BREAKING NEWS: Brian Cookson Wins UCI Presidency



By a vote of 24 to 18, Brian Cookson has succeeded Pat McQuaid as the president of the UCI. This would be where you breathe a sigh of massive relief.

Details of the proceedings in Florence approached farce, with the UCI’s legal team stating that McQuaid could stand for election because the Swiss nomination was withdrawn after the deadline for nominations. This, despite the fact that it was never a valid nomination. Cookson, to his credit, was the person who asked that the procedural wrangling end and that the decision simply be put to a vote.

There is much work to be done to give cycling the reputation it deserves as the cleanest professional sport out there, but this is an important first step toward something the UCI didn’t previously possess the will or moral compass to accomplish.

Pardon us while we go do a little happy dance.

, ,


  1. Chris

    I read the photo summary on the front page, the one with ‘and this is where you breathe a sigh of relief’ as the second sentance, and by the time I got there I realized I was already at the end of my sigh’s exhalation.
    I know you won’t be perfect, Brian Cookson, but please be a good person. That would be an amazing improvement.

  2. Danno

    Ahhh, so we swapped one Anglophonic dude for another. Not exactly a 100% fresh swap.

    Cookson’s entire campaign was “I am not McQuaid”, which was a nice way for people who didn’t want McQuaid to project whatever they wanted onto Cookson. Now he has a long way to make cycling a better sport.

    There is a long list that needs to be fixed:
    Respect and equality for women’s cycling
    Growing the grassroots sport participation
    Cleaning up the pro ranks
    Create a stable sponsorship and revenue sharing system for ProTour teams
    Include the different and new disciplines of cycling
    Grow cycling in the developing world

    after doing all that he will prove that he is not McQuaid.

    1. Author

      Everyone, thanks for your comments.

      Danno: If I may, I’d like to put forward the idea that language is about the only thing I see McQuaid and Cookson having in common. Let’s recall that McQuaid showed his true colors way back in the 1970s when he organized the trip to race in South Africa that saw him and Sean Kelly stripped of the opportunity to compete in the Olympics. That event is well-documents and Cookson has nothing in his past half so unseemly. It may be true that Cookson is yet to prove his value, but it is also true that he enters the office of president without the taint that McQuaid had. In that, I find reason to be hopeful.

  3. Ransom

    Fingers crossed for better things…

    Considering where cycling’s importance falls in the big picture of the world, I was a little surprised at myself and perhaps a little embarrassed when this news made me giddy. I’m not usually a “punching the air” kind of guy.

  4. Anon

    Hopefully he has the authority to clean house. The General Counsel’s office needs to be purged, clearly. Anyone else disturbed that PM still received 18 votes… wow.

  5. Jeff B

    Can you post the version that you’d have posted if PMQ had won? Does the picture in that post have horns and a tail?

    One sportocrat to another. Hope Cookson’s better.

  6. Hoshie99

    I am excited about it.

    If the media reports are true, I like that Cookson had enough of the carnival and said let’s take it to a vote. That alone speaks volumes.

    Secondly, although the devil you don’t know can indeed be devilish, we can see that leadership at the UCI has been failing for years. So, change was needed.

    And if Cookson was indeed a strong part of the architecture of the British Cycling resurgence, that is very promising for his new role. Cookson looks like he has the stuff to be a strong manager to me.

    It’s an exciting time for the sport again so I am going to enjoy the thought of that.


  7. Tom in albany

    Three people. That’s the difference between this and a dead heat. I am a little worried about the 18 votes Pat got. Those country leaders are still part of the UCI…

  8. Alex TC

    True Tom, and that´s not to mention the level of disorganization that local federations show in many, if not most, countries.

    It´s cenrtainly not a coincidence that some nations rise to the challenge and put themselves on top of the game despite the immense obstacles (Colombia for instance, but also UK and a few others come to my mind) while many still flounder and sink and fail miserably to move cycling forward (Brazil, where I live and which´s hosting the 2016 Olympics is perhaps the best example I can come up with).

    I´m not sure how deep into this incredibly varied and extensive mess can the work of UCI´s president go, and if it will make any difference. maybe in the mid to long term who knows. But I certainly hope things improve because McQuaid may have done a lot to keep his seat forever on the UCI, but from what I gather he did nothing to change this local scene reality in most places.

  9. Patrick24

    Padrag- do they post how the individual members/countries vote? I haven’t seen that provided in any of the articles I’ve read.

  10. bigwagon

    The most important difference between Cookson and McQuaid is that Hein Verbruggen’s shadow rule over the UCI left the building with the Irishman

  11. SusanJane

    Yeah! Yipee! Wahoo! [toss confetti]

    The President of the UCI has a great deal of power that the old boys set up over so many years. Cookson has every reason to use the system to bring about the changes he campaigned with. One of them is greater transparency. His first order of business was setting in motion an outside, independent doping system. Second was an email to everyone in the UCI (and the press) that said things are going to change suckers. Two very important changes within hours of his election. He’s not going to wait for the politics and c.y.a. and the counter attacks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *