Following a meeting with Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) at the headquarters of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in Aigle, Switzerland, on Wednesday, the UCI and the CPA have restated their determination to work with stakeholders to enhance rider safety at races and have announced new measures, to be introduced in 2020.
The UCI has listened to the safety concerns of riders – passed on by the CPA – following a series of incidents at major and national races in recent weeks.
The UCI has reiterated the importance of the safety of cyclists, which is a core aspect of its cycling development strategy and one of its key objectives as the sport’s global governing body, although it is an area that falls within the exclusive responsibility of the organisers. Over the last few years and in collaboration with representatives of professional road cycling’s stakeholders – riders (CPA), teams (AIGCP) and organisers (AIOCC) – the Federation has implemented a series of bold initiatives:
- Implementation of the Extreme Weather Protocol (2016);
- Introduction of Technical Advisors at UCI WorldTour (2017) and UCI Women’s WorldTour (2019) races;
- Publication of Guidelines for Vehicle Circulation in the Race Convoy (2017) and updating of the UCI WorldTour Specifications for Organisers (2017);
- Safe-driving awareness courses for vehicle drivers and motorcyclists at UCI WorldTour races (2017) and for national teams at the UCI Road World Championships (2018);
- Reduction in the size of teams competing on the UCI WorldTour (2018).
Since 2017, the UCI has also had the option of referring anyone contravening the Regulations and Guidelines to its Disciplinary Commission. A number of sanctions have been imposed, particularly against drivers, while other proceedings brought against organisers are currently ongoing.
Following today’s meeting, the UCI and the CPA have agreed to set out a road map over the coming weeks, during which time they will also engage in several working meetings attended by representatives of the riders, teams and organisers. These meetings should lead to specific proposals being put to the vote by the UCI Management Committee, with a view to being applied from the 2020 season onwards. These measures will be presented at the UCI WorldTour seminar on 10-11 December.
“The safety of cyclists is an absolute priority,” said UCI President David Lappartient, “and I would like to thank the CPA for their cooperation at the meeting. Along with our partners from cycling’s various families, we have already done much to improve race conditions for riders, although recent events have reminded us that we can never rest on our laurels. In assuming a sense of responsibility shared by our Federation and the relevant stakeholders, we will come up with a joint response to the legitimate concerns of riders by taking strengthened actions as of next year.”
CPA President Gianni Bugno said: “Rider safety is one of the CPA’s key missions, and we are delighted that the UCI is listening on this issue and is determined to do something about it. We are going to come up with specific proposals as part of a constructive approach, with the aim of seeing significant measures introduced for the benefit of riders in 2020.”