The UCI has appointed a former journalist as an external PR consultant. Ian McClure of McClure Media & PR is based in Dublin and specialises in cycling. Last year the UCI had an external PR contract with InMotion Marcom of Germany, much closer to the UCI's HQ in Aigle, Switzerland. InMotion was not retained in part because it invited BikeBiz, and other trade media, into the UCI's HQ for a meeting where UCI president Pat McQuaid said $5000 carbon frame road bikes were made in China for $30. InMotion Marcom did the PR for the UCI homologation program only.
Cyclingnews.com reports that McClure, a former journalist, began working with the UCI eight months ago.
"I was brought in as a PR advisor and to assist and advise the UCI on its communications. I have a background in cycling and understand the sport very well,” McClure told Cyclingnews.
McClure has been journalist for 22 years. He has also done PR work for the Irish government and the Irish Sports Federation.
Advising the UCI on how to handle the media will be a challenging role. UCI president Pat McQuaid is not a natural born diplomat and his gaffes are legendary.
In the video below Pat McQuaid can be seen making his claims that $5000 road bikes are made in China for $30 or $40, and may not be as safe as steel bikes of old.
He also said the media tour was arranged to put the UCI's case on the controversial homologation programme. McQuaid said the UCI was a "convenient punch bag" for its many critics.