Quote of the day: Andre Tchmil

"The UCI have Formula One in their head..."

Hmmm...let's see... who should we get to play
Andre Tchmil in the movie?
“Europe has become a victim of UCI policy. Cycling is in Europe.  Its history is here.  We can’t just stand still and watch while it is being destroyed.”    

“We wanted to organize a world tour race in Russia.  UCI asked us for four and half million per year for four years, just for enrollment.  Without offering us any guarantee of continuity after the four year contract.   They have Formula One in their head.”

“Russia however said no, and I don’t know how many countries  can take on such a financial burden without having any guarantees in return.  And what does that mean?  That there won’t be any more greatly traditional races as it is difficult to think of such a high payment, each year, no security, forever.”

                            Andre Tchmil speaking at the Eastern European federations meeting in Rovigno
                                   - Quote from BiciSport, December 2012  (great interview!)  

Tchmil is right.   

All the suited, progressive smarter-than-thou visionaries: the Pat and Hein UCI, Bakala, the Gifted Group - all are advocating big global Formula one-ish professional structures that will put more racing in far flung places, where there's cash... but no cycling culture or tradition.  It's why the Worlds is going to Qatar.   

And why great, traditionally significant but smaller European classic races are being strangled.   Remember the Midi-Libre?   Bordeaux-Paris?  Milano-Torino?  The Trofeo Baracchi?  Tour of the Mediterranean?   Paris-Brussels?   The Peace Race?   There used to be dozens and dozens more.  All lost.   Take a long look at the long list of 'courses disparues' here.    Are these 'new' ideas better for cycling?   Or better for some pocketbooks?   Never trust the smartest man in the room.   

Geopolitical realities.   

UCI election 2012 simulcast preview
Moldovan federation hardman-honcho Tchmil and his european federation counterparts are working to leverage their collective clout and swing the pendulum of world cycling back toward a European center of gravity.  In particular, he's seems to have the support and is mobilizing the large number of new federations in the recently reconfigured eastern bloc.  Countries perhaps short on cash flow, but quite long on cycling passion and tradition.

Back in 2011 it was reported in La Gazzetta that Tchmil stepped away from his post at Katusha to organize a planned run at the UCI presidency next September.  This soviet-bloc political missile was being primed for launch well before Lance gate.   

Hmmm... now I'm no sputnik rocket scientist spunky, but I wonder..just wonder... if Tchmil's recent 'political' activities have anything to do with the sudden, inexcusable and frankly despicable exclusion of the Katusha team from the ProTour?  

Coincidence?  What do you think jongen?  

You know what I think.  I think the UCI needs a housecleaning.   And that cycling needs to be given back to the people and places who love and respect its traditions the most.    Lots of them in Russia and Poland and Ukraine and Slovenia.   Lots of Peter Sagan's out there.   

And the more I hear Tchmil's well considered, logical and articulate ideas, the more I think he should lead the purge!  He and Greg would make a good tag team, I think.  


  1. +1 Well said. The only proviso would be a word of caution over Tchmil following McQuaid.

    The Tour of the Mediterranean is still run - just about surviving from year to year, but probably has a limited life without major financial support.

  2. Russian anything = corruption. Trust me.

  3. You've hit the nail right on the head! The Formula One model is a mess. Too few owners/investers is a model for desaster. The Pro Tour is too expensive to survive especially with the scandals that seem to be at the top of the media lately. What's needed is a broad pyramid. Many smaller stakeholders. Diversity breeds strength. As it is it could all fall apart like a house of cards. I've been worrying about just this concept for quite some time. I'm not sure the UCI can even begin to think about building the sport or even holding it's place since it is so busy covering it's ass at the moment. A house cleaning is in order for sure.


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