Giro d'Italia 2015 stage - 16
  • Richard Bruton

    Do towns pay for the right to host a start/finish of a stage, like the way cities bid for the Grand Depart? If they do pay then I would guess the hotels pay towards the towns chamber of commerce that made the bid and wouldn’t want the world to think they aren’t fit to house a pro cyclist for 1 night (even if they are not fit to do so). And if a hotel is paying, either directly or indirectly to be part of the tour then the organiser has to make sure they are part of the tour. Either that or get Europcar to sponsor the leasing of 198 camper vans for the entire bunch!

    • A

      Yep – the towns pay. As you say it would be a ridiculous trend if it took off.

      • Annie.

        It would be a trend towards riders’ well-being while doing all their best to please spectators and sponsors alike. Nothing less.

        • A

          A absolutely nonsense statement. Nothing less.

    • Albert

      The towns pay but the hotels the riders stay at are not located at the start/finish line. Often they can be quite far away – hence the comment that traveling to and from stages adds up to 21-22 hours per tour.

  • Byron Mitchell

    Good to see the UCI focussing on the things that really matter. Team Sky can’t sleep in a motorhome, but Astana are still allowed to race. Stop messing around the edges and make the tough decisions and fix the bits that are really broken.

    • Neuron1

      Maybe you didn’t read the report from the Swiss Sports Academy not quite clearing clearing Astana, but showing how they have made significant changes. Check out the Astana team rosters from 2009-2011 and see all of the convicted dopers from that time. Now look at the roster and compare. Time to move on. Maybe you can explain how both Froome and Contador can have a pVAMs for multiple climbs that exceed those of the doping era, and they are not suspect in your mind.

      • icepro

        1. Riders may change, but let’s not forget how cultures are created! Alexander Vinokourov leads this team, a man who’s background has more question marks than anyone else in the sport, who comes from that Eastern bloc era (think weightlifting). Most agree that organised doping has left the sport, and pushed the individual athlete into the arms of a medical professional, something the recent BBC documentary ‘Catch me if you can’ has highlighted. Astana’s rise to the fore, has been eye opening to say the least. We have learnt from experience ‘if something is too good to be true…’

        2. Maybe you would like to publish the data that you allude to, instead of throwing out the comment.

        • Neuron1

          In response to your points: 1) Vino is no more dirty than most of the DS’s in the sport today. Search all f their names and check out their past. I don’t deny that Vino was doped during hi time in the peloton but your perspective is that he is the only one that hasn’t changed. 2) Riders move around from team to team throughout their careers. For example, Vasil Keryenka rode for Movistar and won the Colle de finestere/ Sestriere stage a few years back in long breakaway at a faster pace and on a longer stage than this years Satge 18 of the Giro. That was a “doping” team. Now he rides for Sky and is a super domestique. Is he clean now and dirty then? Aru did the climbs marginally faster but was protected until half way up Finestre and matched nearly equally by Hesjedal and Uran. But you think he was doped. 3) Tinkoff’s DS until recently was a confirmed doper, he ran a doping program when king against Lance back in the real dirty years and Contador was implicated in Puerto, but cleared only by judicial fiat and refused to give DNA samples to be matched against Puerto blood. That doesn’t seem to be a problem to many fans. 4) Regarding pVAM a little open eyed research will easily confirm my statement. Check out a web page called sportsscientists. com. They have very interesting analysis. I’m not pointing fingers at Froome or Contador, because no one knows, but how can two guys can be so much faster and not be suspect when Nibali has been a contender for a long time, never been implicated and anytime he has a good stage of race the epithets fly.

          • ThePollitikat

            I dont get it either…during giro everyone speculated that aru was doping but nothing of the fact that ac basically rode majority of giro alone and whooped everyone else. If Astana was a doping team wouldnt they be winning more races, yet froome and ac win everything and no one accuses them of doping. How could these doping riders get their asses handed to them by non-doping riders. Isnt the point of doping to win races. Also when Astana was a doping team AC was part of the team and busted for doping but somehow he gets a pass and is beyond suspicion…give me a break.

