By Duncan Mackay

David Lappartient at podiumMarch 3 - France's David Lappartient has today been elected as new President of the European Cycling Union (UEC) at its Congress in Paris.

The 39-year-old, head of the French Cycling Federation, polled 74 per cent of the votes to beat his only challenger, Andre Tchmil, winner of the Paris-Roubaix race in 1994, now President of the Moldavian Cycling Federation.

He replaced Poland's Wojciech Walkiewicz, who had stood down after serving one four-year term.

Lappartient earned 34 votes to his rival's 12 at the election held at the National Olympic Centre of French Sport (CNOSF).

The UEC is the most powerful continental confederation in the sport and Lappartient is seen as a serious candidate to potentially replace Pat McQuaid as head of the world governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI).

McQuaid is currently under severe pressure following the Lance Armstrong scandal and attended the UEC Congress.

He was among the first to congratulate Lappartient on his new appointment and will be glad to have heard him rule out standing out for the Presidency of the UCI - at least in the short-term.

"We will be vigilant on ethics and the format of cycling," said Lappartient.

"The projects for the UEC are many, starting with the development of European cycling.

"We have ensure that the globalisation of cycling does not come at the expense of European cycling, which is the cradle of our sport.

"The purpose of my candidacy for the Presidency of the UEC is to increase values, a vision of cycling.

"If this view is supported by the UCI, there is no reason for me to be a candidate.

"I'm not currently looking to stand as President of the UCI."

The defeat at the UEC would also appear to have ruled out Tchmil's hopes of become UCI President. 

In the run-up to today's election Tchmil had questioned whether Lappartient would have enough time to devote the role, pointing out that he was already the Mayor and elected representative of Morbihan, a department in Brittany.

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