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

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Eneco tour? Tour de France is a name. They can still organise a 3-week stage race in France
The US500 was intended to replace the Indy 500 for the Champ Cars who had the better cars and drivers - and it failed miserably. Why? Because it didn't have 80 years of history behind it.

Not only can ASO likely protect certain trademarks - the yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys, the red bib numbers, and even just licenced fonts and logos that are part of the branding of the Tour that are recognised worldwide - but they can also threaten to blacklist towns and cities that host the renegade race, or jack up the price if they want to get back in the good graces of ASO if the renegade race fails. It's a gamble that many places may be less willing to take in the circumstances.

Sponsor name races and things like that usually come with an inherent reduction in prestige compared to an 'official' national or regional tour because they're seen as entirely reliant on that sponsor's interest. As examples, look at events like the Clásico RCN which is, to all intents and purposes, a secondary Vuelta a Colombia, or the Clásico Banfoandes which was, to all intents and purposes, a secondary Vuelta a Venezuela (and also used to have a better course than the real thing too). These races have got some great winners - RCN has people like Martin Emilio Rodríguez, Rafael Niño, Lucho Herrera, Fabio Parra, Álvaro Mejía, Hernán Buenahora, Óscar Sevilla, Félix Cardenas, Fabio Duarte, while Banfoandes had Libardo Niño, José Rujano, Hernán Buenahora and Sérgio Henao - but they don't get pointed to on the palmarès the way the Vuelta a Colombia or Vuelta a Venezuela (or, hell, since Banfoandes always finished in Tachirá province, the Vuelta al Tachirá) are.

Notwithstanding that it's enshrined in French law to have the Tour on free to air TV I believe - something that a new race would not have, and unless it takes place at a different time of year, they are then going to be competing for airtime against a race which has an innate advantage not just in its century of history but that it will take up the capacity for cycling on free TV.
 
Mar 26, 2023
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I watch every race. would I prefer to watch the Eneco Tour or Tour of Poland with the big 6 instead of the TDF even without star riders? no. the TDF gets the nod for me

Yes, if somewhat in reverse for me, I don't especially care for the Tour and even if favourite riders participate, I'm content to catch up on the results a bit later. (Now, the idea of missing RVV? Perish the thought.)
 
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The US500 was intended to replace the Indy 500 for the Champ Cars who had the better cars and drivers - and it failed miserably. Why? Because it didn't have 80 years of history behind it.

Not only can ASO likely protect certain trademarks - the yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys, the red bib numbers, and even just licenced fonts and logos that are part of the branding of the Tour that are recognised worldwide - but they can also threaten to blacklist towns and cities that host the renegade race, or jack up the price if they want to get back in the good graces of ASO if the renegade race fails. It's a gamble that many places may be less willing to take in the circumstances.

Sponsor name races and things like that usually come with an inherent reduction in prestige compared to an 'official' national or regional tour because they're seen as entirely reliant on that sponsor's interest. As examples, look at events like the Clásico RCN which is, to all intents and purposes, a secondary Vuelta a Colombia, or the Clásico Banfoandes which was, to all intents and purposes, a secondary Vuelta a Venezuela (and also used to have a better course than the real thing too). These races have got some great winners - RCN has people like Martin Emilio Rodríguez, Rafael Niño, Lucho Herrera, Fabio Parra, Álvaro Mejía, Hernán Buenahora, Óscar Sevilla, Félix Cardenas, Fabio Duarte, while Banfoandes had Libardo Niño, José Rujano, Hernán Buenahora and Sérgio Henao - but they don't get pointed to on the palmarès the way the Vuelta a Colombia or Vuelta a Venezuela (or, hell, since Banfoandes always finished in Tachirá province, the Vuelta al Tachirá) are.

Notwithstanding that it's enshrined in French law to have the Tour on free to air TV I believe - something that a new race would not have, and unless it takes place at a different time of year, they are then going to be competing for airtime against a race which has an innate advantage not just in its century of history but that it will take up the capacity for cycling on free TV.
History doesn't necessarily repeat itself. I also don't have this human tendency to resort to being negative about something new. My initial thought is always, cool, it'll probably be better. Let's see what they actually propose next year.

I agree with directors that the business model doesn't work and is too dependant on only sponsors. For a Premier League team (Arsenal FC), around 25% comes from sponsorship, that's it. How much is this for a WT cycling team? +80%?
 
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I agree with directors that the business model doesn't work and is too dependant on only sponsors. For a Premier League team (Arsenal FC), around 25% comes from sponsorship, that's it. How much is this for a WT cycling team? +80%?
The business model has worked alright for a century. All we have here is a bunch of the richest folks in the sport trying to ring-fence the top level and grab hold of as much of the Saudi Sportwashing budget as they can get their hands on.

