A choice that she assumes and defends. The French Cycling Federation (FFC) was under fire on Saturday, September 17, for having decided to have runners travel in business class and women in economy class to join the world championships in australia (from September 18 to 25). On social networks, many Internet users were indignant of this difference in treatment.
At the origin of this controversy, an article in the newspaper West France which revealed that the nine riders of the French men’s team, including the reigning double world champion, Julian Alaphilippe, will make the journey in more comfortable conditions than the women and the rest of the delegation (staff, junior girls and boys).
The French Cycling Federation assumes it and explains it by the very large travel budget. “It is very very expensive. Some countries like Ireland have decided not to take part in the world championships. We asked ourselves whether we were taking all the categories, especially the juniors. We did it. But we don’t have the means to put everyone in business”declared, reached by telephone by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the national technical director, Christophe Manin, who gave up the trip for the sake of economy.
“We are more in the position of outsiders among girls”
It was therefore necessary to choose and for this, the French cycling body says it was based on one main criterion: the ability to get involved in the fight for the title and the medals. “For men, we have been world champions for two years. We really go there to win, while we are more in the position of outsiders among the girls., insisted Mr. Manin. Before insuring: “We would have the mountain biking world championships in Australia with the same economic choice to make, we would put the two girls in business and the boys in eco” – Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Loana Lecomte have better results than the men in this discipline.
Two men and two women from the elite French team are already in Wollongong, on the east coast of Australia, to compete in the time trial on Sunday. Those engaged only in the September 25 road race must join them on Tuesday. Asked by AFP, coach Thomas Voeckler, who himself traveled economy class to get to Australia, said: “I focus on the athlete and I have no energy to lose from the moment [où] the riders of the French team are proud to wear the colors of the jersey. »