Financial Fair Play

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Apart from the purpose-built cycling circuits at Krylatskoye Ring and Izu, however, I can't name any that were built fully for cycling, and safety concerns and changes in logistics have meant that the sprawling, extensive motor racing circuits of sufficient length to make a cycling circuit that isn't going to see half the field lapped are few in number now.

There are a number of occasions in the past where the World Championships have used motor racing venues - I may have missed one or two but I think this is comprehensive:
Where a motor racing venue comprised the entire course: 1927 Nürburgring, 1954 Solingen (Klingenring), 1960 Karl-Marx-Stadt (Sachsenring), 1965 San Sebastián (Circuito Lasarte-Oria), 1966 Nürburgring, 1969 (amateurs) Brno (Masaryk Ring) and 1978 Nürburgring.
Where a circuit incorporated the motor racing venue for start/finish but also used surrounding roads to extend course/add obstacles: 1958 Reims-Gueux, 1959 Zandvoort, 1968 Imola, 1969 (professionals) Zolder, 1970 Leicester (Mallory Park), 1973 Barcelona (Montjuïc Park) and 2002 Zolder.
Where a circuit did not start/finish at a motor racing venue but nevertheless incorporated part of it within the course: 1962 Salò di Garda and 1982 Goodwood.

Of those courses where a motor racing venue comprised the entire course, the Nürburgring is the only one which is a permanent road course, not one which utilized public roads. The Klingenring and Circuito Lasarte-Oria have long since passed into disuse, while the Sachsenring has been reprofiled like Spa-Francorchamps into a shorter course, and a brand new permanent facility has been built in the 1980s within the confines of the old Masaryk-Ring, so the roads are still there but the amenities have all gone to the new course. Of the courses where the motor racing venue was incorporated, Reims-Gueux and Montjuïc Park were street circuits which have since passed into disuse, Salò di Garda was a motorcycle street circuit which was different to the Worlds course but included some of the same stretches, while Zandvoort has been significantly shortened and extensively reprofiled since, leaving just Imola, Zolder and the two British venues (neither of which are in regular use anymore for competitive motorsport, though the latter retains its stands for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a heritage event). The Imola circuit has been resurrected twice in the Giro in recent years and Zolder can raise money from selling stand seating for its cyclocross events to supplement any interest in road.

Purpose-built motor racing venues are simply not of sufficient length to host major event type bike racing other than as a stage finish, and I'm not sure you could really justify the expenditure of paying for grandstand seating if you're only going to see the riders come by once for a sprint finish such as, say, Motorland Aragón in the Vuelta in 2012; Laguna Seca at least got some time gaps, but even so the action was at the top of the hill, into the Corkscrew, not at the finish line. Everywhere else that paid stands and paid fan zones have been implemented - Richmond, Box Hill and so on - the riders have passed multiple times and the sites have either been the known decisive part of the course or the finish (and realistically if we're getting fans to pay for stadium seating at a motor racing venue, it's going to be the finish). I know that the Ronde van Vlaanderen has had some success with getting paying customers for only seeing the action two or three times on the Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont, but that's in a race with >100 years of history and those being already-established iconic locations. Similarly to Laguna Seca, you could have finishes at circuits with significant elevation change that has the opportunity to create an exciting final few kilometres, such as İstanbul Park, Autopolis, Portimão, Red Bull Ring or Road Atlanta - the latter of which was also used in the Tour of Georgia to host a time trial - which is also frequently what motorsport courses are used for in stage racing, such as Miller Motorsports Park in the Tour of Utah or TT Circuit Assen in the Vuelta in 2009 - though both of these have their drawbacks as options for driving the profitability potential of staging a race (if the stage just finishes at the circuit, it's hard to justify the expenditure if you only see the riders once, and while a TT lets you see all the riders, it's also the most limited as a spectacle for the audience when it is viewing from a distance as it would be up in the stands).

