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Bicycles for Humanity, Revisited

Pat Montani has been a successful technology entrepreneur for most of his professional life, having built up and sold various telecommunications companies, while making significant advances in the field of video conferencing and cloud computing services in the process. But in the mid-2000s, the Canadian businessman began looking at how he might be able to leverage his business acumen and financial connections to benefit a greater good. Virtually overnight, he and his wife Brenda founded an initiative called Bicycles for Humanity – better known today as B4H – and kicked off an empowerment-based movement that has brought education, commercial opportunities, and improved healthcare to many underserved and impoverished communities around the world. But were it not for a chance introduction to the late Paul Sherwen at the start of the project, B4H might not have evolved as quickly, or...

Mike Plant Interview (3): Q&A with Mike Plant on Lappartient, ASO, and Pro Cycling’s Governance Challenges

Editors’ Note: In the first two installments of our in-depth interview with Mike Plant, we examined his roots and history in the sport of pro cycling, as well as his involvement in various other Olympic and professional sports. In this Q&A with Plant, we get his take on cycling’s recent history, including some of the most contentious and controversial times in the sport’s history – and what he sees as the future, and potential opportunities for the sport in the future. The Outer Line: What do you feel has worked in the UCI’s current business structure, and what hasn’t? Can you provide some specific examples? Mike Plant: Well, first of all, international sports federations (IFs) are very complex organizations, they are not at all like the organizations and structures that you find in the professional sports world. Entities in pro sports are usually governed by the people who have...

Mike Plant Interview (2): How Mike Plant Tried to Build a Grand Tour Triple Crown

Editor’s Note: In Part 2 of our interview with Mike Plant, we look at the biggest project that never was in professional cycling – the proposed Grand Tour Triple Crown. We examine how the idea started, where it went sideways, and how that experience redirected Plant to tackle different challenges in cycling and the international sporting stage. In 1994, Mike Plant turned his attention to a bigger prize: creating an international “Triple Crown” series for cycling that he believed would completely reshape the cycling’s landscape. “My vision for a global triple crown was to tie together different economic zones with a year-long competition,” Plant said. “There was the Tour de France, us (Medalist) with DuPont, and we had the opportunity to add the third. Other sports have this – why shouldn’t cycling?” Plant foresaw a major tour on three different continents: Europe, North America – and...

Mike Plant Interview (1): How Mike Plant Laid the Foundation for USA Cycling

Editors’ Note: This three-part series examines the career and sporting insights of Mike Plant, former USA Cycling Chief, founder of Medalist Sports, and long-time UCI executive. In Part 1, we look at Plant’s competitive and management career, and the role that he has played in both U.S. and international cycling, as well as other Olympic sports. In Part 2, we will take a look at his contributions to international sport and the race that almost was – the Grand Tour Triple Crown – as well as his path to becoming a Major League Baseball business executive. Then, in Part 3, we will delve more deeply into Plant’s ideas and opinions about pro cycling today, what has promoted or constrained the sport’s growth in the past, and his perspectives and recommendations about what cycling needs to do to modernize and become more sustainable in the future. Perhaps more than any other single...

Former Giro Director Michele Acquarone Finally Cleared of All Charges

Word came today from an Italian court in Milan that, after more than six years of false accusations, investigations and legal wrangling, former Giro d’Italia chief Michele Acquarone has been cleared of the fraud and embezzlement charges that were levied against him by his former employer in late 2013. According to reports in the Italian media earlier today, Acquarone and six other former officials of RCS Sport, the parent company of the Giro, including Acquarone’s former colleague Giacomo Catano, have been acquitted of all charges. Acquarone has protested his innocence for years, and has been fighting the slow-moving and bureaucratic Italian justice system to clear his name ever since he was sacked in late 2013. Not only did he lose his job at the Giro, where he widely considered to be a rising star, the allegations made it almost impossible for him to find employment elsewhere....