Tuesday Shorts

Remco Evenepoel is the new junior world time trial champion, completing the 27km course in 33m15s and finishing 1m23 ahead of Australia’s Lucas Plapp. He could have gone faster…

…seriously, yes. He was out of his aero tuck on sections where his rivals weren’t. This isn’t a criticism, just an observation that if he won by a huge margin then with more work and practice he could be even better. Obviously the next question is how he progresses in the coming years with Quick Step. The plan is to start slow and to do a few small races from time to time.

The question after this could be how he handles the pressure. It’s one thing to be the next big thing in cycling, another to be from Belgium too where cycling is front page news and the coverage in the media is like nowhere else. He’s already got his supporters’ club, an institution in Belgium, complete with branded “R.EV 1703” merchandise, a play on his name and the post code for his home of Schepdaal, just to the west of Brussels.

The UCI is going to appoint a host city for the 2020 World Championships. There’s a problem: nobody wants it. Or rather the bids have dried up, it is an expensive event to host given it can cost more than hosting the start of the Tour de France but doesn’t have the matching media coverage. Recently the bid by the city of Vicenza has been stalling and outwardly this looks like their chances are diminishing, unless they’re just very wily negotiators. As it happens Aigle, the town where the UCI is based, is keen to hold the Worlds and has held discussions about a joint bid with the nearby town of Martigny. Could the UCI award the Worlds to its home town? It might look too close to home but it opens up the possibility of some very good racing given the mountains all around, theoretically the course could stick to the flat Rhone valley floor but surely they’d have to exploit the Alps and some of the climbs used regularly by the Tour de Romandie?

From Romandie to Suisse and The Cycling Podcast interviewed Aqua Blue Sport team boss Rick Delaney about the demise of his team and if the interest in the moment was what was had just happened with his team, Delaney mentioned the system of wildcard invites and this came out:

Tour de Suisse, we did it last year, we did very well, we won a stage. it cost us twenty grand. This year we did it again, it cost us another twenty grand. So I’m paying €20,000… … Amstel Gold, another ten grand.
– Rick Delaney, speaking to The Cycling Podcast, 34m03s

This could be a subject to return to but worth noting for now as if there’s been chatter about payments and so on, here it’s on the record and the sum is made clear.

There might be other ways. Israel Cycling Academy have signed Rudy Barbier from Ag2r La Mondiale. Not a star name to guarantee an invite but the story here is the Israeli team quietly tending its francophile image. The team has had its own development squad but for 2019 it will link up with a French club. They’ll have to do more to get Christian Prudhomme’s attention.

As for the Tour de France route most of the stages leaking out via regional media. The Velowire website does a good job and the official presentation is on Tuesday 23 October.

From guessing to official, the Giro d’Italia will start in Bologna with an 8.2km that’s flat for six kilometres before the vicious climb to the San Luca Basilica, one of this site’s preferred Roads to Ride. It’ll be scenic and also a vital test of fitness, there’s no hiding on the straight ramps of the San Luca.

An update to last week’s piece on the finances of Team Sky. Comcast has bought Sky and so ends the Murdoch family’s ownership and control of the UK-based media firm. What does this mean for the pro team? It’s too early to say. James Murdoch, a keen cyclist, has been the driving force behind the team and he’s expected to leave but Comcast are likely to review the marketing and who knows what they’ll do with the Sky team.

Another update from a recent piece is the pressure from David Millar’s bid to delay the CPA union’s annual meeting and to have an electronic vote. The frustration of many riders is understandable but the union has its own set of rules. These can be re-written – and they probably need to be, some of the drafting is clumsy – but they can’t be shredded this week. They’re clear that any changes to the rules need to be submitted a month in advance of the meeting (Article 11) and there must be at least a two thirds majority of votes from members at the annual meeting to approve this (Article 12). But the riders counter that they were only notified of this meeting 18 days before the meeting when they’re supposed to have a month’s notice as a minimum.

A belated mention of Kanstantsin Siutsou of Bahrain-Merida, provisionally suspended following an A-sample test for EPO. Some reactions to the news were along the lines of “old school” but it’s not so retro. Yes, in the 1990s the peloton was probably using more EPO than the oncology and renal services departments of a large hospital. Only today there are still opportunities to use it with micro-dosing and it has a short detection window although whether it is worth the cost, hassle and risk is worth asking compared to using, say, an altitude tent. Siutsou’s case may not be resolved for a very long time. The provisional suspension for André Cardoso’s EPO test is still ongoing a year later; as is Samuel Sanchez for a different substance.

