Vasseur speaks of highs and lows of CPA Presidency
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vasseur speaks of highs and lows of CPA Presidency

by Conal Andrews at 7:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

One day after announcing his resignation as president of the CPA professional riders’ association, Cedric Vasseur has highlighted what he feels are the major advances achieved in recent years.

“There are many kinds of positives,” the Frenchman told the website. “Firstly, I’d say that my greatest satisfaction is to see that the riders are much more involved in their international association, that the CPA has really started to exist properly. Internal communication has increased and the information has flowed much more quickly than in the past.”

Vasseur, who won two stages in the Tour de France during a long career, lists several improved conditions for professional riders.

“Firstly a reassessment of minimum wages…even if the wages are too low compared to what is practiced in other professional sports. The requirement for teams to indicate a non-renewal of contract by September 30th rather than October 30. Then there’s a permanent legal advice through legal counsel of the CPA - I can assure you that this post is very much appreciated by the riders, who generally have no manager, or who are very vulnerable to managers who might not always be well-intentioned.

“The riders are also making greater and greater use of a forum on the website of the CPA, and a completely confidential voting system.”

There have however been challenges, too. He said that it is difficult to engage the riders at times, as many of them do not concern themselves with the future but rather live for the moment. He also alleged that some national federations do not co-operate and, worse, try to paint the CPA in a negative light.

“I do not understand that some riders do not realize the ineffectiveness of their representatives,” Vasseur explained. “The riders’ council created in 2007 is truly proof that the opinion of the riders is paramount. [By that] I mean the riders, not those who claim to represent them.”

Certain national federations – who he did not specifically name – come in for criticism. He said that they are engaged in political power-play rather than acting to improve the lot for the riders. “I ended my career two years ago, but I still react like a rider in business. I can not understand that the priority of some does not promote cycling as a whole…some exist only to cause controversy.”

Having decided to stand down as he felt that he had achieved as much as he could, and also because he wants fresh challenges, Vasseur said that a career in television is one area he’d be interested in developing.

Working to improve the chances of his countrymen is another. “Restoring greatness French cycling, which has been much-maligned in recent times, is also a personal goal. The French are not worse than others,” he concluded.

The 39 year old has been replaced by the Portuguese Paulo Couto. He’ll take over as CPA president until the next election, and will also replace Vasseur on the UCI ProTour council.


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