The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is sure upset that the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has started to sanction e-bike racing. You see, the European-based UCI is the giant bureaucracy that controls bicycle racing and the FIM is the European-based, giant bureaucracy that controls motorcycle racing. The UCI recognizes e-bikes as bicycles (except when motors have been secretly installed to cheat in non-motorized bicycle races) and the FIM looks at e-bikes as a kind of stepping stone for young riders into motorcycle racing.
You would think that there are enough e-bikes out there to keep both organization happy, but the UCI just issued the first shot across the FIM’s bow by saying, “The UCI was very surprised and disappointed by the announcement made by the International Motorcycling Federation concerning the organization of an FIM E-Bike Enduro World Cup in France with no regulatory basis. The UCI had already notified the FIM that it considered E-mountain bike events to come exclusively under its jurisdiction and that the respective roles of the two International Federations (UCI and FIM) were clear and would not be called into question.”
Who cares? Not me. Both organizations are bloated bureaucracies that appear more interested in growing their dominance over a sport than growing the sport. In the United States, the UCI’s threat that “any UCI-licensed rider participating in one of these [FIM] events would risk disciplinary measures” seems a violation of restraint of trade and anti-trust laws.
If the e-bike sales numbers are truly as large as claimed, the sport should form its own organization (ELECEXIT?) that represents the best interests of the riders, event promoters and manufacturers. This UCI and FIM fighting will only hurt the sport.