September 16 - Britain's Brian Cookson cannot be sure that all of Europe's 14 delegates will vote for him to become the next President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) - even though they have been mandated to do so.
The admission came from David Lappartient, President of the European Cycling Union (UEC), who conceded that, even though Cookson got the overwhelming majority of support at yesterday's Exceptional Ordinary General Assembly here, they have no control over who they vote for.
Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI since 2005, claims that he expects to win the election at the Congress in Florence on September 27 even though Cookson has now been promised 17 of the 22 votes he needs.
Europe has more votes than any other Confederation but, privately, McQuaid has claimed that he expects to pick up some support from there.
Lappartient, a career politician who sits on the general counsel in Sarzeau in Brittany, admitted he hopes the National Federations who are due to cast the votes will do what they have been instructed too but in a secret ballot they could still potentially vote for McQuaid.
"We got a very clear, democratic vote," Lappartient told insidethegames.
"Under our statues. the position of the voting delegates at the UCI Congress is the position of the Congress.
"That is to support Brian Cookson.
"It is supposed to be like that but we are never with the guy when he puts the envelope in the ballot box.
"We are never behind each of them."
McQuaid got only 10 votes from the UEC while Cookson, President of British Cycling, picked up 27.
The margin of the victory surprised even Lappartient.
"The Federations had the opportunity to make a choice and it was not one or two votes, it was completely clear," said Lappartient.
"I was expecting the gap would be less than it was."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
September 2013: Cookson gets backing of Europe for UCI Presidential election