Brian Cookson today won the election to become the new President of the UCI with a vote of 24 to 18, ousting Pat McQuaid in a move that will please much of the cycling world. Cookson therefore steps down as boss of British Cycling. He has campaigned on the themes of greater transparency and the introduction of an independent anti-doping commission and investigation into the doping culture of the past.
Bikebiz has this quote from him on the announcement.
“It is a huge honour to have been elected president of the UCI by my peers and I would like to thank them for the trust they have placed in me today.
“The campaign to get to this point has been intense but I am under no illusion that the real work starts now. So I call on the global cycling community to unite and come together to help ensure that our great sport realises its enormous potential. This is the vision that will drive and focus my activities over the next four years.
“I have said throughout my campaign that we must embrace a new style of governance and a collegiate way of working so that a new era of growth and commercial success for the UCI and our sport can begin.
“My first priorities as president will be to make anti-doping procedures in cycling fully independent, sit together with key stakeholders in the sport and work with WADA to ensure a swift investigation into cycling’s doping culture.
“It is by doing these things that we will build a firm platform to restore the reputation of our International Federation with sponsors, broadcasters, funding partners, host cities and the International Olympic Committee. Ultimately this is how we grow our sport worldwide and get more riders and fans drawn into cycling.
“Finally, while there have been some difficult moments between myself and my opponent Pat McQuaid during this election contest, I would like to thank Pat for the contribution he has made to cycling during his long career. I wish him well in whatever he goes on to do.”
Meanwhile, in the UK, British Cycling is going to have to find a new boss as he can’t do both jobs.
Speaking shortly after the result was announced, Cookson said:
“My election as President of the world cycling federation – the UCI – means that I can no longer continue as President of British Cycling.
“I am sorry to leave an organisation which I have seen make extraordinary progress over the last 16 years, but I am absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring about the changes that cycling needs worldwide.
“I know that I am moving on from British Cycling with the organisation in fantastic shape, and I am already looking forward to the challenges ahead as President of the UCI.”
And seemingly even Lance is happy with the result. He has just Tweeted a simple: ‘Hallelujah’
So… interesting times? Or do you reckon it won’t change anything?