Felt Bicycles has partnered with the International Cycling Union (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, to supply a full stable of road, time trial, track, mountain and BMX frames to the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland.
The World Cycling Centre opened in 2002 and houses the offices of the UCI staff as well as elite training facilities for Olympic cycling hopefuls from around the world. The WCC also functions as a training center for national-level cycling coaches, team directors and other management roles within the sport.
“We’re pleased to be a sponsor of this incredible facility and the athletes who train there,” said Felt President Bill Duehring. “We’re especially proud to support those athletes from developing nations that might not have the resources or elite level of support to help them chase their Olympic dreams.”
Located in the Swiss Alps and surrounded by roads and trails that are ideal for road and mountain bike training, the World Cycling Centre was created to help develop the sport globally. To that end, WCC coaches identify riders from countries that lack fully funded national teams and invite them to live in Aigle to train at the WCC. In 2009, more than 83 riders from 38 different countries benefited from the WCC facilities. Since opening, the WCC has hosted 717 athletes from 113 countries.
UCI President Pat McQuaid expressed appreciation for the sponsorship. “The World Cycling Centre is delighted with this new partnership, which will benefit promising young riders in all the disciplines promoted at the WCC,” he said. “The UCI’s training and coaching center would simply not be able to fulfill its missions without the support of all its partners, and one of the most important of these is Felt.”
Athletes who have trained at the WCC range from Olympic champions to unknown riders with untapped potential. American Sarah Hammer, a two-time world champion who is sponsored by Felt, currently lives in Aigle and trains at the WCC.
The WCC facilities include an indoor 200-meter velodrome, an Olympic-style BMX course and a fully equipped gymnasium. In addition to training athletes, there are coaching programs as well. In some cases, a coach is invited along with an athlete so that, together, they can take what they learn back to their home country. Beyond that, the WCC also recently introduced programs aimed at training team directors. It’s all part of the mission to improve cycling opportunities all around the world.
Felt’s sponsorship of the WCC began January 1, 2010 and continues through December 31, 2012.