Uno-X Pro Cycling Team

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You know what I hate about such ideas - it all sounds very nice, supporting and developing local talent and such... but really it means that riders from countries where such structures don't exist have just even less chances. I'm thinking about many medium good guys on especially Italian, Spanish and also Belgian teams - they have a big advantage just because of where they are from.
I mean, I know whether you make it or not will always depend a lot on luck and connections and structures, but things like this just make it worse.
I am also thinking about someone like Mihkel Räim, when he talked about how Israel didn't need his services anymore. Okay, so he didn't have great results to show. But would he have been from Israel he would probably have gotten another contract there.
 
In the article here: https://www.tv2.no/sport/14054558/ Jens Haugland says:
"– Vi skal ta vare på å utvikle stammen vi har, men vi skal også forsterke laget ytterligere. Vi har referert til Ajax-modellen tidligere, og vi skal bevare filosofien på øverste scene. Med herrelaget ønsker vi per nå å beholde tanken om et lag kun bestående av norske og danske ryttere, sier Uno-X-sjefen. "

In English: "for the mens team we want to keep the idea of a team ONLY having Norwegians and Danish riders"

...but of course that can change anytime in the future,
I stand corrected then. Still we have to wait and see how it undfolds, but currently I don't think it will be too hard to find enough NO/DK riders, even if Vegard Kulset, the CEO of Uno-X, doesn't have more children to sign up ;)

As search mentioned above, it will be pretty hard for them to secure a WT license in 2023, cause they would have to get much better results in WT races next year, and because they aren't Belgian, French, Italian or Spanish they won't be invited to all of them. Kristoff and Fuglsang should get them more invites, but they might no be strong enough to get them the results they would need.
 
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A WT team planning to limit itself only to 2 countries of 11 million total population doesn't sit particularly well with me. Euskaltel once managed even more extreme Basques only policy so I guess it's possible to do but then they had no business in many WT races like northern classics etc. so it wasn't really great from a sporting perspective. I don't mind nation-focused teams but if they aren't opening themselves to a possibility of signing even a few riders outside their rather small focus region, they're going to be at a serious disadvantage compared to other WT teams. I would rather have teams not shooting themselves in the foot like that nowadays, when the level in professional sport is increasing, the gaps between competitors shrinking and it's increasingly difficult to stay at the top of your game. They're pretty unlikely to win the battle for every single top Danish and Norwegian rider over other teams.
Agree very much, I would hate a team with such a policy.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I stand corrected then. Still we have to wait and see how it undfolds, but currently I don't think it will be too hard to find enough NO/DK riders, even if Vegard Kulset, the CEO of Uno-X, doesn't have more children to sign up ;)
There are 2 in the team already and 1 in the developement team. But there is even one more that is 17 this year and is reported to be better than his brothers :D
 
As search mentioned above, it will be pretty hard for them to secure a WT license in 2023, cause they would have to get much better results in WT races next year, and because they aren't Belgian, French, Italian or Spanish they won't be invited to all of them. Kristoff and Fuglsang should get them more invites, but they might no be strong enough to get them the results they would need.
I hope they stay away from Fuglsang (mainly because of his Ferrari connections), but I think Kristoff and some other decent riders like Bystrøm and hopefully some decent danish rider would give some invitations. But as you say, securing WT license already in 2023 will be very hard (unless 3-4 teams collapse), maybe 2024 or 2025 is more likely. My impression is that both UnoX, the staff and the team feel that they have enough time, it's a long term commitment. If it doesnt happen before 2026 or 2028 I don't think that's a big problem for them.
 
Reactions: Samu Cuenca
A WT team planning to limit itself only to 2 countries of 11 million total population doesn't sit particularly well with me. Euskaltel once managed even more extreme Basques only policy so I guess it's possible to do but then they had no business in many WT races like northern classics etc. so it wasn't really great from a sporting perspective. I don't mind nation-focused teams but if they aren't opening themselves to a possibility of signing even a few riders outside their rather small focus region, they're going to be at a serious disadvantage compared to other WT teams. I would rather have teams not shooting themselves in the foot like that nowadays, when the level in professional sport is increasing, the gaps between competitors shrinking and it's increasingly difficult to stay at the top of your game. They're pretty unlikely to win the battle for every single top Danish and Norwegian rider over other teams.
I think it matters what specific countries it is.

Obviously it wouldn't work if the strategy was "Sweden & Finland" but "Norway & Denmark" works, because there are a lot of riders to pick from.

There are a total of 33 Norwegian/Danish riders on the WT currently, with a further 28 riding at Pro level (most of which are young up and coming riders), and both countries have very healthy junior programmes, while Denmark also has a rich track culture to draw upon..

That's a pretty healthy group to base a WT team off.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I stand corrected then. Still we have to wait and see how it undfolds, but currently I don't think it will be too hard to find enough NO/DK riders, even if Vegard Kulset, the CEO of Uno-X, doesn't have more children to sign up ;)

As search mentioned above, it will be pretty hard for them to secure a WT license in 2023, cause they would have to get much better results in WT races next year, and because they aren't Belgian, French, Italian or Spanish they won't be invited to all of them. Kristoff and Fuglsang should get them more invites, but they might no be strong enough to get them the results they would need.
You should note, that when a rider changes teams, he takes his points with him.

