Cookson begins re-election bid with new manifesto

Brian Cookson was at the 2016 Tour of Pologne

Brian Cookson was at the 2016 Tour of Pologne (Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)

Brian Cookson's manifesto penned in to become UCI president in 2013 was called "Restoring Trust, Leading Change", but his unnamed plan for the next four years should he be re-elected in September is far humbler in its declarations.

When the Briton moved to unseat Pat McQuaid four years ago, the UCI was embroiled in controversy following USADA's case against Lance Armstrong, and it faced accusations of failing in combating doping. Under Cookson, the UCI shifted its anti-doping operations to the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, overhauled the federation's code of ethics, constitution and governance, created the UCI Women's WorldTour and expanded the men's WorldTour calendar, ticking off much of his six-point plan from 2013.

For the coming campaign, Cookson said he is "seeking the continued trust and support of the cycling community" to continue that progress.

"We are now proud to be a well-respected international federation, seen by WADA and other anti-doping organisations as being the reference point in our work for clean sport," Cookson said.

"I stood for the Presidency of the UCI in 2013 as I felt strongly that the UCI needed to embrace a new way of doing things and address, head-on, the critical challenges facing our sport. I believe the record shows I have kept my promises and made real progress during my first term."

Part of the changes made toward becoming a more transparent organisation was to introduce a two-term limit for UCI presidents, so should Cookson win again in Bergen this September, the coming term will be his last.

"We have made a great start but there is much more that needs to be done. That's why I'm standing for a second and final term as UCI President."

Cookson's new plan is to increase growth in all cycling disciplines, further promote international development, ensure equal opportunities for men and women to compete, build on the UCI's credibility and excellence in operations, and to champion cycling for transportation and leisure.

"Over the next four years I want to build on the strong foundation we now have in place, but of course I cannot deliver this alone. I need your help and support to implement this plan, so that, together, we can continue the job and achieve a strong and truly global cycling community," he concluded.

Cookson may be challenged by two different men: Tom Van Damme (Head of Belgian Federation) and David Lappartient (European Federation head) have each indicated that they were considering running against him.

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