69 thoughts on “Tuesday Shorts”

  1. I always note TT junior world champs from your note in an article a few years ago that these are big engined riders who usually punch through into the pro-ranks in the up coming years – noticed the U23 champ has won two years in a row… expect big things?

    Would you say TT’s at the World Champs show the next generations power houses, whilst Tour L’Avenir shows us the up and coming climbs?

    Also – I would be sad to see Sky go, if this did happen what would say the affect would be?
    I assume many would be happy.
    And great riders would flood the market (would Sunweb/Dumoulin be the main beneficiary?)
    Unless the found equivalent sponsorship else where?
    (are there any big name British sponsor you’ve heard keen to enter but hesitant because Sky cornered the market?)

    Would be interested to see what would happen, as I guess it would be the biggest change since Postal>Discovery>Astana, would Brailsford go elsewhere similar to Bruyneel?

    • A perverse benefit of SKY folding up the tent would be to render a verdict on the riders themselves as in – is their success due to the marginal gains (read that anyway you like fanboys or haters) of the team management philosophy or due to SKY buying up all the good talent in the “can’t beat ’em, buy ’em mode’? If it’s only the talent these same riders should thrive pretty much anywhere, right?
      There has already been discussion here on the fortunes of riders who have left the team, with comparisons to those who left the BigTex operation. Generally neither group of riders had a lot of success (Elia Viviani is an obvious exception) but only the demise of the team would prove or disprove that it was their methodology that brought them success.
      Finally, I assume the Murdochs walk away from this Comcast/Disney buyout-takeover thing with bulging bank accounts, so will James take up the funding of a Brailsford and Co squad as a personal vanity project should the current funding be terminated by the new regime?

      • Given that he won two monuments after leaving Sky I think you could add Simon Gerrans to your list with Viviani, Rigoberto Uran has also enjoyed great post-Sky success.

        • Fair enough, though I might not go as far as saying GREAT success like SKY’s big winners, but they have remained competitive and (probably more importantly) not been busted for doping as happened to so many ex-BigTex boyz.

          • Matt Hayman as well. I don’t think his Paris-Roubaix win proves anything one way or another, but it was such a great race it seems a shame not to mention it. So apart form all the riders who did well after leaving Team Sky, no-one’s done anything! Only joking, I get the general point that GC guys have failed to win a GT, although Uran came close and I still don’t think it’s unimaginable for Porte to win one. He’d probably have to do it next season though and a lot will depend on what GT he targets – e.g. Giro/Vuelta is a better option but I suspect they’ll go for the Tour.

      • Sky spent £197.1m, according to Nielsen data, for 2017 and that’s just traditional advertising so it doesn’t include sponsoring a cycling team or even spreading their brand via the internet. Add to this that Comcast have made no rebranding announcements, as far as I’m aware, all indications are Comcast will still spend a large enough sum on the Sky brand that the cycling team would remain only a small portion of total spend. Of course it’s an easy ‘win’ to strip out £35 million at a stroke from your expenditure but the reason the takeover was fought so vigorously by competing entities is that Sky makes money and helps make money for other areas of the overall business. It’s unlikely then that Comcast will take a slash and burn approach to their next budget. If anything there’s every chance they could ‘co-sponsor’ for no cost at all and call the team Sky-Comcast to raise brand awareness in Sky markets in the UK and across Europe.

  2. “The frustration of many riders is understandable but the union has its own set of rules. These can be re-written – and they probably need to be, some of the drafting is clumsy – but they can’t be shredded this week. They’re clear that any changes to the rules need to be submitted a month in advance of the meeting (Article 11) and there must be at least a two thirds majority of votes from members at the annual meeting to approve this (Article 12). ”

    Obviously, the voting can’t/won’t be changed this year, and Bugno will remain the president. But the issues will also remain. I see two ways this may shake out. One, the CPA have their annual meeting, it is sparsely attended, and no one proposes changing the voting process (or it’s proposed and the leadership point out that technicalities of the CPA rules of order don’t allow this to be voted upon in this meeting, etc.). In which case the can is kicked down the road, cynicism deepens, and the CPA progressively becomes a zombie organization.

