MILAN (VN) — The Change Cycling Now pressure group must wait for the principle players — the riders — to decide its next move. After meetings in London Sunday and Monday, after which the group suggested that Greg LeMond should take over the UCI presidency, the riders now have the ball in their court.
Gianni Bugno, president of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), attended the meetings. He told VeloNews today that he plans on speaking with different senior riders, like Fabian Cancellara or Bradley Wiggins, at the early season races in one month’s time.
“I need to hear how the cyclists feel; after that, they are the ones that will decide,” Bugno said. “They need to know about what’s going on, the desire to create a new cycling, which is especially coming from the UCI, the new [CCN] movement against the UCI. I’m pleased, even if the two groups are at odds, that there’s this will to change.”
Bugno met with UCI president Pat McQuaid Friday in Aigle, Switzerland, ahead of the CCN meeting. McQuaid, who must be feeling the heat in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, reached out to the association. Bugno looked over the UCI’s proposals to return credibility to the sport: 1) a “stakeholders consultation” meeting in the first quarter 2013, 2) an acceptance of ideas for the meeting and 3) a doping hot-line for cyclists who want to report problems.
The 48-year-old Italian won the Giro d’Italia, Milan-San Remo, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, four stages in the Tour de France and twice the world road championship. These days, though, Bugno jets around Europe to help his association. After Aigle, he landed in London for the two-day CCN summit.
“It was good to see Greg LeMond again, he has more gray hairs than me now,” he told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
LeMond was one of 14 attendees at the summit and one of the most outspoken. The CCN’s top objective is the removal of the man Bugno met with in Aigle, McQuaid, and his predecessor, Hein Verbruggen.
“It’s the most radical group. There’s no shade of grey, only black and white, all-out war against the UCI. LeMond was hard, I liked how he presented it, I didn’t think he’d be so aggressive,” Bugno said.
With newspapers writing a manifesto, teams joining a movement (MPCC) and now the CCN’s “Charter of the Willing,” the riders have not been vocal. CCN founder Jaimie Fuller said he contacted more than 10 cyclists to attend, but he said they were worried about the consequences of attending such a “radical” meeting. One rider that has been outspoken, David Millar, told VeloNews on Monday that he hadn’t been invited to the summit.
In the meeting, blood doping expert Michael Ashenden said that CCN would seek assistance from the riders to put in place a new anti-doping check. He did not elaborate to the press, only saying that it is a check to guarantee that grand tour winners have not blood doped.
Bugno, who attended as a guest speaker, must now take CCN’s proposals to the principle players.
“I’ll talk to the most cyclists possible in January because it’s hard to have a meeting at this point as they’re all scattered about. With a few spokesmen, they can decide their path, what they want to do,” Bugno told VeloNews. “I want to explain to them about [the CCN] that has started and what McQuaid said. They can give their opinions on what is, I think, the start of a new cycling… I don’t care if they back UCI or [the CCN], or whatever else; I’m interested in taking cycling ahead.”