Published: 27 September 2013
Brian Cookson has today been elected President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) after securing a majority vote at UCI Congress in Florence, Italy.
He takes up the role with immediate effect and consequently steps down as President of British Cycling.
Speaking shortly after the result was announced, Cookson said:
“My election as President of the world cycling federation - the UCI - means that I can no longer continue as President of British Cycling.
“I am sorry to leave an organisation which I have seen make extraordinary progress over the last 16 years, but I am absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to bring about the changes that cycling needs worldwide.
“I know that I am moving on from British Cycling with the organisation in fantastic shape, and I am already looking forward to the challenges ahead as President of the UCI.”
As British Cycling's President since 1997, Brian Cookson has overseen the transformation of an organisation on the brink of bankruptcy to one which is among the world’s leading national governing bodies.
Under Brian Cookson's leadership, British Cycling has seen multiple road, track, mountain bike and BMX world championship gold medals, 19 Olympic gold medals, 28 Paralympic gold medals, and two Tour de France winners. British Cycling has also inspired over one million people to take up recreational cycling since 2009.
The announcement has been welcomed by the Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson.
He said: “I congratulate Brian Cookson on becoming the President of the UCI. Cycling in Britain has never been in a better place as it is right now, on both participation and elite fronts, and Brian deserves a lot of credit for that. I am sure he will do a fantastic job taking the sport forward globally.”
British Cycling’s Board has moved quickly to address Brian Cookson’s departure by appointing British Cycling Board Member Bob Howden to the role of Chairman until the election of a new president at National Council in November.
Speaking of Brian Cookson’s tenure at British Cycling, Bob Howden, Vice Chair of British Cycling, said:
“I have had the pleasure and the privilege of working alongside Brian for 14 years, and have seen first-hand how his collegiate and honest approach to leadership has helped transform not only British Cycling, but also the sport of cycling in this country.
“I have no doubt that Brian is exactly the kind of leader that our sport needs at the highest level, and that he will be able to make a significant contribution to the sport at a global level as UCI President.
“I look forward to continuing to build on the foundations Brian has laid for cycling in Great Britain.”
Nominations for a successor to Brian Cookson will be announced on September 302013.