UCI-Protour is preventing the development of cycling around the world

Apr 20, 2010
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It is very sad to see the list of the Pro Cycling teams. Only Europeans and Americans. So What did happen with the rest of the world?

In order for cycling to become more developed around the world UCI needs to make some changes to his Pro-tour organizations. I have seen how now is a power of who has the more money. You paid to get in the Tour and in the big races. If a country, lets use an example (Colombia) is trying to get a ProTour team it will be almost impossible to get to that point. Not enough money to get that kind of team racing in Europe all the time. Therefore, the Pro-Tour team organization is killing the cycling there and preventing to have more variety of teams and riders in races like the Tour. In which Colombia has had excellent presentations.

Doping + Pro-Tour not good for cycling. If you love the sport it should try to become more popular and maybe allow different "promotional" teams to join the big races.
 
Sep 11, 2009
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Cycling teams are riding billboards, they are not your traditional sports team. In order for a team to get Pro Tour status allot of money has to get spent. Its like everything else in the world, you need money. Its always been like this and always will.
 
Aug 19, 2009
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dannux said:
It is very sad to see the list of the Pro Cycling teams. Only Europeans and Americans. So What did happen with the rest of the world?

In order for cycling to become more developed around the world UCI needs to make some changes to his Pro-tour organizations. I have seen how now is a power of who has the more money. You paid to get in the Tour and in the big races. If a country, lets use an example (Colombia) is trying to get a ProTour team it will be almost impossible to get to that point. Not enough money to get that kind of team racing in Europe all the time. Therefore, the Pro-Tour team organization is killing the cycling there and preventing to have more variety of teams and riders in races like the Tour. In which Colombia has had excellent presentations.

Doping + Pro-Tour not good for cycling. If you love the sport it should try to become more popular and maybe allow different "promotional" teams to join the big races.
I don't think that you can really look to the UCI's top level to really develop cycling around the world. There are other levels of racing that can help a country develop.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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the cycling is very well developped outside of europe and north america. except africa perhaps.

what many seem to forget is that in south america their local races and calendars are much more important than european races. look at scott marcondes. they send a b team to tour of turkey except for giacinti, who got sick and nilceu dos santos too, because their strongest riders are racing in brazil.

in colombia there's not a lack of money, there's a lack of decision. everything goes slow but the teams are rich and have enough money to come to europe however they are usually late filing in for ct licences. cafe de colombia works with chris carmichael and have one of the best equipment and "omkadering" in cycling but they are slowly developping their current generation and with those (u23) riders they want to do the tour somewhere in the future. let's hope they keep their word.

the colombian cycling federation were given 2 million dollars 3 years ago to develop a national track team that could get medals at the olympics. but 2 years later only 300,000 was spend because of the very bureucratic structure in colombian cycling. with the death of recent colombian cycling federation boss there seems to be some speeding up in things. but all of this is not to blame on uci.
 
Aug 1, 2009
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I think everything will be ok outside west europe & us

Russia have Katusha
Kazakhstan have Astana one of the best cycling teams

In few years I think some asian & 1 australian teams will join Pro Tour
 
The problem will be the races rather than the teams. The schedule is pretty congested as it is, and all of the new interest groups will want a race to show to their population, the same as Cali is being presented to Americans (with some pretty sycophantic and unrealistic statements about its importance. Apparently, according to somebody being quoted in cyclesport magazine, at the moment it's at the level of Romandie, the Tour de Suisse and the Dauphiné Libéré, with the chance to get bigger, and the question is... how?). And these countries will want the créme de la créme of cycling talent to come to their races. That means either locating themselves in warmup territory or competing with established European races. If they go up against established European races, they will attract at best only part of the top level of cyclists (as demonstrated by Cali, which has a reasonably star-studded startlist but still padded out by several domestic teams like any other mid-level race), and will struggle to attract all of the top level teams unless they go ProTour, which then compels the top teams to send a team. But if the top teams are being forced to send teams to an ever-increasing number of races that hold no interest to them to the detriment of those that are important to them (see Quick Step complaining about potentially having to choose between California and the Tour of Belgium - next year there will be no choice, and California will be compulsory). Being ProTour will no longer seem as desirable, and the amount of stress placed upon the riders will be greater as they're forced to travel long distances for a longer racing season - and then fans will wonder why there's still doping!

It's a difficult one because the calendar is congested as anything, but without making room for races in these new markets those markets will struggle to expand. If you forcibly make room that will just lead to resentment from many teams who are having races they may not want foisted upon them. There's also the question of the racing. Would you rather have 5 ProTour, 5 ProContinental, and 5 Continental teams all sending their big guns? Or 15 ProTour teams, only 1 of whom is sending their big guns? Which will be a more exciting race? It doesn't matter how many stars attend, the Tour Down Under is little more than a training ride. They've accepted that, because getting the stars in is worth more to them than building the race through excitement, because of their slot in the calendar. They have all the stars going, but it's not really a race which holds prestige. The only way for a race with no real history to really gain in prestige is by being really difficult, but then that jeopardises the chances of having the stars turn up in that slot in the calendar.

It's really tough to develop cycling because teams are walking billboards, so much of its base is still rooted in smaller national calendars, so much of it is a slave to routine, and it is a sport in which history and tradition play such a strong role, and those are two things that newly developing cycling nations can't offer.
 
