Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday Roundup

ESPN reports the UCI is threatening six month suspensions for riders who do Paris-Nice. We think the UCI is now squarely aiming at its other foot. If we ran a Pro team, we might divide into two squads -- those running the prestigious ASO races, and a B-team that ran the UCI pro tour. That ought to make the UCI happy.

The CyclingNews reports that The International Association of Professional Cycling teams (AIGCP) has expressed some concern over the contract offered it by the ASO and in fact agrees with Pat McQuaid on some of the points he made this week about the matter:

... However, the teams are following up on one of McQuaid's chief concerns - without UCI rules specifying participation, the organizers are able to dictate what teams can ride major events, including immediate expulsion of riders or teams if ASO perceived a threat of image damage for its organization or the event.

On the eve of Het Volk, AIGCP's directing committee studied the ASO agreement in detail for the French race. According to the AFP, AIGCP President Eric Boyer wanted to make sure the team's legitimate concerns were heard. "We'd like to make conditions for starting [events] common," said Boyer, who suggested each team make sure it had assurance of participation in the form of appropriate guaranteeing language in all contract

In other news, The NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League has decided to ban caffeine for its high school mountain bikers this year. What's next?

AP runs down the PN/ASO/UCI spat, saying it offers, "a fresh look at an increasingly dysfunctional sport." Ya think?

The VeloNews Mailbag from a couple of days ago rehashes some old familiar subjects.


Gary O'Brien said...

Kathleen Nelson of the STL Post Dispatch has a pretty good comparison of the UCI/ASO and open wheel racing today:

She also shows that she, at least, gets the idea that the Astana exclusion is completely arbitrary and punishes the wrong people.

jrdbutcher said...

How many of their own appendages will UCI try to shoot? Fair warning, that’s going to hurt!

Here we go again. This is a threat to penalize some of the least powerful/protected players in the professional cycling game. McQuaid must be both brave and proud.

UCI (and most national federations) have rules that can penalize licensed riders for competing in events with sanctions riders or non-sanctioned events. That threat pressured Tyler Hamilton to pull out of racing in a local (fund raising?) series in or near Boulder, CO while he was serving his suspension.

In this case, sanctioning the riders is the most gutless of the many punitive options at the UCI’s disposal. They can go after ASO, FFC, or the teams, just to name a few. The riders have the least say, yet are the most threatened. Way to go UCI !!!

None of the punitive options look like they will result in much good for the sport. A more constructive approach is in order. Of course, it’s not likely to happen. Get out your lawn chairs and umbrellas race fans. It’s going to be interesting watching the spiral to the bottom.