As the world grapples with disturbing images of Russian tanks rolling into peaceful Ukrainian cities, the international sports world has been quick to condemn Russia’s unprovoked aggression.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued a statement urging sports bodies to cancel all events in Russia and exclude Russian athletes from international events, including soccer’s World Cup.
Cycling’s worldwide governing body, the UCI, has been slow to adopted this position and continues to support and endorse the UCI Gran Fondo World Series races in Moscow scheduled 21-22 May, where amateur cyclists qualify to attend the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
So far, UCI President David Lappartient, also an IOC member, has only raised the Ukrainian flag outside UCI headquarters and issued a statement on social media, “The UCI calls for an immediate halt to the hostilities in Ukraine and firmly condemns Russia’s violation of international law. Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people as well as Ukraine’s cycling community. No UCI event is scheduled to take place in Russia or Belarus in 2022.”
It seems Lappartient’s last sentence only applies to UCI sanctioned events for professional cyclists, not the UCI sanctioned amateur cycling races taking place in Moscow for an estimated 1000 riders in a few weeks.
The UCI Gran Fondo World Series website continues to list the Moscow event on the 2022 calendar and the event website prominently displays the UCI rainbow logo, along with logos from Russian state run companies with ties to the Ukrainian invasion.
ZAIT, one of the main sponsors for the UCI Gran Fondo World Series Moscow race, develops and manufactures power systems “for the entire rolling stock of Russian railway,” including military trains used in the invasion.
Another sponsor, MOCKBA24 news, continues to spread Russian government sanctioned misinformation by referring to the illegal invasion of Ukraine as a “Defensive Special Operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.”
Gran Fondo Daily News reached out to the UCI for comment and clarification on the status of the upcoming amateur events in Moscow and did not receive a response.
PHOTOS: UCI GFWS, UCI