• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Breaking Away - "Top cycling teams explore creating new competitive league"

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
This Sporza article


Part that mentions it, translated with Google Translate.
How does the Tour organizer react?
One of the biggest hurdles for the Super League will be the Tour de France. The largest race in the world brings a lot of money into the cycling world.

"Organizer ASO keeps the biggest share of the cake. They will not immediately be eager for a Super League," says Renaat Schotte.

And Flanders Classics, the organizer of, among other things, the Tour of Flanders? The company of entrepreneur and cycling enthusiast Wouter Vandenhaute dares to take a different course.

Schotte: "Flanders Classics has already played a very important role in cycling. Without them I wouldn't know where the Flemish races would be now."

"But Flanders Classics cannot reform the landscape alone. With the Amstel Gold Race and the Tour de Suisse, they are now also looking beyond national borders."

"Together with a British investor, there have been attempts to take over the Tour de France," Schotte says.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
It's not going anywhere and cycling is not a sleeping giant.

If anything it's amazing how it has expanded its base over the last 40 years.

Tour de France winners from the UK? Nobody in his right mind would have believed that 40 years ago. Or 20. Or 15. Hell, I still refuse to believe the prologue specialist (that mostly only managed top 3 and not wins) Wiggins managed to win the Tour. Australia now is a cycling country that develops talent regularly. We have Eritreans, we have Slovenians winning (although they announced they were coming pretty soon after independence) bunch of New Zealanders.. Ecuadorian Olympic Champion. The french are left with Gaudu, Italians with Zana and Masnada...

While the UCI like any sports organization of course is corrupt, at times clueless, have to give them credit, they didn't prevent cycling from going global, or almost. Asia is missing.

Breakaway leagues, it's all about the money, teams wanting to get their funding through income sharing. Same as the World Tour, ProTour, whatever it's called nowadays was originally made with the plan to get money from ASO. Yes, cycling becoming global has made it more difficult to get sponsors, while in the 80es basically local sponsors (Supermercati Brianzoli anyone?) , could still fund a top team, now you really need big companies, international companies. Or states, UAE, Bahrain.. so yes, seems harder to get and keep a sponsor, simply costs way more than it used to., but still cheaper than sponsoring a football team.

But can some breakaway league actually get more sponsors to come? It all seems just another attempts to get into ASO's panties and get some action. Organizing cycling races isn't cheap, and for the most part hardly profitable I suspect, see the consolidation that has happened over the last 40 years. ASO getting Paris-Nice, Liège, the Flèche, Dauphiné... Flanders Classics, for sure they didn't organize all those races years ago, Omlop Het Volk certainly was not organized by the same people as the Ronde, it was founded as the "anti-Ronde". So it's not like the money for organizing races just drops from the sky somehow, any breakaway league would need to bring in sponsors that are ready to actually organize these alternative races.. and since nobody knows how long Microsoft or whatever company would sponsor this, would be ok to sponsor the money losing breakaway league...

It will never happen succesfully. it's just another try hoping to get ASO and to a lesser degree RCS and Flanders Classics to hand over some money, giving job security to people like Plugge etc. Yes, cycling's way of financing itself is weird, but it has somehow worked so far, while looking for other additional ways to generate income, everybody is simply better of sticking with the UCI and ASO, not in some breakaway that risks to end up depending on a single sponsor/organizer, and blow up the moment the plug is pulled, leaving Plugge unplugged basically.

Not worth anybody's time (says the guy who just spent way to much time on a post...)
 
It needs UCI approval & the TdF which it won't get, so it's a dead in the water proposal designed to trigger some kind of let's talk about a better funding model for teams to share the wealth from big races rather than rely on just their sponsors who are increasingly unreliable, which is probably already shrinking more than teams realise.

If these claimed breakaway teams had any sense they might have got some of the Women's teams on board too, but they haven't so it's self interest driving it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
The difference between this and other attempts at breakaways (like the Indy 500 thing) is that there isn't actually any "league" for a breakaway to destroy. That's kind of the point of proposals like this I think, that cycling is too much a series of isolated races with their own TV rights and promoters, and not a cohesive "season".
 
