The Council of Riders of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), created in October 2006, will meet for the first time in Brussels, Belgium on January 29, 2007. Composed of 16 representatives belonging to UCI ProTour teams and continental professional teams, the Council of Riders is intended to be a "credible and authorized interlocutor" in the various debates currently challenging the sport, for example the fight against doping or the conflict opposing the UCI to the organisers of the Grand Tours.
"The Council of Riders is ready to contribute in a constructive way to all the debates," said the CPA in a press release issued on Monday, January 22. "At the same time, however, this new organization within the CPA intends to assert, compared with all the other parts implicated in the management of professional cycling, the attention and the respect which are unquestionably due to the riders who, so far, have not always received the consideration they deserve, when some fundamental aspects concerning the professional activity of all its members were approached."
The Council of Riders is composed of Jens Voigt, José Luis Rubiera, Matthias Kessler, Michael Rogers, Philippe Gilbert, Iñigo Cuesta, Cédric Vasseur, Thomas Dekker, Georges Hincapie, Filippo Pozzato, Fabian Cancellara, Roger Hammond, Denis Menchov, Thor Hushovd, José Azevedo (who represents the continental professional teams) and Dario Cioni (deputy member).
A UCI delegation headed by President Pat McQuaid, which will be accompanied by Vice-president Hein Verbruggen, ProTour manager Alain Rumpf, and Anne Gripper, Manager of the anti-doping service of the UCI, will take part in the inaugural meeting of the Council of Riders.