Does the UCI Hate Bike Racing?

OK so Contador had trace amounts of some crap in his blood or pee and everything he did for a year and a half doesn’t count?  Andy Shleck is now a Tour de France champion, that is until they find some crap in his piss and change the records again.  How can pro bike racing be taken seriously when races are being rewritten every year.  This is getting stupid.

The most succesful team couldn’t find a sponsor this year and it doesn’t surprise me.  I wouldnt’ sponsor cycling.  Tons of money is generated by a few race owners and very little of this goes to the riders in the form of prize money.  Who would want to watch these races on TV if the top riders didn’t show up.  It’s like they want to pretend that cycling is an amateur sport and these guys will line up for a shot at the prize money?  And then you’re going to tell them they can’t have their radios because it makes the racing less interesting while riders are getting ran over by cars on the course.

The teams and riders are getting fed up, their organization just voted that they have no confidence in the UCI’s leadership meaning Pat McQuaid, who seems to be on a runaway train to crazy town.  This is the same guy who will go to a woman’s race and tell everyone women don’t deserve a minimum wage in cycling.  Is there not someone less of a jackass they could get for this job?

There has been talk being tossed around of a break out league, emulating US style sports but with a global reach.  Riders and teams would have more control over the rules that govern their sport and get a piece of the money pie from TV advertising.  Of course this would mean many changes cycling would start to pull away from its roots.  Just look at the Tour of Flanders this year.  The route is being changed to make it more TV and spectator friendly.

I don’t want to see cyclist riding machines that don’t resemble a bike, and I don’t want to the sport to be driven entirely by the almighty dollar, and I like the monuments and tours like they are.  If the UCI likes these things too they’ll come out with a consistent set of rules for bikes, races, teams and give their greatest asset, the racers, a bigger say in the sport or become a truly amateur organization.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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2 Responses to Does the UCI Hate Bike Racing?

  1. Steve says:

    If you’re going to punish a rider, make it fast and make it stick. Keep it private until the suspension is announced. Don’t have a court. Let a mediator rule on appeals, all in private until the final decision is made. Then at least you’re no different than college basketball/football, which has had several championships voided due to rules violations without appreciable dropoff in fan support.

    The breakout league idea is interesting. Let us hope they don’t go the way of the IRL/CART split which seriously damaged open wheel racing in North America. The obvious comparison is NASCAR, which features sponsored teams (albeit only two cars) racing for prize money on a series of tracks. Hopefully, the riders will even SOUND like NASCAR drivers. I can hear them now…

    “Well, Reggie, the Trek Madone SRAM Alpha was running really well today. The course was fast and the Continental Ultras were hugging the asphalt just fine. I got tucked in behind the Number 6 jersey and when the Number 48 bike swapped paint with him, I saw him get loose in a corner and I slipped by on his inside.”

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