If you were handing out Pro Tour Licenses

Jul 29, 2009
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How would you weight the different criteria in making your decision?

What would be the most important consideration?

Financial stability

Global appeal or nationality

"cleanliness"!

"Big Star" attraction

Strength of squad

Ability and desire to challenge throughout the year

Development of young talent

I can't think of anything else of at the moment and need to take the rubbish out but I'd like to hear other's opinions having a read an article about who might get Pro Tour licenses next year
 
Jun 22, 2010
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Strength of squad is obviously important. if some squad has more strength than all protour squads, it's going to look very odd. it should be the most important criterium.

I'm going to add another criterium: age. how long has the squad been in the peloton? how long has it been there on a high level. this is important because nowadays sponsors don't really stay very long, so teams don't have a fanbase. cycling is something you can do for two years to give your brand some appeal and then you get out of it because, hey, it costs money (Cervelo). those that do stay for a long time (like rabobank, eukaltel, lotto) should not have a hard time getting a license.

financial stability is also important, of course. But I would not really put a prime on it. sponsors would just cut budget in order to be more credible. besides, with dope nearly eliminated, what else is there to make a good newspaper story?

cleanliness is important, too. But I wouldn't say 'Hi Liquigas, last year one of your main men was caught. So you are out'. or 'Hi RS. your icon is under investigation. now you cannot ride the vuelta'. that stuff belongs to banana republics.
I would rather install a very harsh rule: one doping case and you are out of protour for a year. that will make the teams work reaaaally hard to archieve it. and the riders would, no doubt, work hard too (it's one thing if you get caught, but if all your mates get caught too, that would make you think twice). only next year I would start enforcing the rule. i.e. if Rocketboy riding for Dopesquad was caught in '11 with too many fireworks in his behinds, then I would boot Dopesquad from the protour for '12. then they could re-apply for a license in '13.

global appeal is something I don't care about when it comes to handing out protour licenses, it's more important when selecting protour courses. if all the great cycling teams come from Italy, then so be it.

"Big Star" attraction? usually if you have a big star, then your squad is strong enough. it should not be a criterium.

'Ability and desire to challenge throughout the year'. whatever. not important.

development of talent? not important.
 
Jun 22, 2010
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Strength of squad is obviously important. if some squad has more strength than all protour squads, it's going to look very odd. it should be the most important criterium.

I'm going to add another criterium: age. how long has the squad been in the peloton? how long has it been there on a high level. this is important because nowadays sponsors don't really stay very long, so teams don't have a fanbase. cycling is something you can do for two years to give your brand some appeal and then you get out of it because, hey, it costs money (Cervelo). those that do stay for a long time (like rabobank, eukaltel, lotto) should not have a hard time getting a license.

financial stability is also important, of course. But I would not really put a prime on it. sponsors would just cut budget in order to be more credible. besides, with dope nearly eliminated, what else is there to make a good newspaper story?

cleanliness is important, too. But I wouldn't say 'Hi Liquigas, last year one of your main men was caught. So you are out'. or 'Hi RS. your icon is under investigation. now you cannot ride the vuelta'. that stuff belongs to banana republics.
I would rather install a very harsh rule: one doping case and you are out of protour for a year. that will make the teams work reaaaally hard to archieve it. and the riders would, no doubt, work hard too (it's one thing if you get caught, but if all your mates get caught too, that would make you think twice). only next year I would start enforcing the rule. i.e. if Rocketboy riding for Dopesquad was caught in '11 with too many fireworks in his behinds, then I would boot Dopesquad from the protour for '12. then they could re-apply for a license in '13.

global appeal is something I don't care about when it comes to handing out protour licenses, it's more important when selecting protour courses. if all the great cycling teams come from Italy, then so be it.

"Big Star" attraction? usually if you have a big star, then your squad is strong enough. it should not be a criterium.

'Ability and desire to challenge throughout the year'. whatever. not important.

development of talent? not important.
 
BroDeal said:
I think I would decide things the same way they are decided now--by the size of the bribe...err...donation.
Nah.
I'd take their brown envelopes, then give their Licences to the teams that will provide season-long, attacking entertainment.

