The Pan American Cycling Confederation (COPACI) was established on September 24th, 1922, in Montevideo, Republic of Uruguay.
It is an autonomous body comprising National Federations or Associations from the American continent, which are UCI members and fully recognized as the unique authorities of Cycling from their respective National Committees. The headquarters is to be found at the hometown of the President of the Confederation.
COPACI is the governing body of Cycling activities in America. It interacts with 40 National Federations and other 4 with a special status because of their affiliation to Great Britain and France, with THE Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), the National Olympic Committees, the UCI and regional sports organizations.
Likewise, it is the common representative of Cycling in the American continent recognized by the Olympic movement and promoted by the International Olympic Committee, along with the UCI and PASO Statutes and Regulations.
The American Cycling Confederation was founded on September 24th, 1922 in Montevideo, Republic of Uruguay, being therefore the second oldest Cycling organization in the world after the International Cycling Union (UCI).
Its first President was the Uruguayan engineer Juan Bautista Maglia who was in the position for 36 years, until being replaced in 1958 by the Colombian General Marcos Arambula Durán, who chaired the organization for 21 years. During his term the name of the organization was changed for its current name of Pan American Cycling Confederation.
Arambula held the position till 1979, date in which the Congress of the organization was organized in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the Venezuelan Armando Ustariz was elected President of COPACI. In 1987 during the Congress hosted in Indianapolis, USA, Mr. Guillermo Gutiérrez, from Mexico was elected President and stay in that capacity for four years.
In 1991, during the COPACI Congress held in Havana, Mr. José Manuel Peláez Rodriguez, from Cuba, was elected President, who was further appointed for the UCI Management Committee up to date. In 2008 Peláez Rodríguez was elected UCI Vice President.
During the term of Mr. General Arambula Durán the Pan American Games started to be organized on an annual basis. The Masters Championships were firstly hosted and then the Junior categories. The female categories were added during the leadership of President Armando Ustariz, in 1987, during the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, United States.
In 1985 the UCI firs awarded the Order of Merit UCI to a representative of our continent, Cuban Benito Sobero Fernandez.
So far, the following persons have been members of the UCI (first known as International Federation of Amateur Cycling – FIAC): the Mexican Ángel ¨Zapopan¨ Romero; Benito Sobero and José Manuel Peláez (Cuba); Richard Garmo and Mike Plant (United States) and the Venezuelan Artemio Leonnet.
The Pan American Cycling Confederation comprises at present 40 affiliated National Federations plus those of Guadalupe, Martinique and British Virgin Islands, which have a special status.
In 1993 the MTB is added as a new discipline in COPACI, a Commission whose first President was the late Colombian Antonio Ambrosio, while in 1987, his country fellow Jorge Ovidio González was called for the position.
In 1997 BMX is included as a new discipline in COPACI. The first President of the respective Commission was the Brazilian Francisco Silveira, who was responsible for the smooth running of BMX while being a member of the Brazilian Cycling Confederation. Nowadays, the Argentinean Gerardo Díaz chairs the BMX Commission, which is carrying out a very serious work.
The first Cycling World Championships was hosted in our continent in 1968 in Montevideo, Uruguay; then in 1974 in Montreal, Canada; in 1977, in San Cristóbal, Venezuela; in 1986 in Colorado Springs, United States; in 1995 in Bogotá, Paipa, Tunja and Tuta, Colombia; in 2003 in Hamilton, Canada and the Track Cycling World Championships in 2005 in Los Angeles, United States.
In 1978, in Washington, United States, the first Junior World Championships is hosted. Later on, new Championships are organized such as that in 1978 in Argentina; 1980, in Mexico; 1991, in Colorado Springs, United States; 1994, in Quito, Ecuador; in 1998, in Havana, Cuba; in 2001 and 2004, in Trexlertown and Los Angeles, United States.
Our continent has hosted several stages of Track Cycling World Cups, namely: in the United States, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Canada and Mexico.
Additionally, in America we have organized UCI World Championships for Small Countries. Havana was the venue of those first competitions in 1999, and Montevideo, Uruguay, was the host of World B.
In 1997, the Americas Development Technical Center was set up, Ander the auspices of the IOC Olympic Solidarity, the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The presidents of Pan-American Cycling Confederation, since the foundation, are detailed in the next table:
|1922 – 1958||Juan Bruno Maglia||
|1958 – 1979||Marcos Arambula Durán||
|1979 – 1987||Armando Ustariz||
|1987 – 1991||Guillermo Gutiérrez||
|1991 – until nowadays||José Manuel Peláez Rodríguez||