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Essential information before racing and riding abroad

Essential information before racing and riding abroad

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If you are taking part in a cycling event abroad, it is always a good idea to purchase adequate travel insurance for the full duration of your trip, in addition to liability insurance such as that provided by your  British Cycling membership.

The liability insurance which comes with British Cycling membership provides cover of up to £20 million in the event of a claim being made against you for an incident which is your fault, but will not cover items such as medical bills, re-patriation and legal support in the event of an incident abroad.

Travel insurance for cyclists is available from a number of providers. British Cycling has secured discounted rates with one leading travel insurance provider for cyclists - check out our  travel insurance page for more information. In all cases, we advise that you choose an insurance provider regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If you are travelling as part of a team, please check with your Team Manager that proper arrangements have been made for travel insurance.

It is important to take with you a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling in Europe. However, please be aware that the medical cover provided by GHIC/EHIC does not extend to cover the costs of all medical treatments or transportation, particularly if you need to be flown home. If you have a EHIC it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. Information on GHIC/EHIC and how to apply is available on the Government Website.   

Please note that, while not a requirement for sportives in the UK, some sportives abroad require participants to hold a Full Racing Licence. A Full Racing Licence can be obtained from British Cycling as an additional purchase to a Race Silver or Race Gold membership. Applications should be made at least 21 days before the date of departure where this is a requirement.

Specific requirements for Etape du Tour (France)

British Cycling members taking part in the Etape du Tour (France) need to present a medical certificate at registration. Full details here.

Racing abroad

It is a requirement of UCI that members of British Cycling obtain a letter of authority to race abroad. To qualify for a letter of authority, you must be in possession of a current Full Racing Licence. Requests should be sent with your membership number  and stating the name/s of the countries you will be racing in to

It is a requirement of UCI that all riders must be covered by adequate medical insurance when racing overseas. While the National Health Service in the UK provides for British riders competing in Britain, it may be necessary for you to take out additional travel insurance to cover you whilst you are racing abroad. For races in Europe, it is strongly advised that riders also carry a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Please refer to the advice above on GHIC/EHIC cards.

If you hold a racing licence issued by British Cycling and need to submit an international race result, you can submit the details by completing the form HERE

Specific requirements for racing in France

As above, when competing abroad, you may be required to present a letter of authority from British Cycling in order for you to race in that country, this letter can be e-mailed over to you by the Membership Team. When racing in France, you are also required to be registered on a national list issued by the French Federation of approved riders to race there. In order to be registered on this list, we are required to contact the French Federation on your behalf to register you. Please be aware of this if you are planning to race in France and allow a minimum of 14 days when requesting a letter of authority to race there. To request the letter of authority, please contact the Membership Team on 0161 274 2010 or


If you are racing abroad you are reminded that you must comply with all  anti-doping control when racing. If you are using any prohibited substance or method to treat a documented medical condition, you must be able to show a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificate, which must have been approved by the UCI in advance of competing. If you think you may need a TUE, please contact the British Cycling Compliance department

To check whether a medication you are taking contains a prohibited substance visit Global DRO. Please ensure you save your search result from this, so you have evidence of the checks you have completed. In addition, if you are choosing to use supplements, please check whether the batch contains any prohibited substances by visiting Informed Sport. Please note, there is no guarantee that a supplement is free from banned substances. 

If you have any questions about your anti-doping responsibilities as a British Cycling member, please do not hesitate to contact our Compliance team