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Who is new UCI President David Lappartient?

Frenchman beat Brian Cookson to become UCI President

Having previously appeared likely to be re-elected unopposed, former head of British Cycling Brian Cookson was comprehensively beaten in a landslide vote by new UCI President David Lappartient.

Lappartient, previously leader of the Professional Cycling Council, a steering committee within the UCI comprising stakeholders from professional road cycling, won the presidential poll 37-8.

Lappartient was formerly the president of the French Cycling Federation between 2009 and 2017, a position he have vacated with the intention of standing for the UCI’s top job.

He certainly doesn't lack for ambition; away from cycling the 44-year-old has already proved a shrewd and popular operator in French politics.

When Lappartient announced his intention to stand against Cookson it wasn't entirely unexpected, with many sources having tipped him as a possible contender long before.

Lappartient eleased a detailed manifesto following the type already published by Cookson, and now that he has been elected it will be interesting to check back and see how much he can achieve over the next four years.


However, he had already outlined his positions in recently circulated document, giving supporters and critics alike plenty of material by which to hold the new hea dof world cycling to his word.

Along with aims of restoring confidence in the sport of cycling, expanding women’s participation, and growing leisure cycling, he also promised to overhaul the governance of world cycling's governing body.

He stated; ‘My second point of action will be to place the UCI at the service of every national federation. In order to achieve this, the World Cycling Centre will play a key role in implementing a robust cooperative and solidarity programme that is meaningful to the federations.'

As such perhaps the main difference between the outgoing and incoming presidents will be that Lappartient appears willing to devolve some of the UCI’s current powers to the individual national federations.

The Frenchman is clearly popular with federations, as demonstrated by his remarkable win, and his previous position as the head of the European Cycling Union counted hugely in his favour when going for his new job.

Cookson replaced Patrick "Pat" McQuaid, and billed himself as a reform candidate for an organisation that had for years suffered from allegations of corruption and cronyism.

However, much of the shine came off of Cookson the longer he was in office. Investigations into British Cycling covering the time during which Cookson was in charge have proved damaging, with Damian Collins MP, the former chair of the Culture, Media, and Sport select committee saying he should not be re-elected.

Outside of cycling Lappartient is a member of France's Republican party and mayor of Sarzeau, a town in Brittany.

First elected in 2008, he was re-elected to the position in 2014 with 71.31% of the votes. This result is good, but not as good as the 82% by which he became the new UCI President.

Indeed Lappartient has a pretty good track record of winning elections, still having never lost one, either in the field of cycling or conventional politics.

Born 31st May 1973 in north-west France, Lappartient initially trained as a surveyor. He comes from a family of cyclists and has himself raced, while in his twenties he assisted as a timekeeper at the Tour de France.

As a cycling official Lappartient has advocated growing existing races, rather than attempting introduce them to areas with little cycling heritage, as has occasionally happened under the direction of previous UCI presidents.

While head of the French federation he also banned ear pieces at the country’s National Championship races.

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