UCI want to bring cycling World Cup, World tour race to India
New Delhi: International Cycling Union (UCI) is willing to bring big events such as World Cup and Word tour race to India, provided the government and other stakeholders assure them a hassle-free organisation and proper maintenance of the infrastructure.
UCI President Pat McQuaid said they were keen to tap a big India market but the country would have to convince the world body that it can put the facilities to their best use for getting the hosting rights for Asian Cup and World Cup.
"India is a big market. UCI is very interested in developing cycling in India both road and track cycling. UCI would love to have a world tour race here. If the government and sponsors are interested in assisting the organising of world tour race we would be very keen to speak to them (Cycling federation of India)," McQuaid said.
The 63-year-old Irish, however, was displeased about the fact that a world class track like the IG stadium velodrome was not properly utilised since the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
"It`s an excellent track and one of the best in Asia . This was built for the CWG. But, it hasn?t had much of use since then, which is unfortunate. It can be brought back to that level. It just needs smarting up a little bit," he told reporters on the sidelines of Asian Cycling championships.
"I believe the situation would change now as the federation has taken over," he said.
Asked about the talks of setting up an UCI approved cycling training centre at the velodrome here, he said that body would require commitment from the government, funds and support while the UCI can provide technical expertise.
Talking about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong`s doping
case, McQuaid defended the body saying the measures to test the cyclists in those days were inadequate and there was possibility for players to escape.
He also rejected claims that the image of the sport has taken a beating with many riders coming forward in admitting that they took banned substance.
"The Armstrong affect have negative effect on the sport but one must remember that we were talking about activities that took place 10-15 years ago and the fight against doping has completely changed since then.
"Doping is not restricted to cycling. Doping is in all sports. The products that were those days were undetectable. There was no test for them. So, it was not the fault of the UCI that hadn`t developed a test for them," he said.
As the head of the body which was under severe criticism, McQuaid said he is satisfied with way the UCI has functioned during his tenure in the last seven years.
"The two objectives I had were, fight against doping and the globalisation of the sport. UCI has made big advancement in fight against doping and the biological passport and no needle policy are in that direction. Also, we have taken the sport to many new places. Spectators have increased manifold."
The presence of over one-and-half million people on the roads during the London Olympics stands testimony to it, he added.
McQuaid will be part of 2013 ACC (Asian Cycling Confederation) Election Congress that will take place here tomorrow.