    Or, the current (and future) leadership recognize that they are in an existential crisis, and they themselves bring up the issue of changing the voting process for future elections and actually set the process in motion so that in the next round of elections they don’t have a bunch of riders feeling disenfranchised and discounted.

    I get that “rules are rules” and I know from experience that changing a union constitution and voting rules is process that takes some time. The die is cast for 2018. But the CPA need to accept that Millar and other riders have valid points. If they don’t get out in front of the issues, esp. the voting issues, then I don’t think the CPA is long for this world.

    • I’d agree, I think the CPA could be changed quite easily and just needs some encouragement, it’d be near impossible to stop electronic voting in the future. As for your scenarios, you can kick the can into 2019 and start to fix things then… or someone can form a breakaway union and if this happens then a large share of the CPA’s funding could dry up. Ideally the interest from riders in their union builds up.

      • I note a letter of protest written and published today signed by more than those without a national association and a block vote. Signees included Froome, Thomas, Dumoulin, Gilbert, Alaphilippe, Valgren, Fuglsang, Degenkolb, Landa and Valverde. Meanwhile in another report the British and Irish riders representative seemed sure that if the CPA go ahead as is and Bugno wins then there will be rider protests.

        Given the nature of this organisation and its arcane, not to say mystifying voting procedures (that I cannot understand how anyone agreed to in the first place) I should imagine that the CPA needs to reform ASAP or face being superceded by something more appropriate to the times.

      • What staggers me is the vehemence with which some people are attacking Millar, to the point of defending the indefensible & seemingly being prepared to ignore the groundswell of dissatisfaction that his candidacy has stirred up. Yes, he’s a former doper, but that’s hardly headline news or a devastating skeleton rattling out of his closet. Apparently even L*ance & Paul Kimmage are arm in arm on the issue. Really quite extraordinary.

    • I imagine that it can’t give the riders much confidence that their union is fighting for them, when it doesn’t even provide a way to voice their opinions within the union.

      Hopefully it improves, they deserve a better union.

    • And INRNG didn’t even have the good grace to even include a photo of fourth OR fifth. What will the German Michel Hessmann or the Norwegian Soren Waerenskjold think?

      (INRNG was only talking about the winner, and merely mentioned second to highlight the massive winning margin… I wouldn’t be worried for Italy)

  3. How good is Evenepoel potentially? I had never heard of him until l’Equipe reported he had signed for Quick Step and since then been keeping an eye on his results. He is always dominating his races, winning by minutes, even one day races. He won the European championships by something like 10mns. What is his specialty?

    • Everything except the sprint, although he has won from these before. It’s always hard to tell early as a good rider is often very good on all terrains and scenarios in the U23 ranks, for example Bob Jungels could do almost everything include winning U23 Paris-Roubaix but he’d be far from the first pick to win the pro race, riders tend to specialise. Evenepoel weighs 62kg so stage racing looks likely, whether he becomes an Alaphilippe style rider or a grand tour contender… or packs it in, we’ll see.

    • He is a rare talent, yes and combined with fast physical maturity. But you can’t compare the junior ranks to pros.

      I am sports director of a european junior team and we have raced against Remco this year, so I know how he rides. Let’s look at two riders from my country as an example of junior racers:

      Rider A has a good head on his shoulders. He does his schoolwork. He races on the weekends. He trains/races 10-15 hours a week. He has won a few races in our countrys own scene and one UCI win in Europe. Big talent with lots of space to improve.

      Rider B is a driven, egocentrical boy. He has pretty much left school and flunks his exams. He lives for cycling. He trains/races 30 hours a week. He has won numerous races in our own country, and a few UCI races in Europe. He is supergood, but he should be with this amount of training, right?

      The difference in training is the main point: A pro rider trains perhaps 30 hours a week. If rider B is already training that much, how will he improve compared to the other rider? Not as much, so which rider will you prefer if you are a team owner?

      Also to take into account is how fast humans mature physically. Some, like Sagan will win their first Paris-Nice stage at 19 or 20 years old. Some will be a lot slower. So in an age-defined group it will be those who mature fast who win the most.

      I am prepared to take my words back in a few years – But highly I doubt that Remco can reproduce his dominance in the pro ranks at any point in his carreer.

