The head of cycling’s world body Brian Cookson has told AFP he is confident he will be comfortably re-elected next week. Cookson faces a challenge from Frenchman David Lappartient, the head of Europe’s cycling body, at the vote of 45 delegates of the UCI in the Norwegian city of Bergen on Thursday.
“I’m very confident that I will have a substantial majority. I’ve been talking to all the delegates around the world, it’s hard to say, but I count on 30 votes or more,” Cookson said. The 66-year-old Briton was elected in 2013 to replace Ireland’s Pat McQuaid after a bitter election campaign and is seeking a new four-year term. “We have stabilized the UCI, we’ve restored the integrity, made really good progress,” Cookson said, speaking at the International Olympic Committee session in Lima. “I believe people see there’s a need for me to carry on. The UCI is going in the right direction,” he said.
The BBC reported Thursday that Cookson believes McQuaid is trying to influence the vote in favor of Lappartient. A landmark report published in 2015 into cycling’s doping-tainted recent history was heavily critical of McQuaid. Before beating him in the 2013 presidential race, Cookson lambasted McQuaid’s management of the Lance Armstrong scandal.