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

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Macron (or his successor) will make sure the ASO still keeps its power
Up to a point, France has to uphold their own and EU laws and they wouldn't be the first government to accept an unpopular deal on certain conditions. They don't want ASO to be sold to foreign investors for sure, but despite what the farmers are saying Macron isn't a dictator.

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.
I think they are counting on those 2-3 mill growing to substantially more over a 5-10 year period. They are probably wrong, but that's the idea.
And the power that comes along with it as well, teams feel like they have less influence than they should have, they feel like they have the important factor ie. the athletes, whereas the races are "just" the backdrop, the race organizers obviously feels differently.
 
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
Don't know what any of that has to do with a 3rd party creating a new competition. France can't just make sure that ASO is still the biggest when there's a different league. It's a free market. People can view what they want.
 
People thinking UCI has a part in this lmao. They want a closed system so that their teams value goes up overtime and they can sell it. This won't just be another competition, the sport will literally change, different rules, different type of races, etc. Nothing to do with saving the sport. There's other ways to do that, if it even needs saving. People just keep screaming it cause they see other sports having more money and they want it too.

And Mr. Van den Spiegel sees his chance to be the first one in and get more power and money too. He'll probably wants to be the boss of the whole thing in the future.
 
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.”

Just to state my opinion first: I'm against reducing the GTs to 2 weeks as I believe the tradition is a big deal of what makes the sport of cycling so amazing and unique. I'm also very negative to the "ideas" this new competition seems to be pushing.

But, despite being against it I can kind of see what points they are looking for in cutting down the GTs:
1. Better riders in all three GTs is very tempting from a "casual spectator" point of view.
2. Going from 21 stages to 15 stages can with a good course (highly unlikely that the race designers will be competent enough tho) keep almost all the action and remove the "dull" stages. The modern cycling seems to limit the importance of the TTs and pure flat sprint stages, meaning cutting some of these stages from a "traditional GT route" is a good way to move from 21 to 15 stages. A Tour de France can for example have 1 TT and 4 flattish stages including the Champs. Then you can have 2-3 hilly stages and still have 7-8 stages with medium and high mountains. There would still be something in it for all rider types and enough "key stages". I can see something like this being "the vision" with a 15 stage GT. From a pure spectators perspective I don't think it would necessarily be any worse than the 3 week grand tour, but it would really piss the history of the sport in the face.
3. Those who aren't that into the tradition of the 3 week stuff can also jump back to the early days of the Grand Tours. They can say that the Tour used to be up to 15 stages until 1924, they can say the first Vuelta in 1935 was 14 stages, the Giro didn't go over 15 stages before 1933(?). So they can pretend to be proper traditionists and say that a two week race is the real Grand Tours. (just to specify: I don't agree with this view).

I hope this whole project totally collapse, I like the sport as it is.
 
Just to state my opinion first: I'm against reducing the GTs to 2 weeks as I believe the tradition is a big deal of what makes the sport of cycling so amazing and unique. I'm also very negative to the "ideas" this new competition seems to be pushing.


I hope this whole project totally collapse, I like the sport as it is.

same here (understanding how hard it is to find money, but a better solution than the Saudi money should be found)
 
Likely we should simply enjoy cycling, as is, until it lasts. As in the end we are likely not the target audience, when it comes to some future. Hopefully that future generations will get out of it what we did. Such changes take decades anyway. Believing we will have tomorrow, something that can compete with the Tour of today. That is just not possible.
 
Likely we should simply enjoy cycling, as is, until it lasts. As in the end we are likely not the target audience, when it comes to some future. Hopefully that future generations will get out of it what we did. Such changes take decades anyway. Believing we will have tomorrow, something that can compete with the Tour of today. That is just not possible.
Yet another sport ruined by rich executives desperate to discard their actual audience in the pursuit of a hypothetical one.
 
Novel idea. Take a one week stage race and increase it to 15 days and see if it works logistically. Might even be popular.

Right now a three week stage race is what everyone wants. Some day someone exceptional will ride and win all three in a single season.
 
Just when you thought it was going quiet ...
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...i-arabia-sports-us-senate-disclosure-subpoena
Major US consultancies who have advised Saudi Arabia on its global sports spending spree – including its proposed takeover of golf’s PGA Tour – are coming under fire in Washington for possible violations of federal disclosure laws.

Four prominent consulting firms, including McKinsey, have been accused of refusing to fully comply with subpoenas for information about their work for the oil-rich kingdom by the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations. The Senate panel has been conducting an inquiry into authoritarian governments’ efforts to deploy soft power and other influence strategies in the US.


So far, the consultancies have only provided information of “limited substantive value”, according to a memo released to the media by the committee’s Democratic chairman, Richard Blumenthal.

But in a more serious turn of events for three of the firms, the senator has also strongly suggested that the consultancies could be violating federal disclosure rules – known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara) – by not formally declaring to US authorities that they are acting as agents of the Saudi government.... Executives from all four of the firms are due to testify in Washington on Tuesday.
For those that want to watch, it's on live at 15.30 EST (21.30 CET) on C-span3.

Edit- the whole Senate committee back and forth with the Saudis (who are playing hardball here) is at
https://www.blumenthal.senate.gov/n...its-inquiry-into-saudi-public-investment-fund
 
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I think there is room for a debate about 15-stage grand tours. Personally, I think the Tour should always stay 3 weeks but I wouldn't be against making the Giro and the Vuelta 15 stages. In 2020, the Vuelta had 18 stages and that worked fine. It felt like a normal grand tour. There are a lot of stages where there is a weak breakaway contesting the stage and nothing happens in GC and I think 15 stages could help get rid of these kind of stages. Plus it would mean far more riders would ride 2 or perhaps 3 GTs in a season which I think would be a good thing. The Tour always attracts the top riders anyway, and so I don't see why it is in their interest to shorten it. However the Giro and Vuelta would have vastly stronger start lists with only 15 stages and I think this could work well, I don't think it would reduce the number of GC days either just the number of breakaway stages and sprint stages

As for subs in the event of a crash, I don't hate this idea either. So long as all subs can never be a factor on GC (you can give them the time cut on every stage they missed) I do not see the harm. These are the biggest races in the calendar for these teams and if they have their teams decimated by crashes I do not see the harm in replacements
 
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Promoted teams (Lotto etc) to miss out, 2026 start date is what they are looking at.

