The 188th annual Congress of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) took place today in Harrogate, Yorkshire, in Great Britain, during the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. Representatives of 108 of the UCI’s member National Federations were in attendance.
This was an occasion for a ceremony to announce the different UCI World Championships, mostly for the period 2020-2024, that were awarded earlier in the week by the UCI Management Committee. In total, the names of organising cities for 10 UCI World Champinoships – in six countries and for five disciplines – were revealed:
- 2019 Red Bull UCI Pump Track World Championships: Bern (Switzerland)
The Swiss capital will welcome the very first edition of the UCI World Championships for pump track. Sponsored by the company Red Bull, the event will take place on October 18 and 19. Pump track is veryaccessible in terms of both participation and organisation of races. This makes it an excellent off-road training ground and an ideal pathway into cycling in different regions throughout the world. Participants are usually mountain bike or BMX specialists.
- 2021 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships: Los Angeles (United States)
The organiser chosen has significant experience, having already organised several UCI Masters and Para-cycling Track World Championships at the Velo Sports Center in Los Angeles. This velodrome is the training centre for the national American team and has already been the theatre of numerous major UCI events.
- 2021 and 2022 UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships: Ipswich (Great Britain)
Capital of Suffolk, situated some 100 kilometres north-east of London, the city of Ipswich will be able to count on an experienced organiser, who has already staged three National Championships, an edition of the European Championships and numerous events registered on the UCI International Cyclo-cross Calendar.
- 2022 UCI Track Cycling World Championships: Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France)
The French velodrome has already welcomed numerous rounds of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup, as well as the 2015 UCI World Championships for the discipline. Moreover, it will be the theatre of the Olympic track cycling events in 2024. The host city, situated around 20 kilometres from Paris, received the UCI Bike City label in 2018. The National Velodrome at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines houses the headquarters of the Fédération Française de Cyclisme (FFC) and the French team’s training centre.
- 2022 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships : Aigle (Switzerland)
It will be the third edition of this event (after those in 2016 and 2028) organised at the velodrome of the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC), the UCI’s high-level training and education centre, which also houses the Federation’s headquarters. The UCI had committed to regularly welcoming this event to the UCI WCC velodrome.
- 2022 UCI BMX World Championships: Nantes (France)
The event will be organised by the FFC, which hosts a round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup nearly every year and which already welcomed the discipline’s UCI World Championships in 1999 and 2005. The organisation of the UCI Worlds in this city in the north-east of France is in line with the country’s desire to welcome major events between now and the opening of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
- 2022 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships: Baie-Comeau (Canada)
Baie-Comeau, in Québec, is an ideal venue for this competition, marrying experience – from the organisation of rounds of the UCI World Cup in 2018 and 2019 and the UCI World Championships in 2010 and 2013 -, quality of a race route modified in 2018, a deep-seated local para-cycling tradition and strong popular support.
- UCI 2024 UCI Track Cycling World Championships: Ballerup (Denmark)
With this event, Ballerup will organise the UCI Track Cycling World Championships for the third time after editions in 2002 and 2010. Situated in the urban area of the Danish capital Copenhagen, the Ballerup Super Arena is the training centre for the Danish national track cycling team.
- 2024 UCI BMX World Championships: Rock Hill (United States)
Situated in South Carolina, Rock Hill is one of the traditional stopovers of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, for which it welcomed rounds in 2015, 2016 and 2019 (another is scheduled for 2020). The UCI World Championships for the discipline were disputed there in 2017.
Commenting on these awards, the UCI President David Lappartient declared: “As was the case last year at the Management Committee meeting in Innsbruck, Austria, we have again been able to award a large number of UCI World Championships for the 2020-2024 period. We now know nearly all the venues of the Worlds for our Olympic disciplines through to 2024 and for almost all of our World Championships until the end of 2021.
“This welcome success demonstrates the popularity of the UCI’s major annual competitions, which are both magnificent events from a sporting point of view, and fantastic opportunities in terms of economic benefits and enhancement of image for the cities and regions that host them. I look forward to moving forward with them in the preparation of our future World Championships.”
