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Sean Kelly rides to Pat McQuaid's defence


Former Tour de France green jersey winner Sean Kelly has hit out at Pat McQuaid’s critics as the Irish cycling chief prepares for a crucial vote that could determine whether he stays on as Union Cycliste Internationale president.

Cycling Ireland’s clubs will decide whether the federation should nominate McQuaid to stand for re-election as president in Dublin on Saturday.

McQuaid is being challenged by British Cycling’s Brian Cookson for the leadership of the UCI. The governing body was implicated in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal by the US Anti-Doping Agency, with McQuaid criticised for his management of the scandal. But Kelly thinks the critics have been too harsh on his fellow countryman, who has been president since 2006.

“It was a real difficult time for cycling. These were bad years for cycling and McQuaid has suffered because of that,” he said.