(ATR) David Lappartient is ramping up efforts to unseat Brian Cookson as president of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The 44-year-old European cycling boss from France held the first of two scheduled round table discussions with the media in London on Wednesday. The second one will be in Marseille this Saturday during the 20th stage of the Tour de France.
The media engagement comes on the heels of Tuesday’s release of his 31-page manifesto, which added some detail to the five key principles Lappartient revealed when he announced his candidacy on June 20.
Many of the ideas presented in the manifesto are in line with what Cookson supports. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given Lappartient is a UCI vice president and has been a member of UCI’s management committee since 2011, two years before Cookson won election as UCI president.
But Lappartient does want to make major changes to the sport’s competitions. He’s calling for an overhaul of the men's professional road cycling calendar by dividing elite races into three categories: the three grand tours, one-day classics and the shorter stage races.
Each category would have its own series which would be "sequenced" on the calendar "by continent and race type".
Lappartient also wants to hold a combined World Championship for each of the four Olympic disciplines (BMX, mountain bikes, road racing and track cycling) every four years. This would take place in the year preceding the Olympics, beginning in 2023.
Among other ideas being floated by the former French cycling federation boss: abolishing the team time-trial event for professional teams, banning team radios, and staging a world championship for "smaller countries" every other year.
The entire manifesto is availablehere.
The UCI presidential vote will take place on September 21, during the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway.
Written by Gerard Farek
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