Who are they going to complain to? CAS?:D
 
all the teams from last year will get a renewal with the luxembourg team replacing milram. although to be fair only vaconsoleil would deserve a pro tour license on the strength of their squad but i dont see it happening
 
therealtimshady said:
all the teams from last year will get a renewal with the luxembourg team replacing milram. although to be fair only vaconsoleil would deserve a pro tour license on the strength of their squad but i dont see it happening
+ 1 they deserve it. They animate any race they are in. I saw highlights of the tour of Britain and they got everything but the gc. 2 stage wins. (1 of them a one two ) the sprint jersey the kom jersey and Bozic 2nd in gc.
And those 5 feats accomplished with 4 completely different riders.

And thats before you add 2 of the most attacking climbers in cycling to their squad.
 
Feb 18, 2010
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The Hitch said:
And thats before you add 2 of the most attacking climbers in cycling to their squad.
And Crrrrrrrazy Thomas de Gendt too. He was in the break at Tour of Britain every single day last year (that's what it felt like at least). He's excellent at channelling the spirit of Crrrrrrazy Johnny Hoogerland.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Strength of squad, but also how seriously they are going to take the pro-tour races, are they going to send strong teams, are they going to liven up the race, or are they going to send reserve riders for training sessions.
 
Jul 5, 2010
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Financial stability. Never give a license for longer then their sponsor contract. Without financial stability the rest is meaningless. But financial stability shouldn't be confused with a huge budget.

Strength of squad is the only other thing to look at. And one strong rider doesn't make a strong squad. If you have a team depending on 1-2 big names, then you don't belong in the Pro Tour. What if something happens with one of them? Then the coming weeks/months you got a team taking the place of a better team. Not to say you need big stars to get a license, but if it is all your team really offers... The strength of the squad gets determined by the added points of the best 8 riders.
With this in mind, I wouldn't give Team Schleck a license yet. It is a team with a strong TdF rider (Andy) and a rider who might do well in some classics (Frank). Not really special yet. A wildcard for the TdF and a classic or 2 would get you the same result. If they sign Cancellara it is a completely different story of course.
 
Should there perhaps be a small criterium that favors teams that have multiple nationalities over single nation dominated teams like Euskaltel and some other teams? The more international appeal the top teams have the better in my opinion.
 
Well... if I had anything to say in the matter (which I know I haven't...) I wouldn't be "handing out Pro-Tour licenses". I'd work for a system where every new team starts at the lower end of the system and had to work their way up... (and where a team could fall down again if they didn't get enough points)
 
ingsve said:
Should there perhaps be a small criterium that favors teams that have multiple nationalities over single nation dominated teams like Euskaltel and some other teams? The more international appeal the top teams have the better in my opinion.
Why?

I think more people in the Basque country watch cycling because of Euskaltel than people all over the world watch for example because of team Sky.
 
Arnout said:
Why?

I think more people in the Basque country watch cycling because of Euskaltel than people all over the world watch for example because of team Sky.
I doubt that that's true. The difference in viewership that a completely basque team would get over a basque team with more diversity is minimal in my estimation. Just having a team that has lots of basque riders is enough to get most viewers. Going all the way won't give any huge extra gains.

However when new countries can get their own riders into the top teams it can gain them the initial push in viewership that the basque already get by having a team in the first place. Just look at what has happened in Norway the last decade. Because of riders like Hushovd, Arvesen and EBH the media coverage is enormous now compared to before, the number of licensed cyclists have multiplied, they have four registered continental teams and a record number of active pros in the PT and ProCont teams. Making it easier for more countries to get the same development is not a bad thing.

I would much rather see a slovakian rider or a japanese rider in the top of the races rather than just another random spanish or italian rider.

Making the sport more international in any way possible is nothing but a positive thing. There is a reason why football is the biggest sport in the world, it's played everywhere.
 
I disagree absolutely 100%.

The reason there are a lot of Spaniards, Italians and Belgians in the péloton is because those are established cycling nations. Why should they be punished for having a surplus of good riders? It's positive discrimination to offer benefits to more international teams.

Let us not forget that teams like Sky came in with the intention of having British winners of this and that, and Pegasus have similar intentions for Australians. Why should they be given a leg-up because there aren't enough top quality Britons to make a whole team yet, while teams like Caisse and Euskaltel punished because there are enough top quality Spaniards?

And the most international teams are ones like Columbia - formed from the ashes of T-Mobile, which was a de facto German national squad for many years not dissimilar to the function Rabobank has for the Netherlands.

