Trade teams block their own riders from Worlds.

Aug 14, 2017
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A news item from the world of MTB.

How is the matter handled by the professional road racing trade teams?

Three Swedish riders have been stopped from the MTB World Championships by their own teams. The Swedish Cycling Federation (SCF) have a sponsorship deal with Swedish company POC regarding helmets and glasses.

Current Olympic Gold Medal holder Jenny Rissveds rides for Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team. The team have demanded she uses the team helmet and glasses during the upcoming World Championships in Australia. Riders Alexandra Engen och Ida Jansson ride for other teams who have made the same decision. All three riders have now been blocked from he worlds by their teams.

There has been a deadlock over this all year. The teams and riders have known about this since February 2016. During 2016 the SCF and POC allowed the riders to ride with the teams' glasses and helmets to honour existing contracts. But it was always said there would be no such allowances from this season. Yesterday the news broke that the teams are not relenting and the riders have been stopped from entering the Worlds.

The SCF face fines if POC helmets and glasses are not used. Their position is they fund youth training programs and lay the foundation for young cyclists to blossom into professional riders. The deal with POC aids the investment in the next generation. So when riding for the national team they don't feel it's too much to ask that their own sponsor's equipment should be used. The teams do not have to fund youth cycling programs and can simply sign the riders the federation have produced without compensation.

I am a Londoner who emigrated to Sweden in the 80's. Opinions about this have divided Swedish Cycling. I just feel it is terrible that a Gold Medallist and two other young stars are being refused permission to start in the Worlds by their own trade teams.

According to the UCI the national federation own the rights for protective gear such as helmets and glasses.

Is this normal policy of professional trade teams? How do other National Federations handle the matter of glasses and helmets?

Would the men in charge of the trade teams been as harsh on male Olympic Gold Medallist?
 
No point in referring him to the MTB forum when he asks. "How is the matter handled by the professional road racing trade teams?"

As far as I am aware, national federations determine nothing other than the jersey and bibs the riders wear in the RRWC: some truly appalling colour clashes between national colours and bikes/helmets will be on display.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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Sponsors think money can buy them everything. If I was Dumoulin (with his ugly national jersey) I would just unzip my jersey every single time I cross the line in first place.
 
What is said about such requirements in the CONTRACT / AGREEMENT that the riders sign to be on the team?
My guess is that the riders 'agreed' (by signing) to comply with the rules and requirements of the team.

How it is handled by other teams depends on what is in those contracts.

For example, it is/was said that occasionally a bike frame or tire was disguised to look like the brand of a sponsor.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
Aug 18, 2009
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You view it the exact opposite way that I would - I'd say the National Federation is blocking their own riders from worlds....

The Trade Teams pay the riders' salaries all year long, and typically National federations provide jerseys and shorts for the National Team riders and let the riders wear their Trade Team helmets and ride Trade Team bikes. By imposing equipment selection on the riders for their National Team the Swedish federation is putting riders in a rough spot where they have to break the contracts that pay their bills.

I'd say the Swedish Federation is the one in the wrong, not the Trade Teams.
 
Ad Rock said:
You view it the exact opposite way that I would - I'd say the National Federation is blocking their own riders from worlds....

The Trade Teams pay the riders' salaries all year long, and typically National federations provide jerseys and shorts for the National Team riders and let the riders wear their Trade Team helmets and ride Trade Team bikes. By imposing equipment selection on the riders for their National Team the Swedish federation is putting riders in a rough spot where they have to break the contracts that pay their bills.

I'd say the Swedish Federation is the one in the wrong, not the Trade Teams.
Agreed.

Who in their right mind would bite the hand that feeds them? The National Federations should already know that the riders are obligated to wear team sponsored helmets, perhaps shoes, and glasses.
 
Aug 13, 2016
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It is not the role of the national federation to make money. They can demand national yerseys be used, but that should be just about it. Saying they signed a bad sponsorhip deal is the worst possible argument in this context.

Helmets and glasses are functional items, same as the bikes, and should never be mandated. At most they may ask for sponsor stickers to be slapped on the helmet.

My 2 cents.
 
Mar 26, 2017
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It seems the federation made a less than perfect deal. But at least they are getting funding for their development team.

I feel it is reasonable that the Federation honor its deal. It is not like the teams did not know this in 2016 or 2017. It is extremely one-sided for the team to say we don't you to race because the glasses and helmet will be different. The other sponsors of the team that don't supply the helmet and glasses should be livid, as their star athletes won't be appearing because of a helmet logo.

The athletes should be pissed that they are being used as pawns by the bike team's helmet and glasses sponsor. Clearly, they value their nationality higher than some helmet made as cheap as possible in a low cost factory.
 
Irondan said:
Ad Rock said:
You view it the exact opposite way that I would - I'd say the National Federation is blocking their own riders from worlds....

The Trade Teams pay the riders' salaries all year long, and typically National federations provide jerseys and shorts for the National Team riders and let the riders wear their Trade Team helmets and ride Trade Team bikes. By imposing equipment selection on the riders for their National Team the Swedish federation is putting riders in a rough spot where they have to break the contracts that pay their bills.

I'd say the Swedish Federation is the one in the wrong, not the Trade Teams.
Agreed.

Who in their right mind would bite the hand that feeds them? The National Federations should already know that the riders are obligated to wear team sponsored helmets, perhaps shoes, and glasses.
Also agree. Silly that the NGB would set itself up to fail like this by agreeing to such contract terms w/ equipment supplier.

Look at pics from any UCI road world championships field and you can see how it's handled, right?
 

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