The Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), the professional rider’s association, will have an official delegate at all future UCI WorldTour events, the group announced Thursday.
The delegates will observe the operations of the races and accept rider input on workplace conditions and other concerns, and will act as an intermediary between riders, race organizers, and the UCI. Following each stage, the delegate will submit a report to the CPA.
“The CPA Delegate’s presence will be positive for the riders, but also the other stakeholders: the race organization, teams, and the UCI. From now on, all stakeholders will be able to interface with one person who synthesizes the peloton’s opinion and the majority of the riders in case of need,” according to a statement from the CPA.
The program was initiated at the Paris-Nice prologue on Sunday.
The announcement comes after a string of weather-related incidents this winter, which saw riders protest cold and dangerously windy conditions at Etoile de Bessèges and excessive heat at the Tour of Oman.
The new Association of North American Professional Road Cyclists (ANAPRC), a branch of the CPA, floated the delegate concept earlier in the season.
“When these weather issues come up, or controversy comes up, I don’t think it’s fair to have to make the riders have to stand up and take the blame and take the heat,” said Brent Bookwalter, an ANAPRC board member, at the Dubai Tour in February. “It would be really nice if there were a collective voice that, behind the scenes, the riders can be unified with. And then the spokesperson or the speaker, they can take the heat. That’s in everyone’s best interest, the teams, the riders, and the races too.”
The delegate project was introduced by CPA president Gianni Bugno in February, where it obtained the consent of “all stakeholders,” according to the statement.
The CPA delegates will wear official CPA-branded clothing and will be available at the sign-in area before the race, and near the team bus parking at the finish. The delegate’s contact information will be emailed to riders prior to competition. Most CPA delegates will be members of the CPA’s Steering Committee, but some may be recently retired riders appointed by the CPA.