Verbruggen candidate for UCI presidency again

UCI received candidacy two months ago without going public

By Hedwig Kröner

The current president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Hein Verbruggen, is running for the presidency again. After several months of turmoil surrounding the upcoming elections, where former president of the German cycling federation Sylvia Schenk filed complaints with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Ethics Commission, this comes as a surprise to those who thought Verbruggen's favourite candidate, Irishman Pat McQuaid, would surely win the electoral run in front of his two rivals, Malay Darshan Singh and Spaniard Gregorio Moreno.

As was revealed by Dutch media, Verbruggen wrote a confidential letter to the presidents of the five Continental Federations on July 29, where he announced his candidacy, which was initially filed with the UCI as far back as June 25. Following this move, the Spanish Cycling Federation has filed a new complaint with the Ethical Commission of the IOC, as well as with the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as this served as another proof of the unfair and undemocratic electoral process, according to Gregorio Moreno. The organiser of the Vuelta a Burgos counts on the support of his national federation as well as the Vuelta a España, Unipublic, and is therefore also linked to French Tour de France organiser ASO and Italy's Giro d'Italia management RCS.

This seems to be the most important reason for Verbruggen's fourth run for president, as the Dutchman wasn't sure enough of McQuaid's firmness in the process. "There were three candidates instead of one," Verbruggen wrote in the letter to the federation presidents on July 29, 2005. "In the last three remaining months until the election, there is a risk that McQuaid could opt out of the electoral process (because of misfortune or personal matters). That would leave two other candidates which I do not consider having the authority for this function. Under these circumstances, and after consideration with the Dutch Cycling Federation, I have decided at the very last moment to become a candidate. Chairman J. Atsma and vice-Chairman P. Zevenbergen were both addressed in this matter. On Saturday, June 25, the UCI received my application."

Pieter Zevenbergen, member of the UCI Management Committee and president of the UCI Ethics Commission, therefore knew of Verbruggen's renewed bid for his function as head of the UCI when he hosted the meeting of the Ethics Commission on Friday, August 19. "At the sitting," Schenk said yesterday, "Chairman Zevenbergen said nothing about the so-called fourth candidate. How can we trust a Commission which conceals that sort of important information on purpose?"

Verbruggen, meanwhile, does not intend running against Pat McQuaid in the electoral process. Oddly enough, he continued the letter to the federation presidents by saying, "If the election turns out in the way that I hope, we will have three eligible candidates on September 23. I have great trust in who will win in that case. If McQuaid is not able to run for the election, then I will engage in the fight with the two other candidates on behalf of the UCI."

As for Pat McQuaid, he was quoted by German website on Wednesday Radsportnews as saying, "I will pursue my candidacy unless Hein Verbruggen runs for office again."

Cyclingnews coverage of the UCI elections

September 24 - Spain's perspective on UCI election result
September 24 - Darshan Singh retires
September 23 - A wonderful moment for McQuaid
September 23 - McQuaid wins UCI presidential election
September 22 - IOC rejects complaints; Election to go ahead as planned
September 21 - World's opens, Spanish federation explains
September 20 - UCI committee exits Madrid
September 18 - Conflict between Schenk and UCI goes on
September 15 - Moreno not a Grand Tour stooge
September 8 - Baguet explains, Singh files third complaint
September 6 - McQuaid still UCI choice
September 3 - Verbruggen candidate for UCI presidency again
August 31 - Verbruggen nominated for UCI president
August 25 - UCI Ethics Commission meets
August 17 - Darshan Singh protests against UCI elections
Interview with Pat McQuaid: Next in line? Part II
Interview with Sylvia Schenk: Continuing her quest for Law & Order. Part II
August 6 - Moreno aims for presidency role
July 31 - UCI attacks Sylvia Schenk
Interview with Pat McQuaid: ProTour & Phonak, New teams & the UCI succession. Part II

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