Cyclocross World Championships - Louisville did great
There were some snafus but overall it was a great event.
Yes, I’d much rather talk about that.
However, it wasn’t all just holding hands and enjoying the racing. At the medal presentation UCI President Pat McQuaid stepped onto the stage to award medals and the rainbow jersey. And no, his theme music wasn’t Darth Vader’s Imperial March. Unsurprisingly he was loudly booed by the crowd as he slipped the jersey over Sven Nys.
The fan and journalist in me are always conflicted at moments like these. I personally kept quiet when this reaction happened. Do I think McQuaid needs to leave the UCI? Without a doubt, yes I do. Ultimately he’s the one who was at a minimum asleep at the wheel or even facilitated doping within cycling to further his own agenda. But I also know McQuaid isn’t alone in the messed up situation cycling finds itself in right now.
Throughout the days leading up to the race there were “McQuaid sightings” with not so nice responses to these sightings ranging from demanding that someone yell at him to kicking him in the shins.
The journalist in me wants the truth and the only way we are going to get it is questioning what governing bodies pass off as news. We can’t accept what is handed to us from a press release. Journalists (and to some extent social media) are the ones who create the change and question what we hear. By not doing so we’re nothing but extensions of either a corporation or in cycling’s case, a national federation looking to hide the dead bodies of history past. However, let’s not get like the Roman Colosseum and unleash the lions on him.
There were some strong rumors floating around the press room as to whether the Irishman would have his job for much longer. Recently the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) exchanged a few heated emails. McQuaid took it a step further by asking for support from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as he realized back-up was necessary if he was going to remain part of the UCI. It smacks of desperation, but he’s in a corner with nowhere to go. Reaching out to “allies” could be his last move on the chess board. Anyways - back to cyclo-cross ...
In the post-race press conference the new world champion Sven Nys praised the course and fans. While boisterous, they were well behaved with no reports of drunken stupidity. There were many costume choices that I thought were questionable considering it was 19 degrees: the girl in the mid-riff cheerleader outfit and the guy who wore a star and stripes tank top and shorts. But hey, who am I to judge? I was wearing numerous layers of clothing and I was still cold. At least they embraced the conditions and owned it.
A year ago Nys was on the fence about racing in Louisville, but now at the press conference he was stating that he’s motivated to continue and would like to bring World Cups to the U.S. If the UCI is serious about globalization they need to look