The Congress participants also discovered the names of the cities and regions to which the UCI Management Committee decided earlier in the week to award the UCI Bike City label in recognition of their strategy for the development and promotion of every-day cycling and their commitment to the organisation of events on the UCI International Calendar. The cities and regions are Copenhagen (Denmark), Glasgow (Great Britian), Paris (France) and Tirol (Austria).
Since 2016, as well as the four new recipients, ten cities and regions have received the label: Bergen (Norway), the province of Drenthe (the Netherlands), the island of Fyn (Denmark), the province of Gelderland (the Netherlands), Heusden-Zolder (Belgium), the province of Limburg and the city of Valkenburg (the Netherlands), Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France), Vancouver (Canada), Woensdrecht (the Netherlands) and Yorkshire (Great Britain).
The UCI President David Lappartient commented: “We are delighted to expand our network of cities and regions holding the UCI Bike City label, and wish to thank the new recipients for their commitment to both elite cycling and cycling for all. With their global strategy aiming to create and promote safe cycling conditions for their own population and for visitors, they are setting examples that can inspire all communities. The UCI is looking forward to contributing to the international visibility of the initiatives rewarded today. We now have a network of 14 cities and regions that are examples when it comes to the promotion of cycling, and we will continue to develop this network in line with the UCI’s Agenda 2022.”
About the recipients:
Copenhagen (Denmark) - The Danish capital is an excellent example of a cycling city and received the first-ever UCI Bike City label in 2008. Host of the 2011 UCI Road World Championships, the 2010 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the UCI BMX World Cup in 2008 and 2009 and the UCI Track Cycling World Cup from 2007 to 2009, the city has a long tradition of organising major events.
Copenhagen’s “2011-2025 Cycling Strategy” establishes numerous ambitious objectives to continue increasing the use of bikes, notably to: expand the network of cycling infrastructure, reduce travelling time, increase the percentage of inhabitants who feel safe on the road and reduce serious injuries on the road. The “2025 CPG Climat Plan” has the goal of reducing the percentage of trips made by car to a maximum of 25% in 2025, as the city works toward becoming carbon neutral the same year.
In the decade from 2009 to 2018, DKK 2 billion were invested in cycing projects: upgrading infrastructure, enhancing safety, enabling biking to school, and traffic calming shopping streets. With high levels of cycling already in place, current priorities focus on the construction of more bicycle parking and new cycle superhighways, promoting access to the city from across the metropolitan area.
Today, it is estimated that 49% of trips to work and school are made by bike. Copenhagen’s population possess 672,000 bicycles – a figure that should increase by 100,000 between now and 2025.
Glasgow (Great Britain) - Host of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in 2016 and 2019, Glasgow will organise the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships; this event will bring together the World Championships for different cycling disciplines for the first time and will mark the history of the sport.
The city has fixed an ambitious objective: that 10% of everyday journeys be made by bike by 2020. This is part of the vision “Create a dynamic cycling city, where cycling is accessible, safe and attractive to all”. Glasgow, which dedicates more than 10% of its allocated transport budget to active transport, has invested 15 million pounds sterling in cycling infrastructure projects since 2008. Measures continue to be made to expand the cycling network and increase the number of people cycling day to day, with the aim of reaching 400km of cycle paths between now and 2025.
Funds are invested in sporting infrastructure for nearly all cycling disciplines; in parallel, a partnership for an amount of 4.8 million pounds sterling until 2025 has been entered into between Glasgow Sport, HSBC, British Cycling and Scottish Cycling, the objective of which will be to support cycling for the youth from minority groups.
In total, more than 12 % of the city’s roads are limited to 35km/h, making cycling safer and more attractive; in addition, the police collaborate with the city on road safety campaigns. Each year, 13,000 people participate in the event “British Cycling Let’s Ride”, which closes roads to motorised traffic for the organisation of numerous popular and national races as well as a mass participation event.
Paris (France) - Paris will organise the 2024 Olympic Games, with five cycling disciplines on the programme: road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle (Park). The promotion of active mobility and the development of cycling infrastructure play an important role in the French capital’s wider action plan to render Paris healthier and more ecological.
The city’s authorities are firmly committed to making Paris a cycling city. The “2015-2020 Bike Plan” aims to reach a modal share of 15% for cycling in 2020, while the city’s aim to reduce air pollution sees the promotion of cycling as an essential tool.
