David McQuaid, race director of the ongoing Tour de India, admitted that cycling has hit an all-time low because of the Lance Armstrong controversy.
“During the whole controversy, the sport has hit a low,” McQuaid told DNA on Sunday. “But the only way it can go now is upwards. It has the support of the world governing body and the riders, and all the interested parties are now working on the same page.”
When asked whether cycling could become a dope-free sport in the future, McQuaid, son of International Cycling Union (UCI) Pat, said: “Obviously, people are tempted to cheat in every sport that has a lot of money. But I’m sure that in the future it’s only going to be a very small minority in cycling.”
Three years ago, when McQuaid first visited India, he made it his dream to see the country host the World Championships in 2020. Today, he says it can become a reality. “Seeing the technical capabilities of the Indians, I had set a 10-year plan in 2010. The deadline for the formal application being 2017, it gives us five years now to impress the governing body and top cycling teams of the world,” he said.
On the standard of Indian riders, the Irishman said: “The Indian riders were very competitive today and their standards have improved. But, they need to start participating in international races where the level is higher. You must need to walk before you can run.”