Twitter

What the New Riders Union Should Do to Succeed

The Riders Union is a movement that has emerged at a pivotal time for men’s pro cycling. Long-standing frustrations with the existing CPA boiled over after multiple and serious peloton complaints during this COVID-shortened season. By focusing a few key principles of sports governance and building professional management into its plans, this new effort could finally succeed – in convincing the peloton to collectively step up and demand a real seat at the table of pro cycling. Over the last year, there has been a new movement brewing, trying once again try to create a stronger voice in the sport for the riders. Formally introduced earlier this month, The Riders Union is now in the process of establishing an organizational and business footprint while completing a broader outreach to the men’s pro peloton. Led by former AIGCP head Luuc Eisenga and retired Dutch racer Stef Clement, it is...

The Freeman Case — Cycling’s Next Tribunal

Dr. Richard Freeman has been feeling the heat as his medical malpractice tribunal in Great Britain nears its conclusion. Meanwhile, the biological passport system has also recently come under fire in Spain. Anti-doping practices in pro cycling may change as a result. The circus that is Dr. Richard Freeman’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing in Great Britain picked up again in October, with many new face-palm revelations by the former Team Sky and British Cycling medical director. Although it has made for a titillating media sideshow, we need to move beyond the more salacious details revealed by the hearings. Along with a Spanish court’s recent rejection of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) system as proof of doping, the ever-thinner line between medical support and doping in sport has reached a critical point. Legally-empowered investigative organizations,...

Catching up With Alex Stieda

In Episode 3 of The Outer Line “Retrospectives” podcast, we talk with Alex Stieda, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey of the Tour de France, Canadian ambassador of cycling, and current FloBikes cycling announcer. Alex reflects on the flyer he took at the 1986 Tour de France that resulted in five category leader’s jerseys, how track cycling launched his pro road career, his love of technological influence on cycling, and the highs and lows of founding Canada’s first national tour – the Tour of Alberta.   The Apple podcast is available for direct download from The Outer Line podcast channel. Like many Canadian kids, Alex Stieda grew up dreaming of being a professional hockey player – not a bike racer. After a stint in figure skating as a youth, where he learned how to skate fast, Stieda was a dedicated hockey player through his teens. But as he wondering what to do during...

The ‘Youth Movement‘ — Real or Imaginary?

The rapid emergence of younger race champions has been hotly debated in pro cycling over the last few years – some even announcing an impending “takeover” of the men’s pro peloton by suddenly dominant young talent. But is this a momentary blip – represented by just a handful of phenomenal new superstars – or is it a longer-term trend in the sport? An analysis of race statistics over the last few years hints towards the latter. While many in pro cycling point to the rivalry between Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert as the catalyst, their early successes came via cyclocross. Pro road cycling’s youth movement actually started gathering steam five years ago and has virtually exploded since the emergence of Egan Bernal in 2017. It gained momentum in 2019 when 20-year-old Tadej Pogačar won the final Tour of California, and when Bernal claimed the Tour de France’s podium later that...

CPA Rift Forces The UCI’s Hand

With his unexpected comments this past weekend about the status of the CPA, and a shadowy global strategy to destabilize the UCI, David Lappartient may have ill-advisedly shifted rider frustrations away from the CPA and towards the UCI. Long-simmering tensions between the men’s WorldTour riders and its athlete association, the Cycliste Professionels Associes (CPA) have been heating up in recent weeks. An informal splinter group of riders, reportedly including some 350 members of the peloton, has been more aggressively questioning the CPA’s practices, its role and its actual value to the riders. They are pushing for a one-man, one-vote structure, rather than the current lopsided and biased system of national union voting blocs.  Because of concerns about the weakness and ineffectiveness of the current system, two national unions have previously withdrawn from the organization. The...

Pro Cycling After COVID

Former UCI President Brian Cookson and Steve Maxwell take a look at what cycling in general, and pro cycling in particular, could look like after we emerge from the COVID era. Over the course of the last several months, there has been a good deal of speculation, prognostication and tentative optimism about how the present COVID era may affect cycling over the longer-term future. As with almost all other aspects of society, it has become something of a cottage industry and regular armchair activity to predict the post-COVID future. Much has been made about the historical tendency of mass pandemics or other global catastrophes to alter the course of history. They have often led to transformative new technological or social innovations, or dramatic new ways of thinking and behaving. Indeed, the origins of the bicycle itself can be traced to just such an historical upheaval. Some things...