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The current state of pro cycling - an appraisal

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Re: Re:

28 Aug 2018 00:42

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Bolder wrote:Interesting that this thread has turned into "how will pro cycling make more money?" Won't more money just bring more temptation to create more sophisticated cheating methods, be they pharmacological or mechanical? If cycling has to retract a bit, wouldn't that in theory make for a cleaner sport? (as a corollary, do we think that mountain biking is cleaner now that it's essentially a second- or third-tier sport, especially in North America?)

Are doping and making money strongly correlated? It doesn't explain the level of doping in amateur ranks of sport.


Chris Froome says yes money and doping correlated. Amateur ranks carries prize money. Grand Fondos in Italy pay very well if you are winning them and there are several races throughout her entire year to make a good living.

Why don’t you do any research when responding?

When did Chris Froome say that? Can you link to the quote and source?

Can you do some research as well before responding? All you mention are anecdotes which are pretty meaningless.

Doping exists at all levels of the sport, and money is often not the driving force behind an athlete's choice to dope. We get plenty of dopers at events with no prize money, indeed at events which cost far more to participate in than one could ever hope to earn in return.

We can all guess there is some correlation, but I was asking about the strength of the correlation. Is there any actual data or research?


Is money a driving force for people to cheat. Sure it is along with doing PB and seeing better numbers. And I produced factual evidence.

Do you have an actual data that “we get plenty of dopers events with no prize money? - or is this you just making up statements again?

Angelo Garcia of the Italian Cycling Journal, a blog focusing on Italian granfondos, welcomed the CNC’s decision but said more work needed to be done to take events back to their roots – and weed out cheating. "The cheating, the drugs, the ex-pros in granfondo racing was (is) out of hand," he told BikeRadar.

The explosion in the popularity of granfondos – both in Italy and around the world – has attracted large sums of prize money and made the events a lucrative sideline for ex-pros.

Some races have even been marred by amateurs failing doping tests. At last year’s Gran Fondo New York two riders, including the winner in the 45-49 category, David Anthony, tested positive for EPO. The top prize was an US$8,000 bike.

And, in 2011, Italian ex-pro Riccardo Riccò was caught joining the Gran Fondo Prologo-Giovanni Lombardi after 10km to help his friends achieve a better result.
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28 Aug 2018 03:05

The sale of that (overpriced for effect) bike would barely cover the cost of one cycle of EPO for the one rider to have actually won, and certainly not for those who did not. It can't be the primary incentive for such riders.
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28 Aug 2018 03:08

As for dopers at amateur events, there are threads here in the clinic on it. Surely you know that already?

What factual evidence did you provide to ascertain *the strength of* the correlation? I've already said it's *a* factor.
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28 Aug 2018 03:22

As an example, I looked at the current doping sanction list for Australian cyclists, I can't see any of them having money as their motivating factor. Masters and a para cyclist with no or at best very little earning potential. Riders at NRS level barely making it in low/mid ranked teams at domestic level with no pay. Travel, board and race support is about it. There ain't much in the way of prize money at this level.
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Re:

28 Aug 2018 03:27

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:The sale of that (overpriced for effect) bike would barely cover the cost of one cycle of EPO for the one rider to have actually won, and certainly not for those who did not. It can't be the primary incentive for such riders.


Why do you keep making up stories?

https://gopeps.com/items/epo/

There’s plenty of EPO right there with $8000 USD. Please do research, please before posting.
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28 Aug 2018 09:38

Thanks Hog for the link. I've no idea how legitimate or reliable such a supplier is. Still not exactly cheap for a training cycle.

And the prize is a bicycle you might be able to offload for maybe half the claimed value if you're lucky. In an event where the entry fee and the travel and accommodation likely costs a bomb.

It's definitely not racing for money, so thanks for making my point for me. The motivation for such people to dope is clearly something other than money.
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Re: The current state of pro cycling - an appraisal

28 Aug 2018 10:29

I think the main thing for me is that I don't see greater revenue within the sport possibly causing increased doping as a reason not to view it as an overall desirable and beneficial thing in and off itself.

