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Jonathan Vaughters: David Lappartient seems too focused on popularising himself

Joe Robinson
3 Nov 2017

Cannondale-Drapac manager says new UCI president Lappartient is missing the genuine problems in pro cycling

Jonathan Vaughters, team manager of Cannondale-Drapac, has claimed that new UCI president David Lappartient has begun his presidency more focused on popularising himself than dealing with the issues facing professional cycling.

Speaking to Cyclist today at the Rouleur Classic, Vaughters suggested that the French UCI president was playing to the media and fans rather than focusing on genuine issues.

Since being elected president in September, Lappartient has publicly made clear his intention to tackle illegal betting via race radios and clamp down on motor doping, both of which Vaughters views as non-issues.

'I haven't seen a lot of talk from Lappartient dealing with the actual issues in pro cycling. He tends to speak to problems with public interest as opposed to problems that are real,' Vaughters claimed.

Popularity contest

'I think a lot of the issues he brings up are far-fetched or not rooted in any type of reality. He seems focused on popularising himself, but hopefully that will change once he has settled into the role.'

Vaughters offered his own suggestions as to what the UCI should be focusing on as its top priority, starting with ongoing issues surrounding the use of motorbikes as part of the race convoy in pro races.

Since the death of Antoine Demoitie during Gent-Wevelgem in 2016, the issue of how many motorbikes should be allowed to ride alongside the peloton, and the safety protocols they should follow, has been a high-profile talking point in pro cycling. 

And Vaughters says it remains the biggest concern for those racing. 'Do I feel like that motors are a genuine problem in pro cycling? Not even a little bit.

Real problems

'It's a popular problem that creates headlines. But things such as low-quality hotels, unsafe courses and motorbikes are the real problems.'

'Here's a thing: you want a real issue that changes races? Sorry, motors? Bullshit. The real issue that is changing the course of almost every single race is TV and commissaire motorbikes getting too close to riders, making it both unsafe and allowing drafting.

'Why is that not being addressed? Riders don't talk about motors because they don't see it as an issue. Want to get riders upset? Talk about motor pacing happening every day in the peloton.'

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