The International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) will need a new president as of March 2013 after Jonathan Vaughters confirmed that he would not stand for re-election once his current term expires.
Vaughters was elected to the post in 2009, succeeding Patrick Lefevere and a shorter stint of leadership from Eric Boyer. However Vaughters, who will chair his last meeting as the head of the AIGCP on October 23 has chosen to focus on the running of his Garmin-Sharp team and the commencement of his executive MBA programme at Denver University.
Vaughters’s tenure as president has seen the AIGCP fight on a number of issues from rider pay, race radios and revenue sharing between the UCI, race organisers and the teams.
In 2009 the AIJCP was falling apart. A number of teams had left to the association after a failed boycott at the 2008 edition of Paris-Nice. The lack of subsequent team unity opened the doors to a flood of judgements and rule changes with no checks or voice from the riders or teams. The ASO and the UCI signed an agreement regarding invitations of WorldTour for the world's biggest races, while race radio usage was voted on during the 2009 Worlds, again with no say from the peloton.
"When I started the AIGCP was being dissolved," Vaughters told Cyclingnews.
"Less than half the teams were members at that time, many has walked out through frustration. It was a dysfunctional organisation. Since then we’ve got all the major teams back into the AIGCP, we’ve had a functional board of directors and the issues we’ve pushed forward in cycling such as the radio use, worked. The unity of teams put the rights of the teams first."
That unity collaborated to full effect earlier this year when the AIGCP unanimously agreed that its members have no confidence in the current leadership of cycling's governing body. Since then the waters have cooled with the UCI beginning to embrace a number of recommendations such as a minimum wage and potential revenue sharing.
"Back in 2008 when I started, the AIGCP was no longer formerly recognised by the UCI. We are now recognised. I don’t know how much the UCI likes us but there’s been a lot of changes. The biggest one to come."
Despite progress, Vaughters recognises that essential work needs to be done if riders and teams are to have a sustained voice in professional cycling. Under the current structure of the sport athletes have no direct representative on the UCI’s management committee, although they do have two seats on the Pro Cycling Council.
"For the AIGCP to be successful going forward there has to be greater infrastructure than there currently is," Vaughters added, before recommending that his successor does not come from the ranks of team managers.
Vaughters believes that his move away from the AIGCP will not dissolve his overall involvement in the sport. Aside from telling Cyclingnews that he will not miss being a political target due to his role as president, the former rider argues that his MBA program will offer him an opportunity to view the sport from a different perspective and ultimately provide him with an education to help cycling.
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