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Cofidis, Bouygues Telecom denied ProTour status

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May 6, 2009
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Bluebeard said:
Disappointed about this. Irritatingly the report doesn't mention anything about the reasons why they have been cut other than their low standing, which was not a decisive part of the criteria to my knowledge - does anyone know what actually are the criteria, aside the bond, the number of riders employed, and the race obligation?

I know Cofidis were in two minds last season about resigning for the Protour. Bouygues Telecom were looking like being sponsorless right up to the double stage win in the TDF. I am biased in being a fan of Bouygues Telecom, but I would have thought that their display of good attacking teams, their exemplary anti-doping record and their policy of developing youth would have been big pluses over many others. Perhaps they simply don't have enough money for them to be big enough for the UCI's glamour tour.

This all leads to the question of why have this huge decision, which would be a deciding factor for cyclists planning their careers, coming AFTER most transfers are decided / announced?

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BBox yes, Cofidis no. Unless you discount 2004 and 2007 for Cofidis. But I have been saying it all along, is a PT licence a big thing for both teams when they are going to have no trouble getting a ride at ASO events, the one's they actually care about?
 

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Cobber said:
Good point. I guess my problem is that I think everything belongs in the clinic!

Hehe.... well the reason I think it should be left here is that I would be interested in reading the opinions of other contributers who don't partake in The Clinic - as I feel this is an important general Cycling discussion.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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There's actually no point in being in the whole bloated PT circus, really - you have to pay a lot of money to schlep your ar*e around the world to ride races with uninteresting parcours like Tour Down Under, the new GP events in Canada so that Verbruggen's lapdog Pat the Prat can boast he has 'globalised' the sport (withe the help of best buddy Lance, of course).

I wouldn't have a problem with a proper promotion/relegation system - it should have been in place from the off, but doing it by the back door and encouraging certain teams at the expense of others is simply a joke.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Hehe.... well the reason I think it should be left here is that I would be interested in reading the opinions of other contributers who don't partake in The Clinic - as I feel this is an important general Cycling discussion.
When I first saw the condemnation of the UCI for denying BBox a license based solely upon their exemplary anti-doping policy, I shook my head. Good anti-doping policies belong through out the peleton, from the top pros down to the budding amateurs.

Complaining about BBox lost their license solely because of their anti-doping shows a larger prejudice on the commentors part than of the UCI's. Is an anti-doping policy the only criterion upon which we judge a Pro Team's worthiness?
 

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benpounder said:
When I first saw the condemnation of the UCI for denying BBox a license based solely upon their exemplary anti-doping policy, I shook my head. Good anti-doping policies belong through out the peleton, from the top pros down to the budding amateurs.

Complaining about BBox lost their license solely because of their anti-doping shows a larger prejudice on the commentors part than of the UCI's. Is an anti-doping policy the only criterion upon which we judge a Pro Team's worthiness?

I am curious as to why you quoted my post - as I have not yet offered an opinion as to why Cofiidis or BBox did not retain their licenses, except to say I was surprised at BBox and not surprised at Cofidis.

I have checked the UCI website to see why BBox and Cofidis are excluded however as yet their is no reason given.

Of course other criteria should be used - with the most important being that any team has the required finances to sustain their licenses.

But in a sport with the credibility problems that Pro Cycling has - a teams ethics should be much higher on the list of priorities than results.
 
However, taking his criteria to the logical conclusion.
New teams don't feature in any ranking system, so, without serving at least a year's probabtion, aquiring a ranking, they cannot qualify above these two teams and so aquire a PT licence, no?

That would the football equivalent a new team, call it Midlands United, being formed and Portsmouth being booted out of the Premiership, so they could be fitted in.

Which, is exactly what will happen in Radio Shack's case.

Meanwhile, Pat McRulefree, will find another set of criteria to ensure Astana are culled, too.

Which brings us all back to the reason d'etre behind the PT, that of the stabalisation of the pro team's infrastructure.

Nice one, Mr P.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Inspired by, but not in spescific response to:
bianchigirl said:

Recently I've been thinking on how the UCI could reduce the Pro Teams to about 12. Primary reason being that local race organizers know how best to promote their race - allow the wildcards. But at the same time, the Pro Tour does enforce participation of teams who would rather not participate, thus boosting the underlying draw for the minor races.

