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McQuaid sportingly accepts defeat in UCI election

Pat McQuaid fronts a French Senate hearing into anti-doping

Pat McQuaid fronts a French Senate hearing into anti-doping (Image credit: AFP)

Pat McQuaid made a swift exit from the Palazzo Vecchio in the centre of Florence, congratulating Brian Cookson on being elected as the new president of the UCI but insisting he would stay in cycling.

There was no mention of an appeal or fighting back. Indeed, McQuaid sportingly accepted defeat.

As he closed the Congress and prepared to begin life without an influential political role in cycling, he showed his first sign of emotion after losing the vote to Cookson as he talked about his family.

"My wife will have me back as her husband and our children will have their father back," he said, his voice cracking with emotion.

Many of the McQuaid family, who have enjoyed different roles in the sport while Pat McQuaid was in power, gave him a round of applause.

"Now I'm looking forward to a good holiday, which I badly need," McQuaid said as he left the meeting room decorated with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo alfrescos, that had hosted his defeat.

"Of course I'm disappointed to lose but that's life, that's how it goes. They've decided, they've elected a new president, so good luck to the new president and the new management committee," he said as he tired to push his way through the media.

McQuaid was a race organisers before becoming a senior UCI politician. He will now have to resign his membership of the IOC but he insisted he will stay in the sport, with some kind of new role.

"I'll stay in cycling, I've been in it all my life. I'll find something to do," he said before walking out of the room, ending his role as the head of cycling.

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