UCI president Pat McQuaid is acting unilaterally in forcing through the race radio ban in spite of opposition not only from within the peloton but also his own organisation, HTC-Highroad Sport Director Rolf Aldag said. He accused McQuaid of unfairly exercising his power and acting like the “king of the castle”.
“There is more than one functionary in the UCI who has been convinced by the teams' arguments, but McQuaid acts like the 'king of the castle.' With him it is clearly a question of power. There is no democracy to be found there,” Aldag told Radsport-news.com
How the conflict over the ban will be resolved is “fully open”. The teams have threatened to boycott the Tour of Beijing in October, and Aldag explained why that race was chosen. “Other than the world championships, that is the only race the UCI organise themselves, so that they can profit financially.”
“Why should we punish organisers in Cologne, Frankfurt, or wherever, who can't do anything about the situation, and who would also be threatened by the UCI with the cancellation of their race if the riders ride with radios.”
As to why he finds race radios so important, Aldag said, “it deals with the riders' safety, but also for the thinking of team sport. How will the best one win, when he stands on the side of the road with a puncture and can't tell his team?”
He added, “We have had radios for 15 years, and suddenly the UCI gets the idea of banning them. Did they need 14 years for analysis?”
The larger question is not just about the radios though, but about the UCI's consideration of the teams' and riders' interests, Aldag said. “We had 0.0 per cent involvement in the composition of the race calendar and the approval of ProTeams, with the UCI making all the decisions without the teams and the riders.”