      • I don’t think it will be necessary for Remco to reproduce his dominance in the pro ranks in order to have a hugely succesful career:-)
        And BTW do we know whether Remco is at this point in his career closer to Rider A or to Rider B trainingwise? (I would be inclined to believe he has trained a lot and from an early age, though not necessarily systematically,)
        It’s true that there are too many factors involved. If there weren’t, we wouldn’t have so many junior champions who went on to have a very mediocre career or no career at all.
        But when it comes to training, there is also a quality that probably has a high genetic element: the ability to tolerate a large amount of traning. Rider B has demonstrated that ability, the unknown factor is whether he has the capacity to improve further when the raining (and racing) gets harder as well.
        Rider A, on the other hand, will no doubt improve when he will train like the pros, but the question will be: can he tolerate it or will he stagnate or get ill or injured too often to see sgnificant improvement.
        I have seen examples of both types and I believe it is impossible to tell in advance. Not even modern sports science will paint a clear picture of a junior athlete’s future.
        But I’m pretty sure that I, too, would sign Rider A rather than Rider B – and Remco rather than Rider A:-)

      • Interesting points, Watts. I was thinking similar – if less detailed and knowledgeable – points whilst I endured Carlton Kirby moronically jabber as if Evenepoel was the second coming.

        At under 170cm, he doesn’t fit the current ‘mould’ of the consistent GT winner.

  4. Thanks for the Sanchez update. This is the first I’ve heard of it since the day the story broke. I was starting to think I’d just imagined it.

  5. Rumours of Sky’s demise are, so far, vastly exaggerated. They still have several riders on multi-year contracts and I believe the funds are secured in advance in any case. My guess would be they have funds for another a couple of years minimum even if Comcast rolled up tomorrow and said they wanted to spend their Sky marketing budget elsewhere in future. Or maybe Comcast don’t mind carrying on and it becomes Team Comcast. Or maybe they get another sponsor. Or perhaps they wrap up, Brailsford retires to a yacht in the south of France, Froome admires his jerseys and Bernal joins someone else (but hopefully not Movistar).

    All will be revealed. But at least we won’t have the bores going on about Murdoch anymore.

    • It is unsurprising that Sky fanboys would rather brush under the carpet James Murdoch’s somewhat controversial career.
      Then again, who of us wouldn’t hack the phones of people whose relatives have been murdered?
      Have people been unfair to criticise Sky’s Murdoch ownership, or is this more of ‘RonDe’s delusional victimism’ as Gabriele put it in the post about Sky’s finances?

      • I’m unaware that it was anything to do with Team Sky. Perhaps you will be equally harsh on the newsagent who sold Murdoch a Mars Bar one day or the airline that flew him across the Atlantic. It seems clear that your anonymous view is that any financial association with the man renders them persona non grata for you, a rather extreme view to say the least.


        • Sure. The team owned by Murdoch is the same as the person who sold him a bar of chocolate.
          Perhaps not so much delusional as disingenuous.
          Do you feel that the Bahrain-Merida team has as much to do with the Prince of Bahrain as the person who sold him a bar of chocolate?
          With this kind of pathetic attempt at glossing over things it almost seems like you’ve been schooled by Dave Brailsford.

          • It well behooves a person who uses multiple names to attack a fellow commenter not to accuse the other of being “disingenuous”, not least when one has not even understood the argument he made. Nowhere did I say “the Bahrain-Merida team has as much to do with the Prince of Bahrain as the person who sold him a bar of chocolate”. What I did say was that you seem to find Team Sky utterly foul because you have something against the man who put its funding in place. But, as I previously asked and as you never answer, how is this the fault of Team Sky? What do Team Sky have to do with the crimes, real or otherwise, of anyone called Murdoch? And, as far as it goes, what does Vincenzo Nibali have to do with the Prince of Bahrain? Is the Italian responsible for what his paymaster does? Is he assumed to condone it?

            Perhaps when you work out which disguise to use to answer you’ll come back with more of your holier than thou, self-absorbed twaddle, as if every corner of your own life were utterly free of any taint or sourness from some remote connection to something you think evil or beyond the pail. But what nonsense to think that anyone here should be schooled by a man so incompetent or dishonest that he can’t even fill his name in properly before posting.

