PRESS RELEASE: Growth and improvement for cycling world-wide at heart of UCI vision
In an important week for the promotion of cycling, the newly-formed UCI Advocacy Commission met for the first time this week in Adelaide, Australia at the Velo-city Global 2014 conference.
Elite cycling continues to grow with four disciplines on the Olympic programme, two on the Paralympic programme, and with teams and riders from all around the world competing in events spread over five continents; the top tier of the sport is truly global.
However, the UCI sees its mission as wider than simply looking after the top of sport. It must also join in partnership with those who advocate for better conditions to encourage more people to cycle for whatever reason, whether sport, leisure, fitness or as a mode of transport. As Tour de France CEO Yann Le Moenner said "if we don't address road safety issues, in 50 years there will be no Tour".
The UCI Advocacy Commission will inform UCI strategy and its members bring experience from various fields and across the globe. Chaired by UCI Vice-President Tracey Gaudry, two-time Olympian in Road Cycling and Chief Executive Officer of the Amy Gillett Foundation (a charity which aims to reduce the incidence of death and injury of bike riders in Australia), the Commission comprises Pia Allerslev, Mayor of Copenhagen, Patrick François, President of the AEC (European Cyclosport Association) and Tim Blumenthal, President of People For Bikes in the US.
The three key areas of Commission's work are:
- Opportunity and access for children to cycle
- Investment in sporting and everyday cycling infrastructure
- Road safety improvements to overcome barriers to cycle.
Addressing the Velo-City Global 2014 conference attendees this week, Tracey Gaudry said: “The future of our great global sport depends on a healthy grassroots and a vibrant cycling sector. In partnership with others, we want to make our contribution to the acceptance, growth and sustainability of the cycling community.”
UCI President Brian Cookson stated: “The issues we will address through this area of our work are relevant for everyone who rides a bike, whether they are Tour de France winner, an amateur racer or someone who cycles to work. We need roads which are safe to ride on, government investment in cycling and policies in place to encourage all children to ride bikes.”