This five-year plan financed with 150 million euros will concentrate on the improvement of existing and the creation of new cycling infrastructure, the integration of cycling into public transport, the improvement of safety measures, the creation of two-way cycle paths in one-way streets and the provision of parking facilities for bikes. Finally, this plan will help Parisians with the purchase of cargo-bikes and electric bikes.
The creation of a cycle highway is underway, and the city has fixed the aim of reaching 1400km of cycleways in 2020, the same year that the network will also include 61km of two-way protected cycle-paths. Measures are being taken to reduce the speed of motorised traffic on Paris streets and to redesign roads to improve safety of cyclists. Each Sunday, the Champs-Elysées are closed to motorised traffic, enabling residents and tourists to enjoy this emblematic site on their bikes without being bothered by cars. An annual carless day is organised at the end of September, during which 650km of roads are closed to traffic.
Tirol (Austria) - A region famous among road cyclists and mountain bikers for its spectacular and demanding routes, the region of Innsbruck-Tirol hosted the 2018 UCI Road World Championships.
Tirol’s regional government set up a strategy over several years to promote the use of bicycles with the aim of improving cycling infrastructure, training and education, developing safety campaigns and organising events. Cycling occupies a key place in the region’s tourism strategy, which is looking to develop long-distance cycle-paths, further increase the region’s offer in terms of cycling and use the 2018 UCI Road World Championships to promote Tirol as a cycling destination.
The “Tirol by bike” campaign promotes cycling among inhabitants, with the aim of increasing the modal share to reach 14% in 2020. Each year, 60 million euros are devoted to cycling infrastructure, while 12 million euros are invested in cycling projects to improve cycle touring, training and cycling safety. The city of Innsbruck counts 130km of cycle paths, and the region of Tirol 800km. The promotion of long-distance cycle-paths – such as the Innradweg – is a priority, and new bridges are being built to improve connections for cyclists.
The bike is a means of transport that does not cease to gain in popularity: the modal share is 11% in the region of Tirol and 22% in Innsbruck. To promote cycling among the youth, schools provide obligatory cycling education, while extra courses on mobility and safety are also proposed in the region.
Two new members joined the UCI at the 2019 Congress: participants voted in favour of the official affiliation of the Samoan Cycling Federation and the Maldives Cycling Association. This brings the number of National Federations affiliated to the UCI to 196. The aim is to reach 200 by 2022, in line with the Agenda 2022.
On the subject of ethics, the Congress appointed the members who will make up the Federation’s Ethics Commission for the next four years. In line with a new provision of the UCI’s Ethics Code, all (as opposed to just two of them) are now independent from the UCI, its Continental Confederations and National Federations. The President of the Commission will be Mr Bernard Foucher (FRA), and its members will be Mr Marc Cavaliero (ITA/SUI), Mrs Vered Deshe (ISR), Mrs Eliane Hostettmann (SUI) and Mr Richard Leggat (NZL).
Still in the field of governance, the Congress approved a project to revise the UCI Constitution which will enable it to make further progress. In line with the principles set out in the Agenda 2022, the revision notably aims to bring the UCI Constitution in line with the best practices in force in the world of international sport, in particular by fixing requirements for the minimum number of representatives of each gender within the UCI, Continental Confederations and National Federations, and including clear campaign rules in the Congress Regulations to ensure equal treatement for candidates to the Management Committee of the UCI Presidence.
Furthermore, the Congress approved the UCI’s 2018 financial statements and 2020 budget, which amounts to 47 million Swiss francs.
The Congress also awarded the UCI Merit, a distinction in recognition of people who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to cycling, to two former UCI Presidents, Mr Brian Cookson (GBR) and Mr Pat McQuaid (IRL), President of the Saint-Vincent-and-Grenadines Cycling Union Mr Trevor Bailey (VIN), and President of the Malta Cycling Federation Mr John Zammit (MLT).
At the end of Congress, UCI President David Lappartient declared: “This year, the UCI’s member National Federations again demonstrated their support of initiatives taken as part of our Agenda 2022. I would like to thank them and look forward to continuing our work with them to mordenise and develop cycling.”