  • Spoiled Brats

    So ridiculous seeing all the bitching and moaning about the rule. It’s fair, it makes sense.

    Just more of the same trend in the sport — all about physical performance but zero mental toughness.

    The women don’t complain, and they get paid a fraction of what the men earn.

    • Voice of reason

      It is hardly a fair situation for teams as the disparity between the hotels that the teams are allocated vary widely from good, adequate, and concerning. Had this ruling not occurred, you would see greater equality between the sleeping standards of the riders, and better performances and competition between well rested riders. I assume that the ruling has been put in place primarily for the money that is provided to the hotels of these towns, a condition most likely to be imposed in the contract once the town has made a bid to sponsor the tour. I feel that these hotels would still be full to the brim with cycling fanatics and tourists, which would remove the large number of tourist motor homes that take up space on the side of the road during stages.

      • A

        And the 200 plus motor homes could just be parked at the local costco?

        Great analysis.

        • Dave

          They could of course be excluded from event restricted areas and not given accreditation to make transfers using roads closed for the race route like the team buses and trucks do.

          If teams want to go their own way, let them genuinely go their own way and make all their own arrangements.

      • Freddy Merckx

        It is totally fair. As Wade Wallace correctly states below, the quality of hotels allocated to teams are fairly distributed across the duration of the Tour – for example, Bretagne Seche will over the course of the Tour stay in similar hotels to Tinkoff Saxo and SKY, some nights they are good, some nights they are not so good… and that is how it should be. The problems mostly occur on the mountain stages as there is limited quality accommodation in such areas and teams/staff are spread all over the place. The bottom line however is there is no favouritism.

        Whilst a team with the resources of SKY or Tinkoff can afford the indulgence of private accommodation, teams outside of the top five cannot. We have seen what an arms race has done to Formula 1, the smaller teams go broke and disappear. Is this what we want to encourage?

        Having teams and staff stay in local hotels does benefit the economic impact of the event… why should we change that? The local community deserves it as some recompense for the disruption that bike races often bring.

        Anyone calculate the environmental footprint of having 200 jazzed up caravans trundle from stage to stage.. and where the hell do you put them all?

        As for Froomey’s whinge… its the same for everyone mate. You’re all for fair play right?.

        Furthermore, your team boasts of how you and your colleagues all have your own personal little pillows and mattresses transported to each hotel, whilst “carers” carefully move your luggage for you wherever you go, chefs cook your every meal and your clothes are all delicately washed and prepared for you. So apart from breathing, visiting the toilet and riding the bike a few hours a day, is there anything else you actually have to do that you consider unreasonable?

        • jules

          AFAIK, there is no salary cap for teams. why start trying to level out competition with such a marginal issue?

          • Freddy Merckx

            Marginal issue? Let’s have 200 articulated lorries parked in your street for the night and tell me if it’s a marginal issue.

            At around Euros150,000plus to buy and approx Euros1,800 per day to rent, what are the arguments put forward for having one?… ‘better sleep”? – then use ear plugs and sleepers, they will cost you a few euros… “So that poor little Richie doesn’t have to pack his case every morning” – that takes all of five minutes on a bike race and his luggage is moved for him each day by his very own man-servant (carer).

            Is that the key to being a champion these days, not having to throw a few clothes in your suitcase each morning?

        • icepro

          But they are still staying at the hotels, all teams are now copying each others advances, once they realise they work. Everything that happens at Team Sky happens amongt all the teams. Makes me wonder why people on here bother to watch the sport for the complaining they make!

        • Dave

          It is worth pointing out that in addition to the quality of accommodation, the total length of transfer kilometres is kept roughly equal for each team.

  • Marty Henderson

    So whats next? As far as I remember Sky also carried specific pillows and things for riders… are the UCI going to ban that too? You must use the hotel sanctioned pillows and blankets…. nope… can’t use that sort of pasta… that other team doesn’t have it…

    • A

      Any rule puts a line in the sand? Can you not tell the difference between a few pillows and 200 odd 5 Tonne RVs?

