The UEC have called upon the UCI and CPA to protect cyclists against third parties ©Velon

European Cycling Union’s (UEC) Executive Committee have stated they “serious doubts about the legality” of a document titled “Velon Addendum” which has been addressed to cyclists belonging to the Velon organisation.

The Executive Committee claim to have learned about the document and claim to be “surprised” that it asks cyclists to waive several of their rights, including the use of their image, intellectual property and the privacy of their personal data.

Velon, joint business venture between 11 WorldTour teams, has targeted making cycling more exciting and develop a more sustainable future for the sport.

BMC Racing Team, Etixx–Quick-Step, Lampre - Merida, Lotto Soudal, Orica GreenEdge, Cannondale - Garmin, Team Giant-Alpecin, Team Lotto NL–Jumbo, Team Sky, Tinkoff– Saxo and Trek Factory Racing currently make up the organisation’s members.

In a strongly worded statement the UEC calls upon the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) meet to discuss developing a “regulatory framework” to protect cyclists against “employers or third parties who would deprive them of their rights”.

Eleven WorldTour teams are members of Velon, an organisation which claims its aim is to make professional cycling more sustainable and entertaining ©Getty Images
Eleven WorldTour teams are members of Velon, an organisation which claims its aim is to make professional cycling more sustainable and entertaining ©Getty Images

“The Executive Committee of the European Cycling Union has serious doubts about the legality of such a request and the legitimacy of such an action by an organization which has not been recognized by the official bodies of international cycling,” the statement read.

“The Executive Committee of the European Cycling Union is concerned about Velon’s apparent treatment of professional cyclists.

“Such practices outside the scope of regulations and collective bargaining may benefit an organization such as Velon but are certainly not in the interests of the cyclists themselves.”

The organisation also noted a response by the CPA which questioned the legality of the document and requested cyclists not to sign.

As a result the UEC state they will bring their concerns to the Cyclist Union to end practices which they believe violate the principles of the UCI and the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP).

Furthermore the body have called upon cyclists to speak to them regarding their thoughts on the document or any similar requests from their employees, which they claim will help the UEC to act more effectively on their behalf.

"The team and rider relationship is crucial for the sport," a Velon spokesman told insidethegames in response to the UEC's statement.

"From Velon’s perspective, it’s for the teams to comment on rider matters, because Velon does not contract riders – the teams do.

"This is why Velon is not the entity to negotiate provisions on the teams' behalf (be they image rights or anything else) and has no mandate to do so.

"In any discussion of this area it’s vital to understand that the rights the riders combine with their teams are the key part of how those teams are funded. Without combining rider and team rights, teams cannot sell the sponsorships needed in order to pay for the team and the riders salaries."

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