          • ‘a person who uses multiple names’ – nope, only J Evans and Anonymous (when the name doesn’t autofill – to please you and Inner Ring I shall henceforth only post as Anonymous: that way you can amuse yourselves by guessing which Anonymous is J Evans- riveting stuff for you – apologies if the name autofills).
            As for ‘attack a fellow commenter’, see many, many of your posts, including the original one above: ‘But at least we won’t have the bores going on about Murdoch anymore.’
            Incidentally, you yourself have actually used multiple names on occasion, so your hypocrisy is writ large.

            I have not misunderstood: my argument (unlike yours) is perfectly clear – I don’t like Sky because of their owner/sponsor; I don’t like Bahrain-Merida because of their owner/sponsor.
            I cannot imagine how you would consider those teams not to be inextricably linked to their owner/sponsor.
            Yes, by riding for a team owned/sponsored by the Prince of Bahrain, Nibali is assumed to condone the Prince’s behaviour. That’s what happens when you take someone’s coin. The same as the Giro d’Italia condoned Israel’s behaviour.
            As for your personal comments about me, they mean nothing and stay with you – they’re nothing to do with me and besides, they are merely yet another example of your seeming utter lack of self-awareness.

          • I hope, J Evans, that you or your family have never been in receipt of any UK government money. For, by your own argument, you thereby stand condemned of any crimes they may ever have committed. No, more than that, you also expressly condoned them. Whether you factually agreed with them or not.

            This is your argument. And its laughable.

          • It’s not my argument.
            I suspect that’s clear to everyone.
            Including you.
            You don’t choose the country you’re born in. You can choose your employer.
            Keep grasping.

          • Keep failing to grasp the concept of filling a name in a box which, since you have been publicly warned about it by the blog owner, can now only be deliberate. Deceitful behaviour.

          • ‘Deceitful?’ OK, Helen Lovejoy.
            Wrongly warned by inner ring for using multiple names – as explained above. Whereas you have used multiple names. As always though you ignore any point that you can’t answer to – such as you often ‘attacking fellow commenters’.
            You also presumably missed me saying this: ‘I shall henceforth only post as Anonymous’. So, again, ‘deceitful’?
            Only you and IR seem to have any interest in this. Me, I’m just responding to your BS, because as with IR I’m unwilling to let you lie about me.

          • IR, you started this – as seen on this page.
            You also started the nonsense in the first place when you publicly stated that I was using multiple names.
            That was a lie and you’ve never apologised.
            And you’ve kept it going on this page.

          • Yes, the truth that sometimes the ‘Name’ section of this website doesn’t auto-fill. I only remembered to do it here because I was – for some reason known only to the Inner Ring (I’ve been reading this site for years and can’t remember another ‘Anonymous’s’ identity being questioned) – talking about it.
            Conspiracy fans should note that I already knew about ip addresses – who doesn’t? – so I was hardly trying to conceal my identity (which was I would have thought obvious even without my name in the box).
            Inner Ring’s fascination with this – and others’ interest – continues to baffle me and yet not interest me at all.

        • Inner Ring, you are making this rod for your own back by not requiring registration for comments. And J Evans is right in one crucial sense, the sense that you made a public accusation of him and have never backed it up.

          • No, no, I think it should be exactly the other way around. We all should be forced to post anonymous. This way we would be kept on our mental toes and it would break up the cliques, which would be a great thing.

          • Registration means hoops to jump through, I value the open feedback too.

            J Evans was posting under “J Evans and anonymous” before , something they are doing again here so not sure what needs to be backed up?

            I prefer if people pick a name, it helps the conversation. Even a conversation in the dark lets you hear people’s voices to know who is who, here a username helps.

          • As explained – over and over again – J Evans, like many here, only posts under one name and sometime Anonymous.
            IR accused me of using ‘multiple names’. Anonymous is not a name. Nobody reads the phrase ‘multiple names’ and thinks of one name and ‘Anonymous’.
            I’d think a lot more of you, IR, if you didn’t attempt to weasel out of it.
            And you brought it up again on this page.
            You’ve never (as far as I can recollect) asked an ‘Anonymous’ to identify themselves. And yet you did on this page (that’s what started this).
            Coupling this and your false accusation against me, it’s pretty clear what your motivations are.
            But they are very much your problem.

          • Well, it is two usernames (multiple) and it’s quite confusing when you switch between the two.

