In 2015, Daniel Teklehaimanot made history by becoming the first black African to wear the polka dot jersey at the Tour de France. Chris Froome won the legendary three-week event for the second time after 2013. Meanwhile Merhawi Kudus, Eritrean like Teklehaimanot, was the youngest rider in this year’s TdF peloton.
The three riders made headlines for three very different reasons. But they all have one thing in common: they are former trainees of the UCI World Cycling Centre. As is Ramunas Navardauskas, the Lithuanian who won bronze in the Elite Men’s road race at the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond.
While the UCI WCC could not claim full responsibility for their successes, it certainly helped shape these athletes, teaching them good training practises, giving them racing experience and preparing them physically and mentally for life as professionals.
More than 1000 trainees have passed through the doors of the UCI WCC in the last 13 years. All have been given the chance to develop and realise their full potential, be it at a national, continental or international level. That is the objective of our Centre: to give these talented athletes a chance.
The UCI WCC and its satellite centres around the world are unfailing in their desire to help them live their dreams, and it is just reward when a trainee, past or present, manages to break through in the tough world of cycling.
One of the highlights of 2015 was the title of UCI World Champion for our BMX trainee Stefany Hernandez. Since arriving in Aigle in 2012, the Venezuelan athlete has gone from strength to strength and her rainbow jersey is testimony to her talent, hard work and commitment, as well as that of our UCI WCC BMX coach Thomas Allier.
Meanwhile Yumi Kajihara’s fourth place in the Junior Women’s road race at the Worlds in Richmond this year was nothing short of remarkable. When the young Japanese rider first arrived at the UCI WCC in 2014 she was just 17 years old and had only been cycling for a year. Although talented, her technical skills were near non-existent and she was afraid in a peloton. The UCI WCC road coaches were able to pinpoint her weaknesses and raise her level so that she could show her true colours at the highest international level.
2015 was also the year we welcomed our 1000th trainee Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu, who a few months later became Rwanda’s first woman cyclist to compete at the UCI Road World Championships.
In March, we hosted the first ever para-cycling training camp which was so successful a second one followed in November.
A few weeks ago, we opened a new satellite centre in New Delhi, India. This houses the Track National Team of India and will also work with young riders as well as train people in cycling’s different professions. The inauguration of this latest satellite centre comes at the end of a year that was rich in activities worldwide:
2015 at a glance
- 36 trainees from 10 countries.
- 10 athletes competed at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships
- 4 athletes competed at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships.
- 36 trainees from 18 countries
- 17 athletes competed at the UCI Road World Championships
- 21 trainees from 11 countries
- 11 athletes competed at the UCI BMX World Championships
- 21 trainees from 11 countries
In addition, shorter training courses were held for para-cycling (28 trainees from 11 countries) and cyclo-cross (15 trainees from 9 countries)
- 22 coaches from 17 countries on the UCI WCC Diploma course
- 6 coaching interns working on a longer-term basis with our own coaches to build on their expertise
- 49 Sport Directors from 18 countries
- Including nine women, seven of whom benefitted from a scholarship offered by the UCI WCC
- Four trainee mechanics from four countries on eight-week internships
Around the world
- 299 athletes and coaches trained at our satellite centres in Japan (92), South Africa (107) South Korea (57) and Argentina (43)
- 24 athletes and coaches participated in a training camp organised in Athens by the Union European de Cyclisme prior to the U23 European Championships
- 342 coaches attended training courses in 13 countries throughout the year. These were organised in collaboration with National Federations, other national sporting bodies and Olympic Solidarity.