I mean, I slate Vaughters for being a self-serving snake oil salesman and how all of his proposed "revolutions" of cycling's business model are about his own self-preservation, but at least given his team's position as one of the smaller and lower budget WT teams, you can't fault his logic. This proposal is just Richard Plugge, Patrick Lefevère and their cronies getting the sads that they aren't as rich as their counterparts in soccer.

Yes, the cost of a WT roster is going up. But that's also partly because the ring-fencing of the WT has meant that higher level talent is off-limits to ProTeams outside of the couple that get the paradoxical, oxymoronic "mandatory wildcards" so are basically WT teams anyway. They have to pay more to ice a competitive roster at the WT level, but that's the price they pay for locking off the top level to guarantee nobody else can join their little cabal.
 
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I’m not so sure. I wouldn’t forget the influence core cycling fans have on swaying what to watch, and those fans will prefer to watch the best riders. I rather watch the big 6 in any race then none of them at the TDF.
You're not getting it. Core cycling fans are peanuts compared to the general audience for Tour De France.
Meaning that even if these reach businesses create a new cycling league (whatever the name is) and core cycling fans are watching because of the big stars, the average Joe will still watch Tour de France because that's the race he knows(let aside the Vuelta, PR and eventually Italian races which are also peanuts compared to the Tour). And these average Joe's make up for a much bigger number than the core cycling fans watching races because of Pog/Remco/Vingo/Rog or Van's.
As a result unless this new league creates a product that is appealing and interesting to the average Joe (which is very hard), ASO will always prevail in the long term.
 
I’m not so sure. I wouldn’t forget the influence core cycling fans have on swaying what to watch, and those fans will prefer to watch the best riders. I rather watch the big 6 in any race then none of them at the TDF.
Really don't think this is the case. The best riders are the ones winning the Tour de France, RVV, PR etc. If Pogacar and Van der Poel ride elsewhere, they're replaced as the best riders by the new winners of the biggest races. I've said it before, I think, but in cycling the big stars are the races, not the riders or the teams. Anyone threatening to take Pog and Remco out of the normal calendar don't really have that much leverage.
 
The business model has worked alright for a century. All we have here is a bunch of the richest folks in the sport trying to ring-fence the top level and grab hold of as much of the Saudi Sportwashing budget as they can get their hands on.
It hasn’t at all… there are numerous cases where the sponsor suddenly pulls out and the team just vanishes, and people are out of jobs. If you aren’t solely dependent on sponsorships that wouldn’t be the case. You could try to create a business that has cash to spare, that is able to build a contingency plan in case something happens.
 
It hasn’t at all… there are numerous cases where the sponsor suddenly pulls out and the team just vanishes, and people are out of jobs. If you aren’t solely dependent on sponsorships that wouldn’t be the case. You could try to create a business that has cash to spare, that is able to build a contingency plan in case something happens.
For sure I joke about Florentino PLugge sometimes, I think he is doing ok, but Cycling has a very shaky business model. There will always be power struggles and people will always do the math and realize it's best if the other involved parties share their money.

2020 saw ASO make a profit of €59m, not exactly Premier League money.

It is to me a little bit unclear to what extend it's how the cake is cut and to what extent it's the size of the cake that's the problem. Making the cake grow should be the aim.

I do think greater team stability could help. Even though as Cycling fans we don't really want cycling teams to become football team.
 
For the sort of people that enjoy sports like F1 or Moto GP where you have the same people going against each other for a certain number of races, a super league would be ideal however for me part of the beauty of cycling has always been different top riders having different schedules and only meeting a couple of times.

However despite the increase in profits, I fear that this super league would lead to a smaller racing calendar which would mean smaller or less teams which in turn would mean, a smaller sport which is something negative and I obviously dislike the idea of Saudi money buying most of the sport.
 
Somehow i feel the most likely scenario is it won't happen, due to i guess too little money involved to push through such megalomania. The second most likely scenario in my opinion is some sort of split will happen and two "leagues" competing. Here likely, at least in mid term era, tradition will win.

So personally i don't believe in the approach used here. Trying to get total control over European cycling for quarter of a billion. And on top of that promising you will move away from the tradition and basically to make up and adapt to what sells best.

Likely cycling will still evolve, just for evolution to be more organic. As Tour is the Tour and if you want to compete with that, then you need 100 years to get to there. Otherwise countries like lets say China would be ahead already. In cycling, football ... But that never happened.
 
What about just throwing huge amounts of money at the ASO and buy them out?
Everything is for sale at the right price, Where would the money come from tho?
What promises would you have to make to the French in order to get them sanction the deal?

And you still probably need RCS and Flanders Classics to complete the set.

the teams don't have that kind of money, banks probably won't lend them the money, so you are talking private equity or loans with huge interest rates.
So now you got to hugely increase the revenue of cycling to pay the teams, but also pay interests on the loan or you have investors wanting money.

