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Must Read: Australia backs Cookson; Tour of Elk Grove canceled over scheduling conflict

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Aug. 26, 2013
  • Updated Aug. 26, 2013 at 3:46 PM EDT

Cycling Australia to back Cookson for UCI president — Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian federation will support Brian Cookson’s bid for UCI president when cycling’s world governing body convenes its election on September 27 in Florence, Italy. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that the Cycling Australia board had voted unanimously to support the challenger after meeting with both men over the weekend.

“We are supporting Cookson. It was unanimous with all [CA] board members present,” president Klaus Mueller told Fairfax Media. Mueller also said he believed that New Zealand and Fiji would also back Cookson, delivering the Briton the Oceania confederation.

“We felt [Cookson] was in a better position to restore the reputation and integrity of the UCI and the sport internationally,” Mueller said. “Also he agreed he would do everything in his power to improve the governance structures, to make those more accountable and efficient and reflect what a modern sporting body should look like.”

While Cookson met with the board in person, McQuaid spoke with the members via a teleconference. Both men will stand before the European Cycling Union in an Exceptional Ordinary General Assembly on September 15 in Zurich.

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Scheduling conflict forces cancellation of Tour of Elk Grove — The Daily Herald

The Tour of Elk Grove, a stage race near Chicago that first started in 2006, has been canceled moving forward because of a scheduling conflict with USA Cycling and the UCI.

The race, held in August, typically draws top riders from the across the world. But because the dates of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah were recently changed, the races will run into each other. Organizers ultimately decided to cancel Elk Grove.

“Therefore, after much thought and with a heavy heart, we are left no alternative but to cease the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove,” Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson wrote in a letter published in the Daily Herald. “We have always promised that we will only run our cycling event at the highest level and we are greatly disappointed in having to make this decision to end the race.”

The Tour of Elk Grove always ends on the first Sunday of August, and because the Tour of Utah starts two days later, riders had been able to compete in both races. But the Tour of Utah will start on Monday next year, which would not provide the necessary travel day between both races.

Elk Grove organizers remain firm in their desire to have the race finish on Sunday, so they were left with no other option but to cancel.

“It always worked ideally for us to have it there [at that time],” Johnson wrote. “One, it works in the community, two, it works regionally and three, we were able to attract the best riders we could.”

The UCI contacted Elk Grove organizers in a letter about the scheduling change and urged them to either keep the race as is or to find a new date, options that were ultimately rejected.

On Monday afternoon, USA Cycling distributed a statement in which it described a year-long negotiation that did not succeed: “It is unfortunate that the Tour of Elk Grove has decided to cease operations. USA Cycling and the organizers for the Tour of Elk Grove have been in discussions for over a year to try and work out dates that would allow the event to continue to prosper on the ever-growing international calendar.

“Some of the options discussed included: moving the date closer to the Philadelphia Cycling Classic in June to create more synergy for inviting teams to both events; moving their dates back one day and expanding on the already successful women’s race; and possibly changing to a UCI 2.2 level race that could accommodate more domestic elite and professional teams. It is disappointing that the Tour of Elk Grove was unwilling to consider these alternatives.”

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