There has been doping in cycling since forever. No doubt more money means more ways to dope, and probably more than anything it makes it easier to get away with it. But there is ample evidence that money alone doesn't inspire doping, and that wherever there is competition there will be people willing to cheat to get the winning edge. There will be doping in cycling whether revenue stays the same, declines or increases. I don't really see how more advanced doping is really any worse than more 'primitive' stuff. It's also worth noting that extra funds could cut both ways - if a wise governing body was so minded, part of increased revenue could be spent on improving anti-doping.

Is the issue of doping a consideration in considering how revenue is raised and shared within the sport? Absolutely.

Is it determinative in asserting that increased revenue must be a bad thing for cycling? Surely not.
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Re:

28 Aug 2018 15:05

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Thanks Hog for the link. I've no idea how legitimate or reliable such a supplier is. Still not exactly cheap for a training cycle.

And the prize is a bicycle you might be able to offload for maybe half the claimed value if you're lucky. In an event where the entry fee and the travel and accommodation likely costs a bomb.

It's definitely not racing for money, so thanks for making my point for me. The motivation for such people to dope is clearly something other than money.


Still no idea why you are making stories. The link clearly states “large sums of prize money” and one example was a $8000 bike in the Masters category.

There are several links all over the web for EPO. If you watch Mark Daly’s BBC example of using EPO (10 vials @ £300) or Netflix Icarus, EPO was obtained easily and cheaply,

Again, please do some research, it’s embarrassing. Many Grand Fondos offer prize money, it’s on their own websites.

has attracted large sums of prize money and made the events a lucrative sideline for ex-pros.
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28 Aug 2018 21:19

And many grandfondos offer no prize money.

Hog, you really think that the prize money, if any exists, in these low level events is the primary reason people dope?
Can you provide evidence this is the case?

I asked about the strength of the correlation. You are babbling on about granfondos as if they are somehow evidence to support this notion. But you completely ignore events with no prize money, which cost people a lot of money to participate in, yet we have doping there too. Indeed we are seeing more and more doping sanctions in this low/no pay arena. Go figure.
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Re:

28 Aug 2018 21:56

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:And many grandfondos offer no prize money.

Hog, you really think that the prize money, if any exists, in these low level events is the primary reason people dope?
Can you provide evidence this is the case?

I asked about the strength of the correlation. You are babbling on about granfondos as if they are somehow evidence to support this notion. But you completely ignore events with no prize money, which cost people a lot of money to participate in, yet we have doping there too. Indeed we are seeing more and more doping sanctions in this low/no pay arena. Go figure.


I’m sure you’ll be forthcoming with a list of those caught doping at non-prize money events? :cool:

Italy had to change its Fondo rules to ban former pro dopers. Whilst I provide links and fact you provide.... well nothing really.
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29 Aug 2018 04:29

The bigger issue is whether WADA and NADO's should be wasting resources testing 'Weekend Warriors' at these type of events where the winner may get a few hundred dollars or heaven forbid one thousand dollars - The only reason NADO's test at these events is to increase their amount of positive tests and to get more funding - It's smoke and mirrors.
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Re: Re:

29 Aug 2018 11:40

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Bolder wrote:Interesting that this thread has turned into "how will pro cycling make more money?" Won't more money just bring more temptation to create more sophisticated cheating methods, be they pharmacological or mechanical? If cycling has to retract a bit, wouldn't that in theory make for a cleaner sport? (as a corollary, do we think that mountain biking is cleaner now that it's essentially a second- or third-tier sport, especially in North America?)

Are doping and making money strongly correlated? It doesn't explain the level of doping in amateur ranks of sport.


Chris Froome says yes money and doping correlated. Amateur ranks carries prize money. Grand Fondos in Italy pay very well if you are winning them and there are several races throughout her entire year to make a good living.

