Pat McQuaid and the UCI presidency

The UCI presidency elections will be here in September and there’s been some uncertainty about whether Pat McQuaid will be eligible for another term at the helm, given he hasn’t been nominated by a federation.

But in a bizarre turn of events the Malaysian federation has proposed a change to the UCI constitution to allow a candidate to be nominated by any two federations.

Worldchampionships  road men elite  - 2012

While the change is still to be voted on, if it is passed it will be backdated, allowing the possibility of McQuaid’s nomination for the September elections even though the cutoff date was June 29.

In the meantime, the Moroccan and Thai cycling federations have announced that McQuaid is now a member and that they will support his bid for the presidency.

To read more about this bizarre story, check out this great piece by Shane Stokes over at VeloNation.

O’Grady case shows why an amnesty would never work

Much has been written in the past week about Stuart O’Grady’s indiscretions and what effect they have on our perception of the South Australian’s long career.

In a piece published yesterday evening at SBS’s Cycling Central Alex Hinds delves into the issue and considers the state of professional cycling in light of the O’Grady confession. To quote:

As The Advertiser’s Reece Homfray wrote, O’Grady’s indiscretion “must not define him as a person”. And it won’t. But it’s immaterial to his legacy as an athlete. Nice guys, it seems, dope too.

That’s not what’s most disappointing. What’s most disappointing is the state of our sport, a sport which has undergone radical change in the past decade and yet one that in so many ways is still the same. Chris Froome was dogged by questions at this year’s Tour de France because of those that have ridden before him, not because of what he has done.

That’s a tragedy. Our faith, if you can call it that, in cycling’s sporting performances is so shallow that even the most well-tested teams and riders, even the most transparent processes, cannot convince us.

Click here to read the full article at Cycling Central.

”Why we sponsor a cycling team”

Saxo Bank has been the major sponsor of a professional cycling team since 2008 and in that time the team has attracted some of the biggest names in the cycling world, not least Alberto Contador.

Tour de France 2013 - Stage 14 - 191KM - Saint Pourcain Sur Sioule to Lyon

Writing for tradingfloor.com, Saxo Bank founder and CEO Lars Seier Christensen outlines five reasons why his company sponsors a professional cycling team and what the company gets out of it.

It’s an interesting read that provides a rare perspective on the commercial side of the sport and a reminder that there’s far more to professional cycling than a bunch of guys racing bikes.

Click here to read the full article.

Laura Trott questions need for a women’s Tour de France

The petition to include a women’s peloton in the Tour de France has amassed more than 84,000 signatures but dual Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott has suggested that attention needs to be focused elsewhere in the development of women’s cycling.

“I would rather see the current women’s road racing on the telly first. I like that the British nationals were televised and I think that is a great starting point. I think if we can get that for races like the women’s Giro, that that is a great start.”

Click here to read more at Total Women’s Cycling.

Dopers should face lifetime bans and criminal charges: Kittel

In the fallout from Eric Zabel’s confession to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, Marcel Kittel has made his views about doping known to German newspaper Die Welt.

Kittel has called for “an anti-doping law in Germany so that doped athletes can also be pursued criminally. Drug abuse should be a crime that must be punished hard.”

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Kittel was asked how clean he thought cycling is in 2013.

“I can not see inside [the head of] every rider,” he said. “I can only speak for myself and the people who ride with me in a team. Our philosophy is clear: we want to do cycling clean. I think many other teams have also realized that this is the only right way.”

“It is also clear that there are certainly still riders who take a shortcut”, Kittel continued. “Therefore, it is very, very important to continue to tighten the controls and that they are consistently upheld.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

United Healthcare launches women’s team

The company behind the UnitedHealthcare men’s ProConti team, Momentum Sports Group, announced overnight that it will be sponsoring and equivalent women’s team in 2014.

Momentum Sports Group general manager Mike Tamayo said of the announcement:

“It’s good for the sport. A team like ours, with a decent budget – we take care of our men really well – if we take care of a women’s team, manage it properly and bring that group of 10 or 12 women to a more professional level, that’s good for the sport.”

“If that motivates other Pro Continental teams or WorldTour teams to find 10-12 women and help them to be more professional, that continues to grow the sport. That’s what needs to happen.”

The UnitedHealthcare women’s team will focus mainly on the US domestic circuit but will also race in a handful of international events.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Zabel resigns from UCI Professional Cycling Council

In the wake of admitting to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, Erik Zabel has resigned from his position as a member of the UCI’s Professional Cycling Council.

Cor Vos Archives

In a short statement a UCI spokesperson said:

“He [Zabel] contacted the UCI President earlier today to offer his resignation and to further express his ‘deep regret for having lied for so long about taking performance enhancing substances’. Erik Zabel said that cycling is now in a cleaner era, however he is no longer the right person to be a part of the Professional Cycling Council.”

Zabel admitted to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung over the weekend that he took EPO, cortisone and underwent blood transfusions throughout most of his professional cycling career.

Click here to read more.

Tom Boonen to miss Tour of Denmark

Tom Boonen certainly hasn’t had the best season in his illustrious career and the bad luck is set to continue with the Belgian set to miss the Tour of Denmark due to a saddle sore.

110th Paris Roubaix Cycling Race

The six-day tour kicks off tomorrow with a 180km stage from Silkeborg to Varde and Boonen’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad will be headlined by Mark Cavendish.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Les Alpes: 666km non-stop, with 16,000m of climbing

On August 5, former Cannondale staffer Mike Cotty will set off on a 36-hour ride that’s as long and features as much climbing as four consecutive mountain stages of the Tour de France. The ride features 17 of France’s most famous cols and nearly as much climbing as two ascents of Mt. Everest.

Check out this teaser video:

To learn more about Cotty’s journey, check out his website here and this article at road.cc.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:


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