If Fuglsang and Kristoff (for instance), were to sign with UnoX for next year, those two riders alone, could pretty much triple the teams points (provided Kristoff picks it up a bit the rest of the year), and rank them around 13-15th in the world.
 
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You know what I hate about such ideas - it all sounds very nice, supporting and developing local talent and such... but really it means that riders from countries where such structures don't exist have just even less chances. I'm thinking about many medium good guys on especially Italian, Spanish and also Belgian teams - they have a big advantage just because of where they are from.
I mean, I know whether you make it or not will always depend a lot on luck and connections and structures, but things like this just make it worse.
I am also thinking about someone like Mihkel Räim, when he talked about how Israel didn't need his services anymore. Okay, so he didn't have great results to show. But would he have been from Israel he would probably have gotten another contract there.
That's unfortunate, but it's always been that way. Still more countries have riders on the top teams nowadays compared to the 80's or 90's. Telekom started out with Germans, Belgians and Frenchmens, but had many other nationalities later on (of course they weren't a German team at the end).

There are 2 in the team already and 1 in the developement team. But there is even one more that is 17 this year and is reported to be better than his brothers :D
Sounds like the next Andy Schleck :D

A WT team planning to limit itself only to 2 countries of 11 million total population doesn't sit particularly well with me. Euskaltel once managed even more extreme Basques only policy so I guess it's possible to do but then they had no business in many WT races like northern classics etc. so it wasn't really great from a sporting perspective. I don't mind nation-focused teams but if they aren't opening themselves to a possibility of signing even a few riders outside their rather small focus region, they're going to be at a serious disadvantage compared to other WT teams. I would rather have teams not shooting themselves in the foot like that nowadays, when the level in professional sport is increasing, the gaps between competitors shrinking and it's increasingly difficult to stay at the top of your game. They're pretty unlikely to win the battle for every single top Danish and Norwegian rider over other teams.
Another thing to consider is that unlike most Basque riders, Norwegians and Danes have proved that they can be competitive on pretty much any terrain.
 
Reactions: Broccolidwarf
In the discussion about which country the riders are coming from, it's worth to think about the fact that the sponsor UnoX (and the Reitan group that owns it) have as it is now 0 interest outside Norway/Denmark as they only petrol stations and super markets in these two countries.

If another big sponsor comes in (which is likely needed to get a budget of around 15 million euros a year) that can change, based on which countries this sponsor have interest in.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
In the discussion about which country the riders are coming from, it's worth to think about the fact that the sponsor UnoX (and the Reitan group that owns it) have as it is now 0 interest outside Norway/Denmark as they only petrol stations and super markets in these two countries.
That is true, but you can still get good PR through "foreign" riders.... I think Quickstep is pretty happy with Asgreen promoting their floors to the Belgian public ;)

So I don't think the "Norway/Denmark" choice is a commercial one, I rather think it is "cycling strategic" one - they want to be THE team Norwegian and Danish talent gravitate towards.... as someone said, "The Ajax Amsterdam of cycling".
 
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Given the nature of Norway, at some point they are BOUND to foster some great climbers.
It never made sense that Norway made sprinters and Denmark made climbers :p
Possibly because there was no cycling culture in the areas with mountains (people from these parts turned into cross country skiers), and most of the races were held in the flatter areas. So young rider which could possibly be good climbers never got the chance to shine.
 
You should note, that when a rider changes teams, he takes his points with him.

If Fuglsang and Kristoff (for instance), were to sign with UnoX for next year, those two riders alone, could pretty much triple the teams points (provided Kristoff picks it up a bit the rest of the year).
Sure, but Kristoff might not score many points during the rest of the season. He doesn't seem too confident that he'll be going to the Tour for instance.

Given the nature of Norway, at some point they are BOUND to foster some great climbers.

It never made sense that Norway made sprinters and Denmark made climbers :p
No, you would defintely think they would be able to make some of their XC skiers and biathletes into great climbers.
But it might happen soon.

I hope they stay away from Fuglsang (mainly because of his Ferrari connections), but I think Kristoff and some other decent riders like Bystrøm and hopefully some decent danish rider would give some invitations. But as you say, securing WT license already in 2023 will be very hard (unless 3-4 teams collapse), maybe 2024 or 2025 is more likely. My impression is that both UnoX, the staff and the team feel that they have enough time, it's a long term commitment. If it doesnt happen before 2026 or 2028 I don't think that's a big problem for them.
They do seem to be in it for the long haul, so I don't thinkt they will be too bothered about it if it doesn't happen in 2023 either. I also think it won't be bad for them to get more experience from WT races before they step up. Now that Riwal's and Riis's project of trying to get a Danish team to be on the start line for the Grand Départ in Copenhagen have failed, I hope Uno-X will make it instead. They have definitely showed that they aren't racing conservatively and they have made a mark on many races during this year and in 2020, so hopefully the organisers will appreciate them as much as we do.
 
