I appreciate this aspect of the sport. To me, it's part of the complexity, and certainly part of the heritage. One of the fascinating things about bike racing, which I love both as a spectator trying to guess what's happening and as a participant (albeit an amateur one who sucks) is the fluid nature of relationships. In the simplest combination, when you break away with one opponent you become conspirators against the rest of the pack. You desperately need each other - right up until the point when you will turn on each other in the most vicious way. I like the ambiguity and the uncertainty, the unknowable nature of rivals and allies. This is no moral position; it's simply what it takes to win a bike race. Then, from this, it's pretty easy to see how non-fiscal deals might be struck: something like, maybe, ‘Help me win this one and I'll help you win the one in your hometown, when the time comes.' Or even something more strategic: ‘Look, we know you're the better sprinter but I'm going to drop you on the climb before the finish. I'll stay with you if you give me the sprint, so at least you'll get second.' From there, it's not such a leap to include money in these sorts of negotiations. So I see the origin of it, the sense. It's doesn't necessarily become a criminally or ethically dodgy act - sometimes it might be, sure, but I think a seasoned fan, especially one who's given it a go in the saddle at some point, is able to absorb some of the nuance.