Story of a President

Puig, Loroño y Bahamontes

Luis Puig Esteve entered the world of cycling almost by accident and ended up being its leader worldwide. He was a lover of this sport since his youth; he also practiced athletics and swimming and was one of the figures of the youth hockey team from the University of Valencia. He stressed in being extreme right and in that position he also played an international match with the Spanish Selection.

He combined the sport with his medical studies until the Civil War broke out. The death of his father Luis Puig, mayor of l’Alcúdia during the Republic, forced him to give up college in order to take over the family finances. He was qualified as a Physical Education teacher with a fast course in the Gymnastics Academy of Toledo and worked to fund the career of his younger brother Jose Puig, who became a respected doctor.

He taught Physical Education at the University of Valencia and headed the group of leaders who promoted the sport through the Young Front Sports Delegation, the agency which was responsible for managing the sport of the time. The construction of an indoor pool and the organization of the first international basketball game held in the city of Valencia were some of his most important projects.

Luis Puig jugador de hockey hierba
Luis Puig - Historia de un Presidente de la UCI

His experience as a hockey player helped him to be elected president of theValencian Federation. From this position, Puig achieved the Spanish Hockey Championship to be played in Valencia but when it was about to take place, the Spanish Federation canceled it and decided to move it to Barcelona.

Hurt with the decision, he successfully organized the competition in Barcelona and immediately presented his resignation to the Sports national Delegate, Gral. Lieutenant Jose Moscardó. “I am not coming back. Give me the Valencia´s Federation that doesn´t work“. Moscardó, aware of the projection and worth of Puig as sports director, accepted his decision: “Since you are the way you are, take the Bike Federation that is dead“.

In the postwar years, competition cycling in Spain was concentrated in Catalonia and Puig, who accepted the charge in 1943 with only 28 years, took over its development in Valencia. He organized the Tour of Valencia for amateurs and fell in love with the beauty, the suffering and the epic of cycling.

His experience as a hockey player helped him to be elected president of the Valencian Federation. From this position, Puig achieved the Spanish Hockey Championship to be played in Valencia but when it was about to take place, the Spanish Federation canceled it and decided to move it to Barcelona.

Hurt with the decision, he successfully organized the competition in Barcelona and immediately presented his resignation to the Sports national Delegate, Gral. Lieutenant Jose Moscardó. “I am not coming back. Give me the Valencia´s Federation that doesn´t work“. Moscardó, aware of the projection and worth of Puig as sports director, accepted his decision: “Since you are the way you are, take the Bike Federation that is dead“.

In the postwar years, competition cycling in Spain was concentrated in Catalonia and Puig, who accepted the charge in 1943 with only 28 years, took over its development in Valencia. He organized the Tour of Valencia for amateurs and fell in love with the beauty, the suffering and the epic of cycling.

Next chapter

02. modernising the spanish cycling