David Lappartient has been elected as the new president of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The Frenchman unseated Britain’s Brian Cookson, who has held the position since 2013, at the governing body’s congress in Bergen, Norway. He claimed a convincing victory following a closely fought campaign, securing 37 votes to his rival’s eight.
The decision was made by 45 voting delegates, comprising 15 from Europe, nine each from Africa, the Americas and Asia, and three more from Oceania.
Lappartient has served as the president of the European Cycling Union (UEC) since 2013, as well as being vice president of the UCI.
“I am deeply honoured to give my first presidential speech to you today,” Lappartinent said. “I am very grateful for your support. I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is a great responsibility and over the next four years of my presidency I want to prove myself worthy of such trust and deliver my commitments to you. I am delighted to see that my electors have come from all continents and that the projects I have offered you, offer greater hope for the future.”
Lappartient also offered praise for the outgoing Cookson, saying: “I imagine his disappointment because I know his interest in our sport. He will always be welcome at the UCI events.”
Cookson added: “First of all, I would like to congratulate David Lappartient on winning today’s election at the UCI Congress. The UCI I leave behind is unrecognisable from the organisation I took over in 2013 and I depart with my head held high.
“Someone needed to stand up and take on the previous regime, who had dragged cycling into the gutter and I leave the UCI knowing that I have delivered all the promises I made four years ago. I am proud of the work that I have overseen and I am proud of the tireless work that my team and I have undertaken to make the UCI an International Federation that is respected around the world.
“Our beloved sport of cycling is in a healthier condition than for generations. Our relationships with key stakeholders such as the IOC, WADA, sponsors, race organisers, teams, riders and, most importantly, our fans, is stronger than it has ever been. Our work to promote gender equality, our drive to broaden the appeal of our sport and ensure greater opportunities and support for developing nations means that cycling now inspires and excites millions more around the world.
“I am tremendously disappointed not to have been given a mandate to complete the work we began four years ago and I hope that David Lappartient will continue to move cycling in the right direction."