Pat McQuaid has started his campaign to be re-elected as president of the International Cycling Union, issuing his campaign manifesto “A Bright Future for a Changed Sport.” His major points include maintaining a clean sport, the further development of women's cycling and increasing the globalization of the sport.
McQuaid is hoping to be elected for a third term, having served since 2005. He is opposed by Briton Brian Cookson, who last month issued his own manifesto.
“I am delighted to launch my re-election campaign and to present my vision for cycling’s future to the cycling family whose support over the past eight years has enabled me to transform our sport,” said McQuaid in a press release issued Monday morning.
“Cycling has changed since I was first elected as UCI President in 2005. It is now a global sport. It is now possible to race and win clean. We have travelled a great distance together and we must never turn back from cycling’s bright future.”
His four priorities are:
· “To preserve the new culture and era of clean cycling
· To ensure equality in cycling through the development of women’s cycling
· To modernise the way that cycling is presented as a global sport
· To foster the global development of cycling”
He took credit for cleaning up cycling, saying he “introduced the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport to cycling. Our sport is leading the way and I am proud that other sports are following in its footsteps.”
Under his plan, the UCI's anti-doping foundation would become more independent, the WorldTour team's financial contributions would be increased and there would be “an independent audit of the UCI’s actions during the years when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France.”
Women's cycling has also come in for attention. “I will bring a new focus to the development of women’s cycling. It is not acceptable that women in cycling do not receive the same pay, prize money and conditions as men. It is past time for this inequality to be brought to an end,” he said.
He would separate women's cycling from the UCI Road Commission and establish “an independent UCI Women’s Commission with responsibility for developing all disciplines of women’s cycling.”
McQuaid emphasized that he would oppose any rival cycling organisations. “The greatest cycling races on the global stage have been fought out in Europe for generations. Their place on the cycling calendar should never be sidelined or replaced by a so called ‘Champions League of Cycling’ which does nothing to promote the global development of our sport.”
Further, he said that would work to modernize the sport by re-organising the race calendar, reforming the points system and by “introducing cameras on bikes and helmets, introducing GPS rider tracking and communicating real time data for race fans.”
UCI Presidential Candidate Brian Cookson responded to McQuaid's re-election manifesto by issuing an official statement: "Pat has been President of the UCI for two terms. While his Manifesto outlines what he believes still needs to be done for the UCI, I think that many people will judge him on his record, and ask why those things haven't been done in the last eight years. Unfortunately under his Presidency far too much energy and resource have been devoted to destructive feuding and conflict rather than grabbing hold of the issues, listening to the right people and delivering solutions."
"In his Manifesto he talks about the UCI Stakeholders Consultation but I think he fails to address the number one critical recommendation - that the UCI 'must take the steps necessary to restore cycling’s and its own credibility, in particular in relation to the public perception of cycling’s anti-doping measures and current UCI leadership'. It is my belief and that of many others that we need a complete change of leadership in order to successfully achieve this."