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Transfers and Rumours 2018 > 2019

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20 Oct 2018 19:50

The difference between sport and business is that when a business launches a better product, it's good for cusomers, but in sport, when one team outperforms the others by too big of a margin, it's bad for the viewers (maybe not all, but most) because the spectacle doesn't rely on how well the best team performs but on several parties being able to take fight to one another. When disparities are too big, the unpredictability level drops and the spectacle for anyone who is not a fan of that dominant team suffers.

It's hard to blame Sky for maximising the opportunities they are given to dominate the opposition but the budget disparity is really killing some sports (I stopped watching F1 recently for the very same reason because there's no point in watching when every race has the same result) even more so in present than in the past because with increased professionalism in sport that financial edge can be used to one's advantage with much more consistent results than in the past. If there is something we can do to prevent it, I'm all for it.
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Anderis
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Re: Re:

20 Oct 2018 22:13

Sciatic wrote:“Sport works the same as any other business. Another business launches a better product and so you launch an even better one. That is business development, no different than team development”

Well, if that’s the argument, consider that’s why we have anti-trust laws in the U.S. and EU, and in fact those need strengthening as we can see in today’s marketplace.

And it’s why all the major U.S. sports leagues, which most certainly are the “business world,” have a salary cap!


I still think, even with a salary cap Sky would win. Their performance is not simply related to annual salary. A Team Budget cap I would agree, that would begin making differences as Sky can afford to look for staff outside cycling from more expensive sports and even F1 & Sports Science areas that already pay more than in cycling.
samhocking
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Re:

20 Oct 2018 22:20

Anderis wrote:The difference between sport and business is that when a business launches a better product, it's good for cusomers, but in sport, when one team outperforms the others by too big of a margin, it's bad for the viewers (maybe not all, but most) because the spectacle doesn't rely on how well the best team performs but on several parties being able to take fight to one another. When disparities are too big, the unpredictability level drops and the spectacle for anyone who is not a fan of that dominant team suffers.

It's hard to blame Sky for maximising the opportunities they are given to dominate the opposition but the budget disparity is really killing some sports (I stopped watching F1 recently for the very same reason because there's no point in watching when every race has the same result) even more so in present than in the past because with increased professionalism in sport that financial edge can be used to one's advantage with much more consistent results than in the past. If there is something we can do to prevent it, I'm all for it.


I just don't see it that way. People say the SkyPostal train makes cycling boring and boring racing means TV viewing is down, but TV viewing was up for Postals years, so it's not a clear observation to me. When Indurain wont Tour 5 years in row, not be seconds, but tens of minutes, nobody was saying Banesto are killing cycling. I know they did for Merckx, but that certainly wasn't so much his team, that was simply he was the strongest.
I don;t know, I just think for a sport that pays riders so little money, to reduce their wages even more is not proactive. The sport struggles to find sponsors not because of Sky, it's always struggles to find them long before Sky came along and that is far bigger issue than worrying about how much one team pays their riders to me. More worrying at least looking at the bigger picture and ignoring Sky anyway.
samhocking
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Re: Re:

20 Oct 2018 23:47

samhocking wrote:
Anderis wrote:The difference between sport and business is that when a business launches a better product, it's good for cusomers, but in sport, when one team outperforms the others by too big of a margin, it's bad for the viewers (maybe not all, but most) because the spectacle doesn't rely on how well the best team performs but on several parties being able to take fight to one another. When disparities are too big, the unpredictability level drops and the spectacle for anyone who is not a fan of that dominant team suffers.

It's hard to blame Sky for maximising the opportunities they are given to dominate the opposition but the budget disparity is really killing some sports (I stopped watching F1 recently for the very same reason because there's no point in watching when every race has the same result) even more so in present than in the past because with increased professionalism in sport that financial edge can be used to one's advantage with much more consistent results than in the past. If there is something we can do to prevent it, I'm all for it.


