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  • leekal

    If there´s any embarrassment here as a consequence of heat at the Qatar Worlds, then frankly the UCI only have themselves to blame…a clearer case of a sports organizing body putting their own financial gain above the interests of its athletes and fans couldn´t be found (apart from soccer of course, but that´s just a “given”) ….global expansion…yeah right, because all those “fans at the roadside” will suddenly take up the sport? ….because fans of cycling really want to watch riders ride around 3 lane highways in the middle of a sandpit for 260 odd km´s followed by a 5 minute sprint?….pure BS, give us a break, please…..added to this is the then pretty poor situation where riders are coerced by teams and organisers to ride in these places in order to get invites to the organisers “real races” (the European ones). One of the real consequences of the expansion of the sport in recent years is that riders really do need to get themselves organised, as given the record of the previous few years of safety concerns regarding the roads, size of the peleton, weather, etc these issues need to be addressed. Currently it would appear that the UCI associate equate “expansion” with financial profit, and the rest is an afterthought….and as long as teams are the playthings of a few rich mega-daddy´s and the list of pro riders currently out of contract being what it is, it would take a real leader of character and substance to stand up and start the ball rolling….an unenviable situation.

    • Nitro

      I get where you’re going (and I agree 100% with your observations about sporting decisions that appear to have been made entirely on the basis of financial return), but we in parallel (I don’t know if you’re in Australia, but as an Australian reader of an Australian web site)….

      … we need to be a little careful in throwing stones…

      … I’m sure there are some people out there who think that riding the Tour Down Under in Adelaide in January is kinda sorta similar in having the potential to expose athletes to extreme temperatures…

      Good to see the extreme weather protocol in place though – for the good of everyone….

      • leekal

        Yeah, fair point….but I make these comments as an Aussie citizen who lived in Sydney for 20 years and now lives in Germany so understand the Aussie fans point of view and fondness regarding the TDU and a little about riding when it´s hot (although I don´t confuse “riding” with “racing”) Clearly, the TDU has been a success – as has the Tour of California. I wasn´t implying that races shouldn´t be held in hot places per se, and having ridden over the Col de Vars in 37´this summer I know it can pretty warm in Europe also! (and even then, there´s a big difference between that and 50´+) I was trying to make two separate (but related??!!) points ….. there are clearly places where expansion is a “goer”, where there is an existing or rapidly growing cycling culture and, more importantly, a strong desire to host these events…..then again there are places where it appears races are put on and the motivation seems little more than financial gain…I´ll leave readers to work out which is which! ;-) My 2nd point is the difficult situation riders are currently in and why it is harder than appears to “just start a riders union” as you hear people say. It´s not really corrrect to criticise riders for going to these places and complaining, as they don´t really get much of an option…it´s the team managers who take the $$´s (whilst being leant on in terms of invites to other races), and ASO and RCS at whom the finger should be pointed at. It´s not a vey edifying position but I must admit part of me would really like to see the Worlds in Qatar have to cope with a rider protest for the World Cup road races should the conditions turn out to be really severe as frankly I think the organisers deserve a good arse kicking for showing such a cavalier attitude to riders health and safety.

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      I agree totally. My only issue is the bit about riders getting themselves organized. The few times it’s happened they’ve been to oppose things like dope testing and wearing crash helmets, so having these short-sighted individuals in a position to influence decisions is risky. Where is that benevolent dictator with a long-range view when we need him/her? :-)

  • Derek Maher

    The UCI have a cash flow problem these days they lost money last year. One could perhaps question some of their over expensive crusades or fixations with global expansion of their empire. They spend a fortune on doping tests and keeping that industry going all to protect the riders health.
    Then arrange lucrative races in some very dodgy climates without a qualm. If there was cash to be had I would expect the next cyclocross worlds to be held in the Antarctic with penguins as the main spectators.
    Then of course we the poor viewers are expected to risk hyper boredom watching these farce races. At least we can switch channels or go for a spin on our bikes instead and ignore the whole thing.

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