Gilbert: If the riders are united, we can make things change

David Millar’s attempt to take on Gianni Bugno for the presidency of the CPA rider’s association may have ended in defeat, but Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) believes the furor over the voting process may have the collateral effect of leading to greater engagement between professional riders and their representative union.

Speaking to Cyclingnews at the Tour of Guangxi in China, Gilbert neither confirmed nor denied his interest in running for the role of CPA president, but he stressed the importance of professional riders forming a strong and united representative body. Gilbert has often defended rider interests, this week taking to social media.  

“I heard that also, that some people would like me to do this,” Gilbert told Cyclingnews.

“It’s almost 10 years that I’ve been helping out, being the link between the riders and the CPA. And I was also back then on the [UCI] Athletes Commission. I did a lot. And the only thing you can say is that only now some riders are waking up and realising that we have a voice.

“I think we can be thankful to Millar because he made a move and woke up the CPA and now it is more active since then,” Gilbert said. “It’s a good thing.”

Back racing at the Tour of Guangxi

Gilbert is currently in China at the Tour of Guangxi, his final race of a 2018 season that risked ending prematurely when he sustained a fractured kneecap after crashing on the descent of Col de Portet d’Aspet at the Tour de France.

Winning at the first attempt might, however, create a false impression of the speed of Gilbert’s recovery. He explained that he is not entirely free of the lingering effects of the injury.

“For me, it was important to race again this season and get some form again.”

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