• Sean

    A 48kph average speed on that road is phenomenal.

  • PDidds

    Astana parrot in team colours?

    • jules

      squawk! where did I leave the tourniquet? squawk!

      I’ll show myself out..

    • Roger That

      All the Astana parrots are in team colours.

  • Ron

    Yikes, that wound on Roche looks grim!

  • Dave

    Absolutely no sympathy for Rabottini from me. Fuck off and get a real job.

    I’m impressed that ‘living in hell’ has been added to the options for sanctioning though.

  • Andy Logan

    I have a question, can’t the UCI just devalue the points available for the TdF for example to make it worthless and then most teams wouldn’t ride it? I know the ASO hold the card around the TDF being the race to be seen at but I hate seeing the ASO with this much power.

    • jules

      because the points aren’t the key issue. rather, the massive publicity, TV coverage and prestige makes it a drawcard for sponsors. teams need sponsors, so they need to ride the Tour. they need points too.

      • Dave

        It raises an interesting question though: which is the more abstract and less tangible concept – world ranking points or the WorldTour?

        I wonder if the 2018 solution to settle it would be to have only 8-10 WorldTeams decided purely on sporting rankings, so race owners could select over half the field instead of just a couple of wildcards on the end of the list.

        If a compromise can’t be worked out, the WorldTour will wither and die just like the old World Sportscar Championship did once the 24 Heures du Mans left the schedule, and an ASO-led replacement will take its place.

        • jules

          it’s easy for the UCI to compromise with ASO, but they have an imperative to ensure any compromise retains the viability of WT teams. the UCI makes strong requirements of WT teams, including salaries and cash reserves – the teams can’t meet that and frankly have little incentive to meet those requirements if they aren’t getting invited to the big races. ASO’s attitude appears to be “that’s your problem, anyway, about our wanting to be able to decide who gets invited…”

          • Dave

            The WorldTour level team requirements are bordering on unsustainable though. By my count it’s now four years since there was a season where the applicants outnumbered the available slots, and the number of genuine international companies from outside the bike industry sponsoring teams is dropping.

            If they were to reduce the number of WorldTeams, the incentives could be increased because the ‘extra’ money (the compulsory participation fees race organisers must pay to every team are higher for WorldTeams than Pro Continental teams) would be spread between half as many teams.

            A system offering compulsory participation for 8 WorldTeams and compulsory invitations (that the teams could decline if they chose to do so) for the top 4 Pro Continental teams would be better than the current system of compulsory participation for all 18.

    • Dave

      I expect they will consider lowering the number of points on offer for the Tour de France when it gets ‘demoted’ from WorldTour to HC next year.

      It would be dumb for the UCI to actually do it, because it won’t have any effect on the Tour de France but it would cheapen the world rankings which are already bordering on irrelevant.

      • jules

        if the race receives a lower status, I’m pretty sure the points get reduced by definition

        • Dave

          We don’t know that for sure though, because the new world ranking system has the Tour de France ranked higher than other WorldTour stage races, and the monuments (two of which will be HC races next year unless a settlement can be negotiated) ranked higher than other WorldTour one day races.

    • Lyrebird_Cycles

      The UCI could levy a charge of a million Euro per team for WT teams to participate in non WT events. Keep some of the money for lawyers, distribute half the rest to the other WT teams and the other half to the organisers of races, with distibution in reverse order of other income. ASO, being the richest organisation, gets nothing.

      • Dave

        Why on earth would the UCI go to such ridiculous lengths to kill the WorldTour when simply saying “hi everyone, it’s cancelled next year” would be so much easier?

        • Lyrebird_Cycles

          The fee is for particpation in non World Tour races. ASO is proposing taking the TdF out of the world tour so the fee would apply.

          The UCI can waive the fee for other races at its discretion, it has a long history of variable application of its own rules.

          • Dave

            The teams would say “screw you UCI” and leave the WorldTour, or even more likely “see you in court UCI” where they would only need to tough it out long enough for the UCI to exhaust their cash on hand and lose by default.

            Even worse still for the UCI, such a blatant move would also be likely see ASO take on the UCI in court, which the UCI could not possibly defend against. That would probably result in ASO taking ownership of the UCI in lieu of damages, or graciously settling for just taking ownership of the road cycling side of it.

            The UCI might be a disorganised rabble, but they aren’t a suicidal disorganised rabble.

  • craig

    where is Nicholas going or doing he’s getting bitten so much, he either has very bad luck or staying at the wrong places

    • Dave

      I suspect a bad allergic reaction is involved there, or he’s left it for a few days to get infected and inflamed.

    • Maybe he was a contestant on Fear Factor in the off-season?

      • jules

        at least they remove the fangs from those ones!


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