Meeting on 24 and 25 September in Italy during the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola – Emilia-Romagna (24-27 September), the Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) awarded numerous UCI World Championships for the 2021-2026 period and took important decisions in areas such as support for those involved in road cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic and safety.

The UCI Management Committee awarded the following 11 UCI World Championships (in a total of eight countries and for five disciplines):

  • 2021 UCI Masters Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: Il Ciocco (Italy). Situated in the Tuscan province of Lucca, in the Apennines, Il Ciocco will host the first edition of the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships reserved for athletes in the Masters categories. Thirty years earlier, this venue was the theatre of the second-ever edition of the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
  • 2022 and 2023 UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships: Villa La Angostura (Argentina). The event will benefit from the experience of an organiser who has already set up several mountain bike competitions: the 2017 Argentinean Championships, a Class 1 race on the 2018 UCI International Calendar and the 2019 Pan-American Championships. The 2022 and 2023 Worlds will take place on the banks of the Nahuel Hapi Lake, in a touristic region of Argentine Patagonia.
  • 2023 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships: Cali (Colombia)*. The UCI Junior Worlds for track cycling will take place in the Alcides Nieto Patiño velodrome, a facility with a spectator capacity of 7650 which hosted the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2014 as well as numerous rounds of the UCI World Cup over the years. Cali, the third most populated city in Colombia, is situated in the west of the country at an altitude of around 1000m. *Award subject to agreement with the Colombian National Federation regarding certain essential elements.
  • 2024 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships: Snowshoe (United States). Snowshoe is a summer and winter tourist resort in West Virginia, situated at an altitude of around 1500m. With numerous routes and trails, it organised a round of the Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup (cross-country and downhill) in 2019.
  • 2024 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships: Aalborg (Denmark). The events in Aalborg will enable amateur riders who qualify at different qualification events organised throughout the world to race for the rainbow jersey in their respective category. The city has solid experience in the organisation of mass participation events, and Denmark is one of the leading nations when it comes to the promotion of cycling.
  • 2025 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships: Wallis canton (Switzerland). These UCI Worlds will be special in that they will bring together the mountain bike specialities (cross-country – Olympic, team relay, short track, Marathon and E-mountain bike -, downhill, Enduro and pump track) which will take place in different renowned alpine resorts in the Wallis canton, all of which have extensive experience in the organisation of mountain bike events.
  • 2025 UCI BMX World Championships: Copenhagen (Denmark). Fourteen years after the 2011 edition, the UCI BMX World Championships return to Copenhagen, a city that holds the UCI Bike City label in recognition of its remarkable investment in cycling (organisation of UCI events and promotion of cycling for all). The organiser has extensive experience, including the hosting of the UCI World Championships for track cycling and cyclo-cross.
  • 2025 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Liévin (France). In 2025, the UCI Worlds for the discipline will again take place in France, 21 years after the edition in Pontchâteau. The commune of Liévin, situated in the Lens-Liévin urban area, in the north of France, welcomed a round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in 2011. The competitions in 2025 will take place at the same – but modernised – venue.
  • 2025 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships: Melbourne (Australia). The event will take place in the Melbourne region, South Australia. It will be organised by an experienced team which organises, among others, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, part of the UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour, and its parallel mass participation event which is also held each year.
  • 2026 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships: Val di Sole (Italy). Val di Sole is one of the uncontested Meccas of off-road. The region hosted the UCI Worlds for mountain bike in 2008 and 2016 (downhill only that year) and is currently preparing to welcome the event in 2021. Several rounds of the UCI World Cup have also taken place there, as have the UCI Four-cross World Championships (six times so far).

The UCI is pleased to have been able to award these events in circumstances that are nevertheless difficult. It should be noted that due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has been affecting all regions of the world for several months, some of the UCI World Championships which should have been awarded these last two days will now be awarded at the Management Committee’s September 2021 meeting to enable potential organisers of the concerned events to finalise their bid files in the best possible conditions. Among these events are the 2025 UCI Road World Championships which will take place, for the first time in their history, on the African continent, as well as the 2027 UCI Cycling World Championships which, after their inaugural edition in 2023 in Glasgow and Scotland, will also bring together the UCI Worlds for all cycling’s disciplines over a period of around 10 days.

List of UCI World Championships which will be awarded in September 2021:

  • 2022 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships
  • 2022 and 2024 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships
  • 2023 and 2024 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships
  • 2023 and 2024 UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships
  • 2024 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships
  • 2024 and 2025 UCI Masters Mountain Bike World Championships
  • 2024, 2025 and 2026 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships
  • 2025 UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships
  • 2025 Para-cycling Road World Championships
  • 2025 and 2026 UCI Road World Championships
  • 2025 and 2026 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
  • 2026 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships
  • 2026 UCI BMX World Championships
  • 2026 and 2027 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships
  • 2027 UCI Cycling World Championships.