            It’s impossible to know if it’s someone else joining into the conversation or the original poster is adding to their comment. So, you may not mean it as deceptive, but I’m sure you can imagine why it could come across that way.

    • There might be some change of control language in the contracts though that allow Comcast to get out.

      What is interesting also is that Comcast owns NBC which broadcasts a lot of the WT races on its channels and apps. So maybe they could use the Sky Team for content, like the deal that Slipstream did with Yahoo that never really worked out and was cancelled quickly.

      • Beyond any short-term (upto five years, say) contractual obligation it seems difficult to see what interest Comcast would have in a professional cycling team.
        By then, Froome and probably Thomas (as the current foremost British riders)will have retired, as will have quite a lot of the Brit contingent of the peloton.
        It will certainly be interesting to see if a next generation emerge and where / who they may be riding for.

        • On Comcast funding Sky:

          In the US, ESPN was instrumental in creating the TV demand for a variety of sports (… meaning Billions of dollars). Comcast is very well aware of this, I would expect Eurosport to be as well…. thus one wonders? Shouldn’t Comcast buy portions of Discovery DISCA – or should Discovery be sponsoring Sky? Or maybe Comcast/sly buy up the coverage directly and remove it from any source besides Sky.

          A different way of thinking, the UK viewer is already hooked, so they really don’t need to be spending $40M Euro a year there. If the UK riders are on a UK team or Michelton Scott, does it matter? Perhaps they should be spending money on building up other markets will they can add more Sky customers?

          I would expect Comcast to honor the commitments but cut it off if it is not accretive to the revenues.

          On the UCI…

          What kind of sh** show is Lappartient running sending out a picture of people smiling when the teams are pissed that nothing is happening. Rightfully so, the fact that teams are spending about 400 million euro annually, but barely get a seat at the table. And of that 400Billion less than half is true sponsorship the rest all hobby money. The smaller races are getting screwed as well as they build up the grand tours so especially ASO can run the roost.

          The new proposal is likely to just blow up the smaller races and many pro-Conti teams.

          • One of my greatest fears has long been Sky buying the rights to show cycling and thus pricing many of we viewers out of watching it.

            Lappartient seems no better than the last bloke, who was no better than the last bloke, who was…

          • J Evans, most cycling is already on Eurosport, which is not a free channel. Some of the races are even on its online player which is a further expense. Is it only Sky you object to paying?

          • Sky sports in the UK is £50+ a month. Eurosport is £5 a month and you can usually find a deal to get it for much less (I paid £20 for a year). I would stop watching cycling if it was all on sky.

          • Liam, Sky Sports costs far more to watch online than Eurosport does.
            And, yes, I do – unsurprisingly – object to giving money to Murdoch (although that will no longer be an issue).

          • @Pax: You do realise, that „the teams“ are in the picture too, smiling? I see, you repeat the propaganda line of „blabla millions the team bring to the sport“. I would like to hear, which races, which clubs and so forth the teams support with that money „they bring to the sport“. And btw, did „the teams“ ever pay anything to the race organisers for the damage they did and do with doping, with the constant bickering, the boring racing and so forth?

            When „the teams“ really get their way, I will be gone from cycling. That would be the absolutely worst, that could ever happen. That would be total moral bankruptcy. I was really upset, that the reforms got killed again and we are again closer to a closed club than ever. There is not one sport, where the athletes get to rule and harass the federation. In all other sports it is the federation deciding, not the athletes. But in cycling „the teams“ think it is their right to make their own rules?

            It is like cycling simply never learns. With nothing. Not with doping, not with money, with nothing. They always come late to the dance. And every chance the riders had, to act responsible and like grown up people, they royally blew.

            „The teams“ are like the current english government – totally removed from reality (sorry, england, but it‘s true). The whole world falls apart, because people finally see through the nonsense they were told of free markets and capitalism and are angry with globalisation and capitalism, yet „the teams“ are so stuck in their million dollar fantasy, that they still bang that broken drum. Everywhere people turn away from golddiggas, just look at the various football leagues, where the fans start a revolution against „the teams“ and their naked greed. Yet cycling still thinks it is the thing to do. Money never solved any problems.

            And really: When in the wt alone there are several hundreds of millions, I think we need to stop gettting more money into cycling. Asap. It is like „the teams“ aren‘t into cycling, but in the job of making money with cycling (ok, I have to exclude Madiot here. Whatever he is, he loves cycling).

