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by Shane Stokes
September 21, 2017
Photography by Shane Stokes
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Challenger David Lappartient has had a landslide victory at the UCI presidential elections, receiving over four times as many votes as the incumbent, Brian Cookson. The Frenchman received 37 out of the 45 delegate votes, with Cookson receiving just eight.
Cookson had suggested earlier this month that he had a sizeable majority of delegates on his side, but rumours from the world championships in Bergen, Norway, had suggested that things were far closer than that. Ultimately there was a big gap, but in the opposite direction.
Part of Lappartient’s manifesto was based around a pledge to ramp up testing for technological fraud and also to strengthen anti-doping processes. He also said that he would work to advance women’s cycling.
Cookson had run on a platform of continuing the advancements he said he had brought to the sport. He expressed his disappointment with the outcome on Thursday, but said he had delivered on his initial goals. “Someone needed to stand up and take on the previous regime, who had dragged cycling into the gutter. I leave the UCI knowing that I have delivered all the promises I made four years ago.” [see his full reaction here]
Addressing the international delegates, Lappartient gave a brief speech.
“I am deeply honoured to address my first presidential speech before you today,” he said. “You just elected me as the president of the Union Cycliste Internationale, and I am very grateful for your support and wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
“It is a great responsibility and I will endeavour in the next four years of my presidency to be worthy of such trust and deliver my commitment to you. I am delighted to see that my electors have come from all continents. The projects that I have proposed to the UCI and which I share with you seems to offer great hope for the future of international cycling.
“I wish to greet my competitor Brian Cookson. I can imagine his disappointment because I know his interest in our sport which he practices regularly. He will of course always be welcome at the UCI events.”
Lappartient thanked a number of people, including the organisers of the world championships in Bergen, his family and also those who had helped him with his campaign. He appeared to give a commitment to work with those who are currently part of the UCI.
“Change generates fear. It is normal,” he said. “However I would like to reconfirm to the UCI employees that I know their value and their professionalism, and we need your expertise and commitment to work with me in delivering this four year plan.
“As of Tuesday I will be at the UCI headquarters in Aigle to meet each and every one of you, and to begin working on what I was elected to do. I want to reiterate my pride in presiding over this respectable international federation that is Union Cyclist Internationale, as I measure the duty of responsibility you have entrusted in me.”
Lappartient previously laid out his aims in the interviews linked below.
Also see: Cookson speaks after election loss: ‘I depart with my head held high’