October 4, 2022
Cycling World Championships: French Federation defends decision to fly female riders to Australia in economy
Julian Alaphilippe
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe is aiming to defend his UCI Road World Championship title in Australia

The French Cycling Federation has defended its decision to fly its men in business class at the Cycling World Championships in Australia, while the women’s team travels in economy.

News of the decision has sparked criticism in France.

But French Cycling’s national technical director Christophe Manin said the decision was based on money and the men’s better chances of winning.

“We don’t have the means to put everyone in the business,” Manin told AFP.

Nine members of the men’s team, including two-time defending world champion Julian Alaphilippe, traveled in business, while the rest of the group, consisting of seven female riders, male and female riders in the junior event, and support staff, were in economy.

Manin didn’t even make the 20-hour trip to Wollongong to save money.

“Some countries like Ireland have decided not to participate in the world championships,” he said. He said, “We asked ourselves whether we should take all the categories, especially juniors. We did it.

“But we don’t have the means to put everyone into business.

“For the men, we’ve been world champions for the last two years. We’re really going to win there, while we’re an outsider in the girls’ competition.

Referring to four-time cross country world champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, she said, “If we have the Mountain Bike World Championships in Australia with only one economic option, we’ll put two girls in business and two boys in economy.” ” and European champion Loana Lecomte.

“I am focused on the sport and I have no energy to give up as long as the riders of the French team are proud to wear the colors of the jersey,” Thomas Voeckler, traveling economy team manager, told AFP.

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