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AIGCP Teams Walk Out of UCI Meeting in Protest

Posted by bikezilla on April 19, 2011


The Short:

There was a big UCI meeting held in Brussels, Belgium. Team leadership for most ProTour and ProContinental teams attended (but not AIGCP and Slipstream Sports / Garmin – Cervelo President Jonathan Vaughters).

Near the end of the meeting those leaders walked out to protest UCI’s unwillingness to negotiate on the radio ban, and its refusal to consider or address the possibility of “an independent expert review of all aspects of race radio usage including the best way to broadcast race safety warnings and the legal liabilities of a change to the existing system, alongside its use for tactics and team building”.

The walkout occurred while Pat McQuaid was still speaking (to make it clear that the snub was directed against him?), and after members of the French media were invited to share their opinions.

Here are the related articles from VeloNews, and Cycling News.

The Long:

There’s just a few little things that catch my attention in a big way.

These quotes emailed by Pat McQuaid to Jonathan Vaughters:

“Jonathan

I have had enough of this High Moral Ground from you and I am refraining myself from writing exactly what I am thinking” (because then it might be seen by someone with a computer and a keyboard and all the world would see McQuack as an even bigger ass )

“Enough to inform you that when I have finished with the teams today you will have plenty to “reflect” on and communication will be the furthest thing from your mind !!”

The first part that I set in BOLD makes me think, “Wow, McQuack is surely suffering from some form of brain rotting venereal disease.”

Did he really just: 1. Acknowledge that Vaughters holds the “High Moral Ground”, which implies very plainly that he also knows that HE (McQuack) is sunk chest deep in the muck and filth of the Low Moral Ground?

And 2. Openly threaten Vaughters and the teams he represents through AIGCP, not based upon any wrongdoing but simply because they dare to challenge his authority while occupying that High Moral Ground?

It’ll be soooooooo interesting to eventually find out exactly how McQuack intends to punish JV and the others.

I have to say that I find it a considerable irritation to, AGAIN, be in a position and of an opinion where I find myself not only unable to bash Jonathan Vaughters, but taking up his side.

This is doubly, nay, trebly irritating because Vaughters blew me off when I requested to be sent that email (again the pissant blogger gets snubbed) AND because after inviting me to interview him he continues to blow me off regarding the answers to said interview, nearly 2 months later.

Yes, I am pouting. Yes, I am whining. Yes, that is petty and childish.

Whatev!

But back to the issue at hand.

Is it not interesting that while “39 of 42 teams” (ProTour and ProConti) showed up for the meeting, only “16 of 18” (actually 16 of 39) took part in the walk out.

Why? Is it a lack of unity? Or a lack of guts?

Did any of the ProConti teams join in?

And why did Vaughters fail to attend the meeting? As head of AIGCP and of Garmin – Cervelo he’d seem a fairly important inclusion to a meeting where his pet issue is an . . . well, an issue.

Was this failure to show related to his email exchange with McQuack? Was it simply the result of being occupied with previous commitments? Or was it an attempt to avoid being seen as The Ring Leader of the walk out?

Vaughters’ handling of this issue, and the teams’ refusal to formally unionize, may make the lot of them seem weak and their efforts half-assed. But that email from McQuack certainly shows that the slow, methodical approach has placed heavy and unexpected pressure on McQuack and UCI.

What was seeming “weak and half-assed” is beginning to look thoughtful and wise.

Yes, it was painful to say that.

Fair and balanced. Bah.

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