Editor’s Note: In the wake of increasing criticism for its enforcement of the UCI rule regarding participation in non-UCI events, USA Cycling has produced a letter from UCI president Pat McQuaid explaining its side of the matter.
This appears to be a direct response to accusations that heretofore USA Cycling had been enforcing a rule that the UCI had little interest in, and which was not being enforced by other national governing bodies. (Here’s an example of the recent commentary and here is a video interview of one pro racer accusing USA Cycling of deceit.)
But now, on paper at least, that appears to have changed, as the UCI is now claiming it backs the stringent enforcement of the rule, which bars UCI-licensed riders from riding in non-sanctioned events. RoadBikeReview will have a deeper analysis of the issue in the coming days. In the meantime here is the full unedited letter from USA Cycling to its membership:
To: USA Cycling Members
RE: UCI Rule 1.2.019
There has been a tremendous amount of discussion and misinformation recently in articles and forums regarding UCI rule 1.2.019, which prohibits all UCI licensed riders from competing in events that are not sanctioned by a national federation.
USA Cycling received the following letter from the International Cycling Union (UCI) on March 26 to all national federations clarifying its expectations in the enforcement of rule 1.2.019. It also explains what the few possible exceptions to its rule are.
The UCI confirmed that Rule 1.2.019 and the related sanctions in 1.2.020 and 1.2.021 must apply to every UCI-recognized national federation in the world. Therefore, as a member of the International Federation, USA Cycling will comply with the direction from the UCI. The letter below was communicated to USA Cycling members today.
From UCI President Pat McQuaid
Re: forbidden races
It has recently come to our attention that some National Federations are experiencing difficulties in the interpretation and application of the rules relating to “forbidden races”, namely Articles 1.2.019, 1.2.020 and 1.2.021 of the UCI Regulations.
With this in mind, we would like to provide the following clarification which we hope you will find useful. Article 1.2.019 of the UCI Regulations states: “No license holder may participate in an event that has not been included on a national, continental or world calendar or that has not been recognized by a national federation, a continental confederation or the UCI.
A national federation may grant special exceptions for races or particular events run in its own country.”
The objective of this regulation is to protect the hard work and resources you pour into the development of your events at national level. It allows for a federative structure, something which is inherent in organized sport and which is essential to being a part of the Olympic movement.
Of course the regulation also allows the UCI, in line with its mission as an international federation, to guarantee uniform regulation.
Article 1.2.019 applies to all license holders, without exception. It does not solely concern professional riders or just the members of UCI teams, contrary to certain statements in the press and on some blogs.
The second paragraph of Article 1.2.019 affords each national federation the facility to grant a special exception for specific races or events taking place in its territory.
Special races or events are understood to be cycle events which are not registered on the national calendar of the country’s federation or on the UCI international calendar. This generally concerns events that are occasional and which do not recur, most often organized by persons or entities who do not belong to the world of organized sport. For example, an event may be organized by an association that does not have a link to the National Federation, such as a race specifically for members of the armed forces, fire fighters or students or perhaps as part of a national multisport event.
With the exception of these special cases, the National Federation is not permitted to grant an exemption to a cycle event which is held, deliberately or not, outside the federative movement. For example, in no case should an exception be granted to a cycling event that is organized by a person or entity who regularly organizes cycling events.
The objective of Article 1.2.019 is that exemptions should only be granted in exceptional cases.
License holders who participate in a “forbidden race” make themselves liable not only to sanctions by their National Federation, as scheduled by Article 1.2.021 of the UCI regulations, but also run the risk of not having sufficient insurance cover in the event of an accident.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please accept our kindest regards,
More from USA Cycling:
Clarification on affected riders:
The letter from the UCI confirms no UCI licensed rider, in any discipline, may participate in an event not sanctioned by a national federation recognized by the UCI (USA Cycling is the sole national federation in the United States). Originally, this was described as only affecting those UCI-licensed riders on UCI teams. The UCI has subsequently clarified that the rule extends to ALL UCI-licensed riders, even those not associated with a UCI team.
USA Cycling understands the fact that this rule enforcement has a far-reaching impact on riders and race directors alike, particularly in the mountain bike discipline. To help manage the impact and assist riders and race directors with the transition, USA Cycling will work with non-sanctioned mountain bike events by providing the following for mountain bike events permitted with USA Cycling after April 1, 2013:
- For any mountain bike event that occurred in 2012, but did not sanction with USA Cycling in 2012, USA Cycling will waive the permit fee (2013 only). USA Cycling will also subsidize $1 of the $3 dollar per rider insurance surcharge. The per-rider insurance surcharge for mountain bike events that occurred in 2012 but were not permitted in 2012 will be $2 per rider (2013 only).
What a USA Cycling Event Permit Provides for Race Promoters:
- Low permit fees. A mountain bike race of less than 500 riders has a maximum permit fee of $100 a day. The only other fee USA Cycling collects is a per-rider insurance charge of $3 which covers one of the most robust insurance packages in cycling for the race director, the landowners, the sponsors, and excess accident medical coverage for participants. Comparable insurance coverage cost per rider is much more expensive.
- Racing infrastructure for a safe and level playing field including anti-doping, rules and trained officials. As the only USOC and UCI recognized cycling organization in the U.S., riders in USA Cycling events can be subject to the groundbreaking USA Cycling RaceClean™ anti-doping program to create a level playing field.
- Access to USA Cycling’s online registration system that allows riders to register for events and sign electronic waivers on the USA Cycling website or by using the USA Cycling smartphone app.
- A $0.40 rebate to race directors for each registration when you use USA Cycling’s online registration system.
Why you Should Support USA Cycling Sanctioned Events:
- USA Cycling spends more than $4 million per year supporting American athletes in development and international competition programs. Much of that money is generated from the racing activities of our more than 74,000 members racing more than 600,000 racing days each year in sanctioned events. Every time you race in a sanctioned event, a small amount of revenue is generated to support critical athlete programs. Most importantly, virtually every dime USA Cycling generates as a result of your racing activities is reinvested in the sport. However, when you compete in an unsanctioned event, nothing goes to support these important programs that help to maintain our international success and create the heroes and role models that are so important to the sport.
- In 2012, USA Cycling spent more than $530,000 in support of mountain bike development programs, world championships and pre-Olympic camps to help riders achieve their dreams on the world’s biggest stages.
- Professionally-licensed riders are the direct beneficiaries of USA Cycling’s significant investment in athlete support. As such, they have a vested interest to support the sanctioned events that fuel that support.
- Insurance protection at sanctioned events is some of the best available and provides coverage not only for the race directors, but also for the volunteers and officials working the event, as well as the racers themselves. At unsanctioned events, there is no guarantee that the insurance provides adequate coverage to anyone other than the race owner. Most unsanctioned events will claim they have comparable overall insurance coverage for their event when compared to what USA Cycling’s insurance program provides, but our own research and analysis have shown that is just not the case.
- Sanctioned events provide a safe and level playing field by a consistent standard for athlete protection such as accident insurance, an enforceable code of conduct and USA Cycling’s RaceClean™ anti-doping controls conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
- Sanctioned events provide licensed participants with the opportunity to be part of the USA Cycling National Results and Ranking System that allows you to compare your results to everyone else in your age group by city, state, region or even nationally.
For complete information on fees, benefits and how to sanction an event with USA Cycling, click HERE.