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UCI president David Lappartient has 'no regrets' over Dave Brailsford comments

Credit: PA

UCI president David Lappartient has insisted he has no regrets over his summer spat with Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford.

The pair engaged in a war of words during the Tour de France in July, with Brailsford saying the head of the governing body had the "local French mayor kind of mentality" while Lappartient - who is indeed mayor of Sarzeau in Brittany - claimed the Team Sky boss "does not understand much about cycling".

Lappartient will be due on what might be considered Team Sky's turf this time next year when Yorkshire hosts the UCI road cycling world championships, but Lappartient said he had nothing to take back despite being criticised for what many felt was an unpresidential response to criticism.

Lappartient claimed Team Sky boss Brailsford (pictured) "does not understand much about cycling". Credit: PA

"Maybe you have to ask him if he has some regrets about what he said," Lappartient told Press Association Sport when asked about Brailsford. "For me, I have no regrets about what I said."

Lappartient has been accused of having an anti-Team Sky agenda following the steps he has taken to break the dominance of the biggest teams in road cycling, but denied his measures are about any one team - and he does not expect British fans to turn on him.

"Not at all," he said. "I'm sure they will completely support, first of all, the people on the road. The crowd in cycling, it's not like hooligans in football. We don't have this in cycling.

There are here to support, not to be against, so I think they will be happy to see the UCI is promoting cycling in Yorkshire and using the passion in Great Britain for this."

Austria is currently hosting the road world championships. Credit: PA

The Yorkshire world championships will be used to debut a new race, the mixed team time trial relay, details of which first emerged in July.

Lappartient said the event, the first in which men and women will compete in the same race, was only part of what he wants to do to promote gender equality in the sport.

"This is an idea from the UCI, we shared this with Yorkshire and they were really on board," he said. "We want to bring innovation in our sport and we want gender equality. This is a good opportunity to reach these goals because we have no mixed races in cycling."

On Wednesday, the UCI announced further measures to promote the professionalisation of women's road cycling, including the introduction of a minimum salary from 2020.

Lappartient said it was too soon to say what that salary might be. While he is keen for it to be a living wage which allows riders to work full-time in the sport, he recognises the delicate finances of many teams.

"I would say at the WorldTour levels yes (it should be a living wage) because they are completely dedicated to cycling and it's normal for them to earn their living from this," he said.

"Today maybe two-thirds of the bunch earn less than 10,000 euros per year so this is something we want to change.

"We have to be realistic with the economy of women's cycling so we will being it step-by-step to the right level for what we thing the top riders should be paid."

The UCI has also announced changes to men's road cycling, with the published plans seen as a climbdown by many as the mooted reduction of the WorldTour from 18 to 15 teams - intended to share the wealth further down the tree - did not come to pass.

However, Lappartient said he was happy with the final package.

"Our idea was not really to reduce the top teams, it was more to give some dreams to other teams," he said. "We have to recognise today the economics around the teams is not maybe strong enough to have this.

"We discussed it with the teams, we discussed it with the riders and we discussed it with the organisers.

"We discuss, we debate and afterwards we find some compromise so I was very happy to see all the stakeholders supported the final version proposed by the UCI."