Cookson makes cycling vow
British Cycling president Brian Cookson will aim to restore credibility to cycling should he win the vote to replace Pat McQuaid as UCI chief.
Cookson is hoping to oust McQuaid when the UCI congress votes for the world governing body's next president at the World Road Championships on September 27 in Florence, Italy.
With cycling still struggling to overcome the Lance Armstrong scandal which erupted 12 months ago, Cookson spoke on Sunday at the European Cycling Union conference, where he and McQuaid are presenting their programmes to the national federations.
"For many outside this room our beautiful sport is associated with ugly things - doping, decisions made behind closed doors, manipulation of the rules and regular conflict," he said.
"This has to stop. The reason I'm running for president is I know I can restore our credibility. I represent a completely clean break from the past.
"If we turn the page, break from the past and restore the UCI's credibility - we will unlock the tremendous potential of this sport which we all love and have sacrificed so much for.
"I want the UCI to re-focus on its core mission of developing the sport. I also want to make sure that the UCI has a clearly understood role in developing the business of cycling.
"Please, let's believe that the future can be very different - and so much better - than the past.
"I am offering you a different style of leadership - a period of calmer waters, of building consensus, of listening to you, our national federations, and of creating the conditions in which, together, we can push our sport forwards."
The contest between Cookson and McQuaid is turning into an increasingly bitter one - and a process which is still in dispute after the latter failed to secure a nomination from either his home country, Ireland, or Switzerland, his current place of residence.
McQuaid now wants the UCI congress to vote in a rule change to allow him to be nominated by Thailand and Morocco. A number of federations, including the United States, have asked for the UCI to take the dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a decision on whether that should be permitted.
McQuaid earlier this week issued a strongly-worded statement in response to corruption allegations and called for Cookson to help protect the "democratic process" of electing a new leader.
Cookson responded: "Pat McQuaid has continuously asserted that I do not want to face a democratic vote in Florence.
"Nothing could be further from the truth. I have total respect for the constitution and democratic processes of the UCI, which I have followed to the letter at every step.
"So I want to make the following pledge to you. Even if I were to be the sole candidate standing in Florence, I will only accept the presidency if I receive a majority of delegate votes."