Pro cyclists are often caught in the middle of power struggles within cycling, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the group is taking the middle ground in the latest spat between the UCI and Tour de France organizer ASO.
On Monday, the CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associés) urged the UCI to find common ground with race organizers, and said it only signed off on the latest round of compromise reforms presented by the UCI earlier this month if all stakeholders were in agreement.
So with ASO jumping ship, the CPA is urging the UCI to find a new solution.
“The CPA does not agree with the UCI saying that the reform was adopted with the consent of all parties of cycling, including the riders,” a press release read Monday. “The association of the riders was in fact in favor of it, but as long as all stakeholders, including the organizers, were also in favor of the new reform.”
On Friday, the Amaury Sports Organisation (owners of the Tour, Vuelta a España, and other major French races) dropped a bombshell by saying it would yank its cycling properties out of the WorldTour calendar in 2017, a move that sent shockwaves around the sport. That move would give ASO nearly full control of which teams would start its races and it would under-cut the value of WorldTour licenses, which guarantee starts for 18 teams in all the major events of the international calendar.
The CPA, which is working to become a stronger advocate of riders’ rights, urged for even more talks, which seems all but inevitable if the UCI wants to avoid a perhaps permanent fracture with ASO.
Full CPA release:
With this release the intends to respond to the declaration of the UCI of these recent days regarding the decision of the ASO to exit the World Tour circuit. The CPA does not agree with the UCI saying that the Reform was adopted with the consent of all parties of cycling, including the riders.
The association of the riders was in fact in favor of it but as long as all stakeholders, including the organizers, were also in favor of the new Reform. The CPA has noticed in recent weeks that the organizers and especially the ASO, are unwilling to accept the new guidelines of the UCI which are radically different from the original project.
The CPA believes it is essential that the UCI takes into account the proposals of the different parties and especially that it respects the history of this sport which the UCI shall organize with sporting spirit and morality.
The president Gianni Bugno also complains that the UCI has not deigned to respond and take a position on the letter sent by the CPA on the case of the Velon document (Velon addendum), unacceptable and unlawful in regards of the rights of the athletes. The CPA questions the silence of the UCI, especially towards the riders. The association of the riders expressly asks the UCI to open the dialogue with all parties who have a sincere desire to participate constructively in the Reform of cycling, to give our sport the respect it deserves.