The cycling disciplines that are covered include road cycling, track cycling, BMX, indoor cycling, mountain biking and cyclocross. UCI ensures that the events appeal to all fans of cycling.
The first world championships in cycling were overseen by the International Cycling Association. This body started life in 1892 to oversee cycling tournaments between Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Canada. Prior to that, the cycling tournaments were unofficial.
Britain just opened up their cycling championships to participants from all over the world. The formation of the association was important to keep sporting events independent of any country-specific governing body to avoid in-fighting between the countries.
The first official world cycling championship took place in 1893, in Chicago. The following year they took place in Antwerp. The tournament was open only to amateur cyclists at this stage. It was not until 1895 that professionals were able to take part. That event was held in Cologne.
It was after these events that the French set up a rival governing body, which became the UCI. This was due to their unhappiness with the way that the ICA was set up. Britain had demanded far more of a say and more votes and this was not a popular approach.
Benefits of changes
The new system allowed for the new governing body to ensure that there was impartiality in the decision making process for the planning of the World Championships and other cycling events. Recent changes include changes to the prize funds and the format of the cycling events, which are designed to ensure equality and a fairer playing field.