Gianni Bugno and the leading European national rider associations retained control of the CPA after the presidential elections on Thursday but the Italian has indicated he is open to change, including new rules and the new voting system that a number of riders have called for.
Bugno told Cyclingnews he hopes David Millar will accept a role inside the CPA to help with the changes to the international riders’ association. Millar is considering the offer, but his supporters are concerned he would then struggle to dissent against the national associations who still dominate the CPA.
Bugno secured 379 votes (mainly from block votes from the national associations) to Millar's 96, with only 17 of the votes cast by individual riders who made the effort to travel the CPA general congress in a hotel south of Innsbruck, where the World Road Race Championships are being held.
The ANAPRC North American riders’ association voted in favour of Millar, as did the Swiss association, after their riders mandated their association to support the Briton.
“We’ve won the election and now we want rebuild the unity of the CPA,” Bugno told Cyclingnews, promising change and calling for unity.
“We want to draw up a new statute and make the CPA more powerful. I’ve asked David to stay with the CPA, to help us and have an important role. It’s up to him to decide if he wants to help us.”
Bugno has often been criticised but he claims he stood for re-election due to a sense of duty. Other suspect he was pushed to do so by the UCI and the influential national rider associations.
“I felt I couldn’t abandon the CPA in this moment because it would have become even more divided. I stayed to help find a new unity,” Bugno told Cyclingnews.
“I’ve been elected for four more years but my term could last for less than that. I want to eventually leave a well-organised CPA that is united and that helps the riders, one that the riders understand is there to help them.”
With the CPA controlled by the French, Italian, Spanish, Swiss and Portuguese and North American riders’ associations, a large number of riders from other nations currently have no real representation and so no real voice, despite a percentage of their prize money being given to the CPA and the national associations.
Bugno told Cyclingnews he is ready to change that by updating the CPA statute and opting for a new way of voting.
“The CPA knows it cannot discriminate between riders who are represented by the six national associations and the others,” Bugno said.
“The CPA is an association of national associations, it’s an umbrella association and we want to continue like that. However, times have changed and so it’s right to think about a new way of voting.”
Riders need to buy into their future
David Millar admits he has been left battered and bruised by the election campaign but feels he has achieved something by raising the awareness amongst the riders and the wider sport about the CPA and rider issues such as safety and representation.
“I think my mission was accomplished to a certain degree. It was about forcing the debate, raising the awareness and getting the CPA to up their game slightly. So I think I’ve already had an effect,” Millar told Cyclingnews.
“If I stay in the CPA, it’s going to have to be on the understanding that things change. If we can’t agree on that, then there’s no point in staying. I can’t accept them not fixing the voting system.”
Millar has campaigned aggressively against the current CPA leadership but also called on the riders to become more aware and more active in deciding their own futures.
“This is a two-way street, it’s up to the riders to now buy into their future,” Millar made clear.
“They now at least know what the CPA is… The riders are the stakeholders in the CPA and there’s no other option at the moment, so we should try to make it work before considering anything else.
“Now it’s a case of working with the CPA, the UCI, the AIGCP teams’ association. The riders need to understand that things don’t change quickly but that we need their help to make the changes happen.”