With the new cycling season soon to be started the TCA riders council meeting held their first meeting of the year to discuss the challenges ahead and the improvement on their overall condition
The group led by Ellen and Leah could count on the support of numerous riders for this first meeting of the year. During the 90 minutes session the riders had the opportunity to discuss TCA's work plan for 2023, UCI pregnancy regulation for road races and MTB riders, the potential new pro-continental status for female riders, prize money payment and also dedicated a large portion of the meeting to health and safety issues.
For Ellen VAN DIJK this meeting was really positive and she is looking forward to continuing the discussion during the season with the riders.
“It’s fantastic to see that so many riders are really dedicated and are willing to take the best out of this group. The level of commitment is incredible and they are constantly raising so many interesting discussion points. During the meeting we had the opportunity to discuss TCA’s vision for 2023 and align it with the riders views. The section we dedicated on health and safety was quite fascinating.
We believe as a group that we can be precursor amongst other women's sport on certain specific issues such as bone density tests to fight against bulimia and anorexia for example. They also took a strong stand in favor of the creation of a potential “Pro Continental” division in women cycling. They all believe Women World Tour teams should aim at even higher standards to support the growth of women cycling whether it’s about professionalization of the teams or support of the riders. It’s going to be a great year for the group”
A large section of the meeting was dedicated to health and safety. The question of concussion and the need for bone density tests for female riders before the season was raised by the riders. For Leah Kirchmann the involvement of the riders on health and safety issues is crucial.
“Many riders believe that we, as a group and through TCA can be a driving force on health and safety issues. They recognize that a certain number of problems have not been properly addressed yet. They all would like to raise health and safety standards and protocols for riders during and outside of races. Like Audrey Cordon Ragot said during the meeting we want to be considered as women first and then athletes. The issue of bone density testing is of quite high importance for the group. Everyone would like to see this type of testing becoming mandatory for all riders before the season whether they are pros or juniors. It is a good indicator of potential eating disorder amongst the riders and we would like to have that issue taken really seriously ”