    • Annie.

      Don’t worry: As long as hotels get their share, UCI doesn’t care about equality any more. :)

      • Freddy Merckx

        What a ridiculously stupid statement!

      • A

        The town pays for the stage. ASO pays the hotels. The hotels pay local tax etc which allow the town to pay for the race.

        It is a bloody simple concept to understand.

      • Conconi – The Original Master

        Been following cycling long Annie?

    • Conconi – The Original Master

      So looking at it the other way Marty. Tour riders are required to travel together on plane, train, ferry when making long-distanced transfers. Failure to do so results in being kicked off the race.

      So according to you, the riders should be able to find their own way.

      These rules [hotel and travel] are in place for a specific reason.

  • For those of you who aren’t familiar with the way rooms are allocated for the TdF (from a past article of ours):

    The ASO (the organisation who owns and runs the TdF) is responsible for booking and paying all hotels the teams stay in. You might think that some of the smaller teams might get shafted with hotels while others big budget teams like SKY get the 5 star treatment. Actually, this isn’t the case (anymore). What happens is the ASO book all the hotels and visit each. They give all hotels a rating from 1-5. Then they allocate each team with a hotel so that they each get equal nights at 1’s, 2’s, 3’s etc. This way there is no favortism and equal number of nights in dodgy hotel rooms.

    • Neuron1

      Thank you for the explanation. Should settle some of the controversy.

      • Annie.

        Not really as it doesn’t change the matter. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting fact. Hence thanks a lot for sharing @cyclingtips:disqus.

      • Dave

        The total length of transfer kilometres is also equalised within a certain margin.

    • jules

      what about that time there was a wedding reception in one of the hotels? will Cookson be bringing his pots and pans, and waking up all the other teams as well if that happens again? it’s only fair

      • Freddy Merckx

        Feeble excuse – the riders are all well versed with the use of ear plugs and sleeping pills

        • Dave

          But it would seem that one particular team struggles with this sort of attention to detail (along with having teammates accompanying their leader to assist in a mechanical incident, loading up with gels before the final climb, keeping riders out of trouble in the neutral zone, picking suitable tyres ….) and so goes for the sledgehammer approach instead.

    • CC

      Don’t tell them about Air B’n’B, all hell could break loose !

      • Dave

        That would be perfect for going into some very low tactics – a major GC contender would be out of the race in disgrace if a 3am police raid uncovered lots of PEDs in their accommodation, regardless of any “it’s not mine, honestly” protests.

    • icepro

      I don’t believe anyone has any real issue with staying in hotels, but it hits on a major issue that the UCI (despite verbals) has failed to make inroads into.
      Team Sky are trying to find all the little ways to improve the performance of the team, riders and support staff and logistics, within the rules, that should be applauded no? Along comes UCI and say’s, nope, we are changing the rules, so were does that leave the sport if pushing the limits of what is allowed causes the governing body to amend them, they go underground and dope! The UCI needs to support improving the sport, and praising those that want to push the limits to excite us fans. #UCIfail

      • Conconi – The Original Master

        Brilliant logic.

        Can I say right here and now, that if Chris Froome gets busted for PEDs and he says he only did so because he couldn’t sleep in a Moto Home, then I will be the first to vent hell to the UCI.

    • sps12321

      Perhaps a solution is having teams prioritize stages (ie a team there for a sprinter may want a 5 before sprint stage whereas gc may want it before climbing and some may have specific stage targets and prioritize those) would be possible to create an algorithm to try and make most teams as happy as possible.

    • Ralph

      Haha @ some bloke walking around rating them all .. “gee that is a crap iron isn’t it.. but look at the mini bar, extra congac” .. “what’s that stain over there?” “don’t worry about it”

  • jules

    what about late checkout? will UCI be monitoring that?

  • Robert Merkel

    Don’t have a huge problem with stopping one aspect of the arms race.

    Next step, some kind of budget equalization between WorldTour teams.