The big problem for Cycling is to keep the eyeballs entertained throughout the year and not just the three weeks where football is off.

For the sort of people that enjoy sports like F1 or Moto GP where you have the same people going against each other for a certain number of races, a super league would be ideal however for me part of the beauty of cycling has always been different top riders having different schedules and only meeting a couple of times.

However despite the increase in profits, I fear that this super league would lead to a smaller racing calendar which would mean smaller or less teams which in turn would mean, a smaller sport which is something negative and I obviously dislike the idea of Saudi money buying most of the sport.
Yes, this is my objection as well. One could argue that the money should be distributed down through the pyramid to at least pro-conti and maybe even conti level too. To both teams and race organizers.

Ultimately I think the teams are trying to pose a credible threat so big race organizers and UCI will come to the table.
 
PLEASE NO NO NO
Asked about the prospect of the Grand Tours being reduced in length as part of any reforms, Unzué said it was “a question of personal opinions,” adding: “If they were reduced to 15 days, the best riders would probably ride all three Grand Tours. That would give them enough time to recover between them and be competitive in all three. It would create spectacle if the best riders were racing against each other more often.”

 
Belgian Newspaper HLN has a bit more information, and a summary of the past events.

 
So half the WT wants to shut out every non-WT team from every important race (i.e. kill all of them off) and sell their soul to the devil... for 2 to 3 million euros per year per team. Good to know how little money is needed for people in this sport to give up any pretense of not being a self-serving piece of ***.

Also, really weird that the only team with a Saudi sponsor seemingly aren't on board.
 
Belgian Newspaper HLN has a bit more information, and a summary of the past events.


it says Movistar and Jayco-Alula are not among the teams interested.
Unzue said they are (they have a deal with the Saudi federation), and well, I can't se a team backed by Alula being out of it
 
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So half the WT wants to shut out every non-WT team from every important race (i.e. kill all of them off) and sell their soul to the devil... for 2 to 3 million euros per year per team. Good to know how little money is needed for people in this sport to give up any pretense of not being a self-serving piece of ***.

Also, really weird that the only team with a Saudi sponsor seemingly aren't on board.
UCI wouldn't allow that. There will always be a way to go from CT to PCT and then WT, I think. At least I hope so. That I would find a shame if they closed it off like that.

it says Movistar and Jayco-Alula are not among the teams interested.
Unzue said they are (they have a deal with the Saudi federation), and well, I can't se a team backed by Alula being out of it
Might be old information they got about the teams. If you are correct, then they've got the 10 teams necessary. Hope RCS joins too, they must see the opportunity in this to grow above ASO.
 
UCI wouldn't allow that. There will always be a way to go from CT to PCT and then WT, I think. At least I hope so. That I would find a shame if they closed it off like that.


Might be old information they got about the teams. If you are correct, then they've got the 10 teams necessary. Hope RCS joins too, they must see the opportunity in this to grow above ASO.

Macron (or his successor) will make sure the ASO still keeps its power
 
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The French don't own a sport.

the French own THE race for men and women (and Roubaix, Liege, Fleche, Paris-Nice, Dauphiné, Catalunya, Tour of Norway, Deutschland Tour, VUELTA, etc)
it's written in the French laws that the TDF must be broadcasted for free in France. the importance, cultural and social, of the French races goes beyond ANY new-comer Saudi backed organisation
 
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Movistar's Unzué talks -
https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/th...unzue-calls-for-substitutions-in-grand-tours/
It would create spectacle if the best riders were racing against each other more often.
It could well get tedious with the same guys racing each other and as happens in Formula 1 racing, barring a crash, the same guy wins all the time. Like MvdP this year. Sure great rider but "spectacle"? Nah, it's more enjoyable if like happened this week with 2 guys from Bardiani suddenly get the chance to win. As for having only 15 racing days, what the heck happened to endurance and this year's word "durability"? It's bad enough now with stages that are short by juniors and womens standards.
As for substitutions, if Mas crashes out has Movistar another GC contender sitting at home waiting to jump in?
 
Movistar's Unzué talks -
https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/th...unzue-calls-for-substitutions-in-grand-tours/

It could well get tedious with the same guys racing each other and as happens in Formula 1 racing, barring a crash, the same guy wins all the time. Like MvdP this year. Sure great rider but "spectacle"? Nah, it's more enjoyable if like happened this week with 2 guys from Bardiani suddenly get the chance to win. As for having only 15 racing days, what the heck happened to endurance and this year's word "durability"? It's bad enough now with stages that are short by juniors and womens standards.
As for substitutions, if Mas crashes out has Movistar another GC contender sitting at home waiting to jump in?

well, Valverde never stopped training...