International Cycling Union (UCI) Presidential candidate David Lappartient claimed he is "no solider" of the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) as he pitched his credentials for the top job in the governing body here today.
The Frenchman has vowed to overhaul men's professional cycling should he be elected President in September, having previously claimed WorldTour reforms had failed.
Lappartient was critical of incumbent Brian Cookson's leadership of the UCI last year, citing the governing body's feud with the ASO over the WorldTour.
The European Cycling Union and French Cycling Federation President is viewed as having a close relationship with the ASO, and backed an agreement reached between the organisation and the UCI in June.
It saw the race organiser's events, including the flagship Tour de France, remain on the WorldTour for the 2017 season after they had previously threatened to remove them in protest at the reforms.
Lappartient has acknowledged he has a good relationship with the ASO, but claimed he would be prepared to stand up to the powerful race organiser if he manages to unseat Cookson at the UCI Congress in Bergen on September 21.
"I do not think a war between ASO and the UCI would be good for cycling," said Lappartient.
"I have been the only President in the history of the French Cycling Federation who has fought strongly with ASO.
"It was after my first election as President, at the time their position was not acceptable for the French Cycling Federation.
"I am happy to say no to ASO if I do not agree.
"However, to just be in opposition with ASO is nonsense, we must work with all the stakeholders, we need to bring ASO and all stakeholders to the table.
"I think it will be good to have a President with a good relationship with ASO, but not with a strong ASO and weak UCI.
"I think they know me due to the battle I had with them.
"I have a good relationship, but I am not a solider of ASO."
As part of his manifesto, the UCI vice-president has suggested altering the professional cycling calendar to create three Series.
This would comprise of three grand tours, one-day classics and then shorter stage races.
Lappartient did not rule out the prospect of shortening one of the Grand Tours, although he acknowledged opposition to such a move regarding the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia.
Britain's Cookson told insidethegames last month that he was "baffled" by Lappartient’s claims the WorldTour reforms had failed.
He claimed it was "almost an admission of failure on his own behalf", due to Lappartient serving as chair of the Professional Cycling Council for the last four years.
Lappartient rejected this suggestion and claimed he has voiced his concerns on a number of issues regarding the UCI, which he said were not dealt with.
"I have worked very hard at the UCI and I am very respectful to the President," he said.
"By respecting the President, you are respecting the institution.
"In a federation like this, sometimes you need to discuss points and I voiced my concerns about some elements, but they were never taken care of.
"I am here to work for the UCI and not always say yes to the President.
"It has always been seen as a threat and opposition in which to become a candidate."
Among key concerns raised by Lappartient are the threat of technological fraud and sports betting, which he claims would be tackled in a more robust manner should he be elected.
Under his proposals, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation would be removed entirely from the UCI’s headquarters and become known as the "Anti-Doping Foundation".
As part of this move, other international federations would be able to use the Foundation, in a similar way to the Independent Testing Authority approved earlier this month by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Lappartient has also vowed to push for the banning of corticosteroids and wants to strengthen the policy surrounding the use of controversial painkiller tramadol.
His rival Cookson has been boosted in the build-up to the election by the addition of BMX freestyle and madison to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic programme, with the Briton suggesting the UCI's relationship with the IOC has never been stronger.
The Frenchman said he supported the addition of the disciplines, but claims track cycling's 150 kilometre switch south from Tokyo to Izu, and the lack of a strong cycling representative among the IOC, has shown the governing body's declining influence.
"I am very happy with the [events] decision," he said.
"However, we were supposed to be in the centre of Tokyo, with all the disciplines.
"Now we are far away, of course because it was expensive.
"But if you are not a member of the IOC, with strong leadership, it is not easy to change.
"I think out sport, third in terms of the number of athletes and medals, must be part of the IOC.
"I do not know who is the best candidate for this.
"I am speaking about cycling, cycling must be part of the IOC."
Lappartient admitted progress has been made regarding anti-doping and the development of women's cycling.
However, he suggested that a flagship women’s race, in the mould of the Tour de France, could be necessary to drive further interest and media coverage.
He has also pledged to increase the role of the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, establish a track cycling WorldTour series and establish a combined World Championships for each of cycling's four Olympic disciplines.
The Championships would operate in the year prior to a Summer Olympics, with qualification on offer for the Games.