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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 £15million 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 Services Authority (FSA). 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 European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are travelling in Europe. However, please be aware that the medical cover provided by EHIC does not extend to cover the costs of all medical treatments or transportation, particularly if you need to be flown home. EHIC forms are available at any main Post Office and more information is available at www.ehic.org.uk

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 to membership@britishcycling.org.uk

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 European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Please refer to the advice above on EHIC cards.

Specific requirements for racing in France

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 membership@britishcycling.org.uk


If you are racing abroad you are reminded that you must comply with UCI 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.

The application form is available from British Cycling’s Anti-Doping Officer (Tel +44(0)161 274 2000) or from www.britishcycling.org.uk and searching for the phrase TUE. A simplified TUE is available for inhalers used in the treatment of respiratory problems. To check whether a medication contains a banned substance, visit www.didglobal.com and view the Drug Information Database (DID).