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Greg LeMond to Run for President of the UCI

5030351225_1be5d728c0_bGreg LeMond at Interbike. Photo: Interbike/Flickr

Former Tour de France champion Greg LeMond said he plans to take on Pat McQuaid for the presidency of the UCI after being asked this past weekend at the Change Cycling Now conference in London. The conference included cyclists, drug officials, and sports journalists who met to figure out a way to clean up the sport.

“If we want to restore public confidence and sponsors, we must act quickly and decisively," LeMond told French newspaper Le Monde. "Otherwise, cycling will die. Riders do not understand that if we continue like this, there will soon be no money in cycling.”

LeMond, 51, is the only American with Tour de France titles—the UCI stripped Lance Armstrong of his titles in October. LeMond feuded publicly with Armstrong over the past decade, testified in the Floyd Landis trial, and has recently been outspoken about the need to clean up the sport immediately.

LeMond said he thinks current president Pat McQuaid, who has led the organization since 2005, had his chance and failed.

"Pat McQuaid and Verbruggen had multiple opportunities to change things, and they did not," said LeMond in Le Monde. "There was the Festina affair in 1998 and the Puerto affair in 2006, and now Armstrong. Each time, they announced a new departure for the bike. And what has changed? Nothing. They are totally disqualified. The UCI is a company that does business. That is why Armstrong was able to win all his titles with total impunity. The fair competition and the health of riders increased after economic interests. Today, we must change the management team."

The next election will be held in March of 2013. Change Cycling Now has put up a petition on its website that people can sign to express a no confidence vote in Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen.

You can read the interview with LeMond on this Google translate page.

—Joe Spring

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