I think it matters what specific countries it is.

Obviously it wouldn't work if the strategy was "Sweden & Finland" but "Norway & Denmark" works, because there are a lot of riders to pick from.

There are a total of 33 Norwegian/Danish riders on the WT currently, with a further 28 riding at Pro level (most of which are young up and coming riders), and both countries have very healthy junior programmes, while Denmark also has a rich track culture to draw upon..

That's a pretty healthy group to base a WT team off.
As I said- it's possible to make a team out of only Norwegian and Danish riders that won't be horribly uncompetitive but it won't be as competitive as a team that hunts for talent all across the world- which is what all other teams are doing, including competition for Norwegian and Danish riders with Uno-X.

A team that only tried to recruit from Sweden and Finland would obviously not get a WT licence due to not meeting the "sporting criteria" so I find that comparison pretty absurd.

Only 4.9% of top1000 riders according to PCS ranking are either Norwegian or Danish so you can already see how much of a limitation it is. And out of these 4.9% some are bound to end up at other teams than Uno-X.

If you sign 30 best riders you can from Denmark and Norway and then exchange the bottom 5 for the best riders outside of Denmark and Norway you were able to sign, you would presumalby be looking at quite a lot of quality gain, wouldn't you? And you voluntarily give that quality gain up. That's the problem I have here. Not sure if that kind of self-sabotaging your own competitiveness should have a place in a modern WT team that has automatic invitations for all major races.
 
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Reactions: Sandisfan
Here's something you may want to consider.

I posted, noticed my typing error, and my immediate thought was:

"I better correct that fast, or the redhead is certain to leave a comment on it"

Turns out I was too slow, despite only taking 20 seconds :p
I am fast! :cool:
So are we talking about fast Women and maybe fast cars? I like fast cars and am intrigued by fast women. :)

Ok just a play on words.

But I think only Danish and Norwegian may not be the best way forward after all Bora is a German team but not just German. If there was a rider out there available who could bring in a sponsor and results to lift the Idea of WT, kinda like a rider like Sagan, Wink Wink, not that he would go there but it was a funny thought, considering how he made Bora almost by himself a WT team well not by himself but you know.

I like how they ride and if they could keep it up at WT level i would love to have a team like that at WT level just for the entertainment. Not that saying and telling riders to ride like that will be guaranteed to work at WT level where almost all the riders are WT level. You can do it at smaller races more easily that at the bigger races. Some strong teams can shut that down some of the time maybe even often. But would welcome the Idea and I like the team as it is now, if they could do that a WT I would like them even more.
 
Only 4.9% of top1000 riders according to PCS ranking are either Norwegian or Danish so you can already see how much of a limitation it is. And out of these 4.9% some are bound to end up at other teams than Uno-X.
You need around 30 riders for a WT team and that is only 3% of the top 1000, so 1,9% can go to other teams :sunglasses:

I’m pretty sure the only Norwegian/Danish riders strategy will change without any problem if/when they realize it’s needed to secure the necessary quality, so we probably shouldn’t read too much into it at this stage.

I guess the benefit of having only Norwegian/Danish riders are mainly language and cultural. As a new team on the way up in the system I think it’s beneficial to have a group of riders that are pretty equal to avoid “teams within the team”.
 
I hope they stay away from Fuglsang (mainly because of his Ferrari connections), but I think Kristoff and some other decent riders like Bystrøm and hopefully some decent danish rider would give some invitations. But as you say, securing WT license already in 2023 will be very hard (unless 3-4 teams collapse), maybe 2024 or 2025 is more likely. My impression is that both UnoX, the staff and the team feel that they have enough time, it's a long term commitment. If it doesnt happen before 2026 or 2028 I don't think that's a big problem for them.
Kristoff and Bystrøm would be good. Those two would be the big potenital names for next year. Along with guys like Honore and the oldest Kragh Andersen. Hope they stay away from EBH. Next year there aren't that many good potential signings beyond those. But for 2023 it's something else. Pedersen, Kragh Andersen, Vingegaard, Kron and more. If they really aim for it and succeed, they could have very good classics team for the 2023 season.
 
The way it sounds they will continue to go for young talents mostly who don't cost that much, and some older riders who get a second chance / chance to revive their career, both reasons for guys to be cheaper. So I don't think they will go for many high class Danish riders.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
In the article here: https://www.tv2.no/sport/14054558/ Jens Haugland says:

In English: "for the mens team we want to keep the idea of a team ONLY having Norwegians and Danish riders"
Is that legal? Norway is in the EFTA, which has freedom of movement with the EU for labour. It would seem very odd for a private company to be able to publicly state a policy of only employing people of two nationalities for its key roles.

It is also the epitome of discrimination based on something other than ability, so no matter how much I might find the racing style of this team admirable, I really cannot feel positive towards them.
 

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