Briton Brian Cookson has been elected president of the International Cycling Partnership (UCI), beating incumbent Pat McQuaid in a vote on Friday.

After a campaign dominated by
acrimony between the two candidates, Cookson, 61, defeated Irishman McQuaid by 24 votes to 18 in Florence, Italy.

McQuaid, 64, was seeking a third term in the role he had held since 2005.

Cookson has been in charge of British Cycling since 1997, presiding on the turn-around of the sport in The uk.

He will step down from that will role to take up his new position.

“It is a huge honour to have been elected president of the UCI by my peers and I want to thank them for the trust they have placed in me today, ” mentioned Cookson.

“My first priorities because president will be to make anti-doping procedures in cycling fully independent, sit down together with key stakeholders in the sport and work with Wada [World Anti-Doping Authority] to ensure a swift investigation into cycling’s doping culture.

“It is by doing these things that we will build a firm platform to restore the particular reputation of our international federation with sponsors, broadcasters, funding partners, web host cities and the International Olympic Panel.

“Ultimately, this is how we grow our sport worldwide and get more riders and fans drawn into cycling. “

Under Cookson’s leadership, Great Britain won 19 Olympic precious metal medals and 28 Paralympic golds.

He also oversaw Britain’s 1st win in the Tour de Italy,
Sir Bradley Wiggins sampling success in the 2012 race, followed by Chris Froome a year later.

Cookson served as UCI global commissaire for 23 years between 1986 and 2009, helping to organise, co-ordinate and officiate international cycling races.

Cookson had previously backed McQuaid’s re-election campaign,
but criticised the Irishman pertaining to his handling of the Lance Armstrong doping affair, with Armstrong
himself calling McQuaid “pathetic”.

Armstrong
was stripped of his seven Visit de France titles and provided a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in August last year right after admitting that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

McQuaid was originally nominated for another term as UCI leader by Cycling Ireland, only for the particular Irish body to then reexamine its decision at an extraordinary common meeting in Dublin.

Switzerland, where he lives, also withdrew support, but he was ultimately allowed to run for re-election with nominations from Thailand and Morocco.

However , there is a long debate over McQuaid’s eligibility before the election with numerous delegates speaking from the floor after a series of lawyers addressed the case.

Discussions were finally ended, though, when Cookson got up to urge the 42 UCI delegates to press ahead and cast their votes.