Reasonably-speaking, to host a stage race you would not want to have a circuit so short that people are getting pulled from the course for getting lapped (imagine surviving a 40-minute time cut in the mountains, then being eliminated for being lapped on a 3km circuit in a flat stage), and likewise to host a one-day race of the highest level you'd want a reasonably long circuit (I think for a championship of any real level, 11-12km is the minimum), and there are no fully permanent motor racing courses of that length nowadays. The Nürburgring is the exception, as it always has been, but everything else is either incorporating a mix of permanent and temporary facilities, such as the Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe, temporary in extremis, such as the Isle of Man Mountain Course, or has either been reprofiled into a shorter course (Sachsenring, Spa-Francorchamps, Schleizer Dreieck, Charade) or fallen into disuse (Reims-Gueux, Pescara, Schottenring, Solitudering). Interlagos might hold the Copa América de Ciclismo, but there we're talking a pretty small-scale event. Likewise, short flat circuits are not such a problem in short stage races that don't really have any history or prestige, such as the Yas Marina Circuit in the Tour of Abu Dhabi, at least if they're the final stage. We have seen them in some longer ones, but not with any great effect (Barcelona-Montmeló in the Volta a Catalunya, for example).

As a result, you'd have to look at that second group, courses where you could incorporate part of the current permanent facility along with the roads surrounding the area to create a challenging course. Spa is a perfect opportunity because while the course was reprofiled in the late 1970s, it was still partly public roads from Stavelot through Blanchimont to La Source, and then from La Source through Eau Rouge-Radillon and down the Kemmel Straight until the mid 2000s, and so the connection to the old Spa course is still there, and you could have a Worlds/Euros championship race on the old Spa circuit as a result. Imola, as we know, still offers those opportunities and with differing numbers of circuits provides different results - the two winners in recent Giri there have been Ilnur Zakarin and Sam Bennett, not especially similar rider types! Another great example would be the Mount Panorama Circuit in Australia, although that's technically fully a street circuit; it's just over 6km long, but connects fully to the town of Bathurst outside it - however the section of circuit that you'd skip would be the home straight, with the stands in it, which rather limits the usefulness of the course for driving income from sale of grandstand seating! Circuit de la Sarthe would work for this, as the full course is 13,6km in length, but it is however predominantly flat. The Circuit de Charade is perhaps more suited, but even then, while we could extend from the present 4km circuit to the old course which was very hilly and technical in the Puys of the Auvergne, it was still only 8km in length and would require some extension - after all, there do remain some legacy circuits which are up in the 7-8km range which could feasibly be options if we were going to accept that as a distance - Spa's new layout is 7km, Road America is 6,5km, and Potrero de los Funes is 6,3km, all of which feature significant elevation changes and could produce some interesting racing, what with Road America's uphill dart to the line, and Potrero's set of switchbacks finishing 1km from the line.

Other options are of course being explored elsewhere - the 2020 Olympic Road Race will incorporate Fuji Speedway, postponing the Super GT 500miles of Fuji for the season, meaning there will be no "true" endurance race in the Super GT season next year, unfortunately, with the 1000km Suzuka falling out of their jurisdiction now. The circuit designed looks interestingly hilly, although the unnecessary and somewhat insulting disparity between the complexity of the men's and women's races has drawn much-deserved criticism, with the organisers and the UCI falling on the old Tour of California trick of claiming that the height metres compensates for a lack of selective obstacles - though I'm not sure why they wouldn't just use the Izu facility as that always generates good racing and would certainly merit the entrance fee to sit in the grandstands more than the speedway, which will only see the men twice mid-race and then once at the finish.

