Founded on April 14, 1900, in Paris, France, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the worldwide governing body for cycling, recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It represents, for sporting and public institutions alike, the interests of 187 National Federations, five Continental Confederations, some 1500 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 mission consists of developing and promoting cycling, in close cooperation with its Continental Confederations, its National Federations and the active parties in the cycling family, as a competitive sport, a healthy leisure activity and an ecological means of transport. The respect of ethics is at the heart of the UCI’s work: cycling should be clean, and administered according to the highest standards of good governance.
The UCI manages and promotes the eight cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX, para-cycling, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling. Four of these are featured on the Olympic Games programme (road, track, mountain bike and BMX), two in the Paralympic Games (road and track) and three in the Youth Olympic Games (road, mountain bike and BMX). Cycling is an Olympic sport par excellence: cycling races have been organised at all the Olympic Games of the modern era, and it is one of the sports that offers the most medals (54) during the biggest sporting event on the planet.
Moreover, the UCI manages the promotion of its own events, including the UCI Road World Championships – an emblematic annual event in international sport – as well as UCI World Championships for all its other 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 most benefit from extensive international media coverage.
The UCI also organises the UCI World Cups, season-long competitions comprising events of the highest level in the various disciplines. The rankings of the UCI World Cups provide a season-long narrative for the different disciplines. 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 has established the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) which, as well as serving as its headquarters, is a high-level training and education centre. It welcomes about a hundred promising young athletes each year, as well as individuals wishing to follow a training course in one of cycling’s professions. The UCI WCC’s programmes – also implemented, under its supervision, at its continental satellites – are intended to give all riders, irrespective of their origin or the level of resources available in their country, the opportunity to fulfil their potential through their passion for cycling.
Cycling is not just about elite competition: it is a very popular sport at all levels and on all continents. And it is more than a sport: the use of the bicycle fulfils many functions outside the sporting sphere. This is why the UCI is committed, in cooperation with other stakeholders, to Cycling for All programmes, which are designed to improve conditions and accessibility for everyone riding bikes.
The UCI is responsible for the fight against doping in cycling and works on this with the help of the most advanced and the most efficient programmes (notably the biological passport), in permanent cooperation with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs). However, the UCI is not directly involved in anti-doping operations: these have been delegated to an independent entity, the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).