On another thread, I've agreed that the UCI ought to test reductions in team size. I dont think that is enough. I'd like to see a Pro field of 12-15 teams. My nascent proposal: each qualified nation can field one team, and if there are vacant slots, the top five nations (as determined by World Championship rankings) battle out the remaining slots .

For example, countries such as Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, US, Australia, UK, and Germany that have had strong teams, will continue to have a Pro team. Countries such as Russia(Katusha), South Africa(Barloworld), or Canada(Cervelo), if they have the team firepower and the economic where-with-as they should be allowed entry. That is only thirteen teams. Bumb it to fifteen with your non-mentioned Pro Team favorites, then add another 5-7 teams as you (or the organizers) see fit. What this could facilitate is what the organizers of the UCI dreamed of. A world class field with lots of local heros to garner more attention.

Please note, this is a new idea in my mind, presented to the mostly thoughtful forums.cyclingnews.com community for comment/scrutiny.

[myedit]I am using a modification of how the FIS governs the ski racing community - Participation is ultimately predicated upon results.
 
benpounder said:
our math agrees, I just took a different path. Last I read, Fuji management is on the verge of giving up. Did not know that Sky already was granted a license, but that, for me, was never in question.

I havent seen anything regarding BMC and a Pro license, but with the firepower they picked up, seems to be a shoo-in. Classics and minor Classics, any NorAm race, and most of the prestigeous European one week stage races. The only thing they are lacking is a legitimate GT GC contender, but then only half of the Pro Teams have that, and only because the real GC riders are targeting something else.

BMC has to apply for a license to get one but since they haven't applied they can't get one this year.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
I am curious as to why you quoted my post
Because you said this:
Hehe.... well the reason I think it should be left here is that I would be interested in reading the opinions of other contributers who don't partake in The Clinic.
As someone who does seem to know about the particulars of the doping world, I offered you a non-doping reason as to why Cofidis and BBox were denied ProTour status. Not an indictment, just an honest answer to an honest question.
 
benpounder said:
True... do you not think they are not aiming for one?

In the future they might be. But that's a diffrent issue because that doesn't affect this years decisions for 2010. I don't know if any other teams than Milram only have licenses for 2010 but I'm guessing at least a few of the current teams are up for renewal next year so if BMC wants to apply next year there might be other spots open.
 
i don't think Confidis or BBox really care as long as they get to ride the tour, which they no doubt will...

Cervelo were incredibly sucessful last year considering their not pro tour, so it's not everything its cracked up to be
 

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benpounder said:
Because you said this:As someone who does seem to know about the particulars of the doping world, I offered you a non-doping reason as to why Cofidis and BBox were denied ProTour status. Not an indictment, just an honest answer to an honest question.

Appreciate the clarification - this is why I think this thread should remain on the General Forum, as if it gets moved to the Clinic it will quickly be just about the ethics of teams.

However ethics does play a large part in the UCI's statement on Pro Tour quality teams ; this quote from the UCI Protour website.

The UCI ProTour is a quality label awarded to teams and events who comply with a very strict series of conditions: excellent sporting quality, an unconditional respect of ethical considerations, impeccable legal compliance and assurances of financial stability

I will be interesting to see the exact reasons offered by the UCI - but given the above statement I am curious to see what BBox did that has not qualified them.

If - as has been suggested earlier - it is solely as a lack of UCI points then this calls in to question which is higher on the UCI's priority list, results or ethics - and as we know from the history of the sport the two are not compatible.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
... then this calls in to question which is higher on the UCI's priority list, results or ethics...
As much as I like to think of cycling as noble, honest, and ethical, I have no illusions that what drives the governing organization is results. Any organization putting on a race, while paying lip service, and more (sometimes much more), to anti-doping, wants first and foremost the race to be a financial success. I'm not condenming the profit motive, just recognizing how it may conflict.
 

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benpounder said:
As much as I like to think of cycling as noble, honest, and ethical, I have no illusions that what drives the governing organization is results. Any organization putting on a race, while paying lip service, and more (sometimes much more), to anti-doping, wants first and foremost the race to be a financial success. I'm not condenming the profit motive, just recognizing how it may conflict.

I don't think your above statements should be true.

For the sponsors - obviously results are an important consideration - but the UCI should be encouraging sponsors to partake in the sport by being able to guarantee their place in certain key events.
 

