The board of The Cyclists’ Alliance wants to thank each of you who has joined our association of professionals. Since becoming an official body in December 2017, some of the best and brightest athletes of our generation has come on board to help shape the future our sport.
This is why an athletes’ union plays such an important role in sports today. We listen to your concerns and make these our highest priorities. Your voice is our voice when we meet with the stakeholders of global cycling, to negotiate for change, to build our potential market, and create the conditions for each of us to have successful athletic careers.
We are making forward progress on many of our key objectives in just these few short months:
- Building relationships inside the UCI, and with our teams and media partners
- Working directly with the UCI on reforms to improve the working conditions and economics of our sport
- Resolving legal disputes between riders, teams, and national federations
- Building our mentoring program
While you have all been working hard to prepare for, and race during this early spring, we have been focused on the fundamental reforms which protect your athlete rights, especially regarding wages and our standard working conditions. We are already working closely with the UCI to develop reforms which reinforce your rights, many of which are being discussed and decided on in UCI committees for implementation in 2019 – or earlier!
These reforms aren’t just for the professional and elite women racing on the road, but also in cyclocross, track, and mountain biking. We are all professional athletes who race bicycles, and the rules which allow us to compete and earn our living should not restrict us to a limited career, but enable our success. Stronger contracts, with clearly defined expectations for professionalism and personal protections should be the right of every cyclist competing today.
And with our legal partners, we are applying our close understanding of today’s regulations to help riders reach equitable agreements and resolve disputes with teams and sponsors, and to preserve your right to compete for your national teams.
Global cycling is a sport which has historically embraced changed very slowly. It is very difficult to get everyone to agree on the same things at the same moment in time. But as we have shared with you before, women’s cycling is different because we are united by the issues that affect women in sport and society. Our success today can be measured by our collaborative working relationships with our partners in the sport – our teams, our governing bodies, and the media – to break down the old barriers and create a foundation for progress. We won’t stop until we have achieved these goals and more, and we will always be listening to your concerns and offering our time to hear your proposals to build a stronger sport.
In the near future, we will open a new survey to gather input for emerging and important reform issues, and to help us better understand your experiences and needs to have successful careers as professional cyclists. We also encourage you and your colleagues to share your support for the Alliance on social media. Our sponsors and other partners such as the UCI follow every trend and emerging idea about women’s cycling online – every Tweet, mention, and thoughtful discussion helps us to build a meaningful public dialog about our sport. You can play an active role in changing how the world sees women’s cycling, and if you have not joined our Alliance yet, please consider doing so today!