Cycling chief slams Lance Armstrong charity stunt

International cycling chief Brian Cookson has slammed plans by disgraced athlete Lance Armstrong to ride the Tour de France route this summer for charity.

Mr Cookson, who lives in the Ribble Valley and is the former Executive Director in charge of regeneration with Pendle Council, made the statement in his role as president of the Union Cycliste Internationale.

Brian Cookson. Photo: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

Brian Cookson. Photo: Jon Buckle/PA Wire

He branded drugs cheat cyclist Armstrong “completely disrespectful” and suggested he “would be well-advised not to take part” in former England footballer Geoff Thomas’ charity fund-raising mission, one day ahead of the professional peloton.

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life, has been critical of Mr Cookson’s presidency after he took up the sport’s top post in September 2013 after holding the title of president of British Cycling from 1997-2013.

He was instrumental in bringing a number of major cycling events to Pendle and for attracting funding for facilities such as the new Steven Burke Sports Hub, Nelson. In his first year at Pendle Council he brought a high speed National Circuit Race Series to the borough, with the Colne Grand Prix now an annual event.

He was awarded an OBE in May 2008 for his services to cycling.