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Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is a cycling association that oversees competitive cycling events internationally. It is the world governing body for jurisdiction in the sport of cycling. The UCI is based in Aigle, Switzerland. The English translation is the International Cycling Union.

The UCI issues racing licenses to riders and enforces disciplinary rules, such as in matters of doping. The UCI also manages the classification of races and the points ranking system in various cycling disciplines including mountain biking, road and track cycling, for both men and women, amateur and professional. It also oversees the World Championships – in which different countries compete instead of trade teams – in various disciplines and in different categories. The winners of these races have the right to wear a special rainbow jersey for the following year, and have the right to wear the same rainbow pattern on their jersey collar and cuffs for the remainder of their careers.


The UCI was founded April 14, 1900 in Paris by the national cycling organisations of Belgium, the United States, France, Italy, and Switzerland. It replaced the International Cycling Association by setting up in opposition in a row over whether Great Britain should be allowed just one team at world championships or separate teams representing Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Britain found itself outflanked and it was not able to join the UCI - under the conditions the UCI had imposed - until 1903.

In 1965, under the pressure of the IOC (the Olympics was then an amateur event), the UCI created two subsidiary bodies, the International Amateur Cycling Federation (Fédération Internationale Amateur de Cyclisme or FIAC) and the International Professional Cycling Federation (Fédération Internationale de Cyclisme Professionnel or FICP). The UCI assumed a role coordinating both bodies.

The FIAC was based in Rome, the FICP in Luxembourg, and the UCI in Geneva.

The FIAC was the bigger of the two organisations, with 127 member federations across all five continents. It was dominated by the countries of the Eastern bloc which were amateur. The FIAC arranged representation of cycling at the Olympic Games, and FIAC cyclists competed against FICP members on only rare occasions.

In 1992, the UCI reunified the FIAC and FICP, and merged them back into the UCI. The combined organisation then relocated to Aigle, close to the IOC in Lausanne.

In 2004, the UCI constructed a new 200 metre velodrome at the new world cycling centre adjacent to its headquarters.


The UCI has been involved in a number of controversies associated with its decisions on the eligibility of bicycles. In particular, the banning of recumbents on 1 April 1934, and various bans applied to Graeme Obree in the 1990s and the banning in 2000 of all frames that did not have a seat tube from events .


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International governing body[]

File:World Cycling Centre - Aigle Switzerland.jpg

Entrance of UCI headquarters at Aigle (Switzerland)

Road racing[]


From 1989 until 2004, the UCI administered the UCI Road World Cup, a season-long competition incorporating all the major one-day professional road races. In 2005 this was replaced by the UCI ProTour series which initially included the Grand Tour road cycling stage races (the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España) and a wider range of other one-day and stage races. However the three Grand Tour races withdrew from the series, and in July 2008 all the major professional teams threatened to quit the series, putting its future in doubt.[1] The ProTour was replaced as a ranking system the following year by the UCI World Ranking, which added the three Grand Tours, two early season stage races, and five more one-day classics to the 14 remaining ProTour events.

To expand the participation and popularity of professional road bicycle racing throughout the globe, the UCI develop a series of races collectively known as the UCI Continental Circuits for each region of the world.


The UCI has supported elite level competition for women since 1959 including the crowning of a Women's World Cycling Champion (Road Race) and beginning in 1994, honoring a Women's World Time Trial Champion at the UCI Road World Championships, Women event.

Since 1998, the UCI Women's Road World Cup has served as a season-long competition of elite-level one-day and stage race events.

Track cycling[]

The UCI Track World Championships for men and women offers individual and team championships in several track cycling disciplines.


Each UCI-sponsored event feeds into the season-long competition known as the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup. In addition, a series of single-day events are held each year to determine the Cyclo-cross World Champion at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships.

Mountain bike racing[]

In mountain bike racing, the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships is the most important and prestigious competition each year. This includes the disciplines of cross-country, downhill and four-cross. In addition, this event consists of world championship events for bike trials riding.

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is a series of races, held annually since 1991.

BMX racing[]

The season-long competition is known as the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup and the UCI BMX World Championships serves as the one-day world championships for BMX racing.

Indoor cycling[]

The UCI sponsors world championships for artistic cycling and cycle ball at an annual event known as the UCI Indoor Cycling Championships.

Continental confederations[]

The national federations form confederations by continent:

  • Asian Cycling Confederation – ACC
  • Union Européenne de Cyclisme – UEC (European Cycling Union)
  • Oceanian Cycling Confederation – OCC
  • Confederacion Panamericana de Ciclismo – COPACI (Pan American Cycling Confederation)
  • Confederation Africaine de Cyclisme – CAC (African Cycling Confederation)

External links[]

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