Kudos to North American riders, who have recently created their own association (the Association of North American Professional Road Cyclists) and joined the membership of the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés. (See also, article in Velonews).
The CPA is the representative of high-level (World Tour and Pro Continental) professional cyclists, which until the North Americans joined, was comprised solely of European national associations. So far, the North American Association has 24 members from the United States and Canada, riding for nine different pro teams. Short-term goals include: (1) working with the CPA on safety issues, including “protocols for addressing extreme weather conditions,” and (2) helping to continue to expand “CPA membership until every rider in the professional peloton is represented.” Longer-term goals include working with pro teams “to establish a robust non-salary benefits package” and helping pro teams generate new revenue sources and grow the pro cycling audience.
Cycling often is perceived as a ruggedly individual sport. But the truth is that teamwork is critical to individual success. There are specialists, like sprinters, climbers time trialists, and domestiques, who work together to achieve results for their teams. Likewise, it is good to see the North American riders work together in this way. Their objectives are ones that are shared by many unions and associations: the advancement of collective interests to benefit all members, rather than simply “going it alone” in terms of their careers and their sport.