AN OPEN LETTER TO MR BRIAN COOKSON OBE, UCI PRESIDENT
Dear Mr Cookson,
As you know, the 101st edition of the greatest event in our sport starts today in Yorkshire. It signals three spectacular weeks of drama and nail-biting excitement which the entire world will be watching, except perhaps for 198 million Brazillians who will be watching the football and hoping Neymar is somehow okay.
Whilst in the post-Lance/McQuaid era we have much to look forward to in cycling, there is a dark cloud looming that I fear may once again thrust us into a state of despair and international ridicule. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, Brian.
Yes, pro cyclist selfies.
Just as we appear to be regaining the respect of the world (and sponsors), the current proliferation of this ‘art form’ is a disturbing blight on decent cyclists everywhere. When Ellen did it at the Oscars, well, that was pretty original and funny. I’ll admit I even enjoyed the first 100 or so instances of it on Twitter from ProTour riders. But just like the abandonments at last year’s Worlds in Florence, the trickle has now become a flood – particularly this week in the lead-up to the Grand Depart in Leeds. Everyone is now doing it, even the ever-so-serious folks at Team Sky.
It’s an embarrassment, not to mention potentially dangerous. And only you can do something to stop it. This is not the time to stay silent, but to take swift and decisive action – punish these digital perpetrators as well as those sinister hangers-on who encourage and facilitate it. Granted, two-year bans may be somewhat excessive for first-time offenders, so how about one month instead? Twice and you’re out of the sport.
I know you’re likely to be busy entertaining sponsors all weekend, if not all month, but I very much look forward to your response. Enough is enough.
Yours very much sincerely,