The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) has today (Tuesday 5th October) partnered with Supersapiens, the world’s imminent energy management system for performance athletes, on a new initiative called The Cyclists Alliance Duty of Care Framework.
The aim of the initiative is to assist all stakeholders who play a part in the elite athletic performance of female professional cyclists to put their mental and physical well-being first to optimising the athlete’s overall wellbeing in conjunction with performance excellence to ensure that no athlete can unknowingly or knowingly push their body past its limitations and cause disastrous long-term effects on the mind, body and its systems.
The Cyclists’ Alliance Duty of Care Framework will ensure that athletes feel empowered and nurtured, both physically and mentally, in the sport of women's cycling.
The proposed Cyclists’ Alliance Duty of Care Framework aims are:
- educating and helping athletes to recognise symptoms and develop a range of self-management skills that they can utilise to manage physical or psychological distress through educational resources and workshops,
- equipping key stakeholders in the elite sporting environment (such as team managers, coaches, sports directors, medical staff and high-performance support staff) to better understand, recognise and respond to concerns regarding an athlete’s mental and physical health through an annual conference/training/certification
- creating a minimum requirement of medial test and checks that athletes must meet in order to compete (to ensure the UCI current list is updated to cater to female athletes and that there is a clear roadmap to incorporate mandatory medical checks for both WWT & Continental teams to safeguard all riders).
"It has been clear to us at TCA from the very beginning that women’s cycling has different issues to men’s cycling, thus an independent union was needed to support female professional riders adequately. Female health and performance is an issue we want to highlight as unique and important, and it is now coming to light that better education, resourcing, and support is needed for our riders and those that manage them. Knowledge is power, and we want to provide another aspect in giving power back to our female riders. Using evidence-based research and a panel of industry experts, with the support from Supersapiens, will enable us to push for a higher standard of health, well-being, and duty of care in professional women’s cycling".Gracie Elvin, former professional cyclist and Co-Founder of The Cyclists' Alliance
The proposed Cyclists’ Alliance Duty of Care Framework will cover a variety of topics and focus on the additional complexities of the female physiology that must be taken into consideration for female professional cyclists. Topics include but are not limited to:
- Menstrual Health & Contraceptive
- Breast Health
- RED-S (Relative energy deficiency)
- Cardiac screening
- Exercise-induced arterial endofibrosis (EIAE)
- And More!
- All topics will be created and delivered by experts backed up by evidence-based research.
Since our first conversations with TCA, we have been inspired by their core mission—to improve the lives of female cyclists before and after their careers. The aim to empower and nurture athletes is perfectly aligned with our purpose at Supersapiens. We’re honored to have the opportunity to work with TCA to help optimize the overall wellbeing of female athletes and empower each rider to reach her highest level of performance, both on and off the bike.Phil Southerland, CEO and Founder of Supersapiens
Supersapiens is a US-based sports performance company focused on energy management systems that empower athletes to discover endless energy and go faster longer
A partnership with global healthcare leader Abbott makes Supersapiens the only energy management ecosystem that directly integrates with a Bluetooth-enabled sports continuous glucose monitor (CGM) — the Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor. Supersapiens offers athletes access to truly meaningful and actionable glucose data with real-time glucose levels transmitted from Abbott’s biosensor directly to their phone, Supersapiens wearables, select Garmin bike computers and smartwatches, and additional insights through integrations with TrainingPeaks and Apple Health. Supersapiens’ set of data interpretation tools is leading the future of fuelling, energy management, and sports performance.
Supersapiens is a US-based sports performance company focused on energy management systems that empower athletes to prime, perform, and recover. With continuous glucose data, athletes can effectively prepare for training, efficiently manage in-training fueling to sustain high intensity work, properly manage glucose levels to maximize recovery, and ultimately achieve bigger performance gainsv.
The Supersapiens system powered by Abbott’s Libre Sensevi is now available in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United Kingdomvii. Learn more about the full line of Supersapiens products and purchase Abbott’s biosensor at www.supersapiens.com.
iv Coyle EF, Coggan AR, Hemmert MK, Ivy JL. Muscle glycogen utilization during prolonged strenuous exercise when fed carbohydrate. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1986 Jul;61(1):165-72. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1918.104.22.168. PMID: 3525502.
Baur DA, Saunders MJ. Carbohydrate supplementation: a critical review of recent innovations. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2021 Jan;121(1):23-66. doi: 10.1007/s00421-020-04534-y. Epub 2020 Oct 27. PMID: 33106933.
v Fell, J Marc et al. “Carbohydrate improves exercise capacity but does not affect subcellular lipid droplet morphology, AMPK and p53 signalling in human skeletal muscle.” The Journal of physiology, 10.1113/JP281127. 26 Mar. 2021, doi:10.1113/JP281127
vi The Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor is intended for athletes to measure glucose. When used with a compatible product, the biosensor allows athletes to correlate their glucose levels and their athletic performance. The Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor is not intended for medical use. It is not intended for use in screening, diagnosis, treatment, cure, mitigation, prevention, or monitoring of diseases, including diabetes.
vii The Supersapiens ecosystem, including the Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor, is not yet available for sale in the U.S. For a full list of references and FAQs, please visit our Education Hub and Help Center.
ABOUT CYCLISTS' ALLIANCE
Run by former and current pros, The Cyclists’ Alliance is a foundation, funded purely by donations and subscriptions, that provides holistic support to professional female cyclists during and after their careers. We work hard to secure fairer pay for female athletes, resolve disputes with teams, provide emotional and economic support, and elevate the appeal of women’s cycling.
We help our supported riders in many ways but our ultimate goal is a single word. And it’s not too much to ask. Fairness. In just two years the TCA has:
- gained 193 members from 37 different teams and 32 different countries
- launched a Contract Management platform
- advised over 25 riders how to improve their contract before signing
- created an improved standard contract
- led a successful arbitration on behalf of a rider against a team
- helped approximately 10 riders to get released from their teams
- relaunched the TCA mentor program, with 16 active pairings
- carries out an annual rider survey to hear the voice and concerns on the riders
- established an elected rider council
- created a private electronic social platform for instantaneous communication on topics & important issues
- actively campaigned against #metoo abuse in cycling
- encouraged multiple riders to address misbehaviour at UCI Ethics Commission or National Federation Safe Sport
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