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Jumbo - QuickStep merger

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And if this is true and we get a Soudal - Visma, what about Quick Step as a company?

Will they stop their +25 years presence in world cycling or join another team structure? I remember seeing Intermarché admitting financial woes after Circus halving their investment next season. If I were them I would be keen in bringing them onboard, as they have no doubt shown compromise in sponsoring cycling.
they could go to Lotto-Dstny ;-)
 
Those riders can stay in the team (they are not forced to move).
So any talent that is developed in-house and reaches the top, is free to stay, but if a team has the luxury of having 2 riders in the top 10, they have to allow the lowest ranked rider to move, if offers come from other teams.

Just to be clear; new signees would also be allowed to join, providing that they weren't in the top-10 when they signed?

But that could open a whole new can of worms. Let's say the rider who's 10th in the ranking is in talk with - and very interested in joining - a team, but said team already has another rider in the top-10. Could there be a situation where the rider who wants to join the team would deliberately try to drop out of the top-10, and then when/if he does, the team in question is ready with the contract?
And then there'd be the risk that if he doesn't manage to drop out of the top-10, other teams will have seen his performance over the latest months, and decide he's probably not that good, getting dropped all the time.

(BTW, my example is entirely fictional; I don't think Skjelmose has any interest in leaving Trek, and he's contracted for next year anyway.)
 
The impact on wages would unquestionably be a net negative. Maybe you could alleviate the impact on modal wages by combining a budget cap with a salary cap, to make the richest riders bear the brunt of the impact, but that would put meritocracy under threat in a way that it wouldn't in sports that have insane wages for the top athletes and/or incentivise circumventing the rules via personal (or 'personal') sponsorships.

It does make you wonder whether there's a good way of stopping the oligopolistic (arguably even monopolistic) developments of recent years. Banning mergers would be a good move IMO, but that doesn't address the structural issues that have enabled Jumbo's 2023 season. Maybe you could ban teams whose riders have won a higher than X% of monuments + GTs (perhaps give more weight to GTs here) in the past Y years from signing (not renewing) riders in the top Z of the UCI ranking?
Yeah something like that. But it's an extremely tricky task to set something like that up without creating new big problems.
 
A new signee can get into the top 10 and just stay in the team. Any team could theoretically still have all top 10 riders in the world by signing non-top-10 and getting them into the top 10 (but not anymore by buying them).

If a rider is 10th and there is another rider in the team in the top 10, that rider is free to negotiate with other teams (not already having a top 10 rider). If that other team already have a top 10 rider, they can only sign non-top-10 riders, that are out of contract. If the rider is just within the top 10, he either has a contract (and can just stay) or he has no contract and can sign for a longer period, or he isn't wanted anymore, and that ofcourse limits his options (only teams without top 10 riders can sign him, in theory that's at minimum half of the protour teams, still a lot of options it seems, but ofcourse not really nice if you are just top 10 and your only options are to go to a team with no top 10 rider so you have to carry all the weight.


Again, just ideas.
 
A new signee can get into the top 10 and just stay in the team. Any team could theoretically still have all top 10 riders in the world by signing non-top-10 and getting them into the top 10 (but not anymore by buying them).

If a rider is 10th and there is another rider in the team in the top 10, that rider is free to negotiate with other teams (not already having a top 10 rider). If that other team already have a top 10 rider, they can only sign non-top-10 riders, that are out of contract. If the rider is just within the top 10, he either has a contract (and can just stay) or he has no contract and can sign for a longer period, or he isn't wanted anymore, and that ofcourse limits his options (only teams without top 10 riders can sign him, in theory that's at minimum half of the protour teams, still a lot of options it seems, but ofcourse not really nice if you are just top 10 and your only options are to go to a team with no top 10 rider so you have to carry all the weight.


Again, just ideas.
If I understand this correctly, you're trying to create an incentive for teams to make their riders underperform, because as soon as they'll reach the top-10 they'll be free to leave?

