Liggett lays into UCI's kilo cull - BikeBiz

Liggett lays into UCI's kilo cull

The 'voice of cycling', currently commentating on the Tour de France for OLN and ITV2, devotes half of his monthly column in the August issue of Cycling Plus to the Olympic event deletions by the Union Cycliste Internationale. Phil Liggett welcomes the inclusion of BMX into the Olympics but calls the UCI top brass "arrogant" and undemocratic for mishandling the discipline's admission.
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A petition aimed at making the UCI see sense was signed by 10 679 people in just over a week. Daily websites have had their digs at the UCI's. Weekly cycling magazines have also covered the issue, and now it's the turn of monthly cycle magazines.

Phil Liggett, president of the CTC, used most of his monthly page in Cycling Plus to remind readers how much of a loss the kilo will be and how the UCI is able to ride roughshod over the views of national cycle federations and cyclesport fans.

"No one who has worked with or close to the Union Cycliste Internationale will ever defend it as a democratic body," wrote Liggett.

"But its show of arrogane and contempt for its members hit a new low in June when, against the majority wishes of its member federations, it swept the Kilometre and 500 metres track races for men and women out of the Olympic Games.

"I would like to think that by the time these words appear on the shelves, the UCI will, for once, have accepted an error in its ways and have recommended another solution to the International Olympic Committee, while still making way for BMX at the next Olympics."

The UCI has made no such about turn. Pat McQuaid, the UCI's president elect, told BikeBiz.com at a meeting at the organisation's HQ in Switzerland there was zero hope for a compromise solution.

The UCI is not an organisation that bends to the popular will. In fact, it seems to relish picking fights and throwing its weight around. It's currently embroiled in a bitter dispute with the three major road cycle tours, including the Tour de France. UCI president Hein Verbruggen issued ultimatums to the three tours, threatening exclusion from the UCI's new ProTour series.

Liggett is no fan of the UCI's modus operandi.

In his column, he said:

"Top medal-winning countries like Great Britain, France and Australia all submitted well-argued reports when asked to comment on the UCI's intentions. None of these protests seem to have been heard by the arrogant people of the UCI."

Referring to the petition he signed, Liggett said:

"A petition signed by more than 10 000, from ministers and broadcasters to riders and spectators, has been presented at the UCI's Swiss headquarters but...it will have already been assigned a prominent prosition in the poubelle [bin].

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