By Duncan Mackay

Brian Cookson profileJune 3 - Britain's Brian Cookson is to stand against Pat McQuaid for the Presidency of the International Cycling Union.

Cookson, President of British Cycling, will officially announce his candidature tomorrow, insidethegames can reveal.

The 61-year-old from Lancashire, who has headed British Cycling unpaid since being part of the committee that saved it from insolvency in 1996, has been nominated by his national federation, and is so far the only person to be named as opposition to McQuaid, who has held the position since 2006.

Cookson, who recently retired as the executive director of regeneration at Pendle Borough Council, has decided to stand after several countries pledged their support if he put himself forward.

Earlier this year Cookson had appeared to rule himself out of standing when he said he was "100 per cent supportive" of McQuaid, despite the severe pressure the Irishman was under following the revelations that Lance Armstrong had used banned performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, including his seven Tour de France titles. 

"I'm a little bit surprised with Brian, but that's as much as I'd like to say on that," McQuaid told Cyclingnews as news of Cookson's decision to put himself forward emerged.

"I know him very well and I've known him for a long time."

Briain Cookson with Jason KennyBrian Cookson (right) is credited with turning round the fortunes of British Cycling and helping producing top competitors, including Jason Kenny (right), who won two titles at London 2012

Cookson is credited with rescuing cycling in the UK, taking it from the brink of financial disaster and turning it from a minor sport in the country to Britain's most successful Olympic discipline.

Last year British cyclists finished top of the medals table at London 2012 for the second consecutive Olympics and Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France, the world's most famous race.

Cookson has been a member of the UCI's ruling Management Committee since 2009 and is also head of the influential Road Commission, a position he has held since 2011.

McQuaid held the same position before replacing controversial Dutchman Hein Verbruggen as head of the UCI. 

The election is due to take place during the UCI Congress at the World Championships in Florence in September.

If McQuaid loses his position as President of the UCI then he will also have to forfeit his position as a member of the International Olympic Committee.