UCI execs leave Madrid after Spanish spanner thrown in electoral works - BikeBiz

UCI execs leave Madrid after Spanish spanner thrown in electoral works

Following a court injunction attempting to bar UCI head Hein Verbruggen from chairing the UCI's presidential elections at the Madrid world road championships, most of the UCI top command have left Spain. The injunction was lodged by the Spanish cycle federation, angry at what it believes is a rigged election, with only Verbruggen's candidate - Pat McQuaid - given official backing.
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According to a French language release posted on the UCI website late on Monday evening, most of the UCI's executive committee left Madrid "prematurely" after legal action to block president Hein Verbruggen from chairing the UCI elections.

Spain's Gregorio Moreno is one of the candidates in the election, an election marred by spats between the candidates and allegations of impropriety from former members of the UCI's inner circle.

UCI members were said to be "profoundly indignant at the hostility manifested for several months toward the UCI by the Spanish federation."

"The outrageous behaviour of the (Spanish federation) is inexplicable and incomprehensible on the part of the world championship host federation. With this attitude, this national federation seems clearly to have as a sole goal to destabilize UCI on the eve of its annual congress."

The UCI said none of its top representatives would attend the opening ceremony of the road cycling world championships. A statement from the UCI said the executive body would meet in emergency session in Geneva on Tuesday.

The Spanish cycle federation - RFEC - had filed a request with a Swiss civil court to have Verbruggen replaced as chair of the UCI congress which oversees the election, scheduled for Friday.

On its website, the Spanish cycle federation said the court action was "motivated by more than reasonable indications of manipulation of the electoral process by the current president of the UCI...and by a well-founded fear that the vote could be influenced by the presence of Mr. Verbruggen."

"The only objective of the RFEC in pursuing this procedure is to obtain a guarantee that the election of a president is held along principles of equality, transparency and freedom."

The UCI said it "condemns the unacceptable attitude of the RFEC which constitutes a serious insult to its foreign guests and undermines the tradition of hospitality in this country."

The Aigle-based world governing body believes many in the world of cycling are out to get it. Last week the UCI said it was subject to a "witch hunt".

"For several months the [UCI] has been subjected to repeated, and apparently systematically organised, attacks."

Because news websites such as BikeBiz.com, Velonews.com and Cyclingnews.com (and CNN.com, BBC.co.uk etc etc) have covered the turmoil within and without the UCI, they come in for criticism from the UCI.

'Ill-intentioned individuals" said the UCI are "conducting a genuine campaign to destabilise the UCI by skilfully exploiting the grandstand willingly offered by certain press organisations, clearly more interested in sensation than the truth."

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