Brian Cookson on course to win 'critical' UCI vote


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The Independent Online

Bradley Wiggins is not the only one to suggest it is all but done and dusted as Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling, enters this morning's vote to chose the best man to lead to lead the sport's global governing and oust the incumbent, Pat McQuaid.

Cookson, goes into the election in Florence's crenellated town hall with a reminder from campaigners for change that the sport faces a vital moment and would be left significantly damaged were McQuaid to win a third term as president of the International Cycling Union.

"It is absolutely critical," said Jaimie Fuller, who has led a vigorous campaign to oust McQuaid and improve the sport's battle against doping. "There have been massive problems. Even if McQuaid was not culpable there are times when somebody has to be accountable and take responsibility for what's been going on.

"It is critical that he goes. There are sponsors who would come in – the sport is massively undervalued – but they are not prepared to take that risk while we have the same leadership and the same culture. When it comes to the long term, the health and the well-being of the sport, I think it would be hugely damaging [if McQuaid wins]."

Fuller's call was echoed by Klaus Mueller, the outgoing president of Cycling Australia. "I'm not sure new sponsors, or sponsors with deeper pockets, are going to come into the sport until such time as perception changes," said Mueller.

The candidates require the backing of 22 or more of the 42 voting delegates. Cookson has the support of the European block, worth 14 votes, plus Oceania's three and is also assured of a chunk of the nine Pan American votes and some of Africa's seven too.