Why don’t you do any research when responding?

When did Chris Froome say that? Can you link to the quote and source?

Can you do some research as well before responding? All you mention are anecdotes which are pretty meaningless.

Doping exists at all levels of the sport, and money is often not the driving force behind an athlete's choice to dope. We get plenty of dopers at events with no prize money, indeed at events which cost far more to participate in than one could ever hope to earn in return.

We can all guess there is some correlation, but I was asking about the strength of the correlation. Is there any actual data or research?

I completely agree with you here. Money is not always a motivating factor. At the pro level I would say yes, it is. At the amateur level it is ego. Those guys egos are huge. And they often have money to but what they want. Bikes or dope.
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Re: Re:

29 Aug 2018 21:30

thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:And many grandfondos offer no prize money.

Hog, you really think that the prize money, if any exists, in these low level events is the primary reason people dope?
Can you provide evidence this is the case?

I asked about the strength of the correlation. You are babbling on about granfondos as if they are somehow evidence to support this notion. But you completely ignore events with no prize money, which cost people a lot of money to participate in, yet we have doping there too. Indeed we are seeing more and more doping sanctions in this low/no pay arena. Go figure.


I’m sure you’ll be forthcoming with a list of those caught doping at non-prize money events? :cool:

Italy had to change its Fondo rules to ban former pro dopers. Whilst I provide links and fact you provide.... well nothing really.

Err, there's a whole thread in the clinic on masters dopers for one.

I looked at the current rider sanctions in Australia, and none of them would be making money.

Looking at the USADA sanctions list for 2016-current, there are 25 sanctions for masters cyclists alone out of the 35 sanction notifications for cyclists in that period. Of the other 10, one notice was a change in sanction status for someone not competing, and perhaps 4 or 5 of them actually were paid to race. In low level teams.

So nearly three-quarters of all sanctions in the USA over the past 2.5 years have been for amateur cyclists. All of the current one's in Australia have been for amateur cyclists. Are pros doping and not being picked up? Of course - but this was to demonstrate that suggesting it's only about money is nonsense.

I haven't looked at other ADA's lists but I suspect we'll see a similar pattern.

Need I go on? I've no idea what links and facts you've provided. You've made a few comments which are no more than anecdotal.
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Re: Re:

30 Aug 2018 04:36

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:And many grandfondos offer no prize money.

Hog, you really think that the prize money, if any exists, in these low level events is the primary reason people dope?
Can you provide evidence this is the case?

I asked about the strength of the correlation. You are babbling on about granfondos as if they are somehow evidence to support this notion. But you completely ignore events with no prize money, which cost people a lot of money to participate in, yet we have doping there too. Indeed we are seeing more and more doping sanctions in this low/no pay arena. Go figure.


I’m sure you’ll be forthcoming with a list of those caught doping at non-prize money events? :cool:

Italy had to change its Fondo rules to ban former pro dopers. Whilst I provide links and fact you provide.... well nothing really.

Err, there's a whole thread in the clinic on masters dopers for one.

I looked at the current rider sanctions in Australia, and none of them would be making money.

Looking at the USADA sanctions list for 2016-current, there are 25 sanctions for masters cyclists alone out of the 35 sanction notifications for cyclists in that period. Of the other 10, one notice was a change in sanction status for someone not competing, and perhaps 4 or 5 of them actually were paid to race. In low level teams.

So nearly three-quarters of all sanctions in the USA over the past 2.5 years have been for amateur cyclists. All of the current one's in Australia have been for amateur cyclists. Are pros doping and not being picked up? Of course - but this was to demonstrate that suggesting it's only about money is nonsense.

I haven't looked at other ADA's lists but I suspect we'll see a similar pattern.

Need I go on? I've no idea what links and facts you've provided. You've made a few comments which are no more than anecdotal.


You are 100% correct - NADO's get their kudo's by busting weekend warriors - What a waste of resources.
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Re: Re:

30 Aug 2018 13:18

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:And many grandfondos offer no prize money.

