The Vuelta in Utrecht: Is the peloton ready for Paris?
Professional cycling teams are challenged to sprint for sustainability
A time trail on August 19th embarked the start of the 77th edition of La Vuelta.
In Utrecht the participating cycling teams received the invitation to participate in the Pro-Cycling Sustainability Survey.
This research will look at the performance and sustainability ambitions in professional cycling. The Pro-Cycling Sustainability Survey is an initiative of the Cycling 4 Climate and will be conducted by Utrecht University.
Paris is still far
In 2015, a global climate agreement was reached in Paris and agreed to keep global temperature warming well below 2°C.
“These agreements are not without obligation. All countries, organizations and individuals should comply with the ‘Carbon Law’ and reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 10% annually. We are curious to see if and how the Paris Agreement has been implemented in the pro peloton.” said former pro cyclist and sustainability expert Petra Dijkman of Cycling 4 Climate.
To measure is to know
Power, cadence, gradient, food: everything is accurately measured and tracked nowadays for an optimal performance of the riders. Paul Schot from Utrecht University states: “For the climate and sustainability this should actually be the same. That is why we want to know from the teams what their current carbon and material footprint is and what their ambitions are on sustainability. This initiative fits seamlessly into our strategic research area.”
Together you go faster
Recently BEAT cycling, a the Dutch cycling team, announced their sustainability strategy which included their ambition to share their best practices and experiences with other teams. “It’s like a peloton: Alone you go fast, but together you’ll go much faster, that’s how we need to beat climate change as well.” according to Edwin Gulickx, co-founder and director of BEAT cycling.
Selfie of Jan Bakelants at the team presentation in Utrecht.
Teammanager Eusebio Unzué from Movistar receives the invitation to participate in the survey.
In September and October the students of Utrecht University will work on the survey. We expect the survey to be ready by end of september and be send out to the UCI world teams. Teams can already inform us who’s in charge of sustainability by sending us an email.
In partnership with
Utrecht University is a wide-range, international research university of high standing. We have a strong connection to the city of Utrecht and our roots lie deep in the past (1636). Our teaching and research are strongly connected. We work together in tight communities. We believe equality, diversity and inclusion are important. All this provides us with a solid base from which to work with others around the globe on the societal issues of the future.