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Teams & Riders The Great Big Cycling Transfers and Rumours Thread

Page 336 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
In team sports of the kind that you see in those leagues, each competition is between 2 teams, towards a league table, and each match is equally important on paper. In cycling, each competition is a pack event, and some races are more important on paper, not just outright, but also different teams have different priorities.

And differences in European labour laws would likely make trading between teams in different countries nigh on impossible.

It's not that a draft would be a bad idea, it's just that it's not achievable.
 
Froome seems to be earning a fair wage.

Be specific, put a number on it. Is it the salary of the 50th highest earner on a second division team who you think earns less today than such a rider did a decade ago?
It's more that the cost of being competitive is increasing, and do you really think picking out a single rider who is the highest earner (and who signed his contract when they were a WT team) on one of the teams who have a guaranteed wildcard (lol) invite to all the major races is representative of the ProTeams as a whole?

Come on. The number of ProTeams who are able to be competitive at any level other than break fodder is a LOT smaller than it was ten to fifteen years ago, and consequently the number of worthwhile talents that they can attract is minimal too, unless they are one of the select three or four that get all the wildcards.

We're getting Vaughters' franchise system by the back door.
 
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Yes, that is what it should look like when the value for sponsoring teams go up and wages go up too. Is that a bad thing?

You said the poor are getting poorer. Who are they, how much poorer have they become? The answer is blowing in the wind.
I see a significant Premier League-ification and impoverishment of the level relative to a decade ago. I see a concentration of all talent into an ever-shrinking pool of the top teams and an invite system that is progressively closing the door on the ProTeam level. Why don't we ask Gianni Savio, Bruno Reverberi or their likes, instead of the likes of Lefevere and Plugge, for once? We always hear from the representatives of the biggest teams about how great the current system is for cycling (and would be even better if it put more power into the hands of the biggest teams), the only time we ever hear anything from the other side of the table is Unzué saying something stupid or Sylvain Adams throwing his toys out of the pram because he might have to face some consequences for his irresponsible spending. And even then, they're still both at the WT level (or the pseudo-WT level because of the farcical, oxymoronic "compulsory wildcard" thing because the UCI ran scared from Adams' lawyers).
 
I think riders on Uno-X, Total, Eola and similar teams earn more money now than riders on similar teams did a decade ago.

Yes, the WT system should have died yesterday, but the economic model of cycling actually works and there's no alternative model that will generate more money for the "poor".
It's less about 'the economic model of cycling' as it currently is and more about the direction of traffic. We are seeing progressive moves to lock off the top level. I believe the intention is a top level of 20 teams that are the only teams that do any of the big races, because big race organisers can guarantee the big names at their races. The big teams want this because it's stability at the top level as nobody can take their spot as well as enabling them to take more power. The UCI can be happy with this as a format because then they minimise the differentiating factors between races and can sell off the WT calendar to the highest bidders, F1-style.

That would then mean that smaller races at the .Pro and .1 status who often rely on having a few of the local WT teams turn up to bring some star power, may struggle to survive, as will ProTeams that aren't in that little group of 4-5 that bogart all the best invites, because the few high level races they get to do (e.g. the Vuelta for a team like Caja Rural, or the Giro for a team like Polti) will be off-limits to them under a locked system and the smaller races that would become their fodder may not be able to run as much or as successfully without the guarantees of some of the names that are attractive to sponsors turning up, unless they got some kind of help from UCI with costs, which seems unlikely to me.

That's how I perceive the goals of the likes of Lefevere and Plugge. Yes, and Vaughters, though his is less about enriching himself and damn the consequences and more about making sure he isn't left out when it happens.
 
It's about this:
Maybe time for a draft system for neo pros, because talent stockpiling on long term contracts is slowly killing the sport.
That is false. There are no indicators of the "slowly killing the sport".

Despite UAE signing half of all talents on long contracts, there's no new crisis for the sub-elite. Teams have always struggled, now they struggle while paying higher wages for ordinary riders. Sounds good to me.

The contract system as it is works.
 
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Are small races struggling more now than a decade ago? I don't think so.

If anything, we see an expansion of viable races.
Ten years ago we were coming out of a financial crisis that was outside of the remit of the cycling economy, though. The Spanish calendar is mostly back on track (although with certain limitations and a few of the races on reduced numbers of race days) but the Italian calendar in particular hasn't recovered or even really come all that close to recovering. The US calendar has also been utterly decimated of late.
 
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Ten years ago we were coming out of a financial crisis that was outside of the remit of the cycling economy, though. The Spanish calendar is mostly back on track (although with certain limitations and a few of the races on reduced numbers of race days) but the Italian calendar in particular hasn't recovered or even really come all that close to recovering. The US calendar has also been utterly decimated of late.
And now, we're coming out of a Covid crisis that was also outside the remit of the cycling economy. Yes, things are pretty bad in the countries you mention with trouble brewing in the Netherlands and the UK too, but on the flip side there are now way more pro races in the eastern half of Europe. Croatia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Greece and Estonia all didn't have a pro race prior to 2013 and do now, and then there are also things like the Tour of Antalya that have popped up. I really don't think the smaller pro race calendar has declined in recent years, and most races are also seeing improved fields lately thanks to the promotion/relegation system which really helps in terms of viability.
 
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And now, we're coming out of a Covid crisis that was also outside the remit of the cycling economy. Yes, things are pretty bad in the countries you mention with trouble brewing in the Netherlands and the UK too, but on the flip side there are now way more pro races in the eastern half of Europe. Croatia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Greece and Estonia all didn't have a pro race prior to 2013 and do now, and then there are also things like the Tour of Antalya that have popped up. I really don't think the smaller pro race calendar has declined in recent years, and most races are also seeing improved fields lately thanks to the promotion/relegation system which really helps in terms of viability.
See the problem is I don't think the promotion/relegation system is long for this world, because they're growing the WT to a size where there simply isn't scope for gaining or losing points outside of it, and when they do, the wildcard system will be removed entirely, meaning no need for those bigger teams to do those smaller races.

Compulsory wildcards, I mean, UCI can **** off with that nonsense. Just call a spade a spade and admit, we got a 20 team WT and they're trying to cut the pool of potential invitees with the remaining two invites to 10 across the next couple of years anyway, cutting all but about four PT teams out of potential invites, meaning a closed shop at the top. The organisers of the biggest races basically have zero flexibility or choice of who they invite, so the top scoring PT teams are going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, it'll be the same group of teams alternating between "wildcard" (which is a compulsory invite) and "automatic" (which is an automatic invite) status.