Brian Cookson set to face French challenge for UCI presidency?

Marc Madiot backs fellow Frenchman David Lappartient for possible leadership challenge

Brian Cookson could face a challenge to his presidency of the UCI, with Marc Madiot saying that the French National Cycling League (LNC) would back David Lappartient if he chose to run.

Lappartient, who is currently one of Cookson’s two vice presidents as well as being president of the European Cycling Union, is tipped to challenge Cookson when the Briton’s four-year term ends in September, but has not yet formally announced that he is running.

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Asked by Le Parisien if he would back Lappartient for the presidency, Madiot, who is president of the LNC as well as being team manager of FDJ, said that if he had a vote, then he would.

“Unfortunately, I do not have a ballot. But yes, he has the support of the LNC and of French cycling.

“We need a true revolution, an overhaul of the overall function of cycling. And that goes via the election of the new president of the UCI. Change is needed.”

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If Lappartient successfully challenges Cookson, then he would be the UCI’s first French president since 1958.

Madiot also talked about the demise of the Tour of Qatar, saying that cycling should focus its attention on preserving and cultivating existing races before trying to expand into new areas.

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“The loss of the Tour of Qatar shows that it is not easy to organise events. Whatever the country, whatever kind of event, sooner or later the financial aspect comes into play.

“It proves that cycling has to be built on its values, its strengths, with races that exist for decades. And they have to be preserved and supported. When you go to exotic countries things can stop quickly. That was the case with the Tour of Beijing.”