Connect with us

INDAC

Marianne Vos leads The Cyclists’ Alliance open letter to the UCI

Healthy Routine

Marianne Vos leads The Cyclists’ Alliance open letter to the UCI

Marianne Vos is one of eight members of The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) Rider Council, an association for professional women riders, that has written and signed an open letter to the UCI calling on the sport’s governing body to engage with them in order to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.  The letter, published Friday, regrets that the […]

Marianne Vos is one of eight members of The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) Rider Council, an association for professional women riders, that has written and signed an open letter to the UCI calling on the sport’s governing body to engage with them in order to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. 

The letter, published Friday, regrets that the UCI’s recent announcement of a reshuffled 2020 International Road Calendar made scant reference to women’s cycling.

The association’s Rider Council includes Vos, winner of the 2019 Women’s WorldTour, and her CCC-Liv teammate Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott), Ellen van Dijk and Audrey Cordon-Ragot (both Trek-Segafredo), Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans), Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) and pro mountain biker Ariane Luthi. 

Read More

The Cyclists’ Alliance expresses concerns over exclusion of women’s races in calendar rescheduling

La Course and Giro Rosa original dates cancelled due to coronavirus

Legal advice: Layoffs and salary cuts amid coronavirus

Coronavirus: Counting the cost on the Women’s WorldTour

Coronavirus: The future of women’s teams is in jeopardy

While the men’s Tour de France was pushed back to late August, to be followed by the World Championships and the other Grand Tours, the UCI said the women’s peloton would have to wait until May 15 for a new Women’s WorldTour schedule.

After criticising the UCI on Twitter on Wednesday, in the aftermath of the announcement, The Cyclists’ Alliance expanded on its concerns in its open letter, signed by its eight-member rider council. 

“We, as representatives of the women’s peloton, elected by our peers to represent them at The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA), are concerned about the impact [of the pandemic] upon women’s professional cycling. We are even more concerned that we do not have adequate representation from the women’s side in the ongoing discussions concerning this pandemic and the challenges it brings,” the letter read.

“We note the recent statement issued by the UCI (on 15 April) did not include the details of the approach for the women’s race calendar, nor did it detail who was being consulted in order to make these decisions. This indicates discussions are still ongoing.”

The Cyclists’ Alliance was founded in 2017 by Iris Slappendel, Carmen Small and Gracie Elvin, and aims to represent the competitive, economic, and personal interests of all professional women cyclists. However, it is still not recognised by the UCI as an official union. 

In the letter, the TCA said it was “more important than ever” for it to start being included in decision-making processes. 

“We are writing to you today, to request you engage with us as riders, through the TCA – so that together we can formulate strategies to sustain and improve women’s cycling. We believe the TCA can add value to any discussions as we all look to the UCI for leadership, support for women’s teams and our involvement in decision making.

“We, as riders, are committed to work with our growing sport and the governing body in a constructive and transparent manner. We want to be represented by an organization that we trust, is committed, understands us and has been of enormous value to many of us so far. Therefore, we call for recognition of the women’s peloton by engaging with the TCA.”

‘Women’s cycling is being ignored’ says Van Dijk

Van Dijk expanded on her concerns of the UCI’s revision of the international road calendar, saying that ‘women’s cycling is being ignored’, as reported by the Dutch news outlet NOS Friday.

“[It is] terribly bad that decisions are made for the men, but that the women are completely ignored. We will only hear about the plans for women in a month, which is annoying,” she told NOS.

Only one round of the 22-event Women’s WorldTour has been contested this year at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race in February, while 14 events have been either cancelled or postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. There are currently only eight races that remain with their original dates.

In its announcement Wednesday, the UCI said that due to health precautions it has suspended all racing until July 1. It has been working with race organisers to determine event date changes for those events that are postponed and trying to put together a potential late-season calendar.

It has made it clear that priority will be given to the three Grand Tours and the five Monuments, along with the World Championships, European Championships and National Championships. 

The UCI and ASO have confirmed that the Tour de France will now take place from August 29 through September 20. ASO also confirmed that it was working on a new date for its one-day women’s race La Course.

“I understand very well that the Tour de France and cycling for men have priority,” said Van Dijk. “There is more money to be had there, but I do blame the UCI that there is absolutely no attention for women. We do not feel represented.”

An open letter to the UCI, riders call for representation

Dear UCI,

The Coronavirus pandemic is a global health crisis affecting all sectors as well as everyday life for millions of people. These are unprecedented times and our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and are struggling with illness or with any adverse economic impact.

We, as representatives of the women’s peloton, elected by our peers to represent them at The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA), are also concerned about the impact upon women’s professional cycling. We are even more concerned that we do not have adequate representation from the women’s side in the ongoing discussions concerning this pandemic and the challenges it brings. 

We note the recent statement issued by the UCI (on 15 April) did not include the details of the approach for the women’s race calendar, nor did it detail who was being consulted in order to make these decisions. This indicates discussions are still ongoing.

TCA was founded 2.5 years ago, supported by the women’s peloton, to represent our interests and it is more important than ever that the TCA – along with other stakeholders within the sport – are actively engaged by the UCI to fully represent women’s cycling and ensure the impact on riders is at the forefront of any decisions.

As a result, we are writing to you today, to request you engage with us as riders, through the TCA – so that together we can formulate strategies to sustain and improve women’s cycling. We believe the TCA can add value to any discussions as we all look to the UCI for leadership, support for women’s teams and our involvement in decision making.  

We, as riders, are committed to work with our growing sport and the governing body in a constructive and transparent manner. We want to be represented by an organization that we trust, is committed, understands us and has been of enormous value to many of us so far. Therefore, we call for recognition of the women’s peloton by engaging with the TCA. 

Awaiting your reply,

Marianne Vos,
Audrey Cordon-Ragot
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio,
Amanda Spratt,
Christine Majerus,
Leah Kirchmann,
Ariane Luthi
and Ellen van Dijk

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Healthy Routine

To Top