Hog, you really think that the prize money, if any exists, in these low level events is the primary reason people dope?
Can you provide evidence this is the case?

I asked about the strength of the correlation. You are babbling on about granfondos as if they are somehow evidence to support this notion. But you completely ignore events with no prize money, which cost people a lot of money to participate in, yet we have doping there too. Indeed we are seeing more and more doping sanctions in this low/no pay arena. Go figure.


I’m sure you’ll be forthcoming with a list of those caught doping at non-prize money events? :cool:

Italy had to change its Fondo rules to ban former pro dopers. Whilst I provide links and fact you provide.... well nothing really.

Err, there's a whole thread in the clinic on masters dopers for one.

I looked at the current rider sanctions in Australia, and none of them would be making money.

Looking at the USADA sanctions list for 2016-current, there are 25 sanctions for masters cyclists alone out of the 35 sanction notifications for cyclists in that period. Of the other 10, one notice was a change in sanction status for someone not competing, and perhaps 4 or 5 of them actually were paid to race. In low level teams.

So nearly three-quarters of all sanctions in the USA over the past 2.5 years have been for amateur cyclists. All of the current one's in Australia have been for amateur cyclists. Are pros doping and not being picked up? Of course - but this was to demonstrate that suggesting it's only about money is nonsense.

I haven't looked at other ADA's lists but I suspect we'll see a similar pattern.

Need I go on? I've no idea what links and facts you've provided. You've made a few comments which are no more than anecdotal.


Yes you should go on. I check three names on that list, all racing at prize money events. Some on that list a Pro’s racing in Masters category - Daniel Frazier being one I know.

A list of names with no research to what events they’ve ridden doesn’t cut it in afraid, although you do tend to make things up when on the wrong side of the facts.
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02 Sep 2018 21:09

Pros racing masters category races. Must be HUGE prize money on offer on the masters circuit... not.

These guys are not doping for the prize money, and you know it.
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20 Oct 2018 12:20

The road to our future digital utopia is strewn with many boulders, it would seem. Here's some news of what's been happening in F1, which is driving forward into the digisphere:

* first up, there's the somewhat embarassing glitch-blighted launch of the F1 digital service, which required that refunds had to be paid.

* in the US, team sponsors have lost the opportunity to advertise their products during the TV broadcast, a typical part of the activation spend for a lot of sports sponsorship deals. And NBC is no longer advertising F1 during all its other coverage of major sporting events throughout the rest of the year.

* the problem in the US stems from the split between NBC and F1. NBC offered to pay $40m for seven years of US TV broadcast rights but walked away when F1 said it wanted to compete with NBC and livestream in the US itself to its own users. ESPN replaced NBC but didn't have to pony up any dough for the privilege. F1's own users in the US are thought to number 10,000 (that's ten thousand, not 100,000, a tenth of what some experts herabouts claim cycling can easily get), paying $89.99 a head for a year's subscription (that's less than the $100 a head experts herabouts claim cycling can get). That's nearly a million dollars a year new revenue for F1. At the cost of nearly $5.75m old revenue a year. Or, in accountancy circles, what's called a loss of more than $4.75m a year. (And this is on top of the cost of F1 actually going digital, which can't be done on the cheap by just getting an iPhone and Periscope, it needs money spent on it, as the glitch-blighted launch demonstrated.)

* that 10,000 online US users figure, that's just an estimate, by Morgan Stanley. What's the reality of online usage where the product is also available on TV? Some recent numbers from BARB in the UK may help. C4 reported 2,412,200 F1 viewers on TV, 29,633 on PC/laptop and 14,033 on a tablet. That's less than 2% of the F1 TV audience going digital. Sky reported 819,000 F1 viewers on TV, 11,991 on tablets and 9,806 on smartphones. That's approaching 3% of the F1 TV audience going digital. It should be noted that in both C4 and Sky's cases, the digital option comes at no extra charge to the user. In general, the conversion rates from free use to subscription service, they're not very pretty.

