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by Mark Zalewski
February 22, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Jules wins Tour de la Provence opener; Cycling Australia appoints former Victorian premier Steve Bracks to head board; One step at a time: Teenage phenom Adrien Costa looks to build on breakthrough season; Stig Broeckx continuing to make progress in recovery; Hearing delayed for doctor at centre of UK Anti-Doping investigation; Boardman: Froome is a statesman of the sport; Liège-Bastogne-Liège announces wildcard teams, route changes; First year team Aqua Blue Sport racking up wildcard invites; Pay to watch cycling from the roadside?; Emirates joins as sponsor of Team UAE Abu Dhabi; NASCAR champions ride for cyclist safety; 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour – Marianne Vos; Space Horse Disc – Loaded Touring.
Cycling Australia has appointed former Victorian premier Steve Bracks to head up its board, to help continue driving the nation’s cycling body toward financial sustainability and perhaps even pull the split cycling disciplines a little closer together.
The 62-year-old Bracks, who was a popular state leader known for his amiability, hasn’t walked into the position at the easiest of times. On the international front Australian cycling failed to deliver on performance expectations at the Rio Olympics while at home the top level of domestic competition, the National Road Series, is in the midst of a review and Cycling Australia membership remained relatively flat the past financial year despite the fact that hefty growth targets were announced.
Then there is the less than healthy, but improving, financial position and the ongoing split between the disciplines of cycling, which means that Cycling Australia is one of three national cycling bodies overseeing road, track, cyclocross, mountain biking and BMX in Australia.
“I think the challenge is what attracted me to take up the role as chair,” Bracks, who is replacing a retiring Malcolm Speed, told CyclingTips in a phone interview. The challenge and perhaps also the potential to be instrumental in the process of delivering a sustainable future for the organisation and sport.
“There is a great base on which to work, and if we can get unity across the peak sporting bodies in the future that would be a great achievement,” said Bracks. “If we can make sure after gaining that, that we have a clear unequivocal strategic direction which everyone signs off on … I think that would be the key.”
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