A lot of modern facilities do not have the direct connection to the outside roads that enable them to be used with that connectivity that Imola, Zolder, Goodwood and so on have had, but there are definitely possibilities out there. Le Castellet (Circuit Paul Ricard) could make an interesting stage finish in Paris-Nice or the Tour, located as it is in hills between La Ciotat and Toulon, and Mugello's location in the Apennines with its proximity to the Passo del Giogo, the Passo della Futa and Colla di Casaglia among several smaller climbs makes it a very enticing proposition also. In Britain, the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent would be close enough to London to attract a good crowd and presumably be much cheaper than closing central London roads for the Tour of Britain - the circuit is short but it has tarmacked entry and exit points and is in a range of small hills similar to those used in the London Olympic Road Race. Spain held stages of the Volta a Catalunya at Montmeló, and Circuit de Navarra at Los Arcos has hosted the Vuelta a couple of times, but both are in relatively geographically uninteresting areas of otherwise promising race locations. The Autodromo Internacional de Algarve in Portimão would be promising for the Volta ao Algarve or maybe a Portugal (I did consider it for a prologue of the Vuelta in a prospective Race Design Thread design) because it has a lot of elevation changes - all only 200m or so in length but it's a real rollercoaster of a motor racing circuit, worse than Sonoma or Inje Speedium. It could also appear as a finish directly off a descent of the Serra de Monchique/Foia climb that has been used in the Volta ao Algarve in recent years - though a circuit introducing that would be around 40-50km in length.

Some more complex street circuits could be incorporated into longer circuits around the surrounding area potentially, a bit like the Monaco ITT in the 2009 Tour de France. These areas frequently utilise temporary seating, although some, such as the Norisring in Germany, use existing stanchions. Even so, the infrastructure to bring in that temporary seating is there, so it would be relatively doable. The Pau street circuit includes a steep but short climb and is renowned as a technical challenge for drivers, while Macau's Guia Circuit is the stuff of legend. The recent fad for part-permanent, part-temporary circuits, borne out of (often oil-rich) countries trying to buy themselves some popularity with a glamorous location trying to feed off of what people love about other people's circuits, offers other possibilities, such as Singapore's Marina Bay Street Circuit and the Baku Street Circuit which has some similarities to the course used for the 2015 European Games Road Race.
A couple of the venues you mention in Britain have been used for cycling.

Brands Hatch and the roads around it were the venue for the Paralympic Cycling in 2012 - Zanardi returning to win medals.

The 2017 British Championships used the Mountain Course on the Isle of Man - 2 laps and then a local circuit in Douglas for the men.
With regard the thoroughly fascinating cul de sac of grandstands:

* When it comes to the use of motor-racing circuits, the Velon events I think are showing the limits of this.

* An historical perspective: back in dawn of time, most road races finished in vélodromes, from Bordeaux-Paris, through Paris-Roubaix, and on to the Tour de France. If the finish was scheduled for the afternoon, you could have other events on to amuse the punters and justify the ticket price. If the finish was happening in the morning, well you could sell your tickets for a lower price. Vélodrome finishes only ended in the 1970s, when the Tour left the Cipale and took to the Champs Élysées. Paris-Roubaix, of course, still finishes in a vélodrome: folk who've been in the stands for the race arrival can offer their take on how that works, from a fan's perspective. You also have some recent experiences from the Tour and the Giro.

* The Giro finished with laps of the Imola circuit in 2015 and 2018, didn't it? Anyone got any pics of the grandstands and how packed they were? The Tour used the vélodrome in Marseille in 2018, for a joint men + women's day: anyone there on the day can report on how it worked out? Spa was visited by the Tour in 2017 - anecdotes / pics, anyone?

* The general argument against circuit finishes – it's mean to fight to survive a 40-minute time cut in the mountains and get pulled for being lapped on a 3km circuit – is easily circumvented: you take the stage time at the entrance to the circuit. This is what has been happening in the sport pretty much since stage racing was invented. Today, every now and again some hack gets his knickers in a twist when it happens in the Giro d'Italia, forgetting that it also regularly happens at the Tour of California.

* Why are races seemingly using pavilions in preference to temporary grandstands? Could it be economics? Pavilions may pack fewer people than a grandstand, but pavilions can make more money from hospitality than a grandstand. In between laps, in a pavilion you're off getting a beer and a burger, whereas if you're in the stands you tend to stay in the stands, getting cold and bored.

