Founded in 1900, in Paris (France), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the worldwide governing body for cycling. It develops and oversees cycling in all its forms and for all people, as a competitive sport, a healthy leisure activity and a sustainable means of transport, but also as a way to have fun.
It represents, to sporting and public institutions alike, the interests of 197 National Federations, five Continental Confederations, more than 1,500 professional riders, a million licensed competitors, millions of cycling enthusiasts and two billion bicycle users.
The UCI manages the development of cycling as a competitive sport and in all its other forms. It commits to reaching the highest standards in all our activity, and to earning and maintaining a reputation as an International Federation of outstanding performance and integrity.
The UCI manages and promotes cycling’s eight disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling. Five of these are featured on the Olympic Games programme (road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle), two in the Paralympic Games (road and track) and four in the Youth Olympic Games (road, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle). Cycling races have been held at every Olympic Games in the modern era, and today cycling is the third Olympic sport in terms of medals awarded (66) and athlete quotas (528) at the biggest sporting event on the planet.
The UCI manages the promotion of its own events, most notably the UCI World Championships for all disciplines. These competitions crown the UCI World Champions, who wear – for one year – the prestigious rainbow jersey. The UCI World Championships constitute the high point of the season in each discipline, and benefit from extensive international media coverage.
The UCI also organises the UCI World Cups; each of these season-long series brings together competitions of the highest level for the discipline concerned. The UCI World Cups rankings constitute the common theme running through each season. The race for the leaders’ jersey is a major challenge, and to be crowned the winner of a UCI World Cup is a significant sporting achievement.
To encourage the global and unified development of cycling, the UCI established the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) in 2002. As well as serving as the UCI headquarters, this is also a high-level training and education centre which each year welcomes around 300 promising young athletes and people attending training courses in cycling professions. The UCI WCC’s programmes are designed to give all riders, irrespective of where they come or the level of resources available in their country, the opportunity to fulfil their potential at national or international level.
Cycling is also more than just a competitive sport; bicycle have many uses outside the world of high-level sport, as a means of transport and leisure activity. This is why the UCI is developing its “cycling for all” programmes, which aim to improve conditions for bike riding and its accessibility.
Furthermore, the UCI is responsible for ensuring cycling has the most advanced and efficient anti-doping programme, in collaboration with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs). However, the UCI is not directly involved in anti-doping testing and planning; since 2013 these have been delegated to an independent entity, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).