Yesterday I mentioned how the UCI seems to hate women and disabled cyclists, now it seems that they love the Vuelta a España so much that they feel their own World Tour should be an uphill struggle. The Vuelta this year starting outside Spain as a precursor to 2018 when it will start at Lukla airport and finish at the top of Mt Everest. I feel that this metaphor of the Vuelta struggle may also succinctly fit my own fight for fitness.
The UCI have managed to hamper their own new World Tour, much like my trying to work on core strength. I hamper myself by being unable to concentrate on holding positions for 30 seconds, the UCI hampers their races by not concentrating on them over 2 years. The UCI basically decided that the new races that they have added to the World Tour will have 2 years in which to perform, which seems sensible but they have decided to hit the races with a conundrum.
The races will have to have at least 10 World Tour teams in each edition of the race, the World Tour teams have to turn up the races voluntary, this again seems fair especially as the World Tour teams need to race in order to gain points, which are gained through riders finishing positions, to stay in the World Tour. Enter the UCI. They have now decided that the new World Tour races that they have launched this year do not count for World Tour points.
The best news is the first new World Tour race starts in a couple of weeks, so it may not be affected by today’s rule change. Yeah, I thought yesterday’s 7 weeks notice for the Para-track Worlds was insane but they are cutting all these changes finer and finer. I just can not believe that they do not have a calendar and the ability to use it or even an event planner. How many athletes will be able to make their World Championships on a different continent, even if fully able bodied, with 7 weeks notice? Never mind find the form they need or have a training plan ready.
Anyway, I digress, the races that will be affected are, in an order of appearance, the Cadel Evans Ocean Road Race (also winner of the worst race name), Abu Dhabi Tour (the Fred Flinstone race), Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche (the on-trend race), Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Tour of Turkey, Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Franfurt (the say it loud and terrify people race), the Amgen Tour of California (we make the products that the pros use race), Prudential RideLondon, Surrey Classic and the Tour of Guangxi. I could probably have come with a full list of alternative names but I still like to imagine I have a life.
Now I imagine the Omloop and Dwars door Vlaanderen are not going to worry about teams entering but with a limited squad and so many races, why would you want to send a team out to the Tour of Turkey or the Tour of Guangxi? Why risk people racing and having accidents and then not being able to compete in races that could ensure your World Tour survival. If my team sponsors were not worried about that market I would keep my team where they were more useful.
We also have the problem that if we look at RideLondon it is on at the same time as World Tour races that give you points, the Tour of Poland and Clasica de San Sebastian. Why then would I send a team to race it, when I have two other priorities that weekend? This would mean RideLondon has a lifespan of 2 years on the World Tour. Although it has signed a deal with Velon which should prevent that happening. This means that one week after the Tour De France the 11 squads will have to field teams in three races. As far as event planning goes the UCI is terrible. Does this now mean though that the rest of the new World Tour races will do a deal with the Velon group of 11 teams to ensure their survival? The other swing side to this is that the Velon group are in a disagreement with the Tour De France owners ASO, ASO has just purchased the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Franfurt so the Velon group could agree to not race it. As the Velon group comprises 11 World Tour teams that would then doom the race. At politics the UCI is terrible.
It is also listed that all the World Tour teams have to be invited to these races and that any vacant spots can only be filled after the World Tour teams have responded. I would like to believe they would do this in a timely manner but everything about ‘professional’ cycling tells me that this is a pipe dream. As an organization to run cycling the UCI is terrible. Sometimes the people “running” cycling make we want to throw it all in, I bet it would be as easy as throwing my bike over a fence. Ah…
Maybe my attempts at building my core strength were not all that bad then. I am in many ways building my own temple in a DIY style, much in the same way as Cadence expect you to DIY your own cleat holes in their new socks. I for one can not wait for next year when I will have to cut the hole for getting my foot in and then in 2019 when I will just get some neon yellow yarn and a screen printing stencil. I wonder how much money they saved by not having that hole in there?
In what is becoming a lovely soap opera, because cycling needs another one, Pinarello have hit back at Velocite to turn the argument about aero shapes into a hand bags at dawn one. Sadly they have not responded to my claim of using inferior outdated technology on the extravagantly priced Dogma F10. I also feel slightly saddened that the paint job on their new Sky model does not go full Jackson Pollock, cycling needs paint jobs like that to remind everyone we are societies outcasts and not failed art students.