Lappartient launches bid for UCI presidency

European Cycling Union (UEC) president David Lappartient has today (Tuesday) confirmed he will stand for the top job at the International Cycling Union (UCI), providing a serious rival for Brian Cookson’s ambitions of securing re-election.

The 44-year-old Frenchman, a UCI vice-president and former president of the French Cycling Federation (FFC), has long been linked to a run for the UCI presidency. Elections will take place on the sidelines of the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway on September 21 and Lappartient has revealed his candidacy ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for applications.

“After deep thinking and reflection I have made the decision to be a candidate for the presidency of UCI at the September 21st Congress, in Bergen – Norway,” Lappartient said in a statement. “Like you, I have great passion for cycling and I want to serve our sport at the highest level. I have always voiced my concerns on the various challenges I have witnessed at UCI, and as a vice-president of the organisation, I have been made aware of a number of issues that must be urgently addressed if cycling is to remain a credible sport.

“It is crucial that we have at UCI a president with a real leadership, who is truly engaged and with a clear vision for cycling. I have these qualities and the credentials it takes to lead UCI.”

Lappartient was re-elected as UEC president in March. In January, Cookson suggested that Lappartient wait until 2021 before running for the UCI presidency. Cookson has already declared his intention to stand for re-election to the presidency at the sport’s global governing body.

The Englishman, who succeeded Ireland’s Pat McQuaid as president of the UCI in September 2013, informed delegates of his intended candidacy at the UEC’s annual congress in Portugal in March 2016 and unveiled his manifesto earlier this month.

Lappartient has already received the backing of the FFC for his bid and today revealed a manifesto revolving around the five key principles of strengthening the authority of the UCI with a president ensuring real and effective leadership, placing the UCI at the service of National Federations, making cycling a sport of the 21st century, developing an ambitious vision for professional cycling and ensuring credibility of sporting results and protecting athletes.

He said: “Professional road cycling is the highlight of our sport! However, the recent reforms have unfortunately failed to meet the challenges we are facing with, in this discipline. In collaboration with the different stakeholders, I will put in place fundamental and ambitious changes to improve road cycling.

“I will be relentless when it comes to guaranteeing the credibility and accuracy of race results. We must be unshakable when dealing with technological fraud, doping or the potential manipulation of results related to sports betting. It is the mission of the UCI to guarantee these core values. I will be strongly committed to my role as your leader and will make the changes we need in cycling.”