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UCI president Brian Cookson laid forth his vision for organized cycling Friday as he confirmed, via his web site, that he is seeking a second four-year term as president of the sport’s governing body.
“By working together we’ve come a long way in the four years since I was elected,” Cookson wrote. “Today pride has been restored to cycling and our sport is cleaner, stronger and more transparent. We have made great progress together, but there is more to be done to secure these foundations and accelerate the growth of cycling across the world. That is why I am standing for a second and final term as UCI President to build on this progress and finish the work I have committed to do.
“I am excited to share with you my six-point plan for how we can build on the success we have achieved and, together, reinforce our sport where it is traditionally strong and accelerate the growth of cycling across the world.”
Cookson was elected president in September 2013, in Florence, Italy, after a contentious campaign against Irishman Pat McQuaid, who had served two four-year terms.
On the heels of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service team published in October 2012, Cookson ran on a platform of reforming the sport’s image as many pointed to McQuaid’s tenure as president during the sport’s most turbulent era. However now Cookson faces scrutiny of his own due to allegations of bullying and discrimination at British Cycling while he was president, as well as the UK Anti-Doping investigation into TUEs and questionable medical practices at Team Sky in 2011 through 2013, with ties from the team back to the federation.
Cookson’s most likely challenger comes in the form of David Lappartient, president of the Union of European Cycling (UEC) and former president of the French Cycling Federation.
Lappartient, who was re-elected to his post as president of the European Cycling Union in March, has not formally announced his candidacy, though he has the backing of FDJ manager Marc Madiot.
At the Tour Down Under in January, Cookson described Lappartient to a group of journalists as “an ambitious young man” adding that he might decide on being a candidate “at some stage.”
Cookson says that his six-point plan “will drive growth across all cycling’s disciplines, accelerate our international development, champion cycling for transport and leisure, ensure there is equal opportunity for men and women to participate and compete, build on our restored credibility and ensure the UCI continues to drive excellence in our operations.”
The 2017 UCI presidential election takes place at the World Cycling Congress, which takes place during the road world championships in September in Bergen, Norway.
The introduction to Cookson’s manifesto is presented below. Cookson’s full manifesto can be downloaded here.
I love cycling, and have done so since I was a young boy. For me it is a passion and it is great to see this passion shared so strongly across the world. By working together we’ve come a long way in the four years since I was elected. Today pride has been restored to cycling and our sport is cleaner, stronger and more transparent. We have made great progress together, but there is more to be done to secure these foundations and accelerate the growth of cycling across the world. That is why I am standing for a second and final term as UCI President to build on this progress and finish the work I have committed to do.
I am excited to share with you my six point plan for how we can build on the success we have achieved and, together, reinforce our sport where it is traditionally strong and accelerate the growth of cycling across the world.
I stood for the Presidency of the UCI in 2013 as I felt strongly that the UCI needed to embrace a new way of doing things and address, head on, some of the critical challenges facing our sport. I have been honoured by the trust that has been placed in me to lead the UCI, and I am proud of the work we have done together since September, 2013.
Together we have achieved many things. One of my most important commitments was to review and improve, where needed, our governance and transparency. That’s why we revised our Constitution, introducing a number of improvements in line with best practice, including term limits for the UCI President.
Looking back to 2013 the UCI, and our sport, faced a number of severe challenges. Our credibility as an international federation had come into question. I addressed these challenges directly, from the very first day of taking office. The work has been hard but the results are clear. We are now proud to be a well-respected international federation, seen by WADA in particular as being the reference point in our work for clean sport.
Our work on ethics, on the constitution, on governance structures and on clean sport has placed the UCI in a strong position, but we must continue to challenge ourselves constantly on meeting the highest standards.
Over the next four years I want to build on the strong foundation we have in place, but of course I cannot deliver this alone. Now I am asking again for your support, to help deliver this six point strategic plan, keep cycling growing globally, and finish the work I am so passionate about.