UCI president Pat McQuaid met with a delegation from the cycling teams association (AIGCP) on Thursday in Switzerland to discuss the race radio ban.
In a statement after the meeting McQuaid said he listened to the arguments from the delegation but that “the principle of progressively banning earpieces will go forward as planned.” He said he reasserted the UCI’s commitment to rider safety and agreed to continue to evaluate the ban. The riders’ association and many individual riders have said the ban makes racing less safe. The UCI’s position is that the radios lead to predictable racing tactics.
The AIGCP delegation included Saxo Bank-Sungard chief Bjarne Riss, Rabobank director Harold Knebel, and Quick Step director Patrick Lefevre. AIGCP president Jonathan Vaughters told VeloNews he would comment after discussing the meeting with the delegation.
“I am meeting with the delegates tonight to discuss what resolutions were had with the UCI,” Vaughters said. “Since the meeting ended just an hour ago, the AIGCP won’t have a press release until our full board of directors has agreed on one. This takes a bit of time, as we will make sure any public statement represents the majority of our members. We will continue to operate on a democratic basis.”
McQuaid said the meeting “took place in a calm and constructive atmosphere.”
In his statement also took issue with recent statements by AIGCP officials who complained that they do not have a sufficient voice in management of the sport.
“Recent claims made by the AIGCP regarding representation within the cycling family are not at all justified,” McQuaid said. “Two elected members of this association sit on the Professional Cycling Council (PCC), whose mission is to discuss all the problems facing the professional sector, including the above, as well as propose better strategies and procedures to help resolve them.”
Vaughters told VeloNews that such “advisory” positions are inadequate representation. “I am one of those reps (on the PCC). As the UCI states, the PCCs job is to discuss legislation and rules for professional cycling. However, the rule concerning radios was never discussed nor voted on by the PCC. And, as the UCI makes clear, discussion is the only power the PCC has. It does not have voting power in regards to new rules, which is why the AIGCP commented earlier saying that teams and riders have no vote in the rules that govern professional cycling. At this time, we only have the ability to discuss, not vote.”