Grand Tours Diss ProTour

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by bobke, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. bobke

    bobke New Member

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    They have formally parted ways.
    Will this mean cycling goes the way of american hockey?
    Confused weak and not very smart leaders, I mean between the idiots at UCI and real first class bozos (to quote Lance's description of LeBlanc in a recent Velo News interview) like LeBlanc...who could doubt that they would come up with a jackass system like the ProTour.

    Not good for cycling.
     
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  2. Endym

    Endym New Member

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    And regarding participating teams, cyclingnews.com says:

    "For 2006, the 20 ProTour teams will still have the right to participate in each of these events, with two wild-card teams likely to be invited. Should any ProTour team elect not to participate, the number of wildcard teams would presumably rise to ensure a full field.

    In 2007, the 14 best teams of a yet to be established point system, plus a maximum number of eight wildcards for the Grand Tours will be eligible to take part. The statement said that, "a points system , which will value the performances of the teams in the different classifications of each of the Grand Tours, will be established soon with the help of experts. The ethical requirements on the teams will also be defined and considered."
     
  3. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    Initial bugs with the ProTour aside, I think this is very bad news. I did think that the ProTour was very helpful in making more races competitive and encouraging riders to take on a tough schedule. I am disappointed that an agreement could not be reached.
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I think the concept of the Pro-Tour is the only valid way in which to bring the sport to a wider audience and to make cycling a sport that can compete in the wider sporting spectrum.

    Undoubtedly there was going to be issues in the initial years - but the concept of getting riders to ride more races and to raise the profile of less "high profile" races, is crucial for the survival of the sport in the general sport market.

    A few years back we almost had a situation where Paris-Nice was scrapped because of lack of participation and lack of sponsorship.

    The Big 3 are important races - but it had got to the stage that they were cornering all of the market in terms of money and exposure.
    For the sake of the sport, the balance had to be addressed and the Pro-Tour is a start of the redress.
     
  5. cyclingheroes

    cyclingheroes New Member

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    What a mess! BUT it wouldn`t surprise me if there will be an agreement in the coming months. Like Hans Holczer (Gerolsteiner team mangement) said yesterday: it`s all about money and all sides are playing poker at the moment, at the end there will be an agreement.....
     
  6. micron

    micron New Member

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    Thing is, ASO et al really do hold most of the cards - I think they own all the big races bar Liege-Bastogne-Liege - and, whilst I see your point, Lim, what have the PT really achieved? Sure, we get better coverage on satellite in the UK but it hasn't had the desired effect of expanding coverage in places like the US. It's new initiatives like the Team TT championships was, frankly, a joke. And, whilst the top teams turned out for the Giro and the Vuelta, they hardly fielded their best teams - saving all their firepower for the TdF.

    Looks to me like we should all hope that ASO etc buy up L-B-L, pump money into development of some interesting new races (ASO developed the Tour of Burkina Fasso, for example) and force the UCI to really shake up their ideas.
     
  7. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Mic, I think ASO and Unipublic hold all the aces as you say : but the PT was designed to make the other non-grand tour races more prominent.

    We could be seeing the start of a Kerry Packer situation here : where the money men dictate the terms rather than the governing sporting body.
    (not that I support the UCI - they're disasterous in many way but on this issue
    I do support them).
     
  8. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    No, the PT was designed to keep sponsors happy and attract new sponsors. Too bad the egos involved ruined it all because I forsee teams folding because of this.
     
  9. micron

    micron New Member

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    The GTs are talking about pre-selecting the top 14 PT teams and then issuing 8 wild cards - surely this will encourage 'lesser' teams to perform strongly and will go some way to meeting the criticism that some of the PT teams - locked in for 4 years - were lightweight.

    It seems to me that the best way lies somewhere between the 2 approaches - and let's not forget that McQuaid brought this on himself by jumping up and down after the TdF presentation and decrying ASO for wanting tougher doping controls, run by WADA if the UCI couldn't (more likely wouldn't) oblige
     
  10. DiabloScott

    DiabloScott New Member

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    That's almost exactly the way GT teams were picked before the ProTour. The teams need more flexibility and the race organizers need more control.

    I think there are a couple things that could work:

    1. Reduce the number of ProTour teams to something more manageable - say 16 or 18.

    2. Offer guaranteed slots to all Pro Tour teams but don't require them to accept - if Lampre wants to skip the Vuelta let them! Just insist they RSVP in time for someone else to take the spot.

    3. Divorce rider rankings from PT rankings - go back to the UCI points system or something else. Maybe keep the white jersey just for a bone.

    OK, somebody find fault with that.
     
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