Cookson appoints vice-presidents

Newly elected President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Brian Cookson, has announced the three vice presidents he has entrusted to help reform the sport under his watch. For the next four years, Tracey Gaudry of the Oceania Federation, David Lappartient of the European Federation and Mohamed Wagih Azzam of the African federation will serve under Cookson. The new vice-presidents replace Italian Renato Di Rocco, Korean Hee Cho and Portugal's Artur Lopes.

"This is a new administration, I want to emphasise that, we will be making some changes," Cookson told reporters in Florence. "We have for the first time a woman in an important role in the UCI."

"I have a lot of confidence in all of those three people and I'm sure that we can really move forward now to take the UCI in a new direction."

Gaudry, the first women to serve on the UCI management committee after her election as Oceania President in 2012, now takes another step up the rung as she aims to further improve equality within the professional cycling ranks.

"Those decisions are not symbolic decisions, they are deliberate decisions to ensure that the sport of cycling embraces everything that it's about, and gender is naturally one part of that," Gaudry told AAP.

Aside from equality, Gaudry also emphasised the importance of globalisation, grass-roots development and improved anti-doping measures.

"We've already started the conversations with the right people and the right groups," she continued.

"We are already on the way. We won't change the world tomorrow and the last thing the community of cycling could and should expect, and hope, is that suddenly tomorrow everything is 500 per cent changed."

One of those conversations soon to be underway will be between the UCI and the IOC, one of the partnerships that McQuaid touted as being under serious threat should Cookson be elected.

"The first thing I'll be doing is putting in a call to the president of the IOC [International Olympic Committee] to make sure we have a good, strong relationship," explained Cookson.

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