* Temporary grandstands are used by the Tour, I think, on the Champs Élysées, but IIRC that's for VIP guests, as a kindness to their ageing knees.
People have a tendency to repeat the mantra about cycling's failing economic model as if the sport had just a single model. Within the World Tour alone, a couple of different economic models driving teams can be seen:

Commercial teams: AG2R, Bora – Hansgrohe, CCC, Deceuninck – Quick-Step, EF Education First, Groupama – FDJ, Lotto Soudal, Mitchelton – Scott, Movistar, Dimension Data, Ineos, Jumbo – Visma, Sunweb, Trek – Segfredo.

Quasi-national teams: Astana, Bahrain-Meridea, Katusha, UAE.

The commercial teams rely on their ability to attract sponsors, the quasi-national teams don't have to (but may choose to).

To confuse the matter somewhat, some of the commercial teams rely on sponsors seeking to benefit from sport's halo effect (eg Ineos), which is also what the quasi-national teams are doing.

A further kink sees some of the commercial-minded sponsors – sponsors seeking to drive sales through their association with cycling – operate as the passion project of someone in the sponsor (eg AG2R) while others are more likely to be operating relatively short-term multi-year marketing campaigns (eg Bora).

So, if you take some of the problems commonly identified, maybe they're not really problems. Take sponsors leaving the sport (which is actually what people tend to mean when they repeat the canard that teams are folding every year for a lack of revenue). If you're a proper commercial sponsor (eg Deceunick), and not an endemic sponsor (eg Trek), you probably should be leaving the sport relatively quickly, after three to seven years, which is a good length for that sort of marketing campaign.

You could argue that the passion project sponsors (eg FDJ) who stick around too long are holding the sport back: the team is unwilling to risk seeking a new sponsor but isn't getting the level of funding it could if it took that risk. Fact is, some team owners are too cautious, accept the relative comfort of what they've got rather than making the effort of looking for more.

However, while folk can say that they want more commercially-minded sponsors in the sport, you have to accept that that is going to bring with it a higher level of sponsor churn: the solution to commercial uncertainty will bring about greater commercial uncertainty.
Let's look at the World Tour races and put to rest that recently introduced canard about race organisers barely breaking even.

In the same way that teams can be split between commercial and non-commercial teams, the races that make up the World Tour can be split into commercial and non-commercial categories. The main commercial races are obvious, if you consider their organisers:

  • ASO's Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Eschborn–Frankfurt, Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour de France, Vuelta a España
  • RCS's Milan-Sanremo, Strade Bianche, Tirreno–Adriatico, Giro d'Italia, Il Lombardia
  • Flanders Classics's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent–Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Ronde van Vlaanderen
  • Dalian Wanda (Infront)'s Tour de Suisse, EuroEyes Cyclassics, Tour of Guangxi
  • AEG's Tour of California
  • Groupe Serdy's GP de Quebéc, GP de Montréal
  • Sweetspot / London Marathon's London-Surrey Classic
Of the World Tour's three Grand Tours, 14 short stage races, and 21 one day races, 25 of the 37 can be classed as clearly commercial, owned/operated by seven for-profit businesses.

What of the other 13 races? Some of these are clearly non-commercial events. Consider the opening two races of the season: the Tour Down Under and Great Ocean Race. These are tourism events organised by the Government of South Australia and the State Government of Victoria. The next race in the calendar, the UAE Tour, is similarly a state-sponsored event, regardless of whether you think its goal is tourism or soft power. These races think more in terms of break-even than profit. That doesn't mean they aren't well financed, and in fact they can be more willing to spend money on teams than other races (a few years ago, I was told by one team manager that the Tour Down Under was paying in the region of $30-40,000 as an appearance fee, when the UCI-mandated figure was only €7,500).

The remaining 10 races, they're somewhat complicated, tending to be historic events with local organising committees. The Tour de Romandie is probably the most stable of these 10 races, even though it is the only race its organiser puts on. The Vuelta al País Vasco and the Clásica de San Sebastián are both organised by the Organizaciones Ciclistas Euskadi. The Three Days of Bruges–De Panne and the E3 BinckBank Classic are both presided over by Rob Discart, while the BinckBank Tour has a different organiser. The Volta a Catalunya has a local organising committee. The Presidential Tour of Turkey is the property of the Turkish cycling federation. The France Bretagne Classic Ouest–France has a local organising committee.

