- Title: I'm the best choice for UCI President, insists Cookson
- Date: 28th July 2017
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JULY 28, 2017) (REUTERS) SOUNDBITE (English) CURRENT UCI PRESIDENT BRIAN COOKSON SAYING ON WHETEHR HE IS UPSET BY CRITICISM FROM PAT MCQUAID AND LANCE ARMSTRONG: "Absolutely not. The fact that those two people are opposed to me are the best possible endorsement I could wish for. People in cycling have long memories. They remember the disastrous situation those two people put our sport in and frankly I don't want their support."
- Embargoed: 11th August 2017 21:00
- Keywords: UCI election Brian Cookson Lance Armstrong Pat McQuaid cycling
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Cycling,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0036RMT2KF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Brian Cookson, facing an election challenge for his presidency of cycling's governing body the UCI, launched a strong defence of his stewardship on Friday and said he expects to win another four-year period in office.
He believes he has greatly improved the "disastrous and controversy-ridden" organisation he took over in 2013 and will continue to do so, especially in the areas of anti-doping, women's cycling and inspiring participation in the sport.
The 66-year-old Briton beat Irishman Pat McQuaid in the last election and was hoping to be unopposed this time.
He is being challenged, however, by UCI vice-president and European Cycling Union president David Lappartient from France, who Cookson described as having been "the leader of the opposition for some time".
The Frenchman announced his candidacy last month, 24 hours before the deadline.
He pointed to a new ethics code, strengthening the UCI's financial position and growing cycling worldwide, with a record number of nations at the Rio Olympic Games and the development of the UCI Women's World Tour, with equal prize money.
His manifesto includes continuing the global development of cycling, "keeping an eye on the ball with anti-doping" and "using the elite level of cycling to inspire people to get on a bike for health benefits."
Criticised publicly by his predecessor McQuaid, who called him "a fraud", and by the disgraced former world champion and seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, Cookson said: "I don't want their support. (Their criticism) is the best possible endorsement of me."
The vote among 45 delegates will take place on Sept. 21 during the UCI road world championships in Norway.
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