Blow for Pat McQuaid as Cycling Australia backs Cookson
Brian Cookson's bid for the presidency of the International Cycling Union has received the support of Australia.
The Briton visited Sydney to make a presentation to the Cycling Australia board and has now won its support in his challenge to assume the UCI presidency ahead of the incumbent Pat McQuaid.
"I am delighted to have the backing of Cycling Australia, who have shown such a positive approach to the development of our sport," said Cookson, the British Cycling president since 1996, who is now in South Africa for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
"We share a real commitment to restoring the credibility of the UCI and strengthening cycling globally. I am confident of building on this expression of support in the coming weeks as I meet with federations and voting delegates across the world."
Cycling Australia president Klaus Mueller said: "Brian Cookson is the best candidate to restore both the sport's, and the UCI's, credibility."
Cycling Australia also insisted it would next month vote against the proposal to change the constitution to retrospectively amend the rules relating to the election, in particular regarding nominations.
"Even if those changes are legal it is entirely unsatisfactory in any democratic process and it lacks openness, transparency and integrity," Mueller added. "Cycling Australia will not be supporting this motion at the UCI general congress."
The decision over whether McQuaid will win a third term in an office in which he has served since 2005 or be ousted in favour of Cookson will come to a vote on September 27 at the UCI congress in Florence.
The vote will take place during the UCI Road World Championships and prior to the ballot, McQuaid and Cookson will each address the European Cycling Union during its Exceptional Ordinary General Assembly on September 15 in Zurich.
The proposed changes to the constitution will be discussed at the UEC summit.
"During the assembly, some important aspects regarding the imminent elections will also be discussed; in particular the proposed amendment to article 51.1 of the UCI Constitution, put forward by the National Federation of Malaysia and the Asian Cycling Confederation," the UEC said in its statement.
"In order to preserve transparency, the National Federations will have the possibility to express their choice about both candidatures for the presidency to the European delegates at the UCI elective congress."