To the U.C.I.
Care of Mr. Pat Mac Quaid
I am writing to you following the long open letter that you have
recently sent to all the riders, a letter which – frankly speaking – has
surprised me because of its tone, contents and ways.
First of all, I want to clarify a point.
I, unlike many, do not have any economic interest and/or conflict of
interests within the cycling movement. I am a helicopter driver by
profession and I perform my activity as CPA president with the only aim
to give voice to the legitimate requests of the riders, a category to
which I have proudly belonged for a few years.
I was appointed as CPA president in May 2010 and I immediately asked to
discuss with you about a number of topics, including doping and radio
links. Well, almost one year after my appointement as president and
after having repeatedly asked for a meeting with you, with a letter
dated 14th March 2011, you finally expressed me your availability, under
the condition that I withdraw any initiative conflicting UCI.
Is this the friendship that, according to art. 2 of its constitution,
the UCI and its president are supposed to encourage between all members
of the cycling world?
You and I may have a different concept of dialogue. I understand it as a
willingness to meet, confront and understand one another. You know well
that I have never demanded that you and the UCI would accept our
requests. What I have asked and still ask is just the possibility to be
Do you recall what you answered (or rather did not answer) to me when I
asked you, in December 2010, to be able to participate in the UCI
meeting on 7th January 2011, when the decision of forbidding the use of
radio links was made?
You preferred to summon 2 riders, rather than to listen, through me, to
the opinion of over 600 riders who expressed their stance about this
topic in an internal survey that we carried out. Now you arouse the
doubt that all these riders have been manipulated by myself and/or their
These words of yours are the evidence of how little esteem you hold for
the riders who, in your view, are reduced to simple robots without any
ability for self-determination.
But if this is true, why can’t our doubt be just as legitimate, that is,
the two riders which you contacted directly about this topic might have
been conditioned by you? Are you trying to make us believe that the UCI
has less power than the teams and me?
As far as doping is concerned, you say: “When it comes to raise the
contribution to the fight against doping from the prize money, it is a
Pardon me, but in which other sport the athletes pay over € 250,000
every year out of their own pocket? Does it look like a little sum to you?
If it is so, I suggest you the following: I will be the bearer of the
proposition of doubling this sum at the CPA steering committee. But in
exchange I shall ask you two simple things:
1. to allow an expert, appointed by the CPA, to be part of the group of
experts in charge of evaluating the profiles;
2. to provide the group of experts with the profiles of all the riders
and not only of those considered irregular according to a preliminary
evaluation performed by the UCI.
As to the other proposals about doping, I cannot but refer to the press
release jointly issued by AIGP, CPA and AIMEC few days ago.
Last but not least, let me say that I frankly found your mentioning the
names of Jens Voigt and Grischa Niermann in your letter quite
ungraceful. They have not been the only ones who expressed an opinion
about this issue, in fact many others have (see various interviews
published in the press). I do not see what the purpose of such a mention
was (intimidatory perhaps?), even more so as it was a letter addressed
to all the riders about a protest initiative promoted by its own union.
I do hope that you will show a greater ability to listen in the future.
I hope it for the sake of cycling.
It is certainly not your fault, but unfortunately it is a fact that
since you are the president, the most used words in the sport political
debate are: war, battle, fight, threat.
On my part, I cannot but renew my greatest availability to collaborate
effectively with you and the UCI, so that the riders will truly become
again the core of our sport.
I would so much like that you saw in me and in the association (I am so
proud to chair) a resource that you can use and listen to.
What we are asking for, let me say it again, is just to be listened.
As I have written to you, my role is to ask and press. Yours, a far more
demanding one, is to find the right and balanced synthesis among various
and different requests coming from the movement.
To give proof of my willingness to talk, I promise to ask the racers to
suspend the action planned for March 26th provided that you give us a
sign of genuine dialogue.