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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
See how nearly every bicycle saddle is made
Ever wonder how FSA does it? Take a walk through the factory and find out
Classic Colnago steel frame with gorgeous pantographed Campagnolo components
Stefano Feltrin, Andre Tchmil and Oleg Tinkov (l-r) at the Katusha team launch
Former Katusha manager promises to be a "transparent and independent" President
Andrei Tchmil has confirmed he will stand for President of the European Union of Cycling on March 3, revealing a detailed programme of electoral promises that include a new model of cooperation between the UEC, National Federations and the UCI, projects to increase the prestige of the existing European events and a new approach to sport ethics.
The EUC is a continental confederation and represents 48 different countries and organises European championships. France's David Lappartient is the only other current candidate for the role of President of the European Cycling Union (UEC).
In a long list of proposal and ideas, Tchmil suggests creating a season-long European Challenge Cup trophy to increase the prestige of European races that were not included in the World Tour Calendar and a new 2.2 category Europe Tour stage race in 2015. He also proposes the creation of a European biological ID for young riders, which will operate until a rider becomes part of the UCI biological passport programme. There is no explanation how the system would work or how it would be funded.
Tchmil is expected to work closely with Russian Oligarch Igor Makarov – the head of the Russian Global Cycling project and the Katusha team. Makarov was nominated as the EUC's representative to the UCI in 2011 after his Itera company sponsored he EUC. He now sits on the influential UCI Management Committee.
Tchmil raced a professional between 1989 and 2002, winning Paris-Roubaix in 1994 and Milano-Sanremo in 1999. He was the head of the troubled Katusha team until September 2011. He is a former minister of sport for Moldova and could go on to challenge for the role of President of the UCI, possibly as soon as this September, when elections take place during the Florence world championships.
"Europe is very diverse, and the head of UEC must be familiar with problems and specifics of various European countries. I was born in Eastern Europe, lived most of my life in Western Europe; my track record ranges from a successful professional cyclist, head of the government sport body, to President of a team and a National Federation," Tchmil writes in the document he presented to the second meeting of the Central and Eastern European Initiative for reform of cycling in Europe (CEEI) held on Moldova.
"I understand equally well the problems of both Western and Eastern large and small National Federations. I have relevant experience and I have proved more than once in the past that I am open for dialogue and I am able to create a dedicated strong team. I am elected President of the UEC, I will dedicate 24 hours every day of the week to this work."
Tchmil promises a dynamic and modern re-launch of cycling in Europe, promising for the first time "a candidature that is transparent and independent."