Cookson closes on top job
British candidate Brian Cookson won a significant victory over his Irish rival Pat McQuaid in the UCI presidential election battle.
Cookson gained support from a clear majority of the national federations of the European Cycling Union [UEC] at a special meeting in Zurich, beating current UCI president McQuaid by 27 votes to 10. It is understood that the Irish federation, which has not nominated McQuaid, abstained.
It means that all 14 European delegates who will vote in the UCI election in Florence on September 27 are now mandated to vote for Cookson, who needs 22 of the 42 global votes to win.
Cookson said: "I am delighted to have received the overwhelming support of the UEC who have shown such a positive approach to the development of our sport.
"The discussions and debate we had this morning following my presentation were extremely encouraging. I would like to congratulate the UEC for their professionalism in organising today's debate and for ensuring such a dignified environment for the presentations to take place.
"There was a real appetite for change to help restore the credibility of the UCI and I am confident of building on the support of the UEC and federations from around the world as we head into the last days of the election."
The UEC also voted against the proposal to amend the UCI constitution retrospectively to allow any two federations to nominate a presidential candidate. If that vote is repeated at the congress in Florence it should prevent McQuaid even standing, as he has not been nominated either by Ireland or by Switzerland where he lives.
Cookson added: "I am also very pleased that the UEC has voted so strongly against amending the rules of the election retrospectively."