• Incoming Cycling Australia Chairman Steve Bracks. (Getty)Source: Getty
Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks is Cycling Australia's new chairman and is pledging to achieve more unity in the sport.
Cycling Central

22 Feb 2017 - 7:09 AM  UPDATED 22 Feb 2017 - 1:58 PM

New Cycling Australia chairman Steve Bracks wants to achieve two goals that have proved elusive for the organisation, unity and financial stability.

A decade after he resigned as Victorian Premier, Mr Bracks will succeed Malcolm Speed as the head of Australian cycling's peak body.

He takes over at a crucial time for Cycling Australia, which is still emerging from a financial crisis earlier this decade.

There are also deep fissures within the sport, with Mountain Bike Australia a separate body that is often at odds with Cycling Australia.

But Mr Bracks also sees great opportunity for the sport.

"It's a good time to join the board and take over the role as chair, because there is great goodwill to do better, to achieve more and to bring together a unified position," he said.

"I think the timing couldn't be better from my point of view.

"Yes, I do think it's on the up."

Mr Bracks has strong connections to cycling. He rides about 150km per week and was chairman of the organising committee for the 2010 world road championships in Geelong.

It was the first time the worlds were staged in the southern hemisphere and they were a great success.

But Cycling Australia failed spectacularly over the next few years to build on the momentum created by milestones such as the Geelong worlds and Cadel Evans' 2011 Tour de France win.

While Australian cycling remains an international competition powerhouse, by 2013 the national governing body was a financial mess.

Long-time cycling supporter Gerry Ryan took over as the short-term president, followed by Speed.

Nick Green has been chief executive since October 2014.

"I understand the past issues and it's important we have a sustainable financial position," Mr Bracks said.

"That's something I will be ensuring we have the right plans for that to happen and I think we can do that.

"There's a great opportunity to lever up the value the sport has around the country and to make sure we capture that value more effectively."

But the long-time politician's No.1 goal is to repair the divisions within Australian cycling.

"It will be to unify the sport, have clear direction on where it's going and bring all the stakeholders and parties along with us in that process," he said.

"I see that as one of the key roles that I can play."