Sacramento - USA - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Neilson Powless  pictured during  stage - 8 of the Amgen Tour of California 2016 from Sacramento to Sacramento - photo Anton Vos//Cor Vos © 2016
  • Dave

    I would be very surprised if the new WorldTour events which aren’t compulsory for the WorldTour teams will not be allowed to have Continental teams make up the numbers.

    The UCI flagged that possibility either earlier this year or at some point last year when they announced plans for expansion.

    • It’s something we’ve seen here in Australia with the Tour Down Under. Drapac had to bought a pro-conti license in 2008 or 2009 (can’t remember the year) so they could race the TDU but still didn’t get in. There’s not much use to local cycling scene if they can’t showcase their sponsors on the WT stage. But as we’ve learned, pro cycling is just as capitalist of an operation as any business and holds no responsibility for local growth or sustainability.

      • Sam

        Since then a few other races like JHST, Bay Crits and CEGORR have stepped up to provide some viable racing at lower non World Tour level tho the disappearing NRS races are a concern…

      • Dave

        It was 2008 when the TDU moved up to the ProTour. I always thought it was odd that Michael Drapac chose the very same year to move his team down from PCT to CT, and then spend the next five years whinging about it.

        The situation with ATOC should be different, because it will be one of the new expansion events with the different participation rules.

  • George Darroch

    On the one hand, the USA deserves a WorldTour level event. On the other, ATOC has been very good in developing and sustaining domestic cycling. Are both possible at the same time?

    I feel like TDU hasn’t harmed Australian cycling in the last decade, but that’s just me.

    • The interesting question in terms of Australia is Cadel’s Race. That’s been an excellent opportunity for local Continental teams to show off their sponsors, but with the race stepping up to WorldTour there are concerns about what it will mean for those opportunities. Stay posted for an Aussie-focused piece on CT soon.

      • Clavikul

        It certainly helped wipe out women’s NRS as a development option after years of growing momentum. It only helps those already in top tier international teams.

        • Dave

          Of all the things that can be plausibly blamed for the decline of the NRS, I don’t think women’s NRS races at the TDU and CEGORR are among them.

          Those races are still part of the NRS in addition to offering UCI points, and are almost completely contested by WNRS teams with only a couple of international teams added in (3 at the TDU, 2 at CEGORR this year) and a handful of other international riders in a mixed team. That domestic riders get to be exposed to higher level riders and race tactics a couple of times a year is quite a valuable opportunity, wouldn’t you say?

          Even stuff like having proper ‘big race’ team presentations and podium protocols is useful for development, if they make it overseas there will be one less ‘this is new’ moment to take the focus away from the racing when they turn up at a bigger event for the first time.

          • Clavikul

            As my partner raced NRS until recently, I know it was “part of” the NRS but it had different and restrictive rules for entry. Women that were competitive but between teams couldn’t all get a gig. Some who weren’t competitive did. Some pulled out and couldn’t be replaced by those who missed out. Unfortunately all focus on races like CEGORR seemed to mean less energy/money remained for what was left. Then what was left reduced even further. I now see quality racers being “first female” in mens races like Northern combine or state open, as the scraps are now pretty meagre if you want to race locally.
            Great to have big events though, as a general rule, just not great if that shrinks everything else instead of raising the boats.

  • A bigger topic is “Why the World/Pro/Whatever Tour is bad for pro cycling” in general. It’s done nothing but raise the costs to support a competitive team. “Heinie’s Folly” was an answer to a question nobody was asking when it was introduced – but of course UCI will double-down on their bad idea and end up turning the sport into F1 or MotoGP = increased costs, lower TV interest and races in places where nobody cares about cycling.
    The 2016 road World Champion races are a perfect example of this greed-based stupidity.

  • A bigger topic is “Why the World/Pro/Whatever Tour is bad for pro cycling” in general. It’s done nothing but raise the costs to support a competitive team. “Heinie’s Folly” was an answer to a question nobody was asking when it was introduced – but of course UCI will double-down on their bad idea and end up turning the sport into F1 or MotoGP = increased costs, lower TV interest and races in places where nobody cares about cycling.
    The 2016 road World Champion races are a perfect example of this greed-based stupidity.

  • Charles Evans

    So Axel effectively wipes two of the three top U.S. U-23 teams off the map by hoovering their sponsors, creating LESS opportunity for young developing riders in the US and then cries foul about there being less opportunity in the US and hurting sponsors because now his team is shut out? Which way are the fingers pointing?

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