Pat McQuaid gets a really hard time. The keener among you will have noticed that I've not been one to stand on the sidelines when the opportunity has arisen to wrap up some "hard time" and send it lovingly on its way to the UCI President. Though I must confess to sometimes feeling guilty about that. It's not Pat's fault that he's so spectacularly bad at his job that a concussed chimpanzee with a biro in one hand and a Blackberry in the other could probably make a better stab of running the sport's governing body. The thing is; I would never want him to take it personally. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that Pat McQuaid would actually be great company; quick with a joke or anecdote, and a lively conversationalist.
So now that we're all clear that it's the actions that the man takes in his day-to-day duties as UCI President that I (all too easily) find fault with and not the man himself, hopefully Pat McQuaid can take a little bit of advice from yours truly and have a quick word with Johan Bruyneel. Actually, if I may be so bold: have a very noise word with Johan Bruyneel. We were hoping that you would have already done this during the merger debacle between Leopard-Trek and Team Radioshack. It would seem not.
Either Bruyneel was never informed of UCI regulation 2.15.050 or the Belgian is quite simply taking the piss! To clarify. UCI regulation 2.15.050 states that:
The name of the UCI ProTeam must be either that of the company or brand name of the principal partner or that of one or both of the two principal partners.
The UCI published a press release on Monday stating that:
On the basis of the documents submitted to the UCI Licence Commission following requests by the Commission on 16 November (to GreenEdge Cycling Team) and 18 November (to RadioShack-Nissan*), the Commission today approved the registration of the RadioShack-Nissan* (LUX) team for the 2012 season and granted a UCI WorldTour licence to the GreenEdge Cycling Team (AUS) for the 2012-2013 period.
However, it appears that Bruyneel and co, while having filed their paperwork and registered the team as Radioshack-Nissan have decided to completely ignore the afore-mentioned regulation and use Radioshack-Nissan-Trek with ill-deserved enthusiasm and impunity.
In a press release published to the Johanbruyneel.com website, the erroneous appellation no less than seven times. A graphic used in the website also puts all three sponsors name together. Over at TeamRadioshack.com (which auto-redirects to livestrong.com/teamradioshack - nice!) an article posted there uses the name 5 times.
And it's not just the wilful ignorance of those inside the squad who are trying to crowbar in a third sponsor into the team name. The press are at it too:
- RadioShack-Nissan-Trek train in Calpe - from Cyclingnews.com
- RadioShack-Nissan-Trek finalise roster - from Eurosport.com
- RadioShack-Nissan-Trek finalizes 2012 roster - again from Cyclingnews.com
- RadioShack-Nissan-Trek announces lineup for 2012 - from Velonews.com
There are more, but I'm starting to feel a little light-headed from seeing Radioshack-Nissan-Trek everywhere. I also have this strange desire to go buy an American brand bike, a Japanese car and some electronic components. Who knew?
Of course many, many people use whatever name they like in public. Just ask Curtis Jackson, Vincent Damon Furnier, Robert Zimmerman or Richard Starkey - otherwise known as 50 Cent, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr. But this doesn't change what is written on the official documentation - otherwise known as a birth certificate.
There are many who were suggesting that Radioshack-Nissan being granted a WorldTour licence this week was a sign that we would see a quieter, more compliant Johan Bruyneel. Given that Bruyneel and all involved at Leopard s.a. seem hell bent on foisting this flagrant disregard for the UCI's rule on the number of title sponsors allowed, it may be worth someone pointing out to Pat McQuaid that Johan may have already escaped from the confines of his back pocket.
Finally, I can confirm that for the 2013 season we will be launching Team Velocast-BMW-Specialized-Tandy-Apple-Google-RoyalBankOfScotland-Monsanto-BP-Coke-Pepsi. We look forward to your support.