UCI chief: 'Embracing the future means embracing innovation better' - BikeBiz

UCI chief: 'Embracing the future means embracing innovation better'

The president outlines his vision for next 12 months
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Growing cycling worldwide, developing women's cycling, embracing openness and transparency and overhauling the structure of elite men's road cycling are among the aims for the UCI over the coming year.

That plan was unveiled at the 183rd UCI congress in Ponferrada, marking 12 months in the president role for Brian Cookson.

The president insisted the UCI was keen to embracing technology - such as with cameras in the peloton.

Cookson said: “My vision for the UCI is a simple one. I want us to be the best International Federation in the world; a federation that properly supports the beautiful and enduring sport of cycling in all its forms. I was under no illusion of the scale of the task to rebuild trust in the UCI when I took over the Presidency. I knew it would require a new style of leadership, more transparency, better governance and a genuine commitment to listen. I have worked hard to deliver in each of those areas. This is how we will grow our sport across the globe and attract new fans, new participants and new revenues.

“My first manifesto pillar was to revolutionise our approach to anti-doping. And that is what we have done, and continue to do through a wide range of reforms and the establishment of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC). Let me be clear – many have spoken of the need for Truth and Reconciliation in our sport and I agree. But there cannot be reconciliation without truth. While the CIRC’s report may ultimately make uncomfortable reading for some, we know it is an essential part of rebuilding trust in the UCI and cycling.

“For me, embracing the future includes embracing innovation and selling our sport – in all its disciplines – better. Technology is key here, and you may have seen a number of innovations being tested in recent months – such as putting cameras into the heart of the peloton – a move I fully support. Indeed here at the World Championships we are also investing in the testing of geolocation technology. All these developments have exciting implications across all disciplines – as the amazing helmet camera videos generated from Mountain Biking demonstrate so well.

“In each of the areas I have highlighted, the work continues and shapes our priorities for the coming 12 months. There are challenges ahead but I believe it is right to look to the future with optimism as we continue to expand the number and scale of events, our broadcast reach, our commercial relationships, and grow the number of participants in and fans of cycling. We are moving in the right direction. Of course the last 12 months are part of a longer journey, a new chapter, and with many more to come, but we have laid firm foundations to help us build an even stronger future for our great sport.”

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