There have been words and murmers about it (Aus cycling team) for a long time but i think the major sticking point is sponsorship. Whilst Australia does have a few big companies such as Qantas (aviation) there are no super-all-powerful-got-too-much-money-than-they-know-what-to-do-with companies ie. like SKY to pump in the big $$$ to fund it. And because of that i don't think the Government wants to give the thumbs up for a team that they would probably have to fund with more of our tax dollars becasue we already have state and country institutes such as AIS (Aus Institute of Sport) as well

Well that is sort of how i see it. If any other Aussie has something else to add or disagrees please respond.

I personally would like to see a Aus Team, but i think they are probably happy to see how SKY goes first before they even think about it again.
 
Feb 14, 2010
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If you take a look around the UCI website, I don't think you can say they're hurting cycling development.

http://www.uci.ch/templates/UCI/UCI5/layout.asp?MenuId=MTYxNw&LangId=1

The eighteen Pro Tour teams are the elite organizations that can meet tough standards. And even that changes every year. To think it's unfair because it requires a lot of money kind of contradicts the idea of professional sports. Below that are 21 Pro Continental teams, and over a hundred Continental teams.

http://www.uci.ch/templates/BUILTIN-NOFRAMES/Template1/layout.asp?MenuId=MTU4MTU&LangId=1

Start out with the salaries of twenty-five or so competitive riders. Add in managers, directors sportif, masseurs, mechanics, doctors, soigneurs, a coach, communications people, and maybe a chef. Then buy team buses and cars. The riders all need multiple bikes and TT bikes, plus wheels and all the other equipment, plus kit for all types of weather, and everything else involved in racing, including water bottles and food for the feed zones.

Then there's the travel expense for all those people and equipment, training camps, etc. They have to pay to help offset the expense of the biological passport. There's insurance for everything.

Would you expect the UCI to let a team without all of that, and competitive riders, into the top level of the sport? I wouldn't want to watch.

There are two Columbian Continental teams right now, plus three Australian ones, etc. If they can find sponsors, and attract more competitive riders, etc., they can try to work their way up, or consolidate their strengths, or whatever. But don't blame the UCI because those teams can't step up to the Tour de France or whatever and be competitive.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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El Imbatido said:
There have been words and murmers about it (Aus cycling team) for a long time but i think the major sticking point is sponsorship. Whilst Australia does have a few big companies such as Qantas (aviation) there are no super-all-powerful-got-too-much-money-than-they-know-what-to-do-with companies ie. like SKY to pump in the big $$$ to fund it. And because of that i don't think the Government wants to give the thumbs up for a team that they would probably have to fund with more of our tax dollars becasue we already have state and country institutes such as AIS (Aus Institute of Sport) as well

Well that is sort of how i see it. If any other Aussie has something else to add or disagrees please respond.

I personally would like to see a Aus Team, but i think they are probably happy to see how SKY goes first before they even think about it again.
I agree with this, Government money will not go to Pro-Tour, it will go to the development team (Jayco-Skins/AIS) you look at all the top Australians and you would be hard pressed to find more than a couple who haven't been through at least part of the program (Haussler would be the obvious "one that got away")

There was a backer for an Aus team, Robbie McEwan was behind it as well, travel operator Roam-free were willing to foot 40% of the bill but needed others to come on, then the GFC hit, I am not sure but I think it may be 100% dead.

The fact is not many Aus companies have a significant interest in Europe, and the ones that do are usually mining type organisations, not consumer products. Qantas is the exception, but they only have direct flights to London and Frankfurt, every thing else is with partners changing at Singapore. Our Banks/insurance are generally specialty operations in Europe.

Crikey, even the major sponsor for the World Championship is Italian!
(Mapei have been supporting the AIS for years though, so there is a strong connection)

Personally I feel Fly V Australia has the most likely hood of going to the Pro-tour, but it will most likely morph in to something else (like Virgin Atlantic) and no longer be Australian
 
Oct 25, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
...... It doesn't matter how many stars attend, the Tour Down Under is little more than a training ride. They've accepted that, because getting the stars in is worth more to them than building the race through excitement, because of their slot in the calendar. They have all the stars going, but it's not really a race which holds prestige. The only way for a race with no real history to really gain in prestige is by being really difficult, but then that jeopardises the chances of having the stars turn up in that slot in the calendar..
I do not want to distract from your very weighty thoughts on this important dilemna but I was at the TdU to see 4 riders blow apart the queen stage in a really impressive way. Now those same 4 riders showed the benefit of quality early season racing to impose themselves upon Europe not long after - no less than Evans, Valverde, LL Sanchez and "unknown" Peter Sagan and the ultimate winner, Greipel is leading the peleton in wins (no sh*t - well perhaps some:rolleyes:). Methinks the message is being heard and the excitement is building! Mind you the distance to travel is as tough as an icelandic volcano induced drive away with temperatures to match but it is hard to see that changing. Not for the faint hearted but it is lighting up interest in the land of Oz.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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El Imbatido said:
....Whilst Australia does have a few big companies such as Qantas (aviation) there are no super-all-powerful-got-too-much-money-than-they-know-what-to-do-with companies ie. like SKY to pump in the big $$$ to fund it. ....
I personally would like to see a Aus Team, but i think they are probably happy to see how SKY goes first before they even think about it again.
Let us not forget who founded SKY and who still sponsors football big time in Australia! If the market is there the money will be. Therein lies the rub.
 

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