What is the CPA in Cycling?

What is the CPA in Cycling?

Like all good terms in cycling 🙃, the CPA stands for Cyclistes Professionnels Associés and is intended to safeguard and represent the interest of riders on a holistic level with race organizers and teams. It is similar to player associations found in other major sports such as the MLB or NBA.

The association's main concerns typically revolve around rider safety. After every race they conduct rider surveys to review aspects of what went well, and what didn't. This can include race infrastructure, road furniture and route safety.

The problem they have is actually implementing any changes that are elucidated from these surveys, as results are usually split fifty fifty on safety issues. For example, a recent Social Distance Cycling podcast rider illuminated that on a recent 2023 spring ride in France there were wind gusts of up to 90km/h. These gusts could easily topple lighter riders (and did). Half the riders asked the CPA to cancel the race, while the other half thought it would be fine. The race proceeded.

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Similar issues arise in Formula One. Where you have some of the drivers who are less competitive, or value their life more, or have a family, or were brought up in a different culture voting for safety, where the others have a race at all cost mentality.

The associations current president is Adam Hansen, a previous professional cyclist himself, who is attempting to portray himself as a man of the people. Which is a step in the right direction given that most riders think of the CPA as a rather useless charade over the past number of years

Adam Hansen - CPA President

From our perspective, we hope Hansen begins to change the organization for the better, build trust amongst the CPA and the riders and solve the delineation among the riders. Rider safety is incredibly important, and there's always a number of races in every season where you scream "How did that get approved!?!".

The main issue in our eyes is enforcement. There's a lot of "rules" in cycling that are never enforced. That should change. Without that race organizers will continue to ignore the guidelines and riders will continue to consider the CPA a farce.