Your Friday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

January 20, 2017

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Caleb Ewan asserts Tour Down Under sprint dominance with stage 3 win; The comeback star: Marianne Vos on her stellar cross season and the pure joy of being back; Cookson answers questions at Tour Down Under; Nippo – Vini Fantini manager asks for Italian federation, UCI to intervene in Giro wildcard process; RCS Sport director responds to wildcard selection reactions; Quintana to race Giro-Tour double;Wiggins’ former teammate speaks in defence of TUEs; 15 WorldTour teams for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad; Gaudry re-elected as President of the Oceania Cycling Confederation; Armstrong enters endurance MTB race with former Postal teammates; Santos Tour Down Under, stage 3 highlights; ORICA-Scott Backstage Pass – Tour Down Under, stage 3; Video: Cyclist has close call with falling tree.

Cookson answers questions at Tour Down Under

by CyclingTips

While attending the Santos Tour Down Under, the first race of the UCI WorldTour schedule, UCI president Brian Cookson took time to answer questions from the assembled media in a press conference named ‘Coffee with Cookson.’ During the event the former head of British Cycling was asked about the ongoing UK Anti-Doping investigation into British Cycling and Team Sky, the independent investigation into the culture of British Cycling, as well as a possible challenge to his current position when he is up for reelection in the fall.

Cookson confirmed that he had given testimony to the independent investigation, but would not elaborate on what evidence he provided. “I’ve made a contribution and was asked by Annamarie Phelps to make a contribution over the telephone. I’m happy to await the outcome. Elite sport isn’t always a comfortable place to be. A results orientated philosophy can sometimes be difficult for those involved but by in large I’m confident that British Cycling behaved appropriately at the time.”

When asked about the ongoing controversy surrounding British Cycling and Team Sky over a medical package sent to Bradley Wiggins in 2011, Cookson was reluctant to answer directly, citing the ongoing nature of the inquiry. “As far as I’m concerned, I was not aware of any day-to-day operations of that nature. But I’m sure everybody involved behaved appropriately. We’ll see what comes out of the enquiry. It’s not my responsibility anymore. It’s a matter for UKAD to investigate and if they ask me I’ll cooperate with them.”

Cookson was also asked about the rumours regarding possible challenges to him for his reelection in the fall, namely from one of his current vice presidents David Lappartient, who recently stepped down as head of the French Cycling Federation, indicating to many an intention to run for head of the UCI. While Cookson mostly deflected the questions about this, he finally relented and implied that he had unfinished business he wants to get to as head of the UCI, and that he would support another if given that opportunity. “David is an ambitious young man and may well decide to be a candidate at some stage. If I was him, I’d wait another four years. He’d probably have an extremely good chance, he wouldn’t be opposing me, but it’s a matter for him.”

“We’ve done a lot of work in rebuilding the image and integrity of the sport. It’s not perfect yet, we’ve still got some way to go. But if I look at the anti-doping situation, I think we’ve got now really good processes that are genuinely independent. There is no possibility of conflicts of interest, no way in which I could interfere in the process, even if I wanted to, which I don’t.”

Click through to read an in-depth analysis at CyclingTips.