• Brian Cookson with former UCI Road World Champion Marianne Vos at the 2017 Tour of Norway. (Getty)Source: Getty
Brian Cookson, with some free time on his hands after being deposed as President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), is set to turn his experience to the promotion and management of women's cycling.
By
Cycling Central

7 Nov 2017 - 12:53 PM 

The former head of British Cycling in September lost his bid for UCI re-election to Frenchman David Lappartient and after time spent considering his future said he was "not quite ready to disappear altogether from the world of cycling."

Writing on his blog, Cookson said that he would like to apply his time and administrative talents to set up a UK based women's professional team as soon as the 2019 season, citing the growing momentum and opportunities building around women's sport in general.

"My intention is that this should begin with the establishment of a UCI Women’s WorldTour Team for 2019," Cookson wrote. "A team that will meet or exceed the new high standards that are likely to be put in place by the UCI for the new two-tier structure for Women’s Teams that was developed during my term as UCI President.

"I am not just talking about a top-level team in the traditional sense. There has never been so much interest in women’s sport, fitness and health generally, and this is clearly reflected in the interest in women’s cycling, not just at the elite level, but in terms of general participation."

Cookson for the moment is putting out the feelers and looking for a dialogue and source of support for the scheme before putting any rubber on the road.

"I am putting this idea out there because I want to stimulate the decision-makers in those companies, many of whom (men and women) enjoy cycling themselves, to start to think about the possibilities," he wrote.

"The potential return on their investment could be very substantial, but I want to make it clear that it will need innovation, creativity, and a major effort from their side to make that happen.

"I am not looking for a company to simply underwrite the team, I am looking for partners who want to invest in an initiative that will make a real difference to people’s lives, potentially right around the world.

"Over the last couple of weeks, I have spoken to a number of people, in a number of companies and other organisations, and there is certainly some real initial interest."