note: likely extremely boring to anybody not interested in cycling’s Byzantine internal politics.
I don’t know Tracey Gaudry personally. But everything in her public record suggests that she’d make an excellent Oceania representative on the UCI’s management committee, and a good president of the Oceania Cycling Confederation. She’s a former professional cyclist, the head of the very successful Amy Gillett Foundation, among other things.
We don’t know whether Mike Turtur plays a constructive role in the UCI. What is obvious to Blind Freddy is that the Oceania Cycling Confederation has become a farce under his leadership. The organization has been so neglected the Confederation’s internet domain registration was allowed to lapse – allowing Shane Miller, local amateur TT gun and funny person on the internets, to buy the domain to amusing effect. Furthermore, UCI-registered races in Oceania, as Gaudry neatly pointed out in this excellent interview, have all but disappeared.
The support of the Cycling Australia and the New Zealand Federation doesn’t actually guarantee Gaudry the role. The Oceania Confederation – a misbegotten idea in the first place, but that’s a topic for another day – has a grand total of four members. Australia and New Zealand are joined at the Oceania table by Fiji and Guam.
Cycling Fiji has apparently already publicly re-nominated Turtur. Judging by Cycling Fiji’s website (still, at least, unlike the Oceania Confederation, they actually have one), the country is not exactly a hotbed of competitive cycling. 2012’s “Tour of Fiji”, the only event listed, appears to have a grand total of eight entrants.
But Guam is a different story. Guam is one of the Pacific territories of the United States, and home to 160,000 people with a per-capita GDP of about $15,000, and massive US Navy and Air Force bases. Consequently, it appears that the Guam Cycling Federation is quite active, with regular mountain bike events and the occasional road race. The biggest race of the year in the region is actually held on the neighbouring island, Saipan, the Hell of the Marianas – which actually looks like it would be a hell of a lot of fun to do one day.
The upshot? While the Fiji association appears to be a bit of a joke, Guam’s competitive cyclists might well be prepared to listen to reason. The Facebook page gives no sense that they are aware of the issue yet.