Brian Cookson has claimed he is confident in having two thirds of voters prior to the UCI Congress ©Twitter

International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson has claimed he has 30 of the 45 votes needed to be re-elected at the world governing body’s Congress next week as a war of words between the Briton and his rival David Lappartient intensified. 

Cookson, attending the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session here, claimed he has received a good response from the voting delegates.

The 66-year-old suggested those who vote against him may have some small political concerns but believes he has enough support to secure a second term.

The voters include nine delegates each from Africa, the Americas and Asia, with three more from Oceania.

Europe has the largest bloc with 15 delegates.

"There are 45 voting delegates and I think I have got 30 on my side," Cookson said.

"I think there are some low key political concerns and maybe some local issues.

"I think if I talk to anyone about the big picture in the UCI, I get a good response and they want me to carry out my plans for another four years.

"I promised to do things four years ago and I am confident I have pushed things in the right direction.

"There is a track record that anyone can examine."

David Lappartient has hit back at claims he has asked former UCI President Pat McQuaid to lobby on his behalf ©Twitter
David Lappartient has hit back at claims he has asked former UCI President Pat McQuaid to lobby on his behalf ©Twitter

Cookson faces the challenge of European Cycling Union (UEC) President Lappartient at the election in Bergen on September 21.

The Briton defeated Ireland’s Pat McQuaid in a bitter election campaign four-years ago.

He has claimed McQuaid has been actively campaigning for Lappartient to win the election and the Frenchman had offered him the position of UCI Honorary President.

"I have of course seen the declarations Pat McQuaid has made recently in support of David in the media and I have also been shown proof that Pat is actively lobbying on David's behalf," Cookson told the BBC.

"Only they know if Pat has been offered a senior role at the UCI, which would be a grave concern for anyone who can recall the disastrous situation that the UCI was in just four-years ago under his leadership.

"I am focused on running my own campaign with the support of people who have contributed to restoring trust in our sport, to take cycling forward and build on the great achievements we have had over the past four years.

"It is, however, disappointing that David Lappartient has not come out renouncing the support of Pat McQuaid, but having hosted Pat and other former executives at the first Elite European Road Championships in France last year, I am not surprised.

"It speaks volumes for the devastating direction David would take the UCI in if he wins next week's election."

Pat McQuaid was unseated as UCI President by Brian Cookson in 2013 ©Getty Images
Pat McQuaid was unseated as UCI President by Brian Cookson in 2013 ©Getty Images

Lappartient, also at the IOC Session as part of the Paris 2024 delegation, claimed the emails from McQuaid were a personal act on his part. 

"From information I gathered, it has been reported that Mr McQuaid has sent an email to a couple of delegates, whom he knows, by telling them his personal opinion about Brian Cookson and therefore calling on them to support my candidature,” he told the BBC.

"This was a personal act of McQuaid and not on my demand.

"By saying ‘only they know if…’ seems to me, once again, Brian Cookson is certain of nothing.

"Making false comments like these is unsportsmanlike behaviour.

"To set the records straight, during the Elite European Road Championships in France last year Brian Cookson is referring to, McQuaid called and asked if he could stop by since he was nearby.

"I immediately informed Brian Cookson, then McQuaid was of course given access to see the race as he asked to."

According to CyclingTips, McQuaid has claimed suggestions of such a deal was "absolute rubbish" but admitted he had sent an email to UCI voting delegates in support of Lappartient.