The gift of giving - is it time the UCI to ban gifts?

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You believe that yourself? Wout would just have ridden away on the Kemmelberg if Laporte had been on another team...

No doubt about that.

Nevertheless, it remains impossible to judge.

Difficult thing is, where do you draw the line?

„Gifting“ when crossing the finish line arm in arm seems easy to rate/judge. If they would prohibit only that, OK.

In races, gifts happen, intentionally and non-intentionally. All the time.

I would still be cautious.

Obviously, Wout and Laporte raced to win in Wevelgem. Wout probably was captain, or leader. They get paid by the same sponsor. Wout will need a loyal Laporte to win RVV. Just a few thoughts…

Of course, UCI rules „demand“ to race to win. Just as Fifa rules demand to go for scoring goals. Of course, these are the basic motivations to compete.

I don‘t think Wout violated these basics, last Sunday.

I don‘t think UCI would have been able to prevent what happened on the finish line in Wevelgem on Sunday. Imagine, Jumbo say: „We have RVV and Roubaix now, as next races. We don‘t want to risk to let Wout sprint vs Laporte in Wevelgem, on slippery roads, in the wet and cold, after 250 kilometers!“… Would UCI be able to force them to sprint, nevertheless?

I think the cycling fan feels better, if he sees Wout and Laporte crossing the line arm in arm, and would feel weirdly if these two would simulate/fake a sprint, in which one of the two intentionally sprints with a too low gear or so, just to lose the sprint.
An important rule in the world of horse racing is the non-triers rule, which requires a jockey to make the required effort in order to gain the best possible result. Cycling has no such comparable rule and throughout the history of the sport riders have 'gifted' wins to other riders.

Is it time for cycling to take a leaf out of horse racing's rule book? At the finish of every race, every rider must be seen to be making the required effort to achieve result instead of just sitting up and letting some else finish ahead of them?
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