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  • Chris

    Shots fired! Love this column.

    • Steve S

      +1, yeah, like them a lot.

  • TrevS

    Great read, especially your thoughts on the Aust Women’s World’s Team. ????

  • jh

    Excellent article. Cycling Australia women’s team selectors failed miserably. The whole peloton should somehow show support during or after the neutral zone.

    • David9482

      The whole peloton should show support by crushing the aussie women’s team! That would tell the world that the Aussie team selectors made huge error by leaving depth riders at home. Idiots!

  • Cruz er

    100% agree! If you read Jones interviews, what he says just doesn’t make sense.
    It’s the classic political, slippery logic of someone that already has it in their mind to shaft the women, and then try to build false logic to defend it.
    Because, under even casual analysis, his reasons don’t make any sense and are not consistent to what he’s doing with the men.

    It’s a real shame because the Aussie women are really strong this year. As a team, they could have had a genuine shot at the win.
    Rachel Neylan is really peaking now, and should have been a shoe-in for the team… really, there is no reason not to have a full squad.
    They have a wealth of top level cyclists with genuine ability to win or contribute to the win.

    It’s exciting to hear about Movistar bringing in a team. I hope this speaks well for 2018 and beyond for more fresh talent and solidifying great racing.

  • redtreksam

    Re: the comments about transfers and cyclists being left out and with no equipment, “This is something I think can be improved a lot in women’s cycling, and an area that needs to be made more professional.” Is this something that is specific to the women or a problem with cycling overall?

    • jules

      to me this is a symptom of low wages for female cyclists. I doubt Lance was ever short of a bike or equipment.

      • redtreksam

        Good point. I was curious, as I know the men are also affected by the points issue and their racing plans can suddenly change for the rest of the year if they are going to a new team, but I’m not sure about equipment.

        • jules

          I think in theory you’re supposed to use the equipment of the team you’re contracted to, but if they have taken it back from you then if it were me – I’d feel at liberty to use my own bike. I think what the Shecret pro is implying is that a lot of the female pros are living on the breadline and don’t necessarily own their own bikes.

          • DaveRides

            The catch is that if you did ride your own bike (or one lent to you by someone else, or even one from your 2018 team) and it wasn’t the correct brand, then you might be in breach of contract and your team could fire you immediately to save them 3-4 months worth of salary. That would be a dick move and probably unlawful in many countries, but if you’re on a low salary you might not be able to afford to sue them.

            Negotiating better contracts is one part of solving this (see my other post regarding rider agents). Have it written that the rider has guaranteed access to team equipment right up to the end of the year, or that a written requirement to return team equipment shall constitute a release from the obligation to ride/wear the team gear while still keeping the remainder of the contract intact.

            Long term, the UCI needs to change the rules regarding contract periods (for both men and women) so they run from 1 November to 31 October rather than the calendar year. They can’t exactly say it applies immediately as it would be a mess with current contracts, but they could make the rule now with it only to take effect at the end of the 2020 season once all current contracts have expired.

            • RacingCondor

              I agree but where riders can’t afford to take legal action you’d also need the UCI to punish teams for failing to fulfill their contracts. At the moment we still seem to have stories of teams getting away with non payment of salaries so I can’t see the UCI intervening over equipment.

        • DaveRides

          The points issue is different to the way the points issue works in the men’s peloton, where the issue of points “leaving” a team was solved a few years ago by allowing a WT team to be ranked according to whichever was better of their current roster (including the rider/s leaving) or their roster for the upcoming year (without riders who are leaving, but with new signings included).

          The rankings on the second Monday in January determine which automatic invitations must be offered for women’s races after 16 March – the top 10 teams for Class 1 races, top 15 for WWT stage races, top 20 for WWT one day races. For races before 16 March, it goes on the ranking at the end of the previous season (24 October for road racing this year, after the last WorldTour race of the year).

          WM3 are not doing this to be dicks, they are doing it because it’s a fight for their survival. They are ranked third at present, but without Niewadoma’s points would currently be ranked 8th. In that situation, they have to maximise the points gained by their other riders as they are not too far off dropping out of the top 10 and therefore losing their automatic invitation to Class 1 races next year.

          The solution to the points issue is the same solution as was used in the men’s side of the sport for the purpose of WorldTour team applications: have the rankings in January calculated on whichever is better of each team’s old roster (including riders who left) or new roster (including riders who signed on).

      • David9482

        Lance never switched teams, haha, he always had a Trek to ride.

        This issue is just due to poorly timed contract transitions. The men’s teams have the same issue. One solution is that each rider merely owns their own training bike… it can be a beater, but a racer should own a bike to train on from December 15-31.

        • DaveRides

          LA had the distinct advantage of being a part-owner of the bike company.

          Equipment needs to be back in the team’s hands in time to be stripped down, rebuilt and shipped out to new riders who need a correctly branded training bike for day one of their new contract. It is understandable that all teams have the new riders as their first priority.

          I agree that releasing riders from brand restrictions (or telling them to spend $2.50 on a roll of duct tape) so they can ride another bike when between teams is one way to solve things. A long-term solution is to change the contract year to start on 1 November, when most riders are on their mandatory annual leave and have not yet done equipment setup at the pre-season training camp. It would also address the issue of riders being seen in a variety of different jerseys at the pre-season camp, which just looks stupid!

          • David9482

            Exactly… there are tonnes of practical solutions to this.

            Honestly, women’s cycling has issues, but this isn’t one that breaks the