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  • Great article, thanks!
    I think LM is a great example why a more formal U23 or even U25 “feeder” structure towards the WorldTour would make a lot of sense. Yes, some guys can hack it from an early age and some teams do a better job than others in bringing their guys up slowly (GreenEdge is a good example), but in the current structure on most teams, a lot of exciting talent is “burnt” and lost forever.
    But then again, in it’s current state, pro cycling is generally not a business of developing talents and taking a long-term view.

    • DaveRides

      The main reason that many riders don’t get a new deal after their two year neo-pro contract is that they aren’t good enough to meet the higher standard needed to get a full price senior contract, despite having been decent enough to make up the numbers for the team (at the races the team doesn’t care about) on a discount salary.

      I don’t think Morton was one of these riders (I think his issues were more personal, but possibly compounded by working for an emotional retard like Vaughters) but Nathan Earle certainly was hired for that purpose by Sky and then predictably discarded by the WT ranks at the end of his two years.

      A solution?
      1. Reduce the number of WT races, get it down to just the grand tours, monuments and 2-3 other races (one tour and one or two classics, rotated if there are more races than available slots) on each continent.
      2. Reduce the number of WT teams and the size of WT team rosters, so the locked up talent is released to the lower levels of the sport.
      3. Remove the neo-pro cheap contract rule, and instead allow the team to select a rider from their linked Continental team (e.g. BMC Development Team, Mitchelton-Scott etc) at every WT race (or maybe three at a non-WT race) with each second-tier rider allowed to do up to three WT races in a year.

      Such a move would simultaneously elevate the value of the WorldTour and see talent released to compete at a more appropriate level rather than being locked up by WT teams.

      The catch is that the total revenue going to the UCI would be reduced, so such a move might be better facilitated by the big promoters ASO and RCS terminating their underwriting of the WT and replacing it with a new global series formed of their races and a few others owned by cooperative promoters.

      • Fully agree with you. As I said above, in the current state, it’s pretty much black and white, hack it or you don’t for U23s and/or neo pros. My personal opinion is that there are a lot of shades of grey between white and black. Your solution would obviously address that to some extent.

  • Allez Rouleur

    Good for him! Doubted he ever would, or could, come back from time away. Glad he’s done it in a swimmingly good manner!

  • Durianrider Vegano

    When he gets off the piss he will go next level.

    Alcohol is protoplasmic poison which means it KILLS cells it comes into contact with. RBC’s go DOWN with booze. Drinking booze is like reverse blood doping to a degree.

    I started racing in 97 and seen so many talent come and go mostly to beer and party life. DUI charges and glandular fevers. Burning out because of dependence on stimulants because you are hung over and need to perform so use more than your body can cope with naturally.

    I quit drinking in july 2001. I like the clarity of sober life. Ive been on both sides of the fence. Gimme clean clear crisp lungs, legs & head any day of the week.

    Pro cycling is the hardest job on the planet. Why make it harder by doing stuff that Homer Simpson would be proud of?

    Most aussie pro’s are pretentious AF. Ive ridden with most of them around TDU time and some back when I was racing in euroland. LM is refreshingly DTE which is probably why he can feel a bit out of place in a world where results are ALL your employers really care about at the end of the day.

    Throw your bike on the ground? Doesnt matter as long as you got the team some UCI points.
    Really nice guy to the fans? Doesnt matter as long as you got the team some UCI points.
    Natty or not? Doesnt matter as long as you dont get caught and get the team some UCI points.

    No wonder so many switched on riders feel out of sorts in such a cut throat environment where honesty gets punished and victory is all that matters…

    Pro sport has just become aggressive exercise funded by money to make more money. Play the game if you want but dont let your health and mental well being get played. Full daily muscle glycogen and sober mind is the best way to ride it.


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