The Cyclists’ Alliance introduces a ‘rider hotline’

The women's union introduces a confidential direct hotline to an ethics officer for urgent queries

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Women’s cycling union, The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) has introduced a ‘Rider Hotline’ where members can file complaints, report issues and concerns, and seek advice on urgent matters. The hotline is confidential and operates through a portal on TCA’s website, TCA staff then ensure that the query is seen by the Alliance’s dedicated Ethics Officer, Judith Van Maanen.

The union announced the introduction of the hotline via a Tweet, posted last week, which quoted Swedish rider Sara Mustonen who reached out to TCA over concerns related to her former team, HealthMate Cycle-Live, and the team manager Patrick van Gansen. Van Gansen was handed a suspension by the UCI last year following an investigation into claims of abuse within the team.

“I was facing a situation within my team from which I felt it wasn’t right, but I didn’t really know where to go or what to do…The Cyclists’ Alliance was quick to help,” Mustonen is quoted as saying.

Riders are already able to reach out to TCA via email, however the hotline is designed to serve more urgent or sensitive queries on a confidential basis.

“Within our members portal we created the “Hotline Page” so that riders can directly reach our Ethics Officer for any urgent and sensitive topics that they need to discuss.  By creating a ‘Hotline Page’, riders would know where to go without a doubt, when they are seeking advice, especially in a crisis situation,” van Maanen said.

“Riders can connect with us regarding ethics issues, health and wellbeing issues, legal issues, tax issues, visa issues, insurance issues, agent issues. In fact, anything.”

Part of TCA membership includes access to the Alliance’s extensive resources and advice on a range of issues from legal support to nutrition.

“We are fortunate to have a wealth of resources to support riders in the women’s peloton.  When issues relating to something that we don’t specialise in arise, we do our best to connect them with the right resources,” said van Maanen.

“We can provide free legal assistance, we can support riders on ethics procedures, we can direct riders to our medical representative or nutritionist, we have partnerships with many external specialists such as The Mind Room to support riders with stress, anxiety and other worries.”

“We’d prefer that a rider in need reaches out to us without hesitation, and we can inform them of their options, discuss possible actions and guide them along any next steps they wish to take. Each circumstance is bespoke and sometimes it’s very useful to chat through a situation.”

For more information on The Cyclists’ Alliance including how to support them, visit their website.