27 September 2013

Hope for the UCI

Brian Cookson won 24-18

This is a good change. A very good sign today after a hard fought battle, as Brian Cookson has won the election as the new President of the Union Cycliste International (UCI) - our governing body for the sport of cycling. The organization was created in Paris in 1900 and is now based in Aigle, Switzerland.

This was a change badly needed. First elected to the post in 2006, Former President Pat McQuaid ruled over the UCI for two 4-year terms, but 8 years prior to his presidency, McQuaid served as (UCI) road commission chairman. Many saw Pat McQuaid as either the cause or the blockade against admitting fault and creating significant changes in the sport of cycling.

With McQuaid's removal we have a glimmer of hope, a chance for positive change as Brian Cookson takes office.

Brian Cookson has been the President of British Cycling since 1997, a period which saw tremendous growth of cycling in Great Britain. Cookson has been a member of the UCI management committee since 2009. Announcing his embattled presidential candidacy last June, Cookson has now stepped down from his position as President of British Cycling, determined to focus on leading the UCI into a new era.

Pat McQuaid, has a new title - Former President of the UCI. Although I fear we haven't heard or seen the last of him as he remains on the Olympic committee. Today I take great joy in reading every single headline announcing the new president of the UCI.

In the words of Brian Cookson (from his website)

"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."

What he plans to do
  1. Rebuild trust in the UCI
  2. Transform anti-doping in cycling
  3. Grow cycling across the globe
  4. Develop women’s cycling
  5. Overhaul elite road cycling
  6. Strengthen cyclings credibility and influence within the Olympic movement
Read: Brian Cookson's complete manifesto
Read: A good interview by Velonation: Brian Cookson Interview: UCI Presidential candidate speaks at length on range of topics
Read: If you would like more in depth analysis and news about this topic, I recommend reading over Joe Lindsey's blog Boulder Report

This is the man - the new face of change
UCI President Brian Cookson
presenting awards
at the races
cycling with friends
You can follow Brian Cookson at @CooksonforUCI or at www.briancookson.org/en/