With nominations closed last Saturday for the UCI presidential election in Florence in September, the UCI has confirmed that existing president Pat McQuaid, seeking a third term, and British Cycling president Brian Cookson, are the two candidates who will go head to head, with no other potential rivals having come forward ahead of the deadline.
McQuaid's nomination from Swiss Cycling, the national federation of the country where he lives and where the UCI is based, is conditional on it overcoming a legal challenge from some members.
The Irishman, however, whose potential nomination from Cycling Ireland was defeated by a vote at an Emergency General Meeting in Dublin last month, insists that everything is in order.
In a communication from the UCI, McQuaid and Cookson, who have already fired salvoes at each other through press releases, adopted a less confrontational stance than will be seen in the months ahead of the UCI Congress in Florence on 27 September.
McQuaid said: “Cycling has changed since I became UCI President in 2005. Cycling is now a global sport. It is now possible to race and win clean. During the past eight years I have introduced the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport to cycling and opened up everything that is beautiful about our sport to new countries around the world.
“Cycling is a changed sport and it has a bright future. My mission now is ensure that we never turn back and that we preserve the culture of change within the peloton, that we revolutionize the way that we present our sport and that we continue to develop cycling worldwide in collaboration with all of our stakeholders.”
Cookson commented: “The UCI and cycling face some huge challenges as we look to the future but our great sport also has some incredible opportunities – if we can grasp them. I believe that I have a strong and proven track record in delivering positive change in cycling and in a way that is collegiate – not confrontational – as my time as President of British Cycling shows.
“I want to see the UCI defined by genuine collaboration, renewed trust and with a vision to fully tackle the issues we face. If we deliver then cycling can reach new heights in the years ahead.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.