(ATR) Incumbent International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson is taking the offensive against challenger David Lappartient with one month left before the election.
UCI President Brian Cookson (ATR)
Cookson is touting his work toward transforming women’s cycling while criticizing Lappartient for his “lamentable” record in that area.
Lappartient, the president of European Cycling Union (UEC) and former president of the French Cycling Federation (FFC), is making the growth of women’s cycling a staple of his campaign. He has called for the ICU to establish its own top-level stage race.
“David Lappartient has done little in his role as President of UEC and the French Cycling Federation to suggest he takes any interest in women’s cycling until now, when he thinks it could win him votes,” Cookson said in a statement.
“If he wanted a woman on the European candidates’ list, why didn't he make it happen in his four years as UEC President? The one woman he had on the UEC Management Committee from 2013-17 quit in disillusion because he never consulted with her or any other of his Management Committee colleagues!
“Women’s races have dropped off the calendar in France and his overall record where women’s cycling is concerned is nothing short of lamentable.”
David Lappartient is challenging Cookson (UCI)
Around the Rings
asked the Lappartient campaign to comment on Cookson's statements, and the campaign says it is working on a response.
Cookson made his comments at the weekend around the debut of The Ladies Tour of Norway, part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour which he launched after being elected in 2013.
During his tenure, he has also helped promote women’s cycling by funding the broadcast of women’s events and introducing equal prize money for men and women at all of the UCI World Championships, according to his campaign. He also appointed Tracey Gaudry as the first ever female UCI vice-president and created the UCI Women’s Commission.
“Women’s cycling is unrecognizable compared to four years ago and I am immensely proud of the progress we have made,” Cookson said.
“If I am re-elected as UCI President, I am committed to helping women’s cycling reach the next level.”
The election will take place at the UCI Congress in Bergen, Norway on Sep. 21.
Written by Gerard Farek
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