            „The teams“ remind me of that bad joke: We can‘t tax the rich, because we need rich people, because from their wealth, money will trickle down to the poor people. How will the poor profit from rich people? Well, look at the people, that live at the bottom of the hills, where the rich people live on. When the rich people lose one or two Euros sometimes, what will happen? Yes, you’re right! It will of course roll down the hill and so the wealth of the rich trickles down to the poor and poor people will profit from getting the rich people richer.

            Why „the teams“ remind me of that? Because I totally believe, they will buy that.

            (Sorry for telling the joke not so funny, one of the hardest things to do in a foreign language, is to be funny).

  6. Comcast owns NBC which broadcasts the Tour, Vuelta, Olympics, etc. in the United States. The only change will be Team Sky presented by NBCSN. Much like they did with OLN and Postal.

  7. What really annoys me, is that the small teams have to pay for races and the races then use the money to pay the big teams (like the giro paid big money to froome and like surely the Deutschland Tour paid money to stars, too – I don‘t think they went there out of the goodness of their heart or because their palmares just missed THAT crucial line). This is the usual bs you get, when sport is a business. It gets especially perverse, when a race like tour de suisse forces small teams to pay: the tour de suisse was one of those races, that was used in the velon-uci struggle by the teams to beat ASO with. Publically the tour de suisse says: We will pay the teams something of our revenue (do we know how much that was in the last 2 years???) and behind closed doors they force small teams to pay up!

    It is btw not the first time a team is on record about having to pay races for a place. I remember reading an interview with an american team (I think it was Axel Merckx, but maybe I am wrong), how they have to „activate“ their sponsors to pay the big american races and then are not even sure, they get a place in the starting list. Activating a sponsor means nothing different than your sponsor pays the race for a place in it.

  8. Surprised by some of the comments above following the Comcast announcement and that certain teams are hated/disliked because of their erstwhile sponsors. There is murk on a lot of teams if you look hard enough not just the obvious ones. The Cycling Podcast covered it an episode a while ago and much of the arguements above are just an odd form of semantic satiation.

  9. Ok. I must say, I didn‘t know, that millar was indeed 2 years (I think) part of the cpa, was slated as the next president (according to an interview he did on velonews) without challenger, just as Bugno before him and when Bugno decided to run again, millar began his attack – a la gop.

    This makes all his claims about the „rigged voting system“ and the ineffectiveness of the cpa“ unbelievable.
    First, he knew a lot, a whole lot about the cpa, it isn’t, that he just a few weeks ago decided to throw the hat in the ring and was unaware of the rules etc. He knows exactly how it works and that, even as president, he can do nothing, when the members don’t vote that way. So all the changes he now promises as sure things – he knows, that it isn’t in his powers to deliver them, if the members don’t want it. More importantly: He always portrayed himself as an outsider of the cpa, when he was effectively an insider!

    Second, he seemingly was fine with using this „rigged voting“ systen, as long as he would profit from it. Sadly, this confirms exactly what I think about millar, it goes even beyond what I already thought about him. The way he now presents himself as the poor, pure soul, sacrificed on the altar of the powerful, whose only wish is to be useful to the riders, sadly always catches a few in the net.

    I tried not to read too much before the vote of what millar and his posse wrote, as I didn‘t want to get too angry, but I knew, it was pretty aggressive, what they did. I now am glad
    I didn‘t read it, as it is straight from the playbook of those nasty parties (tories, republicans). If becoming the president of a not very important small union makes one act that way, then either there is a big, hurt ego involved or there are other forces, who push from behind. Or, as I think it is in this case, both.

    I am not very happy to come to the same conclusion as kimmage or armstrong, but sometimes things really are just as they seem (the most cringeworthy and bigheaded thing to me was, when millar answered armstrong‘s interview with a tweet and ended it with a sarcastic: „On behalf of the peloton, thank you“. As if he speaks for the peloton and is now their inner channeled voice, a poor lamb only with selflees, good intentions. Of course).

    Initially I wasn‘t very bothered, if millar would get president of the cpa, I was just bothered, who would use him, but a few of his actions, that stood out to me, like this tweet, made me very bothered. I now don‘t want him in that role. Ever. One can at least hope.

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