Who Speaks for the Riders?

Thursday, 18 December 2014


That’s Luca Paolini and Manuel Quinziato in discussion with officials from the Giro d’Italia following the treacherous circuit around Bari where riders were sliding over the road. It’s often difficult to know who speaks for the riders and there are regular calls for a rider union, a collective body to protect and strengthen the rights of professional cyclists. Only this is exists already, it’s called the CPA and every pro is compelled to pay for it. Only few seem to know about it.

As the sport reorganises there’s an alphabet soup of acronyms, each fighting for competing interests. There’s the UCI itself then race organisers like ASO and RCS who themselves are part of the AIOCC, a lobby group for race promoters. There are the teams, the employers, who form several groups for example their collective lobby is the AIGCP and many also subscribe to the MPCC and there’s the newly created Velon too. Will the riders and their union have a say too?

[click to continue…]

{ 14 comments }

Europcar’s Difficult Ride

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Europcar Cycling Team

Europcar have a training camp in Spain. Only you’d never know, while other teams broadcast the news, the green team is keeping a low profile. Amid all the fuss about Astana’s licence Europcar’s ejection from the World Tour has been a smaller story. It might hope to win wildcard invitations to the top races but that requires a UCI licence and it’s yet to get one of any kind for 2015. This won’t be easy.

[click to continue…]

{ 40 comments }

Review: Merckx-Ickx Expo

Monday, 15 December 2014

Merckx Ickx expo

An exhibition depicting the sporting careers of Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx, a motorsport champion. Much more than a celebration of two men with -ckx in their name, the pair are friends and approaching their 70th birthdays and this show is tribute to the two and features a lot of material from their private collections.

If you’re in Brussels you must visit, if you’re not in Brussels you should visit.

[click to continue…]

{ 25 comments }

The ISSUL Performance Criteria

December 12, 2014

What’s the good news of this week? One improvement is the new audit of the Astana team by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) imposed by the UCI as a condition of its licence. As well as the investigation audit which will be finished by February, the team has to […]

Read the full article →

Spot the Difference

December 11, 2014

Look closely at the two screengrabs from La Gazzetta dello Sport and see what’s different. Sure see one is more pink, the font is different and the picture changes. But the headlines about Michele Ferrari and a €30 million web of suspect payments and pro cyclist contracts are the same. So what is the big […]

Read the full article →

Licensed to Ride

December 10, 2014

Astana have got their World Tour licence for 2015 following a late review from the UCI. A shock? Not really because the rules don’t give the Licence Commission much room to exclude a team. It takes a smoking gun, or in the case of Team Europcar, denied a World Tour place, cold arithmetic. It’s worth […]

Read the full article →

Book Review: 101 Damnations

December 9, 2014

101 Damnations – Dispatches from the 101st Tour de France by Ned Boulting The Tour de France is more than a bike race. It’s a theatre with many plays, plots and stories. Spectators enjoy the countryside, business deals are done and a lot of people work hard to make the show happen. British broadcaster Ned […]

Read the full article →

Roads to Ride: The Col de Turini

December 7, 2014

The Col de la Madone is the climb used by many Monaco-based pros to test their form. If the top of the climb can be a finish line, it’s also a gateway, once over the pass a range of riding options open up. When riders want a longer and more Alpine style climb the Col […]

Read the full article →

Friday Shorts

December 5, 2014

Astana have been made to wait a week in order to get their licence for 2015. You suspect Alexander Vinokourov wouldn’t sweat if you put him in a banya but even the granite-faced Astana team boss must be feeling embarrassed.

Read the full article →

What Happened to The 14 Predictions for 2014

December 4, 2014

Just before 2014 started I made 14 predictions for 2014. The point wasn’t to forecast precise events, it was more a means to look at stories that could unfold in the year. Now it’s time to review them.

Read the full article →