So,
Who is absorbing who? IOW under whose management the merge will be controlled by? Lefevere or Zeeman? Hope and pray is the latter
As it looks now it's basically Jumbo poaching a sponsor (Soudal) and a rider (Evenepoel). It looks like that's all they're interested in. The rest they need to find a solution for.
 
Remco and WvA?

Basically JV has a rather perfect classics team. What is missing is wins. So highly likely more wins in regards to classics would come.

Rogla to the retirement team?

This one is tricky as it can go either way. Changing teams can indeed (often) result to worse results. But with Rogla i feel that the opposite scenario is tad more likely. That is for Rogla to beat JV in two GTs per year. Or he can stay at JV and to send some other GC rider(s) in "retirement". We'll see.
 
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If I understand this correctly, you're trying to create an incentive for teams to make their riders underperform, because as soon as they'll reach the top-10 they'll be free to leave?
Why would a team pay top money to a rider, and at the same time limit said rider in terms of racing opportunities / leadership status in races in order to not lose that rider?

You pay a top rider to perform. If you pay a top rider not to perform, what's the use of paying?
 
Better to kill off all incentive for performing in races outside the very biggest. You think the Tour dominates now? Just wait for when UAE will only perform in other races to the degree that it doesn't harm them for how strong a Tour team they can field. (Consider what this will do to those other races)

Somehow the proposal to deal with undesirable outcomes is perverse incentives. But eventually, long term effects dominate short term effects.

So maybe focus on better long term incentives?
 
Yeah, thinking about this more, such "Benelux" project would highly likely push Remo into classics mode. Sure there would be some stage racing involved too. But the emphasis and prerogative to win would likely be put on classics. So such team indeed has potential to go even further. That is for this year to not be the last historical year. Winning all GT's and all classics in the same season. Now that would be something.

P.S. Not.
 
"Benelux" project

I don't believe for a second that if this merger would happen they would give a dime about being "Benelux". Their 2 main sponsors would literally not give a fck about Belgian or Dutch riders. Visma is Norwegian and Soudal wants to get away from the national/Belgian identitiy. That was the reason why they left Lotto and their CEO has already said multiple times that winning with foreign riders would technically be better for their business.

Soudal guys have said it clearly. They want to win the Tour, they don't care if it's with Evenepoel. I quote: "It would be even better if it would be with a guy like Ayuso".
 
I don't believe for a second that if this merger would happen they would give a dime about being "Benelux". Their 2 main sponsors would literally not give a fck about Belgian or Dutch riders. Visma is Norwegian and Soudal wants to get away from the national/Belgian identitiy. That was the reason why they left Lotto and their CEO has already said multiple times that winning with foreign riders would technically be better for their business.

Soudal guys have said it clearly. They want to win the Tour, they don't care if it's with Evenepoel. I quote: "It would be even better if it would be with a guy like Ayuso".
The idea to create a "Benelux" team would be a way to sell it, I guess. But at the end of the day, if this merger were to happen, it would just be out of desperation. The lack of any other options. Because of course if there was a proper sponsor to replace Jumbo, they'd go for that option.

I see now people opinionating that Plugge and Lefevere somehow want to "destroy" cycling. That's just so naive. It never would have come to this if there was any real sponsorship interest. Neither of them can possibly want this, in an ideal world.
 
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I don't believe for a second that if this merger would happen they would give a dime about being "Benelux". Their 2 main sponsors would literally not give a fck about Belgian or Dutch riders. Visma is Norwegian and Soudal wants to get away from the national/Belgian identitiy. That was the reason why they left Lotto and their CEO has already said multiple times that winning with foreign riders would technically be better for their business.

Soudal guys have said it clearly. They want to win the Tour, they don't care if it's with Evenepoel. I quote: "It would be even better if it would be with a guy like Ayuso".

Still, with such team they would get exactly all the things you mentioned. Hence only for a bonus therefore they would care just a tiny bit about winning (Belgium) classics. On surface acting like they don't really give a ... On the inside more or less being the only reason they participate.
 

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