Turtur rejects mandate for change

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Tour Down Under Director and Oceania Confederation President Mike Turtur (Sirotti)

Incumbent Oceania Confederation President Mike Turtur says he has every intention to stand for another four-year term despite an implied vote of no confidence from the two major national federations, Australia and New Zealand.

Tracey (Gaudry) is a very well-credentialed and worthwhile candidate. But so am I. This wipe the slate clean and start again thing. I don't see what it's going to achieve. It won't achieve anything.

Cycling Australia and BikeNZ announced plans not to re-nominate Turtur today, who started his role with the International Cycling Union (UCI) in 2008. Instead, Tracey Gaudry the current CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation has been put forward.

Gaudry's position however is not certain. Turtur has been nominated by Fiji, forcing a ballot to take place in December.

The four member federations, Guam, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand will vote on all of the executive positions, including the Presidency. In the case of a tie, the Chair will make a casting vote.

Oceania Development Head, Michael Victor and Cycling Fiji President Dom Sansom, are the current chair and would make a final decision if a deadlock did occur.

Cycling Central understands that Guam will vote for Turtur forcing such a situation occurring. A split federation would hardly be a good look, more so with the two biggest member federations wishes being rejected.

Turtur told Cycling Central he wasn't surprised not to be renominated by Cycling Australia and BikeNZ but felt he was doing a good job and had every intention of continuing in the role pending re-election.

"There's no reason for me to stand down.

"I was given a reason by the president of Cycling Australia (Klaus Mueller) due to a conflict of interest (dual roles as UCI Oceania President and Santos Tour Down Under race director).

"I don't agree with it. The conflict of interest is not in issue. I've made my case to him and his board. I act in the interests of cycling, no matter what the discipline or the situation. That's the way I've been all my life, acting with honesty and integrity.

"The President of Cycling Australia has said to me and publicly stated that he has an issue with me.

"I don't think we have a high regard of each other."

In the current climate, Cycling Australia has already made it clear it wants wholesale change. A strong anti-doping record with Gaudry, fresh blood and an impeccable record are all reasons given by the organisation in its push for change.

Turtur has no issue with Gaudry, but says his record is strong, and rejected what changing the Oceania candidate would do for the region.

"Tracey is a very well-credentialed and worthwhile candidate. But so am I. This wipe the slate clean and start again thing. I don't see what it's going to achieve. It won't achieve anything.

"I've protected the interests of Oceania to the best of my ability at all times. I've done my best that we as a small confederation still have our voice at the table. For CA and BikeNZ to have a different opinion on the way forward, I don't see how that helps the situation."

Turtur then went on to blast the Cycling Australia and BikeNZ boards who he called "boys' clubs" despite both organisations willing change with a female candidate.

"Maybe they need to look at their own boards. Cycling Australia have presided over what we've seen exposed in the last few weeks.

"They want to sweep the slate clean, maybe they should look at their own house, before they start pointing the finger.

"If there's a boys' club you better ask Cycling Australia and BikeNZ where the boys' club is."

Cycling Central took Turtur's point but pressed him on concerns that the UCI Oceania Confederation also had its own issues as a "boys' club". If he was re-elected against Gaudry it would reflect more on Oceania's intransigence than Cycling Australia and BikeNZ.

Both Guam and Fiji have strong connections to the current Oceania board. Turtur rejected suggestions that either federation was under his influence.

"You ask the president of Fiji if he think he's a puppet. The same is true of Guam. These people have enough intelligence to make sure they do the right thing by their constituencies.

"I see no reason to resign."


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