Bob Howden has today been elected the new president of British Cycling – and admits that his predecessor Brian Cookson, who became UCI president in September, is “a tough act to follow.”
Howden, a member of British Cycling for 43 years, has been acting chair of the organisation since Cookson beat Pat McQuaid to secure the UCI presidency in Florence six weeks ago.
He was elected president of the governing body at the annual meeting of its National Council in Crewe today and has been a British Cycling board member for 13 years. He also chairs its Yorkshire region.
After being elected president, Howden said: “I am delighted to have been elected as British Cycling’s President with a mandate to push on with ensuring that British Cycling is achieving its objectives.
“We will remain true to what has become our tradition: to succeed on the world stage and to inspire people to enjoy riding their bikes more often, be it for sport, recreation or transport.
Howden paid tribute to his predecessor, who helped rescue British Cycling from the brink of bankruptcy and helped lay the foundations for the country's success at the Olympics and beyond, leading to a boom in the organisation's membership.
He said: “Brian Cookson is a tough act to follow – especially when you look at the amazing roll call of successes that British Cycling has enjoyed under his leadership.
“We are certainly riding high and it’s now my job to ensure that we build on this.
“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.”
British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake, commented: “Bob Howden has a long history of working for the sport at all levels – from working as a volunteer and a Commissaire, to leading a Regional Board and sitting on various Commissions – he truly knows cycling inside out.
“There is no better person to build on the foundations Brian Cookson has laid for cycling in Great Britain.”
Howden, who raced for 24 years and is a former junior division road champion, founded the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling and has also organised the national road championships on three occasions – most recently at Ampleforth in 2012.
He has also served on various British Cycling commissions, and outside the sport is owner and managing director of paving business, Grass Concrete Limited.
Today’s National Council meeting also approved changes to the composition of the British Cycling Board – instead of eight elected members, the organisation can now elect up to seven board members, plus three non-executive directors, the first of whom will be appointed in April next year.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.