Candidate to run world cycling calls for team budget caps

LONDON — The challenger for the presidency of world cycling is proposing budget caps to prevent teams from dominating the sport.

David Lappartient, the French cycling federation leader, has launched his manifesto while criticizing the "poor leadership" of the UCI under Brian Cookson for the last four years.

Cookson and Lappartient, who serves as a UCI vice-president, are the only candidates in the election in September. The election race is heating up just as the sport’s pinnacle event, the Tour de France, reaches its climax with Chris Froome on target for his fourth victory since 2013.

The domination of Team Sky, which also won in 2012 with Bradley Wiggins, is a concern for Lappartient. The team, which emerged from the British Cycling setup led by Cookson until 2013, is estimated to be the sport’s top-spending team.

"If you want to bring sponsors into your sport it’s because people and the fans say that this is a wonderful sport because you don’t know the result beforehand," Lappartient told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "If you go to a race and you know who will be the winner before, the interest decreases. So for everybody, the media the public, for the riders, the teams and the sponsors we need to have an interesting and attractive race."

The last published accounts record an annual budget by Team Sky of 24.5 million pounds ($32 million).

"I think that football gave the right example about the Financial Fair Play and the budget cap of the teams," Lappartient said. "This is something we need to look at in cycling. It’s also for the interests of the racing so that all the best riders aren’t in one team. This is something we have to work on."