The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) released a statement today reminding the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to look after the major 'actor' in cycling – the rider. The statement was released on the heels of the ASO announcing it would organise its race Paris-Nice under the French Cycling Federation (FFC) instead of the normal UCI governance.
The decision by French race organiser allows for further freedom in its team and rider selection without the pressure of the UCI, which was the case after it did not invite Astana to any of its 2008 events, including the Tour de France.
"The decision ASO took not to organise Paris–Nice according to the UCI International regulations put the riders in front of a dilemma, which they are incontestably the victims and the hostages," read the release by the CPA, which is headed by ex-professional Cédric Vasseur.
"Even if nobody can contest the fact that they are the major actors, the riders have no other choice than following their employers' instructions; otherwise they risk losing their job without any compensation. What the riders desire is to – first of all – have the possibility to exercise their job with serenity and in the respect of the established regulations.
"The riders are deeply shocked and exhausted by the conflict which has been lasting for too long. ... The riders really hope that cycling will be again the sport it was before, the one which used to fascinate the fans."