UCI Discriminates against "smaller races"

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Mar 19, 2009
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UCI didn't probably plan it that way but now they look like an organization that actually cares about the little guys as well. I do understand that in US it's all about the fans and sponsors, but letting Astana race would be just wrong to all the other riders. I wouldn't even show up to race...

If the race wants to survive, they may need to change their strategy a little bit...same thing goes for some other US races. Sure they can try to boost the race with having Lance there and that fits the short term ideology better than trying to build a race that would be around even after 20-30 years from now.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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who writes these rules

The federations make the rules not Pat McQuaid. It is like blaming Nixon for what was written in the constitution. Both ways is how you want it. Maybe if just 1 Astana rider was playing but Lance is the big show and draws too much attention to let it slide. This rule is about as old as cycling. At least the principal is. You don't let cat 1 race in cat 3. The race has to stand on it's own legs. Sure having the Lance is good for the race publicity this year but all it creates is expectation that Lance will save the race. Every race has a category and with it eligibility rules. These rules are a result of a lot of consideration by very experienced people in the sport. As for Pat I am sure he knows what a name like Armstrong can do for a little event. He was an organizer before he was president. Now that he is, he has to work under the rules too. Can your President suspend a clause in the constitution because it solves a short term problem? He does not have that power and neither does the president of any sport.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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Gila

I know a lot of the top level Pros would most likely love to race against those guys, however I agree with the ruling..they would kill everyone, it would be over in the TT and then it would be the same old boring gig, with them controling the race...blah, blah, blah. I'm for letting the Conti teams fight it out, those guys have plenty of races they could have been doing in Europe..Having said that I do feel bad for Horner as he is a cool dude..the others...not so much. In my opinion.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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S*** it naysayers

:D According to Levi and Lance's tweets this am, it's game on.

Man, I can't believe what a bag of hammers some of you guys are. If we had it your way, us 'low brow' racers and fans would all be riding in national only wool jerseys, short white socks and black shorts (although that Rapha stuff is pretty cool, I'll give you). I guarantee you there isn't a pro or sportsman out there who wouldn't want to line up with that 'murderers row' (Yankees, Bulls, Astana, you name it) when given the chance.

As for UCI rules...cmon'. Try reading them with an open mind and you'll quickly realize that they are written by mostly well meaning, intelligent people struggling to keep up with technology and a dynamic global sport. Incidentally, that's also why they often get updated and are interpreted at the discretion of local officials.

Viva bike racing. Now do something to go and save Philly!
 
Apr 18, 2009
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Levi writes, a couple of hours ago:

"Up early getting ready to go to Aspen? No, change of plan, Silver City here we come!!"

http://www.bikechatter.com/main/foruser/13/Levi_Leipheimer

However, LA just wrote:

"Taking off for Aspen"

http://www.bikechatter.com/main/foruser/1/lancearmstrong

Not sure what that means... maybe they let Levi in alone?

I also wanted to respond to this:

"how little impact Lance has had on the US Pro scene. It is at the exact place it was 20 years ago only now, even more threatened due to the economic crisis. Lance might bring bigger crowds, profile etc but not necessarily more investment."

It's impossible to say what things would have been like without Lance, though! Perhaps "same place as 20 years ago" is a lot better than if he hadn't been so visible - perhaps his fame kept things from declining seriously? It's just not possible to say.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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Master50 said:
It is like blaming Nixon for what was written in the constitution.

Um. Yeah. Good point. I think. :rolleyes:

I dont see how having pro riders race in the US in any way is a bad thing. Those who complain it is an unfair race also fail to realize that increased competition leads to better performance across the board. Maybe the reason the domestic cycling scene is the same as it was 20 years ago is precisely because all the best riders leave and race in Europe!

The real competitors will enjoy the challenge, the race will benifit from the exposure as will the domestic teams and riders. I mean c'mon its not like they are showing up at some thu. night cat 5 crit in DesMoines. Look at the start list, its the best US teams with their best riders!
 
Apr 18, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Can you please pimp your website some more?

Sure, here you go, it's in my signature below.

