Pat McQuaid’s New Career

Nobody’s seen him for a while, it looks like he’s chosen a completely new career path & is moving into acting, according to sources close to a confectionary salesman. The photo above was reputedly taken at a casting interview for the new Star Trek movie, where McQuaid is reported to be applying for the part of a Vulcan communications officer. Live long & prosper Pat, you gave us all a good few laughs if nothing else.

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Brian-Storm II

In June I wrote Brian-Storm, it’s now seriously out of date, so here’s my thoughts on the current situation, without going into too much detail.

*See update at bottom of post, my opinion may be changing.

Brian Cookson is under severe pressure to come up with ideas to reform cycling in all areas, women’s cycling, mountain biking, anti-doping, pro cycling. But are we trying to ask too much from him, before he’s got anywhere near being the presidential suite in Aigle?


If we look back to what happened at the BCF many years ago, which emerged from the flames as British Cycling after the chaos that erupted from Tony Doyle ‘blowing the bloody doors off’ debacle, legal threats in both directions, litigation etc. We emerged from that with a completely different organisation, Cookson wasn’t an instigator in the initial clean-up, but he became the administrator of it in his long  tenure as BC president, he found ways to help the change take place.

From what I can see, Cookson isn’t perhaps the ideas man that he currently being pressured to be, he’s likely a very good administrator & talent spotter. This is why I’d like to see him as president of the UCI, it’s obvious that we have little or no choice on the matter now, with the Pat V Brian thing, but without the emergence of a charismatic Spanish or Italian nominee, we are left with an election of (possibly) two potential Presidents, they are chalk & cheese. I think Brian can provide us with a solution for the current time period, a catalyst for huge change within the UCI, similar to that he oversaw during the metamorphosis of British Cycling, from small time minority sports federation, to a world leading model in a successful & professional sports body.

I’ve had occasional chats to Cookson, nothing mind-blowing in those chats, but as everybody says, you can tell he’s an honest man, somebody with integrity, as far as you can gauge from a brief chat. But the overall impression is that you get what you see. This is perhaps Brian’s biggest skill, he’s comfortable speaking to people, which afterwards you realised that he asked you some probing questions, which you realised you answered in a matter of fact manner. I’m assuming that he operates in this manner in more important matters on an international level, gathering information & choosing which questions need answered. Perhaps this is how he’s managed to employ the people with the ideas that have moved the sport in the UK forward, he can identify what’s needed, seek out the people with the ideas required to change an organisation, then recruit them & utilise their skills & ideas to help move things forward.

Anybody but Pat!

It’s often seen as a case of anybody but Pat McQuaid, some saying that we have just one poor choice. But I see Brian Cookson as the best person to instigate change, the questions over ideas will play second fiddle to the revelations that he will uncover if elected, the current cartel are protecting something. If there is something ‘profitable’ worth protecting, we could see a UCI with more of that profit freed up to allow the good projects to take place. But to make that happen, we need a good administrator, somebody who can understand the documents, dare I say it, perhaps somebody perceived to be a little bit boring?

After the deeds of the past are uncovered, we can then move into the new era of a modernised UCI, if it goes through a tiny percentage of the change that took place at British Cycling, then in a few years time we’ll have one of the best sporting governing bodies in the world. After that we can have the flamboyant leader, but we need the talented individuals in place to monitor the UCI first, Cookson can put those people in place & get back to Lancashire, I expect he’ll want to do that as quickly as possible.

*Update : Brian Cookson made a new statement today, quite a misguided one in my opinion. He’s implying that the treatment of Armstrong is unfair & he may try to reduce his ban! I had no actual evidence of McQuaids claims that Cookson was being financially supported by ‘the Russians’, so didn’t jump on that bandwaggon & went with what I did know. If there’s unwanted leniency for somebody like Armstrong being thrown up as some strange carrot for countries votes, this really isn’t what I want to see. If things carry on in this manner, the best outcome could be that Cookson is the only candidate, then does still not gain a sufficient amount of the vote, which he says he would pusue. So if that happened, we could in theory, have a completely new UCI election with some new candidates who didn’t come forward previously. That way we could get a proper election out of this, with a series of viable candidtates, and Pat McQuaid. Cookson Story.

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Postman Pat’s Bad Mail

I wasn’t going to comment on this unless it became public knowledge, I saw the letter yesterday and was hoping it would blow over and a clarification of a clarification was going to be issued. Unfortunately it’s not, the resulting chaos is one that could affect the development of the sport and avoid riders joining their UCI recognised national cycling federation, for us in Scotland, that’s essentially Scottish Cycling, but as I’ve explained before it’s really British Cycling who issue the licences.

CyclingNews are carrying a story on it here.

The Letter, in full, from Pat McQuaid to US Cycling President.

Dear President,

It has recently come to our attention that some National Federations are experiencing difficulties in the interpretation and application of the rules relating to “forbidden races”, namely Articles 1.2.019,

1.2.020 and 1.2.021 of the UCI Regulations.

With this in mind, we would like to provide the following clarification which we hope you will find useful. Article 1.2.019 of the UCI Regulations states:

“No license holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognized by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI.

A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country.”

The objective of this regulation is to protect the hard work and resources you pour into the development of your events at national level. It allows for a federative structure, something which is inherent in organized sport and which is essential to being a part of the Olympic movement.

Of course the regulation also allows the UCI, in line with its mission as an international federation, to guarantee uniform regulation.

Article 1.2.019 applies to all license holders, without exception. It does not solely concern professional riders or just the members of UCI teams, contrary to certain statements in the press and on some blogs.

The second paragraph of Article 1.2.019 affords each national federation the facility to grant a special exception for specific races or events taking place in its territory.

Special races or events are understood to be cycle events which are not registered on the national calendar of the country’s federation or on the UCI international calendar. This generally concerns events that are occasional and which do not recur, most often organized by persons or entities who do not belong to the world of organized sport. For example, an event may be organized by an association that does not have a link to the National Federation, such as a race specifically for members of the armed forces, fire fighters or students or perhaps as part of a national multisport event.

With the exception of these special cases, the National Federation is not permitted to grant an exemption to a cycle event which is held, deliberately or not, outside the federative movement. For example, in no case should an exception be granted to a cycling event that is organized by a person or entity who regularly organizes cycling events.

CH 1860 Aigle I Switzerland
Q)+41 24 468 58 11 fax +41 24 468 58 12

The objective of Article 1.2.019 is that exemptions should only be granted in exceptional cases.

Licenseholders who participate in a “forbidden race” make themselves liable not only to sanctions by their National Federation, as scheduled by Article 1.2.021 of the UCI regulations, but also run the risk of not having sufficient insurance cover in the event of an accident.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please accept our kindest regards,

Pat McQuaid


What it means to us

I was hoping for a clarification, because this has very far-reaching implications in Scotland. Consider all the sportive events which are not on the BC calendar, any TLI events, some grass track events etc, they would all represent cycle events that could carry sanctions for riders who also have a UCI licence (you can see on your licence it has a UCI number, you have a UCI licence). It’s even worse for our friends down south, who have all time trials out with UCI governance!

This kind of draconian attitude is going to put riders off from a normal progression of sportive rider, to club rider, to racer. If sanctions are implemented here, then we’ll have no riders coming through into the sport from unsanctioned sportives, of which there are many, they would lose the ability to go back and ride those events if they took out a racing licence and were fined & sanctioned as a result. It looks like the UCI are trying to reduce their market, by excluding all but the current club riders, either that or Pat McQuaid is a complete idiot. I’ll go with the latter.