I just don't see it that way. People say the SkyPostal train makes cycling boring and boring racing means TV viewing is down, but TV viewing was up for Postals years, so it's not a clear observation to me. When Indurain wont Tour 5 years in row, not be seconds, but tens of minutes, nobody was saying Banesto are killing cycling. I know they did for Merckx, but that certainly wasn't so much his team, that was simply he was the strongest.
I don;t know, I just think for a sport that pays riders so little money, to reduce their wages even more is not proactive. The sport struggles to find sponsors not because of Sky, it's always struggles to find them long before Sky came along and that is far bigger issue than worrying about how much one team pays their riders to me. More worrying at least looking at the bigger picture and ignoring Sky anyway.



US Postal/Lance would have brought in the US viewing market. Thus TV numbers would have been up just based on the US market with a US based team and US rider being the ones dominating. You likely won't get that with another market.
With Indurain and Banesto I'd guess it may have something to do with a long time established team and a team highly unlikely to have had twice the budget of anyone else in the peloton.
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Re: Re:

20 Oct 2018 23:55

samhocking wrote:I just don't see it that way. People say the SkyPostal train makes cycling boring and boring racing means TV viewing is down, but TV viewing was up for Postals years, so it's not a clear observation to me. When Indurain wont Tour 5 years in row, not be seconds, but tens of minutes, nobody was saying Banesto are killing cycling. I know they did for Merckx, but that certainly wasn't so much his team, that was simply he was the strongest.
I don;t know, I just think for a sport that pays riders so little money, to reduce their wages even more is not proactive. The sport struggles to find sponsors not because of Sky, it's always struggles to find them long before Sky came along and that is far bigger issue than worrying about how much one team pays their riders to me. More worrying at least looking at the bigger picture and ignoring Sky anyway.

Well, in fairness, the broadcast types have changed wildly since Indurain's time. Maybe if people had had the chance to watch the race in the kind of depth that we do now, there would have been a higher backlash against him and Banesto at the time. I find it hard to imagine it would have matched the backlash that Sky are receiving for two reasons, really. Firstly that Banesto were very much a regional sponsor whose budget was not really superior to others at the time, and so there wasn't that feeling of them buying out the competition or creaming off the best young talents, because they were a long-established team who had their own developmental systems which they brought young riders in from. And secondly that Indurain and even Echavarrí were an awful lot less immediately dislikable as personalities off the bike than Brailsford and co., and didn't come with the baggage of a decade of disingenuous corporate claptrap that made them sound like walking executive-speak automatons. But still, there would likely have been more of a backlash if coverage was in greater depth. And regardless of whether they're down because of the racing style or a simple dislike of the dominant team, the viewing figures ARE down - combat sports time again: Armstrong was divisive as all hell, but in his market the audience increased - the globalisation drive coincides with Armstrong years and he was very much a face of that. He was a champion that some people wanted to see regardless. Sky's current domination isn't even holding audiences in its home market, with the UK audience figures down by 15% this year; they're, for the most part, holding the role of an unpopular champion, but one facing challengers that audiences don't really believe has a chance of beating the champion. Why would you buy a fight between a guy you can't stand and a guy who's just cannon fodder to him?

The problem is, how is one to 'ignore' Sky without turning their back on so many of the biggest races (in the stage racing arena at least)? The stranglehold in which they have been able to hold GTs with their brand of racing has rendered many of them almost unwatchable as a spectacle, because even if you decide that you'll just accept that Sky will win and be happy to watch a battle for the minor places, the depth that Sky have and the stifling technique that they employ so effectively means that the battle for the minor places is often simply a matter of who can hold on to the pace set by the domestiques longest, which is hardly a spectacle worth going out of your way for. There's no point in watching three hours' live coverage of it - may as well just have a perusal of the results later and decide whether it's worth tuning into the highlights. It's not all Sky's fault, but riders who are more afraid of losing time than willing to gain it are becoming more common, and I'm sure that races like 2012, where Mick Rogers was able to happily tell Froome and Wiggins not to worry about GT winners like Evans and Nibali attacking from deep, because the pace he was tapping out would catch them comfortably due to the number crunching of the wattage needed, have factored into that. Once a few of the dying breed like Nibali have gone, we'll be left with a generation of contenders who've never known Grand Tour racing to be anything other than sitting in the wheels of Sky's domestiques hoping you can hold on enough to preserve your 7th place.

