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McQuaid proposes reshaping teams to increase staff, cap race days

UCI president is pushing a new proposal to reshape how professional road teams are managed

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Facing a controversial reelection vote later this month, UCI president Pat McQuaid has proposed a restructuring for professional road teams. McQuaid announced the policy proposals in a press release on Wednesday and said that the changes were aimed at “ensuring that teams are no long structured on the historic model that left riders without adequate mentoring, support, and supervision.”

McQuaid announced his plans via a personal press officer, but multiple sources have confirmed that the ideas described in the proposal originated with the UCI’s stakeholder process in late 2012 and early 2013. President of the teams’ association, the AIGCP, Luuc Eisenga responded to news of the proposal on Twitter, writing, “@velonews this is the proposal of the stakeholders meetings and following a study that the university of lausanne did with the teams…”

McQuaid’s statement failed to mention the stakeholder process or the origin of the proposal. His plan will require team staff to earn a skills certification and will set a ratio of seven riders per doctor, coach, and director. The Irishman acknowledged that this may require a contraction in team size.

“Today’s riders should never be faced with having to make the same choices as previous generations,” McQuaid in the press release, alluding to doping. “Today’s teams and those of the future must be built upon a model where riders are placed at the center of the organization, where their performance is monitored and underpinned through collaboration with a multi-disciplinary scientific team.”

In the UCI stakeholder report, published May 22, 2013, Deloitte LLP recommended the UCI increase regulation on team doctors: “Teams may employ only pre-approved team doctors who should be appropriately certified by the CADF.”

Other components of McQuaid’s proposal include capping riders’ annual race days at 80 and a new revenue-sharing arrangement between organizers and teams.

In the stakeholder report, Deloitte recommended that revenue sharing be explored to increase stability at the top level of the sport: “We believe that the basis for improving the financial stability of professional cycling, is to establish a successful competition structure. If the fundamentals are right, teams, riders and organizers will have the best opportunity to share in increased revenues.”

McQuaid said he planned to work with the teams to develop the new policy.

The president of cycling’s world governing body is locked with challenger Brian Cookson in a contentious election campaign for the UCI’s top post. A number of detractors have challenged the legitimacy of McQuaid’s candidacy after the federations in his home country of Ireland and adopted home of Switzerland refused to back his run for the seat.

The UCI Congress will elect the governing body’s next president at the world road championships on September 27 in Florence, Italy.

Both candidates are slated to appear in Zurich this Sunday in front of an Exceptional General Assembly of the European Cycling Union, where they will each present their platforms for the 14 European delegates.

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.