Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio says no women riders were consulted by the CPA, the professional union for cyclists, ahead of a controversial decision by the UCI to ban the so-called ‘super tuck’ position.
The South African national champ’s comments come in the wake of Matteo Trentin’s claim via social media that, of 800 riders emailed by the CPA about these proposed changes to the laws, just 16 downloaded the document attached to that email. Trentin is a CPA representative.
Moolman-Pasio told Cycling News that none of these 800 professionals were women.
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“I take Matteo’s word for it [that 800 notifications were sent out with very few downloads] because he’s a good guy and puts a lot of time and energy into these things, and I believe that what he is saying is correct,” Moolman-Pasio said.
This email was not sent to any women, that is for sure.
"Until this point, women, and the women’s peloton, have had no say or input regarding these new [safety] rules that were passed”
It’s a striking revelation and one that comes as a result, Moolman-Pasio says, of having no women on the safety commission that was started last year.
Heidi Franz, US pro rider for Rally Cycling, confirmed Moolman-Pasio’s comment via her Twitter account
“Yep, pretty sure those 800 emails were not sent to a single person in the women’s peloton. Was [The Cyclist’s Alliance] even notified of the changes? Where is the women’s representation, UCI Cycling?”
The Cyclist’s Alliance is a relatively recently-established, international independent union for female cyclists and seeks to be the voice of the women’s professional peloton. It enjoys considerable popularity among riders, but has struggled to gain the ear of the UCI.
On the unions Twitter account, it said.
“Despite the women not being invited to the UCI's Safety Working Group, TCA has summarised the updated regulations […] and TCA will monitor if the new regulations are respected by the UCI & the race organisers to ensure rider safety this season.”
Eurosport’s own Orla Chennaoui said.
“No reps for women’s peloton on the safety commission, according to Moolman-Pasio. I feel UCI's continued refusal to recognise [The Cyclist’s Alliance] is a big problem in this, since it is the union recognised by most riders.”
The use or not of the super tuck itself is fast becoming a thundering irrelevance, overshadowed by the wider story around its banning. The debate over whether or not riders should be able to make use of it is largely played out, but the story of how it was banned continues to rumble on.
It is astonishing that the UCI would implement new safety laws of the sport without consulting a single member of the women’s peloton. It’s hard to imagine FIFA or the ICB getting away with moving in such a unilateral way.
Bike racing will not be any poorer for the loss of the super tuck, but it will continue to struggle to grow while it fails to listen to its elite participants about what they see as the future for the sport.
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