Newly elected UCI president arrives in Adelaide
South Australia is the hub of the cycling world at the moment with the start of the 2014 WorldTour season at the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide this week, so it is no wonder to find newly elected UCI president Brian Cookson right in the thick of the action at stage two on Wednesday.
"It's the first time I've been to the Tour Down Under," said the former British Cycling head who was elected UCI president in late September. "I’ve been to Australia several times. It's the first time I've spent time in this part of Australia and it's great to be here."
Cookson is one of a few new faces seen across the UCI landscape, including current Amy Gillett Foundation CEO Tracey Gaudry.
"We have three new vice-presidents, including Tracey – and ex-pro rider herself," he said. "That's really helped us to take women's cycling more seriously and to develop a women's commission."
Commissions have been high on the agenda of Cookson during his first 100 days, with the Cycling Independent Reform Commission receiving the highest priority. The commission will be expected to report by the end of the year, and consists of three members, including Swiss international lawyer Dick Marty, German anti-doping specialist Ulrich Haas and Australian Peter Nicholson.
"Things are going really well I think," said Cookson. "Most of the things we've put in place seem to have been well received and it's always a challenge. We're doing the right thing, we've got a really good group of people together now for the independent commission that is going to review the history, the problems of doping in cycling and the allegations against the UCI.
"It's really important we get that up and running," he added.
Cookson says that the UCI is still agreeing on the terms with on which world cycling’s governing body will be able to operate under the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
"We hope to make the final announcement about that in the next few days," Cookson concluded. "The commission will be absolutely, totally independent. It is important we get that right. I won't be interfering with it, my management committee won't be interfering with it and we will give it independence and impartiality."