Lance Armstrong has urged pro cyclists to unify and “take the power back” in the wake of salary cuts and financial insecurity arising from the coronavirus crisis.
“To the sport of pro cycling; to all you cyclists sitting at home not sure if you’re going to get your paycheque next month, not sure if your team is going to survive this, now is the opportunity for you to re-set the scales, to get a seat at the table, to take the power back,” he said.
Armstrong spoke on Instagram in a message promoting his podcast, The Move.
The Texan’s rallying call to the peloton comes in the wake of the CPA’s statement Friday that it will “never accept a generalized reduction in salaries.” The cyclists’ union said that pay cuts will only be accepted on a case-by-case basis, with evidence that contractual agreements cannot be respected.
The past month has seen a number of WorldTour teams introducing pay cuts as it reels from lost race revenues and contemplates further lost income as the cycling season remains on shutdown. CCC Team, Astana, Mitchelton-Scott, Bahrain-McLaren, and Lotto-Soudal have all reduced rider pay, and Deceuninck-Quick-Step is facing the possibility of paying compensation to sponsors as a result of lost publicity through the classics period.
With the CPA urging all stakeholders in the sport to work as one to save the economic future of the sport, Armstrong further urged riders to work collectively.
“If you don’t take this opportunity right now, you might not have another chance to do it,” he said. “Talk to each other, talk to the peloton as a whole, and unify. Take this opportunity to take the power back. You are the actors in the play – without the actors, the play doesn’t go on.”