Also, the problem with this 'internationalism by any means' is that Patty's beloved 'globalisation' appears to extend solely to Anglo countries. Appealing to the big money johnny-come-lately US/UK/Aus teams is all well and good, but the big budgets already bias things in their favour before you factor in favouritism towards them. Sponsors like Euskaltel and Lotto have been in the sport for years, and punishing them for their less globalist policy is going to be one way to help drive them out. And I cannot see that as possibly being a good thing.

Also, I am not Basque. I love Euskaltel. I do not love Garmin, or Radioshack, I dislike Team Sky, and I outright loathe Columbia. The teams with history and with some kind of national feeling behind them have character; the Basques with their ikurriñas cheering their team on in the Pyrenées are part of the scenery. I vastly prefer a smaller team with character to a faceless corporate monolith, and many other fans are the same.
 
Couldn't have said it any better.

Why globalize for the sake of globalization? If there are any good riders, they will. But handing out ProTour tickets to trigger people to cycling to produce good riders, that's the wrong way round.

Cycling is about history more than about anything else, including and maybe especially money.

Look at football. That's all about money. Did it make anyone happier that there are some teams that have enough money to attract anyone and therefore have a guaranteed spot to the champions league?

I don't think so. Ultimately, passion is important for the sport. And passion doesn't come with big talk and big money.

Edit: Now I come to think of it, you are effectively saying that because there are good riders already, the team shouldn't be allowed. That's logic upside down.
 
Arnout said:
Why globalize for the sake of globalization?
It's not. It's globalization for the sake of making the sport better and more entertaining.

Libertine Seguros said:
The reason there are a lot of Spaniards, Italians and Belgians in the péloton is because those are established cycling nations. Why should they be punished for having a surplus of good riders? It's positive discrimination to offer benefits to more international teams.
I think it's the other way around a lot of the time. Talented cyclists from other countries are discriminated against because they're NOT spanish, italian or belgian etc. If you have a talented rider from non-traditional country then there are probably riders of roughly the same talent in the traditional countries. In those cases the domestic rider will certainly almost always get the contract. For a rider from a non-traditional country to compete he has to be something very special. That's the kind of bias that I would like for the system to do a little about. Just make the playground a little more fair for everyone.
 
ingsve said:
It's not. It's globalization for the sake of making the sport better and more entertaining.



I think it's the other way around a lot of the time. Talented cyclists from other countries are discriminated against because they're NOT spanish, italian or belgian etc. If you have a talented rider from non-traditional country then there are probably riders of roughly the same talent in the traditional countries. In those cases the domestic rider will certainly almost always get the contract. For a rider from a non-traditional country to compete he has to be something very special. That's the kind of bias that I would like for the system to do a little about. Just make the playground a little more fair for everyone.
So how did globalization improve the sport in the last years? All those new teams and riders were all calculating time trialists and rode defensively. Didn't improve the sport for me.

Just saying that when you say something is better, it may not be universally accepted. I don't like globalization. I don't care for one minute if people on the other side of the globe are watching cycling as well. I want to enjoy cycling. And if there's one thing that globalization did not bring, it is joy.

What do you mean by the way with that people from non Spanish and Italian countries don't get the chance? Only South America is lagging behind, all other continents (apart from Africa and Asia, where cycling is not that big or where funds are lacking) have their fair share of riders already.

And please, if you want to invite everybody, do it. But don't bother coming to continental Europe with it, because that's ours. We're the ones that started cycling, so we have the right to have teams that represent our nations.

If you don't like it, please go and organize races yourselves and select the best riders for a limited number of teams that can participate in our races. Why don't you do that anyway? It seems every rider with a bit of talents in the "new" countries get a place in a PT team because talent is so scarce, resulting in many teams that participate, but don't add anything. They only add anything because they, there you have it, also have Italians, Belgians, Spanish riders in their teams.

As you may have noticed, I don't like the invasion of our cycling scene and the forced "fair rules" you bring with you. No offence personally, just how I feel.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
actually. ferret it, id scrap the pro tour, and that should be an option
 
Arnout said:
And please, if you want to invite everybody, do it. But don't bother coming to continental Europe with it, because that's ours. We're the ones that started cycling, so we have the right to have teams that represent our nations.
Well, I guess we have a fundamental difference of opinion. I have a deep dislike for right wing xenophobia and that's almost what this reminds me of.

I think we just have to agree to disagree.
 

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