French Cycling Federation issues pro licenses to female cyclists for the first time

from 18/01/21

Female cyclists past and present are celebrating after the French Cycling Federation (FCF) has agreed to issue pro-licences to female cyclists for the first time. In an agreement reached on 15 January 2021, and with immediate effect, approximately 15 women who hold Women’s World Tour (WWT) contracts will receive pro licenses. This will enable them to focus on their racing and feel validated as professionals by their own federation and allow them to receive practical support including health insurance.
France has a strong heritage in female bicycle racing, boasting high-profile champions including two-times Olympic medallist and world track and road champion Marion Clignet, former world junior road cycling champion Elisabeth Chevanne Brachet and current Trek rider and French road champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot. These champions formed the Association Française des Coureures Cyclistes, (AFCC) in 2019 to campaign for professional recognition of female cyclists. They have been supported in their aims by the international organisation CPA Women.
Current cyclists who will benefit from these rules are the FDJ Vienne-Futuroscope women’s world tour team, French National road champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek Segafredo), 2020 Time trial champion Juliette Labous who rides for DSM (formerly Sunweb), Roxanne Fournier who rides for SD Worx, Aude Biannic from Movistar Team and all future WWT riders!

Michel Callot, President of the French Cycling Federation announced, “The French Cycling Federation is delighted to recognise the stature of French women cyclists in World Tour Teams as professional by issuing them professional licenses. This is another important step forward in the development of the professional structure of women's cycling.”
Co-President of the AFCC Marion Clignet celebrated the news, “The French Cycling Federation has made history by recognising the professionalism of its female racers. This will enable the cyclists to focus more on their cycling and so improve their skills and help our country win more medals. It was time for France to recognise female cyclists at this level and it will allow the women’s peloton to reach higher.’’
Current racer, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, French road champion and member of UCI Women’s WorldTeam Trek-Segafredo said, “I'm glad we have managed to achieve our first goal as a young association! This may look
small but it's a big step for women's cycling in France!”
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The Association Française des Coureures Cyclistes, (AFCC) was formed in 2019 to campaign for professional recognition of female cyclists. The co-presidents are Marion Clignet and Elisabeth Chevanne Brachet. Co vice-presidents are Audrey Cordon Ragot, Sandrine Bideau, and Gaelle Carreau, General Secretary-Jennifer Letué. Other board members Cedrine Kerbao and Typhaine Laurence focus on writing about female cycling and female-focused training and Treasurer Sandrine Deligey keeps the team in check. Their motto is ‘TEAM WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!’ The AFCC aims to raise the profile of women's cycling in the media, with France’s racing infrastructure as well as to support pro-cyclists in their post-career transition. In 2022 they hope to host an international women’s race in the Pyrenees.


For information about the AFCC visit afcc-officiel.fr and www.cpa-women.com.



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