NewsWire: McQuaid, the last king?; New track for Malaysia

Thomas de Gendt to lead Vacansoleil Vuelta squad; Malaysia looks to invest in velodrome; Pendleton ready to bust out the heels

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In our daily NewsWire, we bring you a collection of the intriguing stories from newspapers, journals and elsewhere around the world of competitive cycling. Pour your coffee, mute your phone and read on.

Pat McQuaid: The last king? — Bicycling

Bicycling columnist Joe Lindsey dissects the tussle between the UCI and USADA, and the role of the UCI’s president Pat McQuaid.

The back-and-forth between the anti-doping agency and cycling’s governing body has been enlightening, Lindsey argues, in that it has brought to light the inadequacies of UCI leadership.

“What it’s illuminated is that Pat McQuaid, the UCI president, is erratic, confused and in far over his head,” he writes. “And the revelation (or, for some, confirmation) of that couldn’t have come at a worse time for the UCI.”

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De Gendt to lead Vuelta squad — De Telegraaf

Giro d’Italia podium finisher Thomas de Gendt will lead his Vacansoleil-DCM squad at the upcoming Vuelta a España. He will be joined by fellow Dutchmen Wouter Mol, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Pim Ligthart, Rob Ruijgh and Martijn Keizer, as well as Uzbek Sergei Lagoetin, Pole Tomasz Marczynski and Spaniard Rafael Valls.

The team will be on the attack early, according to sport director Michael Cornelisse. “The ranking will probably be made quickly and that calms in the peloton. Escapes will also be more likely to succeed. We have a team that will benefit from that.”

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Spreading track fever: Malaysia looking to build world-class velodrome — New Strait Times

The international success of Malaysian sprinter Azizulhasni Awang, nicknamed “Pocket Rocket,” has excited the Malaysian people and spurred the government into drawing up plans for a world-class velodrome.

“The prime minister was very keen on the idea when I brought it up at a recent cabinet meeting,” youth and sports minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek told the New Straits Times. “And it’s something that we badly need.”

At the moment, the country’s top track cyclists train at a Melbourne, Australia, facility. Malaysia currently has two velodromes, but neither are up to the Olympic standard.

“If you look at the British experience, a lot of their success came after they built the Olympic-standard velodrome in Manchester,” the sports minister said. “Malaysia already has a lot of support for road cycling through events such as the Tour de Langkawi. It’s now time to boost track cycling as a sport.”

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No more tracksuits for Pendleton — The Sun

After adding gold and silver medals to her gold from Beijing this month, Victoria Pendleton is ready to put a stop to cycling and “feel a bit more feminine.”

“I haven’t worn a pair of heels in ages,” Pendleton said. “I’ve stockpiled loads of lovely shoes and most of them have only been worn inside so far. Now I can dress like a girl again instead of wearing a men’s tracksuit every day.”

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