Petacchi Loophole Closed

Some sprinters are feared for their switching but Alessandro Petacchi tried a different kind of move this year when he announced his retirement only to switch to OPQS. The UCI shut the door on this and a blocked Petacchi had to wait until August to move teams.

But the attempt showed a loophole in the rules and this has now been closed for good. Not every change to the UCI rulebook is worth a mention but Petacchi’s mid-season switch was a strange story with implications for teams and recruitment so here’s a quick look.

Read more

UCI To Close “Dangerous” Petacchi Transfer Loophole

Sprinters and lawyers have more in common than you think. They’re often well-paid and they spend their time trying to squeeze through gaps and loopholes.

In recent days we’ve had news that the Omega Pharma – Quickstep team had been looking to hire Alessandro Petacchi. The Italian would make a useful addition to the team as a leadout man for Mark Cavendish. He is fast and experienced and if he’s not the victor he once was, there’s a career for a year or two spent in the service of Cavendish.

But cycling doesn’t normally allow mid-season transfers and if some reports said OPQS mechanics had even built a Specialized for Petacchi, he’s not moved yet. Indeed it looks like a potential loophole has been closed by the UCI, fearing the precedent could set by a mid-season transfer. But what if we allowed teams to trade riders during the season and created a transfer market?

Read more

Power Balance under investigation

I walked into a bike shop in June for some spares and noticed a display on the sales counter for Power Balance bracelets. I instantly took them for nonsense, they are made from silicone and neoprene bands and are supposed to “work with your body’s natural energy field“. Yeah, right. Only come July I saw … Read more

Petacchi – tax evasion?

Several stories have run with allegations that Alessandro “Ale-Jet” Petacchi is under investigation for tax dodging. Here’s citing an Italian newspaper: The Lampre-Farnese Vini sprinter allegedly earned three million Euro in image rights and advertising contracts… the fraud was organised through a Dutch company, with Petacchi keeping the money in a Swiss bank account. … Read more