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Teams & Riders Team Visma - Lease a Bike

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The question at hand is whether or not cycling should be open for business with the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund. What is the alternative? Less money in cycling and the Saudi money going elsewhere. They won't disappear.
Yeah, for sure, and reading that book (and others; any recs from anyone?) can help inform. It is such a nuanced problem than I'm not sure I could fully register a stance here and certainly can't do justice to the topic. But it's interesting so I'll join in a little bit. It is a bit like the tragedy of the commons - if everyone refused to do business with the Saudis, business interests would fail, wealth would disappear, and they'd be forced to either solely invest in the country or improve their human rights record. However, that won't happen, as you say, because it's too much money and alliances are too important and the issue is inextricably attached to geopolitics. The US, for example, can't afford the Saudis to ally more closely with China and Russia, and so on. So given that, I mostly think it comes down to personal decisions that team owners need to make.

Personally, if I were a team owner, I would rather turn the money down and take some small stance against the Saudis' many human rights atrocities, including but not limited to the secretive murder and dismemberment within a protected embassy in a foreign country of Jamal Khashoggi and the systematic violent oppression of dissent. However, I can't argue with you from a macro view, and through the lens of the sport of cycling, massive investment in the sport is good.

No government and no business interest and no money is completely cleansed. There is always some blood there somewhere. However, the Saudis' growing power and strategy of using foreign consultants, strategic investments, and targeted relaxation of human rights violations (women couldn't legally drive vehicles until recently), coupled with their ruthless approach to dissenters (throwing women who called for the right to drive in prison even as the state granted women the right to drive was indicative of the true state of Saudi society), to me places them in the category of entities with which I would not do business. Again, I agree it is nuanced.

Also, it is really interesting that apparently it is Neom specifically that is considering sponsorship, as that is the "city of the future." Interesting because 1) Bicycles and flying cars seem diametrically opposed in some ways, although I agree the city of the future should have strong cycling infrastructure to facilitate high quality of life and healthy citizenry, and 2) Everything I've read indicates that Neom is like vaporware. There is no Neom. It's a place in the desert with a bunch of confused McKinsey and BCG consultants creating PPTs about something they can see isn't there.

Lastly, I do drive an electric car. ;)

Here's another good read: https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2022/03/mohammed-bin-salman-saudi-arabia/626555/
 
Yeah, for sure, and reading that book (and others; any recs from anyone?) can help inform. It is such a nuanced problem than I'm not sure I could fully register a stance here and certainly can't do justice to the topic. But it's interesting so I'll join in a little bit. It is a bit like the tragedy of the commons - if everyone refused to do business with the Saudis, business interests would fail, wealth would disappear, and they'd be forced to either solely invest in the country or improve their human rights record. However, that won't happen, as you say, because it's too much money and alliances are too important and the issue is inextricably attached to geopolitics. The US, for example, can't afford the Saudis to ally more closely with China and Russia, and so on. So given that, I mostly think it comes down to personal decisions that team owners need to make.

Personally, if I were a team owner, I would rather turn the money down and take some small stance against the Saudis' many human rights atrocities, including but not limited to the secretive murder and dismemberment within a protected embassy in a foreign country of Jamal Khashoggi and the systematic violent oppression of dissent. However, I can't argue with you from a macro view, and through the lens of the sport of cycling, massive investment in the sport is good.

No government and no business interest and no money is completely cleansed. There is always some blood there somewhere. However, the Saudis' growing power and strategy of using foreign consultants, strategic investments, and targeted relaxation of human rights violations (women couldn't legally drive vehicles until recently), coupled with their ruthless approach to dissenters (throwing women who called for the right to drive in prison even as the state granted women the right to drive was indicative of the true state of Saudi society), to me places them in the category of entities with which I would not do business. Again, I agree it is nuanced.

Also, it is really interesting that apparently it is Neom specifically that is considering sponsorship, as that is the "city of the future." Interesting because 1) Bicycles and flying cars seem diametrically opposed in some ways, although I agree the city of the future should have strong cycling infrastructure to facilitate high quality of life and healthy citizenry, and 2) Everything I've read indicates that Neom is like vaporware. There is no Neom. It's a place in the desert with a bunch of confused McKinsey and BCG consultants creating PPTs about something they can see isn't there.

Lastly, I do drive an electric car. ;)

Here's another good read: https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2022/03/mohammed-bin-salman-saudi-arabia/626555/
And to think if this is such a big issue in cycling, what about football, where it's a billion times bigger? And there is no greater social palliative than investing in sport. Panem et circenses. Juvenal docet.
 
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if the Neom deal happens it will be very interesting to read and compare the reactions. Jumbo is veeery liked, even by some biased antidopers on here and twitter. Roglic is absolutely loved, like Kuss, Valter etc.
let's see the reactions (I know the Neon news are just a rumor for now)
 
if the Neom deal happens it will be very interesting to read and compare the reactions. Jumbo is veeery liked, even by some biased antidopers on here and twitter. Roglic is absolutely loved, like Kuss, Valter etc.
let's see the reactions (I know the Neon news are just a rumor for now)
More than enough Jumbo hate going on as well. Don't you worry about that. Wielerflits exploits that, basically an article like this is an open invitation. They know it will generate a lot of clicks and a lot of (mostly negative) reactions. When there's actually not much substance to it.
 
if the Neom deal happens it will be very interesting to read and compare the reactions. Jumbo is veeery liked, even by some biased antidopers on here and twitter. Roglic is absolutely loved, like Kuss, Valter etc.
let's see the reactions (I know the Neon news are just a rumor for now)

I'd be very disappointed if the Saudis take over Jumbo. I'm all for an international sponsor but only insofar as it's a real company & not some sort of sportswashing project for a dubious oil state.

I still don't believe the story is entirely true though so wait & see. There's also the prospect that Rogla would leave to be team leader in the TdF elsewhere anyway, at which point my mindset would be like "thanks for the nice memories Jumbo but nothing ever lasts forever".
 
I'd be very disappointed if the Saudis take over Jumbo. I'm all for an international sponsor but only insofar as it's a real company & not some sort of sportswashing project for a dubious oil state.

I still don't believe the story is entirely true though so wait & see. There's also the prospect that Rogla would leave to be team leader in the TdF elsewhere anyway, at which point my mindset would be like "thanks for the nice memories Jumbo but nothing ever lasts forever".
It's simply indecent and only demonstrates the level of hypocrisy that dominates Western democracy and its capitalist ideals.
 
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With all these "mind games" going on with Pogacar's legs, if I was at Jumbo I'd go "full gas" from day 1 and see what happens, or send a couple of guys up the road and sit back and let UAE do the work.
Who other than Vingegaard would UAE feel the need to chase, if they were up the road? How would going "full gas" from day 1 pressure Pogacar or UAE uniquely? It's no harder for Pogacar to sit on Vingegaard's wheel than it is for Jonas to sit on the wheel of a teammate. I suspect that would play into UAE's hands, burning up the JV team early in the race without achieving any benefit, but letting Pogacar race into peak fitness.
 

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