Former UCI President Pat McQuaid has told Cyclingnews that he hopes David Lappartient wins the upcoming UCI presidential election, rather than current president Brian Cookson, describing Cookson as a ‘fraud’ for lacking the leadership skills for the position.
McQuaid refutes the idea that Cookson has some how managed to steady the ship after replacing him in 2013, and suggested that Cookson has made ‘a balls’ of managing the UCI WorldTour series by adding races due to political pressure.
McQuaid was defeated by Cookson in the 2013 presidential elections in Florence after the Briton secured vital votes to win 24-18 after hard fought campaign. Cookson secured the 14 votes of the European Cycling Union and had influential support from Russian oligarch and owner of the Katusha team, Igor Makarov. Several delegates changed their vote at the last minute resulting in defeat for McQuaid, who quickly left the sport.
“I’m not involved in cycling politics in any way. I’ve stayed out of it but was also squeezed out of it when Brian Cookson and Martin Gibbs took over. I was kept off it,” McQuaid claimed while speaking to Cyclingnews during a visit to the time trial stage of the Tour de France in Marseille. McQuaid now lives in the south of France and runs a holiday letting business.
“I think there needs to be a change of president because I think Brian’s been a fraud,” McQuaid said bluntly. “The president is supposed to be the leader, he’s supposed to captain the ship, make the political decision, and lead the UCI as an organisation. Brian does neither of those. It’s (UCI Director General) Martin Gibbs who takes all the decisions.
“There have been suggestions that Cookson steadied the ship when he was elected, but I don’t think the ship was unsteady in 2013. We’d come through the storm with ASO then, we had a good relationship with ASO. Lance Armstrong was history, we’d gone through all of that, and things were going good. In my mind, the ship didn’t need steadying. I’ve talked to people in teams who I’ve known for a long time and they told me that they’re now profiting from the work that I did as UCI President, they were talking about anti-doping and the Biological Passport.”
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