Dutch riders's association blasts CPA as it quits organisation for lack of progress

The Dutch association listed numerous reasons for quitting the Association of Professional Cyclists in a long statement

Tom Dumoulin on Mount Fløyen during the time trial at the World Championships, where he produced a dominant performance to win his first rainbow jersey
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

The Dutch cyclists' association blasted the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) while leaving, saying the union is unable to keep pace with progress.

The VVBW (the Dutch Association for Professional Cyclists), one of the national associations that helped start the CPA in 1999, listed several reasons for its decision.

>>> ‘I want that spectacular image’: Danish rider critical of differences between men’s and women’s Worlds courses

"The CPA has been increasingly unable to meet the expectations of progress from the riders, and from many of its newer member nations," its statement read.

"The VVBW has made its opinion known that riders from countries, that currently don't have a national professional riders' association, deserve a voice within cycling's international union. Currently, only the riders from nine countries can vote. Three primary European cycling countries control the politics of the CPA. This isn't a true reflection of the men's professional 'peloton' in the year 2018."

"I read what the Dutch said," CPA President Gianni Bugno told Cycling Weekly. "We still need to think of our response. But I think I've already responded enough to these criticisms."

After Cedric Vasseur served as a vocal president through December 2009. Former Italian professional Gianni Bugno took over the CPA afterwards. He and his group have been accused of "inaction."

"There is a lot of criticism regarding many important economic and legal issues, and the CPA has provided almost no communication to the riders regarding its long-term plans and objectives," continued the Dutch statement.

"Most important, there is now an alarming financial shortage in the riders' retirement Solidarity Fund which can no longer be ignored as more professionals achieve eligibility for a retirement pay-out."

The UCI governing body asked that the CPA represent the growing womens' peloton but the Dutch association, "taking into account the CPA's many deficiencies", backs the Cyclists' Alliance.

A number of men have taken note of the Alliance's structure and tipped their caps to it.

"I reckon the unity our female colleagues show is something us male riders could aspire to," Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) said on Twitter in March. "Massive respect and support to everyone that's put in to build @Cyclists_All to where it's at."

See more

A number of sticky issues including retirement funds and voting for specific issues, like disc brakes in the peloton, have caused alarm through the peloton. Also, as pointed out by the Dutch, the difficulty of smaller non-traditional cycling nations to have representation and voting rights.

"We believe that [the Alliance] is better organised to represent the riders and partner with the teams, race organisers, the UCI, and the greater sporting community to advance the sport of women's cycling, especially as the initiative was started by the women riders themselves," continued the statement.

"[It] is a structure which any potential future successor to the CPA must also adopt to provide professional athletes with the services and representation they deserve."

Bugno, however, said, "The CPA is part of the UCI and the others are not. The cyclists are part of the UCI, so their alliance is there with us."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.