Lance Armstrong and his former team manager Johan Bruyneel have both responded to the news that France's David Lappartient will challenge incumbent UCI president Brian Cookson in the September election. Armstrong and Bruyneel both tweeted criticism of Cookson although neither explicitly backed Lappartient
Lappartient had previously downplayed his running for UCI President only to announce Tuesday that would be challenging Cookson for the top job.
Armstrong retweeted Lappartient's announcement on Twitter, adding in a comment "ABC (Anybody But Cookson)." In January, Armstrong also offered his thoughts on Cookson via Twitter. Armstrong added a comment to a Velonews tweet regarding FDJ boss Marc Madiot, calling for a 'revolution', writing "I've never agreed with Marc Madiot on anything. Until now."
Armstrong has previously been critical of Cookson as UCI president 'for a lack of vision and inability to 'take people down'. In 2015, Armstrong told The Irish Times that "I don't know Brian Cookson," said Armstrong. "I don't know what his vision is for the sport. I don't know if he is even able to form a vision."
Bruyneel, who was in the team car for Armstrong's seven Tour de France before they were stripped in 2012, also provided commentary via Twitter. Responding to a June 3 tweet from Cookson, Bruyneel replied;
"Brian, I spared myself the time of reading your manifesto. You wrote a beautiful one 4 years ago, promised heaven and you did nothing (1/2)", he wrote. "2/2 You did nothing other than spend 3mm € on a report which did nothing else than blaming the past 4 ur own benefit. Oh, and many selfies."
Earlier in the week, Bruyneel had also been critical of Cookson on Twitter.
"Hey @BrianCooksonUCI, do u really believe that Lappartient won't run against u? @. Get ready. Actually, don't... u will lose big time," he wrote.
in 2013, Cookson defeated Pat McQuaid secure his first term as UCI president but will face a tough challenge if he wants a second four-year term. Cookson has previously stated that should he be re-elected, it would be his last term in the position. Lappartient is the current UCI vice-president and president of the European Cycling Union. He was previously the head of the French Cycling Federation (FFC) and is yet to lose an election.
Responding to the announcement that Lappartient will be a challenger in September, Cookson released a statement.
"Having changed the constitution of the UCI to introduce term limits and improve the election process after the controversial events of four years ago, I respect other people's right to announce their candidature," Cookson wrote in a statement on Tuesday. "I note that so far David Lappartient has not set out very much detail in his plan or any vision he may have beyond his well known personal ambition for the role. I look forward to debating what matters for the future of cycling over the coming months."
The UCI elections will take place on September 21 during the UCI road World Championships in Norway.
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