McQuaid welcomes Swiss Cycling decision to back him for re-election
Doubts still surround nomination as membership may pose problems
Pat McQuaid’s bid for a further term as president of cycling’s world governing body has been endorsed by Switzerland.
Sidestepping Cycling Ireland’s intention to let an egm of its members decide whether or not the federation should nominate him for a third term as UCI president, Pat McQuaid yesterday welcomed a Swiss Cycling decision to back him for re-election.
McQuaid was facing considerable pressure due to the uncertainty over the Irish vote and instead sought approval from the Swiss federation, which gave him a green light yesterday. He is in theory eligible to seek their backing as he is a resident there.
However, several people drew attention yesterday to UCI rules which seem to raise questions about that tactic. According to UCI regulation 1.1.009, individuals may only hold the licence of one national federation. McQuaid holds a current Cycling Ireland licence thanks to his honorary membership, and it remains to be seen if his Swiss Cycling membership will pose a problem under the governing body’s own rules.
If so, his backing by that federation could in theory be void.
In other news 18 professional and international teams will square up against an equal number of Irish county squads in the 61st edition of the An Post Rás, which gets underway in Dunboyne in two day’s time.
A high quality field has been put together for this year’s race, with the standard of the peloton plus a testing route featuring 33 categorised climbs both pointing towards major clashes over the eight days of competition.
Irish riders such as past stage winner Sam Bennett, Sean Downey and Ronan McLaughlin will aim to grab what would be a third An Post Chainreaction Sean Kelly team victory in six editions, with the event being hugely important for the squad.
Its title sponsor is also the main event backer, while the fact that the race gives its riders a rare chance to compete on Irish soil also means the Belgian-based squad wants to seize its chances.
Of the three, Downey in particular has shown good form of late, but Bennett and McLaughlin are also capable of big performances in the event.
Their former team-mate Connor McConvey is another who must be watched, with the 24-year-old Belfast rider previously fourth and seventh overall in the race.
Other Irish riders with good overseas competition in their legs this year include national hill climb champion Ryan Sherlock and his Polygon Sweet Nice team-mate Mark Dowling. The race begins in Dunboyne on Sunday and will cover 1,180.5 kilometres.
AN POST RÁS 2013 (UCI 2.2): Stage 1 (Sun, May 19th): Dunboyne to Longford, 135.4 kms; Stage 2 (Mon, May 20th: Longford to Nenagh, 160.4 kms; Stage 3 (Tue, May 21st: Nenagh to Listowel, 141.1 kms; Stage 4 (Wed, May 22nd: Listowel to Glengariff, 153 kms; Stage 5 (Thurs, May 23rd): Glengarriff to Michelstown, 150.2 kms; Stage 6 (Fri, May 24th): Mitchelstown to Carlow, 154.6 kms; Stage 7 (Sat, May 25th): Carlow to Naas, 141.2 kms; Stage 8 (Sun, May 26th): Naas to Skerries, 144.6 kms.