Speculation over a potential merger of the Asian Cycling Confederation’s and Oceania Cycling Confederation’s respective annual cycling championships has been building over the last year, but a video promotion recently uploaded by a national cycling federation certainly adds an air of imminence – though perhaps fruition will come later than the video suggests.
The national cycling federation in question is Malaysia’s. If it seems odd that Malaysia should be at the centre of this breaking news, consider the fact it was Bernama (Berita Nasional Malaysia), an independent news agency of the Malaysian Government – similar to the ABC in Australia – that first broke the news of a possible merging of the two UCI confederations in October last year.
Sadly, the link in the above link is broken, and the article can no longer be found. However, fortunately SBS’s Cycling Central managed to publish a quick overview in an article not long after the above tweet [Incidentally, Cycling Central, a small acknowledgement of the original sourcing by the article’s author would have been appreciated].
The video, uploaded to Malaysia Cycling Federation’s official Youtube Channel, spruiks 2014 as the year of the ‘1st Integrated Oceanian-Asian Cycling Championships 2014′; which either suggests UCI president Pat McQuaid has already had a follow-up chat with Kazakhstan’s president about a small addition to the 2014 Asian Cycling Championships, or the video is an internal presentation (it had received 12 views at time of this post) designed for in-the-know stakeholders, that has been published in error.
Given another video on the MNCF’s playlist, titled ‘Road Report Asia Race 2012′, shares the same voiceover and artwork as the ‘1st Integrated Oceanian-Asian Cycling Championships 2014′ video, one can only conclude they have been prepared by the same team; which, in this case, is the Asian Cycling Confederation’s Road Sub-Committee.
Though no related comments or indications from the Asian Cycling Confederation’s last annual general meeting have been published, the Oceania Cycling Confederation’s new president, Tracey Gaudry, in an interview with CyclingTips last month, stated talks of co-operation at various levels were already underway, even if a merger of the confederation’s respective racing calendars was a “long, long way down the track”:
“When you look at the Oceania Road Championships that are coming up, or the track champs back in December, surely, in the first instance, we should be inviting our continental neighbours to compete in our championships and they should be inviting us.
This would provide racing experience, it would provide a greater spectacle for the audience and a greater incentive for the community to come and watch. You can’t be the continental champion if it’s not your region, but you can win the race. A bit like when internationals could ride in the National Championships, but they they can’t any more.”
Cycling iQ contacted both the Asian Cycling Confederation and Oceania Cycling Confederation. The following email reply from the Office of the ACC Secretary General confirms the video was a “pre-study” for “internal purpose” and not for public viewing:
“The Youtube Video about the Combined ACC-OCC Championships seems to be falsely released by Malaysian Cycling Federation whose President is Chairman of the ACC Track and Road Committee. He made a pre-study on it as one of the ACC’s internal purpose, but we ACC have not formally determined to organize it at the moment. We need of course to work more with OCC before make any decision on it.”