All of this can be dismissed as teething troubles. Launching the service before the glitches were ironed out, that happens, Yes, it happens with the cost of first impressions and second chances, but it still happens, often, which is probably why a lot of people are reluctant to sign up for such digital services in the first places and will wait for them to prove themselves. The advertising problem, both for the sponsors and the sport, given time that can be fixed with new digital advertising opportunities. And the US problem, that'll sort itself out, a TV company will be found who'll pay something and the online user base will grow, so bit by bit the annual loss will be reduced and will in time turn into a profit. And the low numbers making the switch to digital in the UK, that's just a question of time too.

And that's really true: it's all just a question of time. We all know that digital is the future. But, given people are offering up quick fixes to ill-perceived problems, we have to ask: how much time? Well, look at the F1 audience, which is quite like the cycling audience: its old (50-something is the average age) and declining. It's not a tech savvy audience, despite the gadget-loving image we have of petrolheads. So all we've got to do is wait for the tech savvy kids of today to reach their 50s and become the F1 audience of tomorrow and F1's digital future will be secured. All our digital futures will the theirs. At which point the digital utopians can stand up - if their knees will hold out at that stage - and claim to have told us so.
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Re: Re:

24 Oct 2018 10:55

veganrob wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
thehog wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
Bolder wrote:Interesting that this thread has turned into "how will pro cycling make more money?" Won't more money just bring more temptation to create more sophisticated cheating methods, be they pharmacological or mechanical? If cycling has to retract a bit, wouldn't that in theory make for a cleaner sport? (as a corollary, do we think that mountain biking is cleaner now that it's essentially a second- or third-tier sport, especially in North America?)

Are doping and making money strongly correlated? It doesn't explain the level of doping in amateur ranks of sport.


Chris Froome says yes money and doping correlated. Amateur ranks carries prize money. Grand Fondos in Italy pay very well if you are winning them and there are several races throughout her entire year to make a good living.

Why don’t you do any research when responding?

When did Chris Froome say that? Can you link to the quote and source?

Can you do some research as well before responding? All you mention are anecdotes which are pretty meaningless.

Doping exists at all levels of the sport, and money is often not the driving force behind an athlete's choice to dope. We get plenty of dopers at events with no prize money, indeed at events which cost far more to participate in than one could ever hope to earn in return.

We can all guess there is some correlation, but I was asking about the strength of the correlation. Is there any actual data or research?

I completely agree with you here. Money is not always a motivating factor. At the pro level I would say yes, it is. At the amateur level it is ego. Those guys egos are huge. And they often have money to buy what they want. Bikes or dope.

This seems to be the case in Triathlon in particular - amongst the "Kona or die" crowd, not the weekend warriors.
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Re: Re:

24 Oct 2018 11:06

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Doping exists at all levels of the sport, and money is often not the driving force behind an athlete's choice to dope. We get plenty of dopers at events with no prize money, indeed at events which cost far more to participate in than one could ever hope to earn in return.

We can all guess there is some correlation, but I was asking about the strength of the correlation. Is there any actual data or research?
It's funny how this discussion was pivioted far, far, far away from the question that was originally asked. To jog some memories, here it is, again:
Bolder wrote:Won't more money just bring more temptation to create more sophisticated cheating methods, be they pharmacological or mechanical?
It's not 'does money cause doping?' it's 'does more money bring more sopisticated doping?'.
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28 Nov 2018 12:20

Once more into the digisphere and the sunlit uplands that will swiftly solve cycling's alleged economic woes.

There was a game of golf at the weekend. And - technologically - things went a bit, well, titsup (total inability to support users professionally) as yet again teething troubles saw a snafu cause users to be offered refunds and broadcasters to foot the bill:
The golf stream is a reminder that today the internet is not quite ready to deliver at sufficient scale and reliability. That could impact upcoming rights renewals for major sports.
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