Malta Cycling Federation secretary Joe Bajada has been elected into a 15-member group which holds the right to vote and represent all 50 Union Européenne de Cyclisme (UEC) member associations at the world cycling federation annual general meeting in Bergen, Norway, in September.

The nomination came during the European governing body for the sport’s congress in Brussels. The meeting was also attended by Malta Cycling Federation president John Zammit.

There were 30 European delegates nominated for the election. Bajada was elected with the ninth-best count of 37 votes, only five less than the candidate topping the ballot.

The others were Daniela Isetti (Italy), Thierry Marechal (Belgium), Umberto Langellotti (Monaco), Alejandro Garcia (Spain), Peter Privara (Slovakia), Slavomir Svaboda (Czech Rep.), Michel Callot (France), Delmino Pereira (Portugal), Romualdas Bakutis (Lithuania), Victoria Lesnikova (Russia), Farhad Aliyev (Azerbaijan), Vladimiros Petsas (Greece), Eduard C. Novak (Romania) and Vitali Zhmako (Belarus).

During the congress, UEC president David Lappartient was not contested for his post.

The Frenchman has been the organisation’s head since 2013 and will serve a second four-year term until 2021.

Lappartient, along with UEC general secretary Enrico Della Casa, was among the first to congratulate Bajada on his election to the UEC group.

“My election to the group was unexpected but all this should not be attributed to me alone but also to the Maltese cycling federation,” Bajada said.

“The vote means our commitment to promote cycling is being noted and appreciated at this level as well.”

Last month, Bajada was honoured by the Sportswriters Association for his role in Gozitan sports while Zammit received the People’s Choice Award for his contribution to the sport.