The sport may have always struggled to find sponsors, but when there's such a clear divide between haves and have nots, and the amount of exposure that a team can get in the biggest races is reduced because one team is bogarting all of the coverage, that does unsurprisingly make it harder to convince a sponsor to stump up the cash - and even harder still to convince them to take the risk of stumping up enough cash to try to compete with the current pacesetters. Now, Sky are in part in that position because they've invested far more wisely than BMC or Katyusha. They're in the position to exert a long-term and long-standing level of control, by calling first dibs on every strong young rider that emerges, to ensure they will always have the best ones, and the opposition will be left with the talents that Sky either cast aside or didn't consider worthy in the first place. But market saturation can impact market interest. Let's not beat around the bush here - the sport has for decades thrived on small and medium-sized businesses with cycling interest; that kind of level of sponsorship was sufficient to compete for a long time, but not enough to really grow the sport. The rise of the big corporate team and the pseudo-national projects like Sky, Katyusha, Astana and so on means that the kind of budgets afforded by those regional or hobby sponsor backers can no longer be competitive. That impact is being keenly felt in the World Tour, but even more so at ProContinental - less than a decade ago you had wildcard teams on the podium of multiple GTs, but today, break fodder and the occasional sprinter is all they can afford, and competitive wildcard teams are a thing of the past. The kind of sponsorship commitment needed to compete with Sky is above and beyond the capabilities of such enterprises. It needs big national- and multi-national companies, for many of whom the sport is the Tour de France, and sentences like "we got a podium at Paris-Roubaix" and "we won the Tour de Suisse" may as well be Klingon, and who teams can't necessarily imbue with the same kind of loyalty that the strong regional interest has engendered in sponsors for teams like Movistar and FDJ - just look at how Team HTC went to the wall despite all of their victories, because there was no real regional identity for the team and as they'd been coasting on the T-Mobile payout, the kind of sponsorship commitment required just to keep them at the same level they were already at was more than anybody was willing to fork out. And their stranglehold on the top of the sport could potentially have a direct impact on other teams' sponsorship potential, in that there are progressively fewer scraps to fight for results- and exposure-wise, making smaller teams less attractive to prospective sponsors, meaning they struggle even more to compete against the might of the teams like Sky at the events they need the exposure at to even hope to attract the sponsorships that could make them less uncompetitive. Yes, the sport has a sponsorship issue, but you can't look at the bigger picture and ignore Sky, because the impact that Sky individually, and the large corporate sponsors and national projects in general, have had on the competition level of the sport, very much is the bigger picture.
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21 Oct 2018 09:08

Alan Banaszek to Caja Rural. Quite a surprising move to me.
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Anderis
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Re:

21 Oct 2018 09:31

Anderis wrote:Alan Banaszek to Caja Rural. Quite a surprising move to me.

Very surprising. They now have a ton of sprinters.
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Re: Transfers and Rumours 2018 > 2019

22 Oct 2018 09:08

Just seen on Team Sky's insta account Ben Swift has returned

I hope he gets some chances in some smaller races such as Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain etc
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Re: Transfers and Rumours 2018 > 2019

22 Oct 2018 09:51

jarvo wrote:Just seen on Team Sky's insta account Ben Swift has returned

I hope he gets some chances in some smaller races such as Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain etc

Yup
https://www.teamsky.com/article/swift-returns-to-team-sky
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Re: Transfers and Rumours 2018 > 2019

22 Oct 2018 11:45

Paweł Bernas (CCC Sprandi) confirmed as the latest transfer to the 2019 CCC Team.

https://www.bmc-switzerland.com/int-en/experience/the-feedzone/pawel_bernas_to_target_classics_development_with_ccc_team/

Some Polish sources claim that he is the last rider to join from the 2018 CCC Sprandi team, but I guess that there may be some mistake in translation ("the latest" does not necessarily mean "the last").

Anyway, with all due respect for the riders joining, so far this is not very impressive team roster for CCC Team as per WT standards.
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22 Oct 2018 11:51

Swift verges on the unique. In an era when the sprinting field is incredibly deep and sprinters who lack top end speed struggle for employment, he gets contract after contract with big budget teams despite almost never winning anything. If I was a budding young professional I’d be looking for this guy’s agent’s number.
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Re:

22 Oct 2018 12:14

Zinoviev Letter wrote:Swift verges on the unique. In an era when the sprinting field is incredibly deep and sprinters who lack top end speed struggle for employment, he gets contract after contract with big budget teams despite almost never winning anything. If I was a budding young professional I’d be looking for this guy’s agent’s number.