The problem with these smaller races is they tend to be personality-driven with a weak succession plan: the France Bretagne Classic Ouest–France is a good case in point. It was created by one man with a vision.

In considering revenue sharing, you have to consider the three different types of race organiser. The London-Surrey Classic and the France Bretagne Classic Ouest–France are two very different races, despite how similar they may seem. The former has deeper pockets than people might think, the latter probably is just about surviving hand to mouth.

Each of the big, commercially-minded organisers is in a position to sell TV rights internationally. In fact, they also subcontract in to other races to sell their TV rights (the Tour Down Under uses ASO, the UAE Tour uses RCS). The smaller races are in a weaker position: the future of the France Bretagne Classic Ouest-France was thrown into doubt in February 2019 when France Télévisions withdrew its coverage, but then reversed its decision a few days later.
The argument that only one or two World Toru races are making money is pure nonsense. ASO went out of its way to acquire Paris-Nice (they tried to drive Laurent Fignon out of business after he took over the race from the founding Leulliot family) and the Critérium du Dauphiné. ASO is not a charity. Consider the decision of the parent group, Editions Philippe Amaury, to sell off the newspaper Le Parisienne: this was one of the first papers created by the group founder in the aftermath of World War II. But when the widow of the founder's son was faced with a paper that was losing money she sold it on.

The accounts of individual ASO races may suggest there's no money in ASO's other races, but how do you decide how to allocate the money from sponsors of the Dauphiné who also sponsor other ASO races? Or how do you decide how much of the money from a package of TV rights goes to the Dauphiné and how much goes to other races? Accountancy is less a science and more about telling a story, and there are different ways of telling the story when there are common income sources, and common costs.

Even among the smallest 10 races, the economic power of each differs. The Tour de Romandie has a solid commercial basis, it has strong links with the Swiss federation. The three Spanish races, the French race, they are much weaker.

In terms of the TV rights: consider that the Australian races want their events seen overseas by prospective tourists. They want the coverage more than TV companies want the content. That puts the right seller in a weaker position when it comes to extracting cash from the broadcaster: the race wants eyeballs, not profit.

Or consider the way ASO already packages events, particularly its deal with the EBU. The last time I looked, that deal covered Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Tour de France, as well as non-cycling events including the Dakar Rally. In Ireland, only one of those races is picked up by one of the EBU-affiliated broadcasters, the Tour de France. In the UK, it's a similar story, ITV 4 not bothering with most of the races it has access to. So even when the events are available at little or no cost to the broadcaster, the interest is simply not there. What can be done to get broadcasters to show other races? Local heroes help, if they're in with a shot at victory and not just pack fodder. We see this across the globe, from German to Columbia, from America to Kazakhstan.
At this stage, no one really believes that TV rights are going to make much of a difference to the budgets of teams: even Jonathan Vaughters has recanted and said there isn't the money there today to make much of a difference. Why people obsess about TV rights is not clear, not when you look at the sources of income open to race organisers:

  • Jersey sponsors;
  • Other brand-partner opportunities
  • Host towns/cities;
  • Merchandising;
  • Ticketing/hospitality;
  • TV revenue;
  • Ancillary mass-participation events.
Why obsess about one revenue stream that you then claim is not available to most race organisers when the full mix of revenue streams offers a greater pot to demand a share of?

Ancillary mass-participation events are key to the involvement of people like Wang Jianlin (Dalian Wanda) in the sport: it is true that he enquired whether ASO was for sale, but while most people like to think it was the Tour de France he wanted to own, looking at the rest of his portfolio of sports events (World Triathlon Corp etc) ASO's range of mass-participation events – from the Étape du Tour to the Paris Marathon – seem more likely to have caught his attention.