The UCI is pleased that despite the difficult situation, it has been able to finalise the 2021 UCI International Calendars for numerous disciplines and find solutions that take into account the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to 2021. The staging of the events in question will nevertheless depend on the development of the health situation in the regions concerned. The following UCI Calendars have been approved and subsequently published on the UCI website:
2021 UCI Road International Calendar
2021 UCI Para-cycling Road International Calendar
2021 UCI Mountain Bike International Calendar (including UCI World Cup)
2021 Mountain Bike Eliminator Calendar (UCI World Cup and UCI World Championships)
2021 UCI Cross Country E-Mountain Bike World Cup Calendar
2021 UCI BMX Racing International Calendar (including the UCI World Cup)
2021 BMX Freestyle International Calendar
2021 UCI Trials International Calendar
2021 UCI Indoor Cycling International Calendar2021 UCI Cycling for all International Calendar (to be published next week)
2021 UCI Gran Fondo International Calendar (to be published next week).

Moreover, the UCI confirms the calendar of the first edition of the 2021 UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup, launched as part of the reform of track cycling. The first edition of the series will comprise three rounds, each organised, as planned, on a different continent:

  • 22-25 April 2021: Newport (Great Britain)
  • 13-16 May 2021: Hong Kong (China)
  • 3-6 June 2021: Cali (Colombia).

In a period marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the UCI Management Committee decided to extend to the first six months of the 2021 season the application of certain measures for those involved in road cycling that were introduced for the reopening of the 2020 season. This decision had been approved the previous day by the Professional Cycling Council (CCP) with regards to UCI WorldTour events. These measures were communicated by the UCI on 5 May. Among the renewed measures are the relaxation of several rules linked to the participation of teams in events and to the replacement of a rider with a last-minute positive Covid-19 test, as well as the waiving of UCI International Calendar registration fees for events cancelled in 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In a context where more and more cyclo-cross specialists are also shining at the biggest road events in the world, the UCI has decided to modify the article defining the participation rules for road races (art. 2.1.005) to enable new UCI Cyclo-cross Professional Teams to take part in road events according to the same participation model as that for UCI Continental Teams and UCI Women’s Continental Teams.

The question of defining the different age categories of riders was also a subject of discussion. No change will be introduced for the moment, but this matter could be the object of future reflection.

In the area of safety and to reinforce this in the race convoy, the UCI Management Committee decided to extend to all events on the UCI International Road Calendar, the obligation for drivers in the race convoy to participate in a drivers’ briefing. Until now this obligation has been limited mainly to drivers of media and at UCI WorldTour events (art. 2.2.035 bis).

Also regarding the reinforcement of safety, as part of the efforts made and following the meeting on the subject held in Nice before the Tour de France, the members of the associations representing organisers (AIOCC), teams (AIGCP) and riders (CPA) have been invited to meet with representatives of the UCI in October to develop a joint diagnosis then a global plan. The Management Committee and the PCC would like to issue a reminder that safety, although remaining the responsibility of the organiser, must be guaranteed by a joint effort from all cycling’s families.

The members of the UCI Management Committee commended the progress made when it comes to the care of riders suffering concussion following a crash. Concerned with protecting the health of athletes, the UCI, based on work carried out by a group of experts who met under the direction of the Federation’s Medical Director Prof. Xavier Bigard at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, has drawn up a protocol identifying three distinct phases: that of a rapid diagnosis on-site that will determine whether the rider can continue the race or needs to receive medical attention and, if he/she continues the event, a monitoring of the athlete during the competition at the finish and the next morning to identify any alteration to his/her condition; that of the implementation of an active recovery programme for riders recommencing physical activity after a concussion; and that of management and supervision when returning to normal training and competitions. The protocol has now been finalised; it will be published in the coming days and will be sent to concerned parties.

The UCI Management Committee approved the 2021 budget which will be presented to the UCI Congress in November and also reviewed the latest forecast for 2020. The Tokyo Olympic Games aside, the 2020 financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis has been carefully managed. The three key margin generating events for the UCI, namely the UCI Road World Championships, the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and the forthcoming UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, have all been maintained, albeit with reduced margins. Whilst the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 remain a hugely important source of revenues to the UCI, the UCI Management Committee is confident about the Federation’s long-term financial stability.

Finally, the Management Committee members reaffirmed the UCI’s determination to prevent the appearance of any form of racism in cycling and to encourage diversity in the sport itself and its governance, via both its regulations and the activities of the UCI World Cycling Centre, which has been promoting universality since its opening some 20 years ago.

At the end of the two days of meetings, the UCI President David Lappartient declared: “We are pleased that we have been able to award numerous UCI World Championships and approve the 2021 UCI International Calendars for our different disciplines, which provide a solid basis for the upcoming seasons despite the current world health crisis.

Important decisions were also taken concerning the reinforcement of measures aiming to ensure safety at races, including the extension of the obligation of vehicle drivers in the race convoy to attend courses and the establishment of a protocol to take care of riders suffering from concussion. Safety is the responsibility of all stakeholders and their implication will also be increased in the future.”

The next major institutional meeting of the Federation, the UCI Congress, whose format and agenda were approved by the UCI Management Committee, will take place entirely by videoconference on 5 November.