Gaudry: Opportunity to reform cannot be ignored

Tracey Gaudrey (Daily Telegraph)

Cycling Australia and BikeNZ Oceania Presidency nominee Tracey Gaudry says that the chance for cycling to regain credibility in the region and internationally is with fresh leadership.

This is not about Mike Turtur. Mike's done an excellent job for cycling in this region, I admire his contribution. He will continue to make a great contribution to the sport in the future. This is about a new approach, and that's what I have to offer.

Gaudry, the CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation, has been put forward by Australia and New Zealand as a candidate for the Presidency ahead of incumbent Mike Turtur.

The nomination process started when she wrote to Cycling Australia, the Australian Government, and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) after the revelations surrounding widespread doping practice by Armstrong and others in the 90s and 2000s which sent shockwaves through the sport a few weeks ago.

"I told them that cycling is at a time in its life where change is inevitable," Gaudry told Cycling Central.

"But now is the opportunity for administrations to seize that opportunity and affect the biggest positive changes for the future.

"I believe I have valuable credentials to be part of those changes, and to be part of the solution."

Gaudry made sure to praise the work of current Oceania President Mike Turtur who she credits with a huge contribution to cycling in the region, but for the chance to instill a different perspective at the international and regional levels of the sport she says that change is necessary.

The UCI Management Committee has come under heavy fire for its governance in the last decade, and a growing chorus of national federations have recently voiced concerns over the current executive's suitability for ongoing administration.

Cycling Australia and BikeNZ's are the latest to join that chorus, by not nominating Turtur for another term in what amounts to a vote of no confidence.

Despite the opposition to his leadership Turtur has been nominated by Fiji, and is currently set for a showdown with Gaudry in an election in December. That election will pit the two biggest federations in the region at loggerheads with the two smallest.

A further crisis, in a crisis-plagued sport. Turtur at the time of publishing continues to insist he will not be standing down, and will run for another term.

The next month will be critical to any change, and Gaudry says she'll be lobbying the other Oceania members for their support.

"When I put my hand up, this was never about a competition (with Turtur). Even as an athlete it wasn't about who I had to topple to be the best, about winning or losing. It was about achieving the best possible outcome, or result I could.

"For Oceania this is about bringing in fresh ideas and perspectives for the future, and the region will make that call, on whether I'm the best person to achieve those objectives.

"I can't control who else nominates, all I can do is present over the next month how I will represent Oceania, and how I will take the region's interests to the UCI.

"This is not about Mike Turtur. Mike's done an excellent job for cycling in this region, I admire his contribution. He will continue to make a great contribution to the sport in the future.

"But this is about a new approach, and that's what I have to offer."

Gaudry if successful for election to the Presidency would also be granted a seat on the UCI management committee - the sole woman of the 19-member body.

That would mark a major milestone for a sport that has long been criticised for its slanted promotion and administration of women's cycling. Accordingly, Gaudry says that "equity" along with anti-doping would be key tenets of her role if elected.

"Clearly anti-doping is an issue at the moment. It's an issue in all sports. That's an issue I'll take to the UCI and work very hard to further the efforts in.

"I want to establish equity across all levels in disciplines in terms of gender. There is no doubt work to be done with respect to women in cycling.

"And there is huge potential and work to be done for the development of more UCI events in this region."

More than anything Gaudry says she wants the sport to return to a pursuit that is respected, and widely participated in from the grassroots to the elite level.

"Cycling needs to be something that kids can grow up and look at, and want to be involved in. It needs to be something that parents can support and encourage kids to participate in.

"I look forward to the opportunity to working with Oceania on those sort of changes over the next four year period if elected, and beyond."

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