September 18 - Brian Cookson's campaign to become the next President of the International Cycling Union (UCI) has today received yet another boost, this time in the form of USA Cycling, whose President and chief executive Steve Johnson has a vote at next week's election.
The American body says it believes British Cycling head Cookson, who is incumbent Pat McQuaid's only challenger for the most powerful job in world cycling, is the "best qualified" man for the position.
"The upcoming UCI Presidential election should serve as a turning point for our sport - an historic moment in time when the UCI begins to chart a dynamic, new course and fully regains its international stature and credibility," read a USA Cycling statement.
"It is clear from the cycling stakeholders' survey that transparency, integrity, credibility, accountability and good governance must be addressed if we are to have a brighter future and grow cycling globally.
"The UCI President must lead, inspire and unify.
"As one of the five founding countries of the UCI, USA Cycling believes Brian Cookson is best qualified to lead the UCI at this critical moment in time and provide a measured, fair approach to managing the sport and rebuilding trust in the UCI.
"We are therefore proud to join the many other National Federations from around the world who have committed their support for Brian as the next President of the UCI."
Although Cookson is conscious of the fact there are still a few days to go until the UCI Presidential election, he told insidethegames that the endorsement is another positive step towards securing his position at the top of world cycling.
"It's great to receive the backing of USA Cycling as it is any of the national federations," he said.
He also took to Twitter to declare his delight at the endorsement.
"Thank you @usacycling for your support. It is a privilege to have your backing!" he said.
The move by USA Cycling is hardly surprising considering that earlier this month Johnson, along with a number of other cycling power brokers, was calling on the UCI to let the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decide whether or not McQuaid is eligible stand for re-election.
Despite the fact that McQuaid has not received nominations from either his home federation - Cycling Ireland - or Switzerland - where he lives, the proposal for an independent arbitration was subsequently rejected by the UCI.
The UCI Presidential election will take place in Florence on September 27.
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