9. The CIRC report, Paris-Nice and Milan-San Remo

Mar 18, 2015, 10:23 PM
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March 19 | In the latest Telegraph Cycling Podcast the head of world cycling, Brian Cookson, admits that he is disappointed at the controversy caused by Sir Bradley Wiggins’ intention – which he confirmed in last week’s podcast – to ride the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in early May.

Wiggins was given special dispensation by the world governing body, the UCI, to switch teams mid-season, leaving Team Sky for the new Team Wiggins in April as part of his bid to win an Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit in Rio next year.

“I think it’s fair to say that I’m disappointed with the way this has worked out,” said Cookson, the UCI president. “What happened was that a request came in asking for dispensation for him to leave Team Sky because he was going to focus on the team pursuit and preparing for [the Rio Olympics]. It was a matter for the road commission and that was the last I heard of the issue.

“It does throw up a number of issues,” Cookson continued. One is that he will be riding for his new team against his old team; another is that it carries echoes of 2009 when the UCI overlooked its own rules to allow Lance Armstrong to ride the Tour Down Under. “I’m a bit unhappy with the way this has played out,” said Cookson.

“The reality is that it’s not a parallel situation to the Armstrong situation but I can see why people would think it was. He has been given dispensation now and if he is eligible and his team is picked, he’ll be there. But he’ll have to be going up hills better than he was in Paris-Nice.”

In the latest podcast Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe also discuss the Cycling Independent Reform Commission Report and look back at Paris-Nice and ahead to Milan-San Remo. There is also an interview with Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme.

The Telegraph Cycling Podcast is sponsored by Van Dessel Cycles and British Eurosport.