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Bahrain - Merida Pro Cycling Team

Apr 10, 2011
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Tinkov gone, we get even worse ***. Ahhh the joy. I hope he tortures his cyclists to perform as well as he tortures his population

If Tinkov couldnt change the UCI/TV/ASO system, neither he will. So I don't see any future benefit in him.
 
Mar 14, 2016
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Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
CheckMyPecs said:
Bahrain's record on human rights has been described by Human Rights Watch as "dismal", and having "deteriorated sharply in the latter half of 2010".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Bahrain
Really disgraceful. It would be great if a few high profile riders make a stand and refuse to sign for the team based on this. Not holding out much hope though.
I'll sure they'll come out with the old "I don't want to mix sport and politics" shtick.
 
Re: Re:

CheckMyPecs said:
DFA123 said:
CheckMyPecs said:
Bahrain's record on human rights has been described by Human Rights Watch as "dismal", and having "deteriorated sharply in the latter half of 2010".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Bahrain
Really disgraceful. It would be great if a few high profile riders make a stand and refuse to sign for the team based on this. Not holding out much hope though.
I'll sure they'll come out with the old "I don't want to mix sport and politics" shtick.
That's pretty much what they will say which is just plain sad, doping is one thing but showing support for this torturing prince and the oppressive regime is next level pathetic. Not that we needed proof that the structure of cycling is broken this team and its dirty money just hammers it home
 
Re:

Bye Bye Bicycle said:
Astana, Baku Sinnergy, SkyDive Dubai, Bahrain - are there any despotic Asian countries left without a cycling team?

It's funny really. I've been following F1 since 96 (the Hill year), which coincidentally was the year of my first memories of the TDF (Riis in Sestriéres). This is exactly what I've seen happen there over the past two decades. It started with the Malaysian GP. This year we have Malaysia, Bahrain, China and Singapore (which over the years have become proper fixtures of the calendar), Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi, and Russia. Over the years we've seen the Indian, Korean and Turkish GPs come and go as well as interest waxed and waned in those countries.

It hasn't been a complete failure. Turkey was amazing when we had it, we gained the Singapore GP which is a beautiful sight. F1 fans recognize the importance of the eastern money because sponsorship dried up in the west (sound familiar?) but it came at the cost of Grand Prix in Argentina, Portugal, Germany, France (we're talking motorsport heartlands here). Even Monza is going to be dropped from the calendar soon in favor of Imola. In F1 of complain of corporate pressure and a tendency towards entertainment style management decisions (we got DRS which I guess is our version of the murito proliferation).

Cycling saw this phenomenon too! Races in Oman, Dubai, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Beijing gained prominence. In terms of teams it started with Astana (they also have Champions League football by the way!) ten years ago. We'd hardly feel them to be out of place these days, controversy notwithstanding. We have Katusha and Rusvelo. The impact it has had is undeniable. With all the turbulence we've seen with more traditional Euro teams, it's difficult not to see teams like these as stable and strong. If you think about it, the traditional mainstays that have mostly always existed in the same guise have been Quickstep, Lotto, Lampre, Movistar, FDJ, AG2R and Cofidis. Out of the rest, Bouygues, Rabobank have carried on with successive sponsorship troubles in the last few years. Liquigas and Garmin had to merge. Euskaltel folded. Teams like BMC, Trek, Sky, Astana and Katusha are the new normal. Investors like Tinkov and the Bahraini prince it seems are going to be more and more common. F1 got Vijay Mallya and shady financial support too. It's a brave new world in sport. It's just taken longer to happen in cycling, but it's been going on for a while now.
 
Re: Re:

MikeTichondrius said:
Cycling saw this phenomenon too! Races in Oman, Dubai, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Beijing gained prominence. In terms of teams it started with Astana (they also have Champions League football by the way!) ten years ago. We'd hardly feel them to be out of place these days, controversy notwithstanding. We have Katusha and Rusvelo. The impact it has had is undeniable. With all the turbulence we've seen with more traditional Euro teams, it's difficult not to see teams like these as stable and strong. If you think about it, the traditional mainstays that have mostly always existed in the same guise have been Quickstep, Lotto, Lampre, Movistar, FDJ, AG2R and Cofidis. Out of the rest, Bouygues, Rabobank have carried on with successive sponsorship troubles in the last few years. Liquigas and Garmin had to merge. Euskaltel folded. Teams like BMC, Trek, Sky, Astana and Katusha are the new normal. Investors like Tinkov and the Bahraini prince it seems are going to be more and more common. F1 got Vijay Mallya and shady financial support too. It's a brave new world in sport. It's just taken longer to happen in cycling, but it's been going on for a while now.

Why are guys like Coucke, Bakala and Galbusera any different from Tinkov or Rihs?
 
The USSR was always a big cycling team on the amateur circuit, it's been a decently sized sport since the 50s in Russia. I wouldn't count them among the "latecoming international expansion" types.

The problem is that counterbalancing the F1 example with cycling doesn't work because while certain GPs have always held a certain level of prestige above others (Monaco of course, to a lesser extent Spa or Monza) it is long since ingrained that each race is equal in terms of its points value. Each race is over a similar distance and runs for a similar amount of time (less at faster GPs like Monza, shorter distance for slower speed races like Monaco). And even then, while the circuit was great in Turkey, the fan interest was limited - one year they only sold 7000 tickets. A lot of these events in far off places well away from the centre of the sport have had to bus in or import planted fans in order to give the impression of a large crowd, because mostly they are white elephants, multi-million dollar circuits created to function for a couple of weekends a year. And the other problem is that as almost all the courses are designed by the same man, and have all put in the same criteria (so many of them want 'a harbourfront section like Monaco, a fast corner like Eau Rouge' as if they think appropriating what made other circuits great will automatically win themselves race fans' hearts) that they yield a lot of very samey courses and inevitably, very samey racing.

