The Union Cycliste Internationale, AKA International Cycling Union (but universally referred to by the French initials), the world governing body for cycle racing and other forms of cycle sport. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland (with a move down the road to a newly built World Cycling Centre at Aigle on the cards soon). Like governing bodies in most sports, the UCI is ritually abused from all sides for anything anybody thinks is wrong with the sport, notably in recent years the handling of cycling's doping problems (particularly EPO) and rules on equipment (a number of technically retrograde measures have been implemwented in order to keep the emphasis on riders' physical performances rather than expensive technical tweaks). In fact carries out more drug testing than almost every other sporting body put together, but its pragmatic handling of doping (including "health checks" on blood haematocrit level intended to limit riders' of EPO which could not at the time be detected in normal urine tests) and relatively lenient penalties (a six-month ban for a first doping offence) have attracted criticism.

The organisation, which has developed from a loose association of national federations to a strongly centralising body in the last decade or so, has been dominated by the fairly autocratic hand of its president, Hein Verbruggen

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