In January I wrote ‘Where Would We Be Without The UCI’, in which we looked at a cycling world without the UCI governance, that after a series of scandals we needed structure, so a reformed UCI would likely be better than a completely new governing body. It seems that tomorrow Brian Cookson will present himself as a candidate, running against Switzerland’s famous international rule breaking former cyclist, Pat McQuaid.

Who’s Who

Pat McQuaid, the Irishman who is now domiciled in Switzerland where the UCI are based. He has gained nomination in a roundabout way for the next term, reputedly from the Swiss federation rather than the Irish federation,the latter who had called an emergency meeting to discuss the matter after concerns were raised by the members. The Swiss are also calling a meeting to discuss their nomination too, so it looks like somebody will nominate the former PE teacher somehow. Those who criticize Pat McQuaid would have to consider that he is a decorated international sports prize winner for his good work, in 2008 he was awarded the accolade of ‘Commander in the Order of the Ivory Coast Sporting Merit‘. He has also been Irish Road Champion & is banned for life from Olympic competition (doesn’t stop him hanging medals at Olympic prizegivings though) for racing in apartheid South Africa under a false name.

Brian Cookson has not had the same racing career as McQuaid, but has organised many events in the UK. While Pat was getting plaudits in Africa, Brian Cookson was awarded an OBE in the 2008 honours list for his work as President of British Cycling. I don’t actually have any dirt on Cookson, I’ve met him a few times & he comes across as an honest & open guy. He retired in March from an administrative career in local government, so I think you can guess who my preferred candidate is, the qualified one without any sporting convictions would get my vote for UCI president out of the two.

How voting works

The winner of a presidential election must simply have the majority of votes, not a required percentage. Each Continental Confederation has a certain number of votes, I’ve copied article 36 of the UCI constitution below.

Article 36

1. Members shall exercise their voting rights through the agency of voting delegates appointed among each continental confederation. Each delegate must be a member of a federation of the continental confederation concerned.

2. The total number of voting delegates shall be 42 distributed among continental confederations

as follows:

Africa: 7 delegates

America: 9 delegates

Asia: 9 delegates

Europe: 14 delegates

Oceania: 3 delegates

3. Each voting delegate shall have one vote.

Possible Scenarios

McQuaid may not get nominated, if that’s the case then if there’s only one nomination they automatically become President. Otherwise Cookson being nominated may open the floodgates of pretenders to the throne from various nations who all want influence, Spain had a failed attempt to place a UCI President a few years ago, so this could become a battle for power over cycling & its future. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a very interesting time for cycling, it could really go any way from here.

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