'woe is me' moaning.

posted by dp24 [196 posts]
1st September 2013 - 18:24

8 Likes

The type-o thing is symptomatic of the man, his unilateral prouncements and lack of care. If I sent a letter like that to a client I'd be ashamed - let alone to 175 national federations! I don't see why Fuller had a vested interest in cleaning up cycling. An interest yes, but a reasonable hope from someone who clearly loves the sport. It's not like Skins will make more money with Cookson heading up the UCI or not. The constant references to 'cycling family' and globalisation of the sport say to me Pat is relying heavily on the african/asian vote. The make up of the final 42 delegated will be telling. Does anyone know how these 42 are nominated? Maybe Pat could change the rules so he can hand pick them himself?

arrieredupeleton

posted by arrieredupeleton [580 posts]
1st September 2013 - 18:53

9 Likes

I like the phrasing used 'overthrow' like the position is his by inherited or divine right. We just have to hope that the UCI delegates have enough backbone to see through this sad old excuse.

Rigobear's picture

posted by Rigobear [79 posts]
1st September 2013 - 20:23

7 Likes

arrieredupeleton wrote:
The make up of the final 42 delegated will be telling. Does anyone know how these 42 are nominated? Maybe Pat could change the rules so he can hand pick them himself?

Some Confederations have an election to choose delegates, some have them chosen by the Management Committee.
Latest odds:
Brian Cookson 1/12
Pat McQuaid 11/2
Courtesy of Paddypower.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
1st September 2013 - 20:29

6 Likes

I think we need to settle this in the only fair way: Cookson, McQuaid: Catford Hill Climb, Yorks Hill, 13th October.

Or Pat could just fuck off - which would be even better.

posted by SteppenHerring [245 posts]
1st September 2013 - 20:30

4 Likes

SteppenHerring wrote:
I think we need to settle this in the only fair way: Cookson, McQuaid: Catford Hill Climb, Yorks Hill, 13th October.

Or Pat could just fuck off - which would be even better.

He'll only try to pay a load of Malaysians to do the pedalling for him.

posted by Nick T [871 posts]
1st September 2013 - 21:14

7 Likes

Nick T wrote:
SteppenHerring wrote:
I think we need to settle this in the only fair way: Cookson, McQuaid: Catford Hill Climb, Yorks Hill, 13th October.

Or Pat could just fuck off - which would be even better.

He'll only try to pay a load of Malaysians to do the pedalling for him.

Either that or get them to reverse the course before his ride.

But Pat deciding to fuck off would be better for everyone.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2192 posts]
1st September 2013 - 22:23

4 Likes

is it true Mugabe is McQuaid's mentor?

posted by paulfg42 [384 posts]
1st September 2013 - 22:26

5 Likes

paulfg42 wrote:
is it true Mugabe is McQuaid's mentor?

Yeah, I think they got talking after that race in South Africa in '75. Y'know, "aren't cultural and sporting boycotts a pain the arse"...that kind of thing.

posted by Ad Hynkel [57 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 0:42

7 Likes

paulfg42 wrote:
is it true Mugabe is McQuaid's mentor?

Actually it is the reverse.

posted by zeb [47 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 6:50

7 Likes

...My mission now is to complete my strategy to globalise cycling ...

Does anyone know when exacty this mission began, or of any sort of roadmap for its completion during the next 5 years which he desperately needs for the strategy to succeed?

posted by Nick T [871 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 7:35

4 Likes

I'm so surprised that an enterprising investigative journalist hasn't exposed Pat and Hein already... that would be the coup de gras everyone is looking for...

benjam's picture

posted by benjam [21 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 9:52

5 Likes

Nick T wrote:

...My mission now is to complete my strategy to globalise cycling ...

Does anyone know when exacty this mission began, or of any sort of roadmap for its completion during the next 5 years which he desperately needs for the strategy to succeed?

Typical McQuaid, trying to claim the credit for something he's had no hand in.

Cycling has been 'globalise(d)'; a primary form of efficient non-pedestrian transport, for well over a hundred years, makes his 5 year plan totally irrelevant.

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [639 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 10:56

5 Likes

Where do I pick up my voters card?


I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1583 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 13:57

5 Likes

I'm confused.....i thought Boris was in charge?! Smile

ragtimecyclist's picture

posted by ragtimecyclist [142 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 14:02

5 Likes

ragtimecyclist wrote:
I'm confused.....i thought Boris was in charge?! Smile

Boris is only the Mayor of the UCI - it's largely a ceremonial role.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [180 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 16:20

4 Likes

my opponent and his supporters have been content to mire the election in legal cases and legal argument in an attempt to discredit me

How unfair, hiring lawyers in an attempt to discredit someone *cough*KIMMAGE*cough*.

posted by msw [126 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 17:23

5 Likes

So federations should vote for McQuaid why? Because Cookson is a naughty boy or at least knows a naughty boy?

Where are the cycling reasons to vote McQuaid back in? Why has he not pointed to his record so far...oh yes.

Keep attacking Cookson, McQuaid, it is your only chance.

posted by mattanthony [10 posts]
4th September 2013 - 22:19

5 Likes