Former US Postal team manager Johan Bruyneel has hit back at those who have criticised his presence at Bradley Wiggins’s UCI Hour Record attempt on Sunday at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London.
Bruyneel, who resides in the British capital, was photographed in the track centre talking with former UCI president Pat McQuaid as he watched Wiggins’s successful attempt at the Hour Record.
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For some observers, Bruyneel’s attendance at the event left a sour taste: the Belgian is serving a 10-year ban from being involved in professional cycling after his part in the US Postal cycling team doping scandal that saw Lance Armstrong stripped of seven Tour de France victories and banned for life.
McQuaid, too, is viewed by many as a controversial figure for his tenure as UCI president during a doping-troubled period of the sport.
Many assumed that Bruyneel had been invited to the VIP area of the event – but Bruyneel says that he bought tickets, and has posted a succession of replies via Twitter to those that have questioned his appearance, telling them to “#GetOverIt”.
“For the record, I bought my tickets. Do you want to prohibit me from buying tickets and go see a sporting event?” said Bruyneel.
Despite Armstrong being stripped of the Tour titles, Bruyneel still displays the message ‘9x Tour de France winning sports director’ on his Twitter page and personal website.