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benpounder said:
I think it is true...

...whether or not it should be true is an entirely different dicussion, and likely better relegated to the Clinic.

Agreed - and thats all I pointed out is that it should not be true.

The UCI makes it revenues from various sources - but it is not dependent on results but more on having participants ie teams.

My point here is that results should not be that high a priority when issuing Pro Tour licenses.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
I don't think your above statements should be true.

For the sponsors - obviously results are an important consideration - but the UCI should be encouraging sponsors to partake in the sport by being able to guarantee their place in certain key events.

Actually, (and unfortunately) I think benpounder's statement is pretty true. There are some cyclists (purposefully not naming names) that attract more interest, and thus money, than the rest, and it is in the UCI's interest for these athletes to appear clean. Unfortunately, it is not in the sports interest, but it is definitely in the UCI's interest.
 

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Cobber said:
Actually, (and unfortunately) I think benpounder's statement is pretty true. There are some cyclists (purposefully not naming names) that attract more interest, and thus money, than the rest, and it is in the UCI's interest for these athletes to appear clean. Unfortunately, it is not in the sports interest, but it is definitely in the UCI's interest.
Well certainly I can agree with that point -but I believe that 'benpounders' theory is that it is results based - and I dont see why that is necessarily a UCI consideration.

Obvioulsy if a Pro Conti team out performs a ProTour team that is looking to renew its licence then it could be used as part of the criteria.
However we have Sky with no proven record getting a licence and an established team liked BBox being refused.

The whole purpose of the ProTour was to provide stability in the sport - a management company gets a licence that allows them participation in particular events and can then approach investors (sponsors) with those gaurantees.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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craig1985 said:
laugh.gif


BBox yes, Cofidis no. Unless you discount 2004 and 2007 for Cofidis. But I have been saying it all along, is a PT licence a big thing for both teams when they are going to have no trouble getting a ride at ASO events, the one's they actually care about?

Uhm, I thought I made it clear that I was talking about BBT, NOT Cofidis, by not mentioning them for a couple of sentences, and starting that sentence talking about being fan of BBT. The whole youth development system certainly doesn't apply to Cofidis, who I think see themselves a little as Big-Time-Charlies, and I'm not all that sure they are that much an attacking team, certainly not prior to about two years ago. I would say that they were somewhat unlucky in 2007, but they were probably the last major French team to embrace the anti-doping ideal at the top. As I said earlier in the post, they had been reconsidering their place in the protour last season, but, if I recall correctly, they decided that the guarantee of an invitation to the Tour and the Vuelta made it worthwhile.

As for BBT, they do contest the protour rather avidly, sending decent squads to all the PT events, albethem short of the big money big name stars. Fédrigo was captain for the Vuelta and Voeckler in the Giro, leading the TV category at one stage. The focus is of course not on them, so people forget about them. If my French is anyway functional (please someone correct me if wrong) Bernadeau is unimpressed with the decision, as plans had been made to travel to the TDU, but now they are uncertain of a start. Going back to my earlier point, but from a different angle, this is very late for this kind of info to be decided, which is a different but also significant point.

And on the point of not bothering outside your own country, could the same accusation not be leveled at Euskaltel? What noteworthy results have they had outside of Spain this year? Martinez in polka dots for three or four days and Astarloza's stained 16th stage in the TDF is the only victory I can recall (BBT's Fédrigo was 3rd or 2nd on the stage, depending on the decision, though that may have been different had Astarloza not taken off when he did).

I admit to being biased, but I do think that Bouygues Telecom do animate a lot of races and tend to bring a lot more to races than they are given credit for. I also think that the fact that they don't feature any anglophones in their squad means that the anglophonic media is inclined to forget about them when they win something other than a stage in the Tour De France. A BBT, Trofimov, won a stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, something that Contador was enthusiastic enough about to win, but nothing of that.
 
Weren't the teams planning to split away from the ProTour about 2 years ago? If only.. :rolleyes:

Is it really that much of a big deal? ASO, Unipublic and RCS invite who they like anyway and ProTour is only Amstel Gold, Gent-Wev, Flanders, Dauphine and a few other half-classics and short-stage races.

I think someone else mentioned a promotion/relegation system, which would make a lot more sense than the 'system' we have now.