The growth of mass-participation events has come along at a fortuitous moment for race organisers. For many years they have benefited form effective public subsidies (policing, road closures etc) but these are increasingly being turned into costs. Policing – security in general – is a growing problem, especially so in the aftermath of atrocities like the Île-de-France attacks (January 2015 ), the Paris attacks (November 2015), and the Nice attack (July 2016). Demanding more money from race organisers at time when they are being hit with more urgent demands from others is a case of bad timing on the part of the teams.

One thing that would help the teams press their case better would be to stop imagining the sport to be made up of loss-making races, with only the Tour turning a profit. The number of commercially-minded organisers involved in the sport is far greater than is traditionally suggested. Jonathan Vaughters has a tendency to talk the sport down in order to preach his creed of revolution. I'm not going to say we need to talk the sport up, we shouldn't. But presenting it as it really is would make it harder for some race organisers to plead the poor mouth.

As I've said before, the principle of revenue sharing is now entrenched in the sport, through UCI-mandated appearance fees. Yes, it doesn't amount to a lot of money: the UCI-mandated fee is €8,500 per WT race, except the Grand Tours, where the figure as agreed with the AIGCP is around €50,000. So, over the course of a season, a WT team is only going to get half a million euro or so from appearance fees for WT races. Add in fees from other races and you're still not hitting a million. Even doubling the fees currently paid (not going to happen) has no material impact. But it does shift the balance of power.

The appearance fee, it is revenue sharing, that long-sought goal of the teams that goes all the way back to the 1924 Giro d'Italia. And, seen from the opposite side of the scales, it does take a chunk of change from race organisers. For WT teams at WT races alone, ASO is handing over close to €3m. ASO's annual profit, across all its sports (motor racing, mass participation events, sailing, and golf, as well as cycling) totals €45m, give or take a few quid. Add in appearance fees at other races, and about 10% of ASO's total profit is shared with cycling teams through appearance fees.

Remember, that's 10% of ASO's total profit, and that includes money from things like the Dakar Rally (which recently signed a deal to move to Saudi Arabia). Ask yourself how much of ASO's profit you think really comes from bike races. Then figure out what proportion of that ASO should share. Where we're at today is probably much closer to where you think we should be than you realise.

One of the problems with the current revenue sharing deal is that setting the appearance fees is down to the UCI. They've only increased that once since it came in, rising from €7,500 to €8,500 a couple of years ago. It really should be growing, even if only marginally, every year. In the same period in which the UCI-mandated appearance fee paid by WT race organisers to WT teams grew by just 13%, the licence fee the UCI extracts from the Tour de France for being part of the WT grew by 35%, from €105,000 to €141,750.

The appearance fees at the three Grand Tours, they're negotiated by the AIGCP and the race organisers. I'm not aware of them increasing even once since they were introduced (the race organisers stopped disclosing the figure a couple of years ago and generally the teams prefer the mushroom principle when it comes to their finances, keep you in the dark and feed you ***). So there's also a problem there: an ineffectual trade body and race organisers being hit from other sides for a greater share of the wealth (especially those security costs).
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To continue this as it's the most sensible line of discussion. Hopefully fmk_RoI will correct any mistakes I make in reading the accounts, I'm not great at it:

The Richmond World Championships (and all of the other WCs, I can't find a breakdown of them based on discipline) netted the UCI ~10 million USD. This seems like a reasonable amount, but in reality it's a tiny amount if it's going to be shared. This is also not the full story, as in 2015 the UCI operated at a loss of ~1 million USD. While it's possible that the RRWC made some of that 10 million it's hard to break down, especially as several of the other events will be 100% ticketed (track WC, MTB XC and DH, BMX and so one). It's also likely that the road WCs are significantly more expensive to organise, they may even run at a loss.
That's correct, up to a point.

The Worlds are somewhat complicated and need to be considered separate from the World Tour races. Let's take the road Worlds. This has a somewhat complicated structure, you've effectively got two organisers. The UCI sells the rights to host the event (for a multi-million Euro sum) and pockets the TV revenue from the week's racing. The host organiser picks up the tab for putting on the event (security, road closures, etc). These costs can be offset by revenue raised from sponsors and ticketing/hospitality.

