Johan Bruyneel is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore.
In a long interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, the Radio Shack manager got all Peter Finch about the UCI dictatorship.
“The point is that for the umpteenth time a decision with a direct impact on the job of the riders and the functioning of the teams has been made in which we have no voice. I attended a UCI meeting in Geneva. It lasted six hours and brought us nothing.”
Bruyneel ranted, he raved, he did a sterling imitation of Finch, who won an Oscar for playing the TV newsman who goes stark raving mad in the film Network. It was Finch who uttered the immortal line “‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” That pretty much describes the reaction to the radio ban in particular and the rule of Patrick McQuaid in general.
Bruyneel has finally had enough of the autocratic ways of Patrick McQuaid and the UCI and he’s not worried about making nice. “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Opinions of teams and riders are disregarded. Pat McQuaid always says: “You are not the main players in cycling.” I disagree. We feel we are treated like little kids. That is the core of the conflict. When the key stakeholders continue to protest, you have to question yourself. But if you persist in misrepresentation as Pat McQuaid does, then you are not a good president.”
To quote Finch again, “I want you to get up now and go to the window and open it and stick your head out. I want you to say I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”
Bruyneel is saying it loud and clear and so is Jonathan Vaughters, and perhaps eleven ProTour cycling teams, a host of major sponsors and a majority of riders. They’ve all had enough of the madness of King McQuaid. The reign of terror is over.
The gist of all the anti-McQuaid arguments sounds like a soundbite from Network. In his wild and crazed outrage, Finch put it best: “I’m a human being, goddamn it. My life has value.” There are plenty of people in cycling who have reached the conclusion that Patrick McQuaid is the single biggest obstacle to a progressive and successful sport.
It’s certainly an end game that Bruyneel is ready to play. “We must unite and stand up for each other. That is also a consequence of the way the UCI has treated us. In his open letter McQuaid attempts to disrupt the unity. His approach is to divide and conquer and that is very short sighted. He tries to create discord between riders and team leaders. It is a desperate letter.”
As Finch said to the television cameras: “Get up, get up, get up out of your chairs! I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.”