Although, I think you have things a bit backwards - I'm linking to the site because it's got interesting, and timely information on the upcoming Tour of the Gila and the people racing it (or not), which is why I created it in the first place - I love bike racing, and following what's going on.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I think, no matter what your feelings are on LA, getting some big names like LA, Levi and Horner to race the Gila is EXACTLY what they need. SRAM came in to save the race, and as part of the deal needs to bring in some big names to draw attention. Marketing 101 guys, easy as that. The UCI has the descression on when to enforce the rule but they are shooting US cycling in the foot. The competition will be there for the conti teams, these guys want to race the big dogs too, they will rise to the occasion.

Smart move racing under Livestrong or Mellow Johnny's, good for everyone and it will bring more $$$ to the race and the city. The UCI's mistake is thankfully saved by the move.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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UCI rule handicaps Americans

When a USA pro tour rider is in America he deserves the right to race in his on country.

USA only has so many pro tour races. When a pro tour rider is left to train and develop at home, what is he to do? This is not fair.
 
Russell said:
When a USA pro tour rider is in America he deserves the right to race in his on country.

USA only has so many pro tour races. When a pro tour rider is left to train and develop at home, what is he to do? This is not fair.

Yup. It's an outrage. Cat 1s tired of competing against people at their level should be able to do cat 5 races. The cat 5s who are hoping to upgrade should not complain. They should bend down and kiss the ground the Cat 1 rolls over for being allowed to be in the same race. In fact when a cat 1 is denied the right to race with the cat 5s, they should temporarily change their name. That way we can pretend that they are not really cat 1s and the rules should not apply to them.

It is also not fair that I weigh 150 lbs but am not allowed to do running races in the clydesdale category. It is my country. There are only so many races nearby. I deserve the right to race in any category I want--no matter what the rules say. It is discrimination I tell ya.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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The USA does not have any Pro Tour races

Russell said:
When a USA pro tour rider is in America he deserves the right to race in his on country.

USA only has so many pro tour races. When a pro tour rider is left to train and develop at home, what is he to do? This is not fair.

There are several pro races in the US, but none are Pro Tour races and each level has an eligability clause. Tour of California can still only have a maximum of 50% protour riders. The rest must be pro teams but continental and UCI pro .

Category 2 races are even more restrictive to Pro tour riders.

These rules are available to read if you want to know what they say look em up at http://www.uci.ch
USA cycling goes to the UCI meetings and has a vote on the rules too.

Most rules are written for good reasons. Some stay too long and some are ineffectual but usually they are written to address a problem or to create a predictable structure.
 
Mar 16, 2009
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BroDeal said:
Yup. It's an outrage. Cat 1s tired of competing against people at their level should be able to do cat 5 races. The cat 5s who are hoping to upgrade should not complain. They should bend down and kiss the ground the Cat 1 rolls over for being allowed to be in the same race. In fact when a cat 1 is denied the right to race with the cat 5s, they should temporarily change their name. That way we can pretend that they are not really cat 1s and the rules should not apply to them.

It is also not fair that I weigh 150 lbs but am not allowed to do running races in the clydesdale category. It is my country. There are only so many races nearby. I deserve the right to race in any category I want--no matter what the rules say. It is discrimination I tell ya.

Bro, you are just so wrong on this one. They are competing in a Pro/1 race! Their competition is other pros. Heard of a guy named Landis? He's going to be there, do you think he's crying in his milk that a few other top US pro's are showing up? Your arguments about Cat 1's racing Cat 5 are are about as good and relevant as your pal Master 50's weird comparison of pat McQuaid to Nixon.
 
Snake8 said:
Bro, you are just so wrong on this one. They are competing in a Pro/1 race! Their competition is other pros. Heard of a guy named Landis? He's going to be there, do you think he's crying in his milk that a few other top US pro's are showing up? Your arguments about Cat 1's racing Cat 5 are are about as good and relevant as your pal Master 50's weird comparison of pat McQuaid to Nixon.

It could be. I am often wrong about a lot of things. There is a big difference between pros at the Pro Tour level and some poor SOB in the U.S. barely getting paid enough to live on though.
 
I'm with Master50, BroDeal & Steeliocc on this one as well.

As someone who raced long ago and wasn't very good (little more than Cat 3 pack fodder) I remember the local Mayor's Cup in about 1991 and barely keeping up with the Cat 3 pack. I felt really bad for the poor Cat 1 group that had to try to keep up with Team 7-11 when they showed up with Alex Steida, Roy Knickman, John Tomac, etc. who rode like a TTT off the front and LAPPED THE FIELD, twice. Yeah, some people came out to see the 7-11 guys race, that was cool, but an equal amount showed up a month later to get Greg Lemond's autograph at the LBS.

