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Professional cyclist’s union threatens to sue women’s advocacy group, The Cyclist’s Alliance

Things are getting heated about how prize money will be handled in 2022

The Cyclistes Professionnels Associés has threatened, via Twitter to sue The Cyclists’ Alliance. The CPA has said that they will pursue legal action for defamation as well as false information after the TCA tweeted that they were concerned about how prize money would be handled for women’s cycling.

The CPA was responding to a blog post by the TCA in which they raised concerns about updates about prize money distribution. Although The CPA has handled men’s prize money for a few years now, the TCA was concerned that the way women’s prize money will be dealt with may have some of the problems that the men’s side has had in recent years. The TCA had tweeted and posted about the matter, posing questions about the UCI’s Centralized Prize Money Management (CPM) system for pro women’s cycling that began in January.

“Whilst the UCI has indicated to the TCA Rider Council representatives that the Women’s centralized prize money management system will not be identical to the Men’s CPM , the TCA is of the view that an understanding of how the Men’s CPM works is essential, as the Women’s CPM system may evolve to have similarities with, or to mirror, it in the future,” The TCA blog read. “It is also important to be aware of problems with the Men’s CPM, in order that mistakes or inefficiencies are not replicated in the Women’s CPM.”

Following that, the CPA tweeted.

As well as the tweet threat of litigiousness, the CPA released a statement. “The TCA not only appears to be ill-informed but manifests superficiality in its communications,” the statement read. “The riders are enthusiastic about how CPM works. With this transparent system no prize money is lost and riders are paid faster. Alessandra Cappellotto and CPA Women are doing important work in partnership with the UCI and other stakeholders to ensure that the gap between women and men is gradually reduced.”

The men’s CPA is run by former world champion Gianni Bugno, and the women’s side is composed of national riders’ associations, with a one rider, one vote, system.

Many cyclists and advocates were critical of the CPA’s aggressive stance, saying none of this is helpful for a useful dialogue in women’s cycling.