The love of humanity for the bicycle invention is undisputed. This is why, it doesn’t come as a surprise that there are so many bicycling competitions all around the world, but in order for them to be properly organized and covered by the media, the need for specialized management arises. It turns out, that only a governing body with in-depth knowledge of the specific cycling sport can perform adequate management – this is why today, we have cycling associations! In addition to management and spreading awareness, those organizations do much more. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Union Cycliste Internationale – The UCI
Also referred to as the International Cycling Union, this organization is considered to be the globally responsible and governing body of all cycling sports. The Union oversees a number of the world’s highest profile events, including all Grand Tours. The UCI was established in 1900 in Paris and carries a century-long set of traditions, that are created with the purpose of preserving and promoting bicycle sports, and the integrity of their principles.
In addition to overseeing Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España, the UCI is also responsible for any cycling events in the Olympic games. Perhaps the most famous of all cycling associations, the UCI is active to this day. What is interesting, is that although it is more than a 100-years old, it is not the first; however, it had replaced the first international governing body for cycle racing, which was founded in 1892.
The World Association of Cycling Events – WACE
Another global association for cycling is WACE. While it does operate on a worldwide scale the same as the UCI, there is a major fundamental difference. While the UCI is a very old association responsible for professional events, WACE was established to oversee events that can be attended by amateurs, enthusiasts, and professionals alike. WACE is responsible for cycling events that take place in Africa, Europe, and America.
The World Association of Cycling Events is renowned for having more than 200,000 members and holds the record as the governing organization of the largest cycling festival ever – the Prudential RideLondon, which featured more than 95,000 participants at the same time. Although WACE’s events aren’t considered to be professional competitions, many athletes from the Grand Tours are known to participate for promotional reasons, as well as for raising awareness of the sport.
National Cycling Associations
Every country has their own cycling association, which is usually comprised of numerous clubs or small organizations. As the name of their classification suggests, they are governing national and local level events. Of course, they will also have their own rules and principles regarding professional and amateur cycling. Cycling Canada Cyclisme is one such an example of a national cycling organization.
The Disciplines They All Cover
People usually think that official cycling associations usually govern classic cycling events, but this isn’t so. Even the more extreme versions of cycling fall under the supervision of all associations. The most common disciplines covered by the majority of cycling associations, are Road, Track, Cyclo-Cross, BMX, and many others. It is worthy to mention, that in addition to the discipline types, cycling associations also regulate age, and ability levels.
The Importance of Having a Bicycle Sport Organization?
Just like with any other sport, joining or following an association has its undisputed benefits. First and foremost, an association will have and provide complete knowledge about any upcoming events. If you are a fan of cycling and wish to know more or even participate, joining an association is your best bet to get started. Becoming a full-fledged member has its responsibilities, so make sure you know what you will be getting yourself into!
Sports Needs Leaders
We aren’t talking about a sports person taking on the initiative for their team, but an actual organization that can lead the sport to evolution. Sports are made better through refining old rules, implementing laws that are meant to protect the participants mentally and physically, and keep the memory and sanctity of the sport’s origins alive. Cycling associations are more important than people think they are – and they always will be.