International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson has warned David Lappartient he should wait four years before launching a bid to lead the governing body.
The French Cycling Federation (FFC) President announced his decision not to stand for a third term, prompting talk he could challenge Cookson for the UCI Presidency.
Lappartient, also President of the European Cycling Union (UEC), attempted to play down these suggestions by claiming his decision to remove himself from the running for the FFC Presidency was due to his international commitments.
This includes his roles as chairman of the Professional Cycling Council and vice-president of the UCI.
FDJ team manager Marc Madiot called for his compatriot Lappartient to stand for the UCI Presidency earlier this month, with the head of the French Professional Cycling League claiming change was needed.
Cookson, however, believes the Frenchman would be best served by challenging in a future election.
"David is an ambitious young man and he might decide on being a candidate at some stage," the Briton told cyclingnews.
"If I was him I'd wait another four years as he would probably have an extremely good chance and wouldn't be opposed."
The Briton announced his intention to stand for a second term last May, but could face the challenge of the Frenchman at the UCI Congress on September 22 in Bergen in Norway.
Lappartient criticised the leadership of Cookson in a letter last year, citing the governing body’s feud with the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) over the UCI’s World Tour reforms.
He did, however, back an agreement which was reached by the UCI and the ASO in June, which saw the race organiser's events remain on the World Tour for the 2017 season.
Belgian Cycling Federation President Tom Van Damme has also been touted as a potential candidate, with Cookson claiming it was up to the UCI Management Committee member to decide whether he would stand.
"Tom Van Damme is an excellent President of the Belgian Federation and the UCI Road Commission," Cookson told cyclingnews.
"If he decides to stand then that's a matter for him."
To stand for the Presidency, a candidate must be nominated by the national governing body of their nationality or residence, with the nomination required to be submitted three months prior to the date of the Congress.
As the incumbent President, Cookson does not require a nomination.
The Congress in Bergen will coincide with the UCI Road World Championships in the Norwegian city.