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  • alexroseinnes

    Velon is a total waste of time, always has been. Overreaching in their desperate search for relevance. Get. In. The. Sea.

    • velocite

      On the face of it the idea of an organization which aims to develop additional revenue from racing and have it under the control of the teams would seem to be a good thing. What is the reasoning behind your comment?

      • alexroseinnes

        Their only value proposition seems to be on-bike footage, and even the ownership of this footage is being contested by race organisers.

        • velocite

          It may be that on-bike footage is the main potential revenue earner, but the fact that it’s being contested is more a suggestion that they’re on to something than that they should give up IMHO.

          • alexroseinnes

            It’s being contested because the race organisers have a legitimate claim to it.

            • velocite

              Are you saying they already have a legal right and that Velon have no hope? Doesn’t sound right. Is your opinion a legal opinion?

              • Dave

                “Legitimate claim” just means that there’s enough in it that it will be an actual contest, not that said contest is already determined.

                The opposite would be if, for example, I sued Velon claiming the rights belonged to me. I don’t have anything remotely close to a legitimate claim and would not have any hope of it getting into a courtroom.

                • velocite

                  Dave, I do know what ‘legitimate claim’ means, ffs. Alexroseines was suggesting an alleged legitimate claim as a reason why Velon should go away.

              • Belinda Hoare

                If the pro peloton via Velon wants to claim all rights (image, intellectual property, personal data) to pro cyclists in order to exploit those things and redirect all pro cycling profits to themselves, then pro cycling teams via Velon have to assume responsibility for paying the bills too, to have WT races in the first place. And if not, why not? Businesses don’t just generate profit, they generate expenses.

                • Dave

                  I wonder how the recent race in Abu Dhabi ended up performing on the financial side of things?

                  Velon signed a profit-sharing agreement with the promoter, but I bet they didn’t also agree to share in covering the losses!

        • Peter

          I don’t know, but I can’t see on-bike footage being worth all that much.

          It’s value is that it adds yet another perspective to the race, but IMO it will only ever be a small percentage of the overall coverage.

          Watching a race, you want
          – a wide area view to show where the riders are in relation to others
          – a focused view on each of the battles within the race
          – a focused view of events such as finish line, crashes with replays
          – views of the countryside and sights the race passes through to provide the backdrop to the race
          – occasionally on-bike coverage to mix in with the above, incl up close crashes, up close attacks, up-close sprints/finishes

          The problem with on-bike coverage is it doesn’t give perspective. Yes, it shows the energy and hustle and bustle of the peoloton and of events from inside, but you only get the view from one angle and the angle is usually obscured by lots of other bikes/riders making the details hard to discern.

          • Dave

            Yeah, onboard cameras are about as useful for normal live usage as the stump camera is for cricket – complete with the very same issue of the view being of limited utility thanks to being too low down and obscured.

            Great for replays and highlight packages though.

      • Belinda Hoare

        How does collecting this sort of personal data aim to develop additional revenue from racing? –

        b) the rider’s racial or ethnic origin or religious or similar believes in order to monitor compliance with equal opportunities legislation

        Equal Opportunities Legislation – of which jurisdiction? Do Velon even realise that in countries such as France, the collection of personal data such as religious and political beliefs by an employer is actually illegal? Have you ever been employed and asked to supply those kinds of personal data? It’s an egregious breach of privacy that has absolutely nothing to do with racing, or even image rights. Yet somehow Velon want to farm that sort of data via the teams and exploit if for financial gain. How can anyone be comfortable with a clause that claims the following?:

        “Clause 4.2 requires the rider to consent to the employer processing personal data, including sensitive personal data, in order to create data bases and/or live or near-live data feeds “for commercial purposes which may be published, processed or exploited in any way whatsoever by the team including without limitation by licencing, sub-licencing and assignment.”

        • Dave

          Keep in mind that cyclists are usually – at the insistence of the teams – contractors rather than employees.

          Different countries handle this aspect of employment differently, and there’s also the question of it being uncertain as to where a cycling team’s business is carried out. We know that most of the riders have a mailing address in Monaco for the purpose of locating their contracting business there, but as far as I know it is a mystery as to where teams carry on their business.

          Orica-Greenedge, for example, gets a great amount of mileage out of being registered as an Australian team with the UCI, but I bet that a hard-headed capitalist like Gerry Ryan is way too savvy to have them actually operating in Australia with our fairly strict employment laws.

