British Cycling president Brian Cookson is set to stand against Pat McQuaid for the presidency of the UCI in September, according to The Telegraph. It is understood that Cookson will formally announce his candidacy on Tuesday.
Cookson has been president of British Cycling since 1997 and was elected to the UCI Management Committee in 2009. He has been president of the UCI Road Commission since 2011.
Cookson is likely to face current incumbent Pat McQuaid in the election in Florence in September. McQuaid’s nomination for re-election was endorsed by the Swiss Cycling in May after his home federation, Cycling Ireland, opted to call an Emergency General Meeting to decide whether or not to support his bid.
McQuaid has been UCI president since 2006 and is now seeking a third term at the helm.
“I have no problem with other candidates coming forward. It’s a democracy and everyone has that right. As long as it’s a good campaign and a clean campaign I have no problem with that,” McQuaid said when contacted by Cyclingnews on Monday afternoon.
“I’ve not started my campaign yet. I’ve enough with UCI work to consider my campaign yet.”
In the aftermath of the USADA's reasoned decision in to the Lance Armstrong affair in October, Cookson warned that it was the UCI's "last chance to re-establish itself as a credible organisation" but in February, he moved to downplay speculation that he was considering running for president. “I think McQuaid has being doing a good job in many ways and he has my support. Pat is showing all the signs of wanting to continue," he told Cyclingnews.
McQuaid admitted that he was surprised by Cookson’s apparent decision to throw his hat into the ring. “I’m a little bit surprised with Brian, but that’s as much as I’d like to say on that. I know him very well and I’ve known him for a long time,” said McQuaid.
Asked if he was confident of securing a third term as UCI president, McQuaid said: “I’m confident that I would have a lot of support.”