The difference between this and other attempts at breakaways (like the Indy 500 thing) is that there isn't actually any "league" for a breakaway to destroy. That's kind of the point of proposals like this I think, that cycling is too much a series of isolated races with their own TV rights and promoters, and not a cohesive "season".
And you can't make it a "cohesive season". The World Tour is (actually was, by now there's no real purpose or goal behind it anymore, it's just there and they randomly play around with it) the UCI's attempt to make it that cohesive season, with TV rights sharing and all. The TV sharing revenue sharing didn't work, and it won't work now. It would only work if the company that owns the TdF ends up taking over the vast majority of WT races. And even then it's doubtful that the teams would get a share.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
The difference between this and other attempts at breakaways (like the Indy 500 thing) is that there isn't actually any "league" for a breakaway to destroy.
Exactly. The only way any change could take place is if both the teams and the race organizations broke away from the UCI, AND the race organizations partnered with the teams, which, the second, has zero chance of happening. No business entity is going to give up any part of their revenue stream to a component of their business model that is actually dependent upon their (races) existence.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
Why don't the riders just form a union?
They don't need boss man to be their bidders. Unless the riders form a collective agreement, you can be sure that they will be the last group to reap the rewards.
What's a union going to do for them? Threaten the race organizations for $ or they don't race? 🙄 Great way to completely deter anyone from wanting to sponsor cycling.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
What's a union going to do for them? Threaten the race organizations for $ or they don't race? 🙄 Great way to completely deter anyone from wanting to sponsor cycling.
You misunderstand the fundamental concept of a union.
The example you cited would never take place because collective bargaining guidelines will have already been set.
I think you might be referring to the current "union" in place where riders might refuse to ride due to the weather conditions the day the wake up and open their hotel curtains.
Totally different thing.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: ManicJack
As time passes, I am more and more under the impression that individuals closer to the cycling core (staff or fans) overvalue mainstream interest in cycling.
Same for most other sports. Everybody's talking about expanding, monetizing and globalizing. It's the case for all the sports that I somewhat follow. Those that are close to a sport and who love it don't understand how most other people can not care about it.
 
Literally who cares that Visma sponsors a bike team? No one ever shopped at that supermarket or whatever it is just because Vingo won the tour.

The main kind of sponsorship that makes sense is a bike industry brand like Specialized. And thus the only thing keeping pro cycling afloat is the amount of money amateur practitioners are willing to spend on their equipment.

The other kind of sponsorship that makes sense is random billionaire who enjoys owning a team the same way you or I enjoy collecting stamps.

The economics work out well enough. Rog and Co can pull in mid 7 figure incomes. That income is set entirely by the labor market. If teams had less money to spend, Roglic would simply get a lower salary. If teams had more money to spend, he'd get a higher salary and the Plugges would just complain more about how expensive it is to run a team.

Teams and their admins have almost no leverage because at its hearts, it's still a very individual sport. The ones with leverage are ASO and the top riders, and they use that leverage to eat up as much of the pie as they can.
 
Literally who cares that Visma sponsors a bike team? No one ever shopped at that supermarket or whatever it is just because Vingo won the tour.

The main kind of sponsorship that makes sense is a bike industry brand like Specialized. And thus the only thing keeping pro cycling afloat is the amount of money amateur practitioners are willing to spend on their equipment.

The other kind of sponsorship that makes sense is random billionaire who enjoys owning a team the same way you or I enjoy collecting stamps.

The economics work out well enough. Rog and Co can pull in mid 7 figure incomes. That income is set entirely by the labor market. If teams had less money to spend, Roglic would simply get a lower salary. If teams had more money to spend, he'd get a higher salary and the Plugges would just complain more about how expensive it is to run a team.

Teams and their admins have almost no leverage because at its hearts, it's still a very individual sport. The ones with leverage are ASO and the top riders, and they use that leverage to eat up as much of the pie as they can.
isn't Visma the IT company?

that sponsorship gives them loads of b2b opportunities of having clients over for a cup of tea the day WVA casually swings by.

I agree that supermarkets doesn't really get that many new customers by sponsoring a team, maybe it can raise awareness or help change perceptions slightly, but the benefits will be greatest over a short term and people still only keep shopping at Jumbo if they like to shop there better than at the competitors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sandisfan
I don't know I probably would be more likely to choose Jumbo to shop in through their sponsorship of cycling, if any existed outside the Netherlands.

It's like I'd be more likely to visit Lidl now than Aldi, because of Treks sponsor, though I always liked Segafredo coffee

So it does influence me at least, I recognise the average public watching a bike race is probably unmoved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pastronef
Can we blame Sepp Kuss for all this sudden venture capital interest?
What about some of this sudden interest in cycling sponsoring a new version of the Tour of California? I'm sure Lance or Horner will turn up and sign autographs, stand for selfies etc for a "modest" fee. Yeah, there you go. There's a business opportunity.
 
What incentive would any race organization have in even negotiating? They can not be forced into a collective bargaining agreement. Tell me how I am wrong.🙄
That's a great question. They would have zero intention, for obvious reasons.
I'm not familiar with European labour laws, but if they are anything like ours in North America, they would be forced by law to acknowledge a bargaining unit and negotiate a legally binding contract.
See, for example, The NFL, the NBA, the NHL, MLB, MLS, etc. etc. and so on and so forth.