        • Nick

          It doesn’t help them develop additional revenue, but does help employers comply with these requirements where they do exist. And employers do monitor such information in some countries, so do ask for it. They may not in France (which likes to pretend it has no issues with racial discrimination), but even there if the data subject consents, sensitive personal data like ethnicity and religious belief may be collected.

          On the flip-side, if any of the teams is collecting such information and they don’t have these clauses agreed with the rider, then they are probably already breaking the law in the EU. And which teams don’t process information about their riders’ health or doping controls? Did the makers of Pro Cycling Manager license these rights from the riders before making a game with their names and likenesses?

          Clause 4.2 is a prime example of where the race organisers, teams *and riders* need to agree terms together, as it’s over the top and the riders should have an input into the subsequent use of their likenesses.

          Clause 4.6 is the amusing one. Countries which do not “have an adequate level of protection for personal data” currently include Australia and the US, so you can see why teams based there would want to make sure they were covered. EEA countries, Canada and NZ are ok.

        • Steve

          Every job i’ve ever had in the UK asks for your ethnic background. pretty sure its an EU requirement.

          • Belinda Hoare

            Not in France it isn’t, nor many other EU countries.

          • zosim

            By way of balance, no job I’ve had in the UK has asked for it since I started working properly (i.e. not summer/evening jobs). It’s actually not done by most employers in the UK as it gives the candidate a possible route for suggesting discrimination if they don’t get a job or even an interview. As Belinda says, it’s not legal in other EU countries.

          • Dave

            “EU requirement” is one of two methods used in the UK as code for “we’re making it up as we go along.”

            “Health and safety” is the other.

  • Dave

    Who would have thought that Velon (an association of team owners such as Jonathan Vaughters, Gerry Ryan and Oleg Tinkov) would be anything other than sweetness and light?

    Now more than ever, the riders need a strong union which is prepared to f*** back harder than the teams f*** them – even sending a team to the wall if needed – like the unions in properly professionalised sports. It won’t happen though, cycling has no real team culture and it wouldn’t be two minutes before some scab would break the picket for a measly few hundred € extra and it would start crumbling.

    • Michele

      Dave .. I’m pretty sure [if I can remember correctly], that you follow F1.

      4 words:

      Formula 1 Strategy Group

      Fair to say Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren-Honda and, until now, Red Bull Racing-Renault don’t really give a damn about anyone else in the sport. Bernie doesn’t really care either – provided the dollars continue to roll in whilst he’s on the board of the F1 Group [Commercial side of F1].

      Granted, we’re not talking anywhere near the vicinity of $$$ in cycling as F1. But if cycling isn’t careful, they will create their own monster, just like F1 has.

      • Dave

        I agree completely – although it’s interesting to see what will happen now that RBR is displeased with the way things are going and has the numbers to force some of the other teams to field three cars if they sit out a year or two.

        But even F1 has a lot more power for the drivers than cycling, both under their right foot and also in contractual negotiations. The teams can’t drive a hard bargain, because they know they are in enough trouble already even without someone like Lewis Hamilton deciding he wants a break from F1 for a year of racing a Toyota sports-prototype.

    • velocite

      But Dave, you don’t want them to be sweetness and light – you want them to “f***back harder”. And have you got something against Gerry Ryan? Or Oleg for that matter, other than his hair and his mouth? I realize that Vaughters will never be forgiven. But seriously, is it not possible that in the context of a market in which most teams seem to be a year to year proposition, that is always on the brink, that arrangements which connect riders with a grouping of teams might help them to get a bigger slice of the pie?

      • Dave

        It’s the riders that need to f*** the teams harder, not the teams. When you’re up against guys like Oleg and Gerry (who didn’t make their massive wealth by being Mr Nice Guy) you need to fight fire with fire.

        No AFL team in their right mind would try getting their players to sign this addendum, because the consequences would be unthinkable. And the beauty of that example is that the AFLPA is a walk in the park compared to the unions in US professional sports which have been prepared to cancel a whole season if needed.

        • velocite

          But you also reckon that the riders won’t fight effectively, so you think there’s no hope. And it’s not one team getting riders to sign, it’s a group of teams. Obviously there’s scope for a group of teams to screw the riders, but in the beginning at least their aim is to enlarge the pie and get it for themselves, where it’s got more of a chance of ending up with the riders than if ASO get it.

