Formation of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) - Part 1

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Formation of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) - Part 1
On April 14, 1900 France, Italy, Belgium, United States and Switzerland’s national cycling organisations formed a union, a central committee to look after the issues related to the sport of cycling named as UCI. Union Cycliste Internationale replaced the
International Cycling Association and Great Britain was not allowed to join the UCI according to the conditions imposed by UCI until 1903.
UCI was subdivided in to two different bodies separating the sport into two different classifications Professional and Amateur. The main reason to take that step was to raise the standard of competition by dividing the players in to two different groups
depending on their skills. Hence two sub divisions of the UCI were founded in 1965 namely, International Professional Cycling Federation (FICP) and the International Amateur Cycling Federation (FIAC). FICP was located in Luxembourg while the FIAC was in Rome
whereas, UCI was based in Geneva.
With 127 members from all the five continents across the globe FIAC was occupied mainly by the amateur Eastern bloc and hence it was bigger than FICP. Olympics were considered as an amateur race back in 1965 and was categorised under FICP. FIAC and FICP
were again combined together in 1992 as they merged into the UCI.
Before the UCI however, the first international cycle racing body was ICA, the International Cycling Association established in 1892 and the main reason behind the formation of ICA was to organise a world event, the World Championships and to have a clear
definition of amateurism which was emerging as a big issue towards the end of 19th century.
International Cycling Association was really the first to draw a line between the professionalism and amateurism as Olympic Games were becoming more and more famous and the players from one country would have to compete against the professional from the
other which was frustrating for all the sports.
The level of competition hence was falling as an amateur no matter how hard he tries was never able to beat a professional who has a totally different height and understanding of the sport.
National Cyclist Union in Great Britain was the most inspiring association as Jim McGurn mentioned,” The National Cyclists’  Union made itself unpopular in the early 1890s for its stubborn and seemingly nit-picking oppositions to riders who professed themselves
ICA hence drew a line between the professional and amateur cyclists defined an amateur as, “One who has never engaged in, nor assisted in, nor taught any athletic exercise for money, nor knowingly competed with or against a professional for a prize of any
description... or who is recognised as an amateur by the ruling body of his country. ”
The definition was agreed upon by and was made official as it was mentioning all the aspects required to differentiate between a professional and an amateur.
American cyclist Arthur Augustus Zimmerman’s wins were mentioned by the famous news paper New York Times yet he was categorised as an amateur by the League of American Wheelmen which was the ruling body of his country and hence was an amateur according to
the definition by ICA.
Continued in Part 2
The views expressed in this article are the writer's own and in no way represent's official editorial policy.



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