David Lappartient

Week 206 (23 - 29 September)

This week, the International Cycling Federation (UCI) began a new chapter under the leadership of David Lappartient. In a landslide victory, the Frenchman defeated Brian Cookson by 37 votes to 8 to become the 11th president in the organisation’s history.

Despite a close race, predicted by many, Lappartient garnered widespread support from federations across the continents as well as in Europe, where he had been serving as European Cycling Union (UEC) President since 2013.

Born into a cycling family, Lappartient has worked for over 20 years in the sport, holding a range of positions from time keeper and race organiser to French Cycling Federation President, affording him invaluable first-hand experience at every level.

“It is crucial at the UCI we have a President with real leadership, who is truly engaged and has a clear vision for cycling,” Lappartient said when he first announced his intention to stand.

“I want to make the UCI a strong and well respected federation by improving its governance and regaining its capacity of influence in the Olympic Movement.”

On his first day at the UCI office, Lappartient gathered all employees for a team photo and spoke with over 120 people, in both French and English, sharing his vision and reaffirming their importance to the organisation.

“I would like to reconfirm to UCI employees that I know their value and professionalism, and we need your expertise and commitment to work with me in delivering this four-year plan,” he said.

“It is a great responsibility and I will endeavour in the next four years to be worthy of such trust.”

Lappartient’s personable nature has been a key part of his rise. Before the start of his campaign, Lappartient took the time to speak with delegates from all 186 national federations, ensuring he understood their individual needs and concerns. Addressing these issues became the foundation of his vision and has remained so throughout his candidacy.

A clampdown on doping, an increase in revenue streams and ensuring a marquee women’s race is on the cycling calendar are just some of the plans he has to restore cycling’s standing.

There is a belief in his strategy because the road map has been laid out from the beginning. Lappartient is a likeable character but he reinforces that with an underlying knowledge that goes beyond the bullet points of a rehearsed fact sheet.

Both his staff and his colleagues trust his opinion. They believe in him and his ideas because he understands every facet of the sport, and is happy to take the time and explain it in an affable and passionate way.

For his leadership style and open communication, David Lappartient is JTA Communicator of the Week.

Photo: UCI