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, for all people as a competitive sport, as a healthy recreational activity, as a means of transport, and also just for fun.
It represents, for sporting and public institutions alike, the interests of 194 National Federations, five Continental Confederations, more than 1,500 professional riders, more than half a million licensed competitors, several million cycling enthusiasts and two billion bicycle users all over the world.
The UCI’s commitment is to lead the development of cycling as a competitive sport and activity in all its forms, across the world. We commit to the highest standards in all our activity, and to earn and maintain a reputation as an international sporting federation of outstanding performance and integrity.
The UCI manages and promotes the nine cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX – Racing and Freestyle –, paracycling, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling. Five of these are featured on the Olympic Games programme (road, track, mountain bike and BMX – Supercross and Freestyle Park), two in the Paralympic Games (road and track) and four in the Youth Olympic Games (road, mountain bike and BMX – Supercross and Freestyle Park). Cycling races have been organised at all the Olympic Games of the modern era, and it is the third sport that offers the most medals (66) and athlete quotas (528) during the biggest sporting event on the planet.
The UCI manages the promotion of its own events, including World Championships in all its disciplines. These competitions crown the UCI World Champions, who wear – for one year – the well-known and 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, season-long series of competitions at the highest level, in the various disciplines. The rankings of the UCI World Cups constitute the common thread for each season. The race for the leaders’ jerseys is a key challenge, and to be crowned the victor of a UCI World Cup is a major sporting achievement.
To encourage the global and equitable development of cycling, the UCI built the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) which, as well as serving as the UCI headquarters, is a high-level training and education centre. It welcomes over a hundred promising young athletes each year, as well as attendees of training courses in the cycling professions. The UCI WCC’s programmes are designed to give all riders, irrespective of their origin or the level of resources available in their country, the opportunity to fulfil their potential at national or international level.
For example, Eritrean Daniel Teklehaimanot was a trainee road athlete at the UCI WCC from 2009 to 2011 before signing his first professional contract. In 2015, he became the first black African rider to wear the polka dot best climber’s jersey in the Tour de France. Venezuelan Stefany Hernandez, a BMX trainee at the UCI WCC from 2012 until 2016, was crowned UCI World Champion in 2015 and won bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Cycling is also more than just a sport – the use of the bicycle fulfils many functions outside the sporting sphere as a means of transport and leisure. This is why the UCI is committed to expanding its Cycling for All programmes, which are designed to improve conditions and accessibility for those practising cycling.
The UCI is responsible for ensuring cycling has the most advanced and efficient anti-doping programme and works on this in cooperation with the World AntiDoping Agency (WADA) and the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs). However, the UCI is not directly involved in the testing or the test planning: these have been delegated to an independent entity, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).