So, the Irishman is out. And the bearded Brit is in. But who actually is the new UCI President Brian Cookson? Here are 10 things you need to know about the new supremo of world cycling.
- Born on 22 June 1951, Michael Brian Cookson is married with three children and calls Lancashire in the north west of England home.
- He served as President of British Cycling from 1997 to 2013, a golden era which saw British riders win 19 Olympic gold medals, multiple world titles and the Tour de France for the first time, and then do it again 12 months later.
- Somewhat remarkably, Cookson’s outrageously successful time within British Cycling was unpaid. He only retired from his real job in March 2013 – Executive Director (Regeneration) for Pendle Borough Council in Lancashire.
- He holds a Diploma in Landscape Architecture from Manchester Polytechnic.
- Cookson became a qualified UCI International Commissaire in 1986 and has officiated at major races all over the world, most notably World Championships in France, Great Britain and Switzerland, and the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
- Unlike his predecessor, Cookson has never been an elite cyclist himself. In his younger days he competed in road, track, cyclocross and MTB racing at club level. He participated in the British National Masters Track and Road Championships in 2012 and has also completed l’Etape du Tour.
- When quizzed about cycling’s Olympic status prior to his election Cookson indicated he was keen to see the program expanded and, particularly, have the kilo reinstated on the track.
- Cookson was awarded an OBE in the 2008 for services to cycling.
- During his campaign for the UCI Presidency Cookson was a frequent blogger (briancookson.org/en) and Twitter user (@cooksonforuci)
10. Reportedly, he still rides every day – on a compact.