Looked at from the point of view of the UCI, the Worlds are a profit-making event. In fact, the week's racing of the road Worlds probably makes more money for the UCI than our best estimates suggest ASO earns from the Tour de France. That money is one of the UCI's key sources of revenue (outside of its IOC grant). The IOC money the UCI gets tends to pay for the sport side of the UCI's purpose, the Worlds pay for the bureaucracy.

Looked at from the point of view of the organisers, however, the financial picture of the Worlds is different:

  • they can be loss-making (Bergen)
  • they can be break-even (Yorkshire)
  • they can be profit-making (Richmond)
(I'm saying Yorkshire is break-even as that seems most likely, given Welcome to Yorkshire are using it to drive tourism, not profit. I'm saying Richmond was profit-making given it was organised by one of the McQuaids. Bergen, we know, was loss-making largely because of the ineptitude of the organising committee. Also, I should acknowledge that the UCI would claim that all Worlds are profit making it you look at the economic impact assessments, but economic impact assessments are Mickey Mouse mathematics and best ignored.)

An interesting part of the Worlds was the trade team time trial. This was brought back in 2012 at the behest of the teams. The teams wanting it, the UCI decided it didn't need to pay an appearance fee. However, the UCI then decided to treat it as a World Tour event by adding points earned there to the team ranking. While still insisting they didn't need to pay an appearance fee because it was an event the teams wanted. When the teams demanded appearance money, the event got killed.

So, the UCI can be seen as a real roadblock when it comes to appearance fees, not wanting to pay them at their own races, not showing much willingness to increase them regularly at World Tour races.
So you say you want cycling to introduce salary caps?
The Premiership champions, Saracens, have been handed a 35-point deduction and fined £5m after they were found to have breached salary cap regulations.

The draconian punishment from Premiership Rugby has left Saracens “shocked and disappointed”. It followed an investigation into the club’s practices over the past nine months after it came to light that Saracens’ most high profile players, including England internationals Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers, had entered into investment or property partnerships with the club chairman, Nigel Wray.

This, of course, is actually good news for those who support salary caps, for it proves that they can be properly policed and that sports using them are willing to suffer the reputational damage of publicly punishing those who breach them, even when the breaching occurred oover a number of years (the case covered the seasons 16/17, 17/18, and 18/19). (Although there is no willingness, it should be noted, to rewrite the results of the past: the 35 points are being deducted from next season's tally.)

But ... well ... cycling ... it doesn't have the best of reps when it comes to taking its medicine in public ... and it's got a deservedly awful rep of being able to police salary floors, let along caps, its policing of min salaries and pay-to-play contracts being abysmal.

In related news, I see that Vinokourov and Kolobnev have been cleared of collusion in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with it being argued that the €100k that was resting in Kolobnev's bank account was actually a property investment. Small world, innit?
So you say you want cycling to introduce salary caps?

This, of course, is actually good news for those who support salary caps, for it proves that they can be properly policed and that sports using them are willing to suffer the reputational damage of publicly punishing those who breach them, even when the breaching occurred oover a number of years (the case covered the seasons 16/17, 17/18, and 18/19). (Although there is no willingness, it should be noted, to rewrite the results of the past: the 35 points are being deducted from next season's tally.)

But ... well ... cycling ... it doesn't have the best of reps when it comes to taking its medicine in public ... and it's got a deservedly awful rep of being able to police salary floors, let along caps, its policing of min salaries and pay-to-play contracts being abysmal.

In related news, I see that Vinokourov and Kolobnev have been cleared of collusion in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, with it being argued that the €100k that was resting in Kolobnev's bank account was actually a property investment. Small world, innit?
The rumours around Sarries and salary cap violations have been going on for a while - denials from 2015

My memory is hazy (and I can't find articles to support it) but I think there were rumours about business ventures in South Africa that were paying Saracens' SA players back in the early 2010's when Wray joint owned the club with Remgro (a company owned by a South African) and Brendan Venter was coach.
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