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Greg LeMond backs challenge to cycling chief Pat McQuaid

“The fact there has been an actual reaction in Ireland against him speaks pretty loudly that people in cycling want change,” he said.

Image: Action Images

THREE-TIME TOUR de France winner Greg LeMond says UCI president Pat McQuaid should resign, in light of the Lance Armstrong saga.

British Cycling president Brian Cookson recently announced he would put forward his candidacy to lead the international cycling body and challenge McQuaid’s bid for a third consecutive term in the role.

Cookson has been at the helm of British Cycling for 16 years, although McQuaid has already attempted to defame his opponent ahead of the elections in September — linking his candidacy to a conspiracy concocted by Katusha team owner Igor Makarov. And while LeMond openly admitted he was unsure of Cookson’s capabilities, he said it was healthy to have competition to lead world cycling.

“I don’t know Brian Cookson personally but I think that competition is good in the presidential election,” LeMond told VeloNation. “I believe that voters should have choice when determining who the next president should be, and thus having more than one candidate is important.”

LeMond said the recent controversies surrounding Lance Armstrong and the prevalence of doping in the sport in recent years meant Irish native McQuaid was under pressure to retain his position.

“I think the fact that there is actually somebody running against Pat, as well as the fact there has been an actual reaction in Ireland against him, speaks pretty loudly that people in cycling want change,” he said.

“I do want to depersonalise it from Pat McQuaid in a way; it’s more a case that after what happened in the last 10 years, that there needs to be change for the good of the sport.

“I think that Pat should do the right thing and embrace that change. That means stepping aside, even if he says he wasn’t personally at fault. It’s what usually happens when you are the CEO of a company which has had problems; in that case, heads usually roll at the top, even if it is the lower management which was the issue.”

The UCI elections will take place during the elite road world championships in Florence later this year.

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