          • Dave

            What the riders need to do and what the riders will do are two completely different things. Even tennis players – a sport just as individualistic as cycling – have a better record of solidarity than cyclists.

            It’s rather naive to think that the team owners are doing this for the riders – if they were really doing it for the riders they wouldn’t have a problem with the current situation of non-exclusive image rights allowing the harder-working riders to also make their own money. It sounds to me like Velon is more likely to be an end run around the rule making teams non-profit businesses.

        • Nick

          And yet if you look at the model contracts agreed by the NFL players union: https://nfllabor.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/collective-bargaining-agreement-2011-2020.pdf (see pp. 256-258) and MLB players union http://mlb.mlb.com/pa/pdf/cba_english.pdf (see pp. 189, 279, 281) they have provisions of this nature, though baseball also licences many of the image rights to its players union: http://mlb.mlb.com/pa/info/licensing.jsp .

          This sort of thing isn’t uncommon.

          • Dave

            Unlike cycling though, athletes in professional sports at least get a good return for what they bring to the franchisee.

            Maybe this is where Velon will make the difference for cyclists, but we can’t know for sure until it is known what they are offering every cyclist in return for them signing over exclusive use of their image rights.

            That Velon hasn’t already released this information would suggest that they are at least as embarrassed about the lack of a fair return as they are about the addendum existing in the first place. If it is actually a mutually beneficial deal, announcing this to the world would be a major PR coup – but by continuing to hide it they will continue to keep on losing the PR war without the other side (the big bad race promoters) even firing a single shot.

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  • Michael

    Biggest red flag for me would be the fact that Velon denied the existence of the addendum, then that very same addendum is in fact real. The only reason you deny something that actually exists is because you are ashamed/afraid of the perception of it if it were it to be exposed. I’m sorry, but in my book that means that the reasoning/intent behind the addendum is less than morally right, it’s ripping someone off. If nothing else I would refuse to sign on that principle alone. Although with Vaughters/Tinkoff etc involved could we actually expect anything less?

  • justtalk

    What the sport of cycling needs is a single package of teams, races and riders (like the EUFA Champions League or the European Rugby Champions Cup) that can be presented to media outlets of every shape and size.

    • Dave

      And a single promoter – a Bernie Cyclestone if you will ;-)

  • Paolo

    Typical cycling people. We know we are doing something dodgy, but as long as it is not officialy out we just plainly deny it. “I’ve never taken performance enhancing drugs.” ” The idea that there is a Velon Addendum is not correct.” Oh…, you have one? Nothing has changed….

  • Anon N + 1

    Is this “secret addendum” what TSP was referring to when he said “They [Velon] seem to be doing some interesting things within the sport”? VO2min, is this the sort of thing “that hasn’t already been bandied about” that you are hoping to find in TSP reports?

  • Paul Christopher

    “From Velon’s position we’re not involved in any rider contracts and, as such, are simply not placed to be discussing matters that are between the teams and the riders themselves,” a spokesman said.

    “We’re also not involved in any rider agreement, whether it’s the terms discussed by the CPA and AIGCP under the Joint Agreement or between the teams and the riders.

    “The idea that there is a “Velon Addendum” is not correct. Velon doesn’t make any proposals to riders on their contracts or act directly with them and certainly does not insist they sign anything.”

    Well they would say that, given that to say otherwise would be admitting to a flagrant breach of EU competition law. However, the EU Commission will look at the substance of the arrangement, irrespective of how velon chooses to describe it.

  • winkybiker

    This sort of self-interested profit-seeking nonsense (from everyone involved – not taking sides) is one reason why I question the value of professional sport at all.

  • dsd74

    Anyone else think the language used in the Addendum is a bit extreme? Words like “exploit” and “in each case in whatever format or media, in whatever capacity, on an unlimited basis.” I’d be skeptical to sign anything that has that kind of language in it even for a minor thing, let alone a contract!
    It kind of sounds like a “we now own you” situation.

  • ironic that the self same team managers (who once raced & bleated about “lack of rights and control”) are nowadays, part of a new system, which offered some new ideas, and completely undermines its credibility, with cheap shots like this.


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