    • Dave

      I agree, time to start enforcing the rule that equipment used in races must be series production units available to the general public in all aspects other than livery. There have been way too many special “prototypes” running around in the last few years.

      The banning of in-race use of power meters and use of a homologated spec bike computer should be the next step. But don’t expect it to happen, certain major sponsors will ensure that their interests take priority over the proper management of the sport.

  • Annie.

    That’s ridiculous as all the top pro teams going for TDF and the likes, have a budget to cover for expenses should it be a luxury motorhome or a hotel. I rather suspect UCI fears that many teams might follow team Sky’s example and their partner hotels might not be amused in that case. As usually, it’s probably a matter of finances and nothing else!

    • Freddy Merckx

      Another garbage statement – the teams don’t pay for the hotels, the organisers do. Are you trying to allude that the UCI has some sort of backhander arrangement with hotels? With the exception of the World Championships, are you even aware that the UCI has nothing to do with accommodation arrangements. Please refrain from posting comments on subjects you clearly have no clue about, in this case professional cycling

      • Dave

        Accommodation for the World Championships of each discipline is organised by the local event team which bidded for the event, not the UCI.

    • A

      Yes, UCI should ignore finances and live in LaLa land.

  • Derek Maher

    I must confess I did find that mobile home came across as an insult to all the towns who have backed the Great Stage Races over the years.
    A lot of towns try to get a bit of publicity and a much needed boost for their area’s and their contribution to the races finances and work with making the start and finishes of stages a colourful and exciting event for the media camera,s is a vital part of the Tour legends.

  • Whippet

    All the princesses need to harden up.

    • Freddie Merckx

      Best comment yet!

      • A

        Interestingly though Sky seem to fall apart when things just aren’t perfect, I just don’t get it.

    • Derek Maher

      Nice one Whippet,Where Oh Where have all the hard riders gone.The womens Peloton perhaps ?.

    • Conconi – The Original Master

      I agree. I’m just not sure if you’re referring to Froome and Co., or 1/2 the posters on this piece.

  • sps12321

    Sounds like they need to set the tour up along the train tracks and have a train for all the riders to sleep in every night. Get the same conditions for all riders and they don’t need to unpack and repack every day. Kind of like having motor homes for all but more environmentally friendly and only need 1 driver. Plus means the transitions between stages can be done while you sleep…

    • Dave

      Anyone who has ever travelled by train in France would know that sleep is the last thing on the agenda with their interesting rules on cant deficiency that make even the railways of Australia look first world.

  • Raskoln

    There should be 200 motorhomes on the Tour – one for each rider because they all deserve respect, & it’s a betrayal of team ethic for team leaders to be given superior lodgings. Tough shit Sky. Cheese with your whine, Mr Froome?

    • sps12321

      They should stop booking hotels and just book RV parks since that’s what “the riders” want. No room for teams to bring their own but the people in the park have all accepted to take a night in a hotel (paid by the race) in exchange for letting the riders sleep in their RV

    • Dave

      It’s also a betrayal of the team leader themselves. The effects of Richie’s little bingle would probably have been a bit lighter if he was hanging around where his teammates could encourage him instead of being left alone with his thoughts.

  • Dave

    I think the UCI should have been a bit more creative.

    Allow them to continue in use, but clarify that the teams will be completely on their own if they choose to make that decision and any campers used for rider accommodation will not be granted any accreditation to run in convoy on the race route or set up inside event restricted areas.

  • Kurt F.

    Couldn’t “the organisers must cover the subsistence expenses of the teams” be construed to mean the kitchen/chef trucks are also unfair?

  • Disgruntledgoat

    They’ll of course be doing the same at cyclocross, I take it. Sven Nys has the exact same model of camper as Porte used at the Giro, I’m not sure if Alex Revell even has a van he can call his own.

  • ThePollitikat

    Sky is just a bunch of whiners and when they cannot control race and intimidate other they fall apart…i.e. Richie Porte Giro and Froomesl last tdf

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