Swift at least gets his annual MSR Top result. Adam Blythe is the one I'm still wondering how he manages to get contract after contract for how little worth he adds to a team.
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Re: Transfers and Rumours 2018 > 2019

22 Oct 2018 12:15

dick the quick wrote:Some Polish sources claim that he is the last rider to join from the 2018 CCC Sprandi team, but I guess that there may be some mistake in translation ("the latest" does not necessarily mean "the last").

the other week (when they had 3) it was said in Polish media that the team would sign two more Polish riders from the old CCC team. so with Gradek getting on board a couple of days ago, Bernas now should be the last indeed
Last edited by search on 22 Oct 2018 12:19, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar search
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Re:

22 Oct 2018 12:19

Zinoviev Letter wrote:Swift verges on the unique. In an era when the sprinting field is incredibly deep and sprinters who lack top end speed struggle for employment, he gets contract after contract with big budget teams despite almost never winning anything. If I was a budding young professional I’d be looking for this guy’s agent’s number.


Most sprinters can't do domestique duties like him or maybe don''t want to.........sprinting seems secondary for him now.
movingtarget
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Re: Transfers and Rumours 2018 > 2019

22 Oct 2018 12:50

search wrote:
dick the quick wrote:Some Polish sources claim that he is the last rider to join from the 2018 CCC Sprandi team, but I guess that there may be some mistake in translation ("the latest" does not necessarily mean "the last").

the other week (when they had 3) it was said in Polish media that the team would sign two more Polish riders from the old CCC team. so with Gradek getting on board a couple of days ago, Bernas now should be the last indeed


Right, he should be indeed the last one if we count Polish riders only. But still wondering what will happen with some of the non-Polish CCC Sprandi riders who were also mentioned in the context of possible joining of WT team (Koch, Schlegel or Sisr, for example).
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Re: Transfers and Rumours 2018 > 2019

22 Oct 2018 12:58

dick the quick wrote:
search wrote:
dick the quick wrote:Some Polish sources claim that he is the last rider to join from the 2018 CCC Sprandi team, but I guess that there may be some mistake in translation ("the latest" does not necessarily mean "the last").

the other week (when they had 3) it was said in Polish media that the team would sign two more Polish riders from the old CCC team. so with Gradek getting on board a couple of days ago, Bernas now should be the last indeed


Right, he should be indeed the last one if we count Polish riders only. But still wondering what will happen with some of the non-Polish CCC Sprandi riders who were also mentioned in the context of possible joining of WT team (Koch, Schlegel or Sisr, for example).


Schlegel was told to find a new team and is talking to Italian pro-conti teams.

Sisr already signed with Czech conti team Elkov-Author
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Re: Re:

22 Oct 2018 13:06

movingtarget wrote:
Zinoviev Letter wrote:Swift verges on the unique. In an era when the sprinting field is incredibly deep and sprinters who lack top end speed struggle for employment, he gets contract after contract with big budget teams despite almost never winning anything. If I was a budding young professional I’d be looking for this guy’s agent’s number.


Most sprinters can't do domestique duties like him or maybe don''t want to.........sprinting seems secondary for him now.


He's never been a bunch sprinter. His strength is as a solid domestique and if he makes the select group in >250km he can still sprint. He was 5th in last years Worlds, 2nd & 3rd MSR etc couple of years back. If you've met him, don't underestimate his human side. Brailsford doesn't just build on results, but has always focused on how riders gel a team together. Happy teams are winning teams.
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22 Oct 2018 13:09

That's something new to me, thanks. So it looks like indeed there will be no more transfers from the 2018 PCT CCC squad to the 2019 WT team. The question remains who else will join them, as they need at least several riders more.
dick the quick
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Re:

22 Oct 2018 13:48

dick the quick wrote:That's something new to me, thanks. So it looks like indeed there will be no more transfers from the 2018 PCT CCC squad to the 2019 WT team. The question remains who else will join them, as they need at least several riders more.

4 more, yes, if they stick to the total number of 26 riders which was announced earlier on
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