UCI to invite fans to stakeholder exercise

The UCI today revealed some of the details of its “A Bright Future for Cycling” exercise, which is designed to gather input from all of cycling’s stakeholders, including fans, using a “specifically designed online consultation survey”.

The survey is set to take place from February 21 to March 15.

The poll will gather input from riders, teams, race organisers, sponsors, sport institutions, media and fans from around the world, according to a UCI press release, on four main themes: globalisation, anti-doping, the cycling calendar and riders. “A fifth subject – that of the governance of cycling – will be a ‘red thread’ running through each of the four major themes,” the UCI stated.

The stakeholder exercise was prompted by two forces: first, the push by some teams to form a ‘breakaway league’ separate from the UCI, and a more recent reform proposal from Omega Pharma-Quick Step team owner Zdenek Bakala and second: the harsh criticism of the UCI’s governance which stemmed from the USADA investigation of Lance Armstrong and doping in the peloton.

The deeply damaging scandal has put cycling in the brightest spotlight of the mainstream media, leading some to suspect the sport could be dropped from the Olympic Games programme.

UCI President Pat McQuaid is seeking to reverse the negative image of cycling through this stakeholder survey. “We saw last year in the Olympic Games that cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports, both for participants and spectators. The aim of this consultation is for the UCI to listen to stakeholders’ views so they can help to shape cycling’s bright future by making it an even more popular sport.”

Four working groups will be assembled in March to discuss the key themes in line with the online survey. The groups will be “composed of appropriate experts from cycling’s different stakeholder groups”, according to the UCI’s press release, and will be managed by Deloitte, a professional services firm which will then report the findings to the UCI’s Management Board and help the UCI decide which changes to implement.

“I very much look forward to hearing the views of all cycling’s stakeholders in this unprecedented exercise for our sport. I strongly believe that our stakeholders will be keen to assist the UCI in giving cycling new momentum and ensure that our sport has the wonderful future that it deserves,” McQuaid concluded.

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