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The Cyclists’ Alliance, or TCA, the women’s cycling union, has announced their completed Elected Rider Council. Ten athletes who will represent not only women on the road but also the mountain bike and cyclocross side of the sport.
The riders council will come together every six weeks to continue the work of growing women’s cycling and striving for a better future for the sport. Council members are also responsible for gathering information, both positive and negative, from other riders in the peloton to help TCA understand what aspects of the sport need attention moving forward.
Finally, council members represent TCA whilst out on the roads and in the world, and the elected riders have committed to striving for fairness and professionalism in women’s cycling.
Haley Smith of Canada, Marcella Toldi of Brazil, and Ariane Lüthi of Switzerland have been elected to represent the cross country and marathon mountain biking athletes. Lüthi has won Cape Epic five times and is four-time Swiss mountain bike marathon national champion. Toldi is heavily involved in growing cycling in her home country of Brazil and has been working towards bridging the gap between Latin America and Europe.
Smith is one of the top cross country mountain bikers in the sport. “There are extra challenges for non-European riders and I want to use this experience to help grow the discipline into a more global and equitable sport,” Smith said in TCA press statement.
On the road, TCA council members are Audrey Cordon-Ragot of France, Agua Marina Espinola of Paraguay, Amanda Spratt of Australia, Ellen van Dijk of the Netherlands, and Leah Kirchman of Canada. All five women have been part of the peloton for multiple years and are respected amongst their fellow riders.
Agua Marina Espinola is one of the newer riders to the sport compared to Cordon-Ragot who first signed for a professional team in 2008 and Van Dijk who has been riding professionally for 16 years. The 24-year old joined the council to be a voice for the smaller countries in the sport which sometimes get overlooked.
For Spratt, Van Dijk, and Cordon-Ragot their goals are passing down experiences and knowledge in order to move the sport forward. “I have watched women’s cycling grow over the years… it is time for me to join the movement and use my experiences within the sport to make it even better for future generations,” Cordon-Ragot said.
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands and Christine Majerus of Luxembourg will be representatives for both road and cyclocross. Vos has been associated with TCA for as long as it’s been around. As a legend of the sport, one of the best cyclists of all time, and still at the top of her game, she will be a crucial member of the council. Majerus has also been in the peloton for a number of years and adds considerable experience to the council for both road and cyclocross.
“We all need to come together, leave our differences behind, and speak up as a united voice,” said Majerus.