More of that closed shop rubbish, hopefully De Lie stuffs them all in some big monuments this year.
 
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I agree.

I would like to see all three women's Grand Tours extend to around 15 days in the medium term.

The men's ones are fine as they are.
Yes that would be great and I think having both at 15 days would be good for equality too. The women's tdf was kinda far too reliant on the final weekend both times so far and it would be great if there was more action spread across longer
 
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.
The other thing about F1 and MotoGP that cycling simply cannot fit is that those sports have a uniform package; each race is approximately the same in length, duration or both. There is no longer (there once upon a time was) any aspect of "this event suits this team/driver/rider, this event suits this other one" which is an essential element of road cycling the sport. One-day races have different characteristics from stage races, and then each have multiple subdivisions of lengths and styles suiting different riders that a uniform package cannot offer. We've seen a few proposals over the years of a uniform stage race format including one TT, one mountain stage, one hilly stage, one sprint, and some variations thereof, and the problem is that the needs of pro cycling freezes out certain locations. The Dutch and Belgians could never provide a "mountain stage", but they're among the most passionately supportive cycling nations and racing in those countries brings its own unique challenges that the uniform format could never replicate elsewhere.

That's actually always been one of the most underrated elements of cycling. The most underappreciated contributor to the success that is the Tour de France every year is France itself, the vineyards, the châteaux, the gorges, the colourful displays as each town and village celebrates their national institution coming by. Too many races that have collapsed (the Deutschlandtour and the Tour of California as two prominent examples) have fallen foul of trying to be a mini-Tour de France, rather than using what is at their disposal to give their races their own unique local flavour. A race like the Coors Classic or the Peace Race are still remembered fondly to this day because they gave a unique, different feeling of racing. The Coors Classic with its crit stages, its use of the altitude, its use of the grid system to create technical and up-and-down stages in hilly towns without real climbs, truly felt like North American cycling, rather than the Tour of California feeling more like generic racing, but on American roads. This proposal goes the exact reverse and wishes to destroy all uniqueness to any race.
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.
Of course. The top teams' bigwigs want to share the pie with fewer people so they can continue to get fat (after all, they can already beat the field they have in front of them, so let's just restrict the field to the one that we know we can beat, and then we'll always win), and the smaller WT teams have FOMO because they know that if they don't get to join in, they'll be killed off by the proposal, so they're like... well, imagine if the Premier League proposed getting rid of relegation. Do you think Nottingham Forest, Luton Town or Burnley vote 'no'?
The French don't own a sport.
They do, though, own a race which is pretty much bigger than the sport to the casual audience. Just as the Indy 500 is bigger than the Indycar Series (and proved as much when IRL beat CART in the AOWR war in the 90s and early 2000s despite being the new startup and having worse cars, drivers, teams and less money... because a lot of casual fans watched AOWR once a year, and that was for the Indy 500), and the 24h du Mans is bigger than the World Endurance Championship (and we have seen a few occasions where FIA's sportscar regulations have been complete failures because ACO have not agreed with them and have kept their own rules for Le Mans, and too many teams decided that if you can't race at Le Mans, what's the point in having a car in one of those prototype or GT categories - causing FIA to scurry home with its tail between its legs and let ACO call the shots.

The Tour de France has a similar role within cycling. Back in the late 2000s, when the UCI started handing out ProTour licences to start-up teams like Radioshack and Leopard-Trek, they made room by demoting some of the weaker performing PT teams. Which, at the time, because we were deep in the péloton à deux vitesses era, largely meant French teams, to ASO's dissatisfaction. ASO fought against this, arguing that they only agreed to give automatic invites to the original ProTour teams, and any new teams therefore would still need wildcards. They were helped at that juncture because the Italian ProConti scene was really strong at the time with lots of high quality riders on ProConti teams - many thanks to the informal quarantine issue of course - and so RCS fell in line, because if they backed the same argument (especially knowing that a couple of PT teams like FDJ and Euskaltel might not take up their invites at the Giro as happened a couple of times in that era) they'd have more flexibility for wildcards. Eventually ASO and RCS won, teams like Bbox and Cofidis got reinvited to the big races, and Johan Bruyneel threw his toys out the pram spectacularly when the Vuelta chose not to invite Radioshack despite their PT status.

Now, of course, with the French teams having been favoured by the UCI's points system and an abject dearth of depth in the Italian pro péloton, this is no longer an issue that ASO or RCS face, but it does show that the authorities had to back down and acquiesce to the demands of ASO because who goes to the Tour de France is a much bigger deal than who has an automatic invite for the Tour of the UAE and the Tour of Guangxi.
 
Yes that would be great and I think having both at 15 days would be good for equality too. The women's tdf was kinda far too reliant on the final weekend both times so far and it would be great if there was more action spread across longer
Au contraire, I think what would be best for equality would be for the depth of the women's péloton to increase to the point where it can sustain proper Grand Tours of three weeks' duration. It's not there yet, but it's improving. We shouldn't be removing endurance from what is at its core an endurance sport. The women are actively campaigning to have longer and harder races and have been doing so for at least 20 years.