Cycling is more like sportscar racing, where you have your World Endurance Championships and various other formulae, but some races are bigger than others. Le Mans is the biggest race of the year by far, followed by Sebring. You have in a separate formula the Spa 24hrs, Petit Le Mans, and various other long distance enduro races. Some of these are held in the new Asian and Middle Eastern circuits because the circuit owners want to get at least some return other than the F1 or once the F1 circuit goes. But they don't have the history and prestige as Le Mans, and because of its relatively unique position it pays more points as well. It's uneven.

Let's not pretend these pseudo-national teams are solely an "Asian despotic government" thing either. There are a lot of pseudo-national teams out there. Astana are, in reality, little different to Катюша, Sky, Dimension Data or Orica GreenEdge, teams set up as a national (or in DD's case, continental) arm for developing riders but without being wilfully exclusive in selection criteria the way, say, Euskaltel were. Given the rosters, I'm sure that's intended as the goal for Synergy Baku and Sky Dive Dubai as well, however they don't really have the base level talents from the home country to sustain a top level team at this point. How many Bahrainis are going to race for this squad?
 
Cycling needs to grab sponsorship dollars and investors in new teams. Cycling sponsorship is extremely cyclical as we've seen with the number of teams and sponsors who come and go. Cycling should be doing more to get investors from Asia and South America and the Middle East. Whether a team is bankrolled by Bahrain or China or Argentina is irrelevant - The WT teams still race primarily in Europe and of course have riders from throughout the world.

A bigger issue is the quality of races in developing cycling nations, though at the same time sponsors want to get a bang for their bucks.
 
Re:

yaco said:
Cycling needs to grab sponsorship dollars and investors in new teams. Cycling sponsorship is extremely cyclical as we've seen with the number of teams and sponsors who come and go. Cycling should be doing more to get investors from Asia and South America and the Middle East. Whether a team is bankrolled by Bahrain or China or Argentina is irrelevant - The WT teams still race primarily in Europe and of course have riders from throughout the world.

A bigger issue is the quality of races in developing cycling nations, though at the same time sponsors want to get a bang for their bucks.

Sponorship from people who not only endorse torture but are activly involved in it surely is a step if not many steps to far
 
Re: Re:

MikeTichondrius said:
Bye Bye Bicycle said:
Astana, Baku Sinnergy, SkyDive Dubai, Bahrain - are there any despotic Asian countries left without a cycling team?

It's funny really. I've been following F1 since 96 (the Hill year), which coincidentally was the year of my first memories of the TDF (Riis in Sestriéres). This is exactly what I've seen happen there over the past two decades. It started with the Malaysian GP. This year we have Malaysia, Bahrain, China and Singapore (which over the years have become proper fixtures of the calendar), Azerbaijan, Abu Dhabi, and Russia. Over the years we've seen the Indian, Korean and Turkish GPs come and go as well as interest waxed and waned in those countries.

It hasn't been a complete failure. Turkey was amazing when we had it, we gained the Singapore GP which is a beautiful sight. F1 fans recognize the importance of the eastern money because sponsorship dried up in the west (sound familiar?) but it came at the cost of Grand Prix in Argentina, Portugal, Germany, France (we're talking motorsport heartlands here). Even Monza is going to be dropped from the calendar soon in favor of Imola. In F1 of complain of corporate pressure and a tendency towards entertainment style management decisions (we got DRS which I guess is our version of the murito proliferation).

Cycling saw this phenomenon too! Races in Oman, Dubai, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Beijing gained prominence. In terms of teams it started with Astana (they also have Champions League football by the way!) ten years ago. We'd hardly feel them to be out of place these days, controversy notwithstanding. We have Katusha and Rusvelo. The impact it has had is undeniable. With all the turbulence we've seen with more traditional Euro teams, it's difficult not to see teams like these as stable and strong. If you think about it, the traditional mainstays that have mostly always existed in the same guise have been Quickstep, Lotto, Lampre, Movistar, FDJ, AG2R and Cofidis. Out of the rest, Bouygues, Rabobank have carried on with successive sponsorship troubles in the last few years. Liquigas and Garmin had to merge. Euskaltel folded. Teams like BMC, Trek, Sky, Astana and Katusha are the new normal. Investors like Tinkov and the Bahraini prince it seems are going to be more and more common. F1 got Vijay Mallya and shady financial support too. It's a brave new world in sport. It's just taken longer to happen in cycling, but it's been going on for a while now.

Does anyone even watch these "exotic" tours?
 
Re: Re:

StryderHells said:
yaco said:
Cycling needs to grab sponsorship dollars and investors in new teams. Cycling sponsorship is extremely cyclical as we've seen with the number of teams and sponsors who come and go. Cycling should be doing more to get investors from Asia and South America and the Middle East. Whether a team is bankrolled by Bahrain or China or Argentina is irrelevant - The WT teams still race primarily in Europe and of course have riders from throughout the world.

A bigger issue is the quality of races in developing cycling nations, though at the same time sponsors want to get a bang for their bucks.

Sponorship from people who not only endorse torture but are activly involved in it surely is a step if not many steps to far

Well we may as well stop seeking sponsorship dollars from American companies - Does Guantanamo Bay ring a bell.