Vindicated: Van Gansen's guilty verdict gives validation to abused Health Mate riders

Health Mate Ladies Team (UCI Women's Team)
Health Mate-Cyclelive (UCI Women's Team) (Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI’s announcement that its Ethics Commission had found Health Mate-Cyclelive team manager Patrick Van Gansen guilty of violations of its Code of Ethics brought vindication to the women who filed formal abuse complaints against him. 

Cyclingnews reached out to Esther Meisels, Sara Mustonen and Chloë Turblin to reflect on the final verdict. Each expressed feelings of validation, and for some, a sense of relief along with hope for the future development and safety in women's professional cycling. There were also mixed emotions, feelings of being brushed aside during their initial complaint processes, and for some, there remains an unseen scarring that can often come with emotional trauma. 

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Kirsten Frattini
Deputy Editor

Kirsten Frattini is the Deputy Editor of Cyclingnews, overseeing the global racing content plan.

Kirsten has a background in Kinesiology and Health Science. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's biggest races, reporting on the WorldTour, Spring Classics, Tours de France, World Championships and Olympic Games.

She began her sports journalism career with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. In 2018, Kirsten became Women's Editor – overseeing the content strategy, race coverage and growth of women's professional cycling – before becoming Deputy Editor in 2023.