If Lance wants to help promote the sport, he should show up at the Gila to be the honorary commissioner, sign autographs, pose for photographs, and talk with the local news about the great sport of cycling. He can go race against people equal to his ability in races made for people on his level.
 
They are competing in a Pro/1 race! Their competition is other pros. Heard of a guy named Landis?

Don't confuse this race with something like the Tour of California. That was a UCI sanctioned 2 HC Continental race - the highest level a team like Ouch can compete in without an invite to a UCI (pre-split) pro race (like Het Volk for example). This is a USAC/USCF race that is the equivalent to a UCI ranking of 1, except it's not even ranked as that. Something similar to the Tour of Leelanau, or US Air Force Classic. Or, one step above your local bike race witih prizes. UCI Continental race rankings here.

A better analogy is this: Let's say the NY Yankees had a chance to pick up some extra cash by playing a few extra games against the Toledo Mud Hens. Yeah, they'd sell more tickets to the games, but they'd also win each game by 10 runs or so. And that's not the way the sport is built.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Call me cranky...

My main gripe is that getting everyone aflutter about Mr. Armstrong does absolutely nothing to promote the long-term health of the sport in the US.

The throngs that will show up just to see LA will greatly dilute the focus and attention paid to the other ~130 professional cyclists in attendance. The entire race will be little more than a sideshow to the latest sighting of the mellow one.

The casual fans and those who believe cycling as a sport was established in 1999 will evaporate as quickly as Lance does. As AdH says, if Lance gave a rat's behind about professional cycling in the US he would throw his considerable weight behind an effort to deepen interest in the sport. The sport, by the way, he owes considerably for his fame.

I've been in Solvang the last three years for the ToC TT. In '07 and '08 there were maybe 200 people in the general area around my prime viewing spot. This year with Armstrong in attendance there were probably 1000. Great! I suspect next year, after the re-retirement of Armstrong, the crowds will be back closer to 200...i.e. no (positive) impact to growing real interest in the sport.

There are plenty of races LAnce and his entourage could grace with their presence (and competition on their level). Gila is fine but I would rather see three otherwise accomplished professional cyclists competing among their peers...
 
I agree - it's great for the sport in the US to ride a bit of a wave Armstrongness but something else needs to happen if events like this are going to be sustainable. Past experience suggests that the interest will leave with Lance.

I don't see why they (Astana) have to riding the event to support it. It strikes me that Lance isn't able to make the impact he would like on his bike riding against the real competition and so he is resorting to these kinds of publicity stunts. Again just my opinion.

I hope to see Astana making an impact and mixing it with the big boys in the next few weeks...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Pro /1 race as compared to what?

Snake8 said:
Bro, you are just so wrong on this one. They are competing in a Pro/1 race! Their competition is other pros. Heard of a guy named Landis? He's going to be there, do you think he's crying in his milk that a few other top US pro's are showing up? Your arguments about Cat 1s racing Cat 5 are are about as good and relevant as your pal Master 50's weird comparison of pat McQuaid to Nixon.
Pro /1 race????
You are kidding, right? You are looking at pro racing through some distortion. A Domestic Pro /1 race is not anything like a UCI cat 1 or HC race and don't even try and compare it to a Pro Tour race. There is at least a 5 km avg speed difference and another 50 to 100 km. Domestic pros are generally better than cat 1s but it is dangerous to say that because there are cat 1 riders that released from earning a living could race much higher than they are and there are Pros that if they had to get a job outside of racing would get dropped on the first climb. Some of the equation is opportunity to race and train. A lot is birth right and genetics. Some is determination and passion but Gila can be won by someone other than Lance or Levi or Chris. I'd have them tested twice and if they passed they will ride on a better team if they are not already pros. Maybe the Astana boys are going to go easy but I hope not and you get your comparison of relative talent and ability.
I am not trying to dis you but you know not of what you speak, it is apples and raisins.
This discussion is moot as the UCI contacted USA cycling to point out an exception to the rules (also in the rule book). This should of course be an embarrassment to me since I am expected to know these rules like they were tattooed on me, but here goes. Three races as individuals and not in pro tour team kit. So Mellow Johnnie's is in. 2 to go for Lance and Chris. I expect Levi is down to one.

My Nixon statement was just an illustration. Just because he is the president does not mean he makes the rules. It was not a comparison of the men but their authority to change the rules. Castro Might have that power in Cuba but he does not get much traction in the US. Maybe you wish for a dictator.
I have heard of a guy named Landis. He was a disgraced rider that was found to have doped. He served a suspension and races for a team eligible to race at Gila. That guy? He seems to be having some trouble reaching the heights of past glories. BTW I happen to think he got a sharp stick and still think his comeback in a tour of years past was one of the most beautiful days ever in the tour or racing. I still have it on my PVR.
I like to think I have a friend or two but as far as I know I don't have any friends on this forum. It is likely however that I do know a few one way or another. I know you are passionate about this sport or you would not be here but you need some experience and perspective. Cat 1 is not a pro and a pro rider on a continental team is not a protour rider. The demands of their events are not equivalent nor is the talent. That is a generalist staement and not meant to cover all exceptions. I can't believe i even have to qualify this or make disclaimers.
 
You may have more friends than you realize. I disagree with you somewhat on race radios, but find your posts valuable and hope you'll stick around.

For those who missed my notes on what Continental racing is, here is a link to the UCI site.

Here's the wiki on it.

The Gila is a race that is lower than the least competitive race on that entire calendar.

Agree on Floyd Master50. He blew it and got caught up in a game bigger than his doing. He paid the price for it, which is really too bad because I liked his attitude in 2006 and before. I'd like him to come clean at some point, but in the meanwhile I actually like his attitude today. He seems positive and focused on the future, and not out to prove anyone wrong, just have fun and race his bike. It's the whole mess between those times that just got downright ugly, and I was as critical as anyone of him. I'm hoping he can keep his nose clean, his head high, the rubber side down, and have fun racing.

Ouch is saying part of the reason for Floyd's lack of results is that he can't get two bike lengths up the road without several riders immediately hopping on his back wheel. He was actually riding fairly well in the Vuelta Mexico until he had one bad day. I have a hunch Floyd will do well later in the year, or in 2010.
 
Oh the irony of it - careful what you wish for springs to mind - well I wish them all the best. I am sure that they will all have a blast - it just doesn't seem like the way forward for a sustainable sport - but what do I know?


...according to a note on CyclingFans site...



Tour of Gila in need of volunteers

2009_tour_of_the_gila_logo.jpg



Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner will be among those competing in the 23rd Annual SRAM Tour of the Gila which starts tomorrow, April 29, and ends May 3. Race organizers are still in need of volunteers. If you think you may be able to help at any stages, please call 575-388-3222.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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another angle . . . . .

consider this :

we have heard the recent change and thus, Leipheimer/Armstrong/Horner are to ride the Gila stage race.

They have signed contracts with a major protour team - Astana.

Now, that rider - team contract, would involve a 365 day agreement, to compete in the Astana jersey - with exception of world championships, and olympic games.
(I have spoken with Alain Rumpf/Phillipe Chevallier on this point, in the not too distant past) yet, so whilst some negotiating has occured between the UCI/US Cycling to get these riders onto the start line, which particular rule, permits them to now change jerseys, and ride under "mellow johnny's/livestrong, if they actually do ?
 
A

Anonymous

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steelciocc said:
The throngs that will show up just to see LA will greatly dilute the focus and attention paid to the other ~130 professional cyclists in attendance. The entire race will be little more than a sideshow to the latest sighting of the mellow one.

The casual fans and those who believe cycling as a sport was established in 1999 will evaporate as quickly as Lance does.
drug test for steelciocc please...

are you honestly suggesting that the fans will turn up, close there eyes, open them when lance appears and then close them again and fail to notice any of the spectacle, leaving and forgetting about the event and not going back..

if the organisers do the job that i am reading about in previous races, i think lance may pull in a lot of extra fans, but the race and the organisation will do a good job of keeping them...
 
I'll bet that if 2000 people showed up to watch in 2008, and 10,000 show up this year to watch Lance. When 2010 comes around and Lance isn't there, the crowd will be back to about 2000.

But is that a bad thing?

I'll bet if in 2010 Lance doesn't race, but shows up as honorary commissioner, signs autographs, talks to the media, the numbers would still be pretty high, which is what I think he should do if he wants to promote racing in the US.

Now that they're there, I'm just hoping that the Astana guys ride this for training and don't try to control and win the race, out of respect for the sport, and the younger and local riders trying to make a name for themselves.