The race to net zero: Exclusive interview with the UCI's president on making pro cycling sustainable

David Lappartient speaks in-depth to Chris Marshall-Bell about his plans to halve emissions and make cycling carbon neutral by 2030

Pro cycling and the environment
(Image credit: Getty Images)

David Lappartient bangs his fist on the table. The president of the UCI, the sport’s governing body, wants to hammer home his message. “We have a green tool: the bicycle,” he says. “We have to be green ourselves.”

As the world grapples with the climate crisis, cycle racing - like every other component in life - is caught in its crosshairs. Racing in summer is becoming so hot that this August a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir was forced to start in the morning for riders’ safety. Other races have been affected by flooding, landslides and high winds that are too frequent to not be a direct consequence of a changing climate.

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and long reads across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013. In 2024 he released a seven-part podcast documentary, Ghost in the Machine, about motor doping in cycling.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains. He lives in Valencia, Spain.