Marco Pinotti (Team BMC) has welcomed the news that Brian Cookson will stand for election as the UCI President later this year. Cookson will run against current president Pat McQuaid.
“It’s a good thing that we have two people running for the presidency. Competition brings the best out of everyone. I hope that the competition McQuaid and Cookson will only bring the best for the future of cycling,” Pinotti told Cyclingnews at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this week.
Pinotti added that he would decide on his favoured candidate only after both men had published their complete manifesto but stated that the process by which a president is elected is one that confuses him.
“I don’t know the exact election process but maybe every licence holder should have a way of influencing the election. It’s quite indirect now but the fact that I don’t know how the election process works is important. I’m sure it’s democratic in one sense but it’s not exactly a poll.”
The election is set for September during the road race world championships in Florence. Cookson has already drawn his battle lines to some extent, pivoting his position on improving the UCI’s credibility in the wake of damning allegations that fell in the wake of USADA’s investigation last year.
McQuaid has been at pains to stress that the governing body has acted appropriately at every turn but the public perception over how the issue of doping has been handled could be central to the outcome of the election.
Santambrogio's EPO positive
In recent months there has been an increase in the number of positive tests within the peloton. One of the most high profile came from Mauro Santambrogio who raced alongside Pinotti at BMC last year. Santambrogio tested positive for EPO at the Giro d’Italia and was immediately fired by the Vini Fantini team.
“It took a while to catch this rider but there’s nothing else to say. He was caught and that’s a good thing from my point of view,” Pinotti said on the matter.
“People have seen improvements in performances in the case of Santa so there were suspicions but at the end of the day you need the proof. You can’t say anything just based on speculation. There can be many reasons for a change in performance and can’t just point the finger without having the proof.”
Asked if he thought Santambrogio had started doping this season, Pinotti was diplomatic and fair in his response.
“I can’t answer with certainty and you would have to ask him. As far as I know he was caught this year and that’s when we’ve seen the big leap in performance from him in stage races. He always been consistent and a certain kind of result but this year there has been that jump. We can’t say with certainty, we can only speculate but the fact is that he tested positive this year.”
“In a race you want everyone playing by the rules. The first reaction you have when someone attacks is admiration. Then you’re dropped and you don’t see much more. Maybe you have different angle or point of view when you’re on the outside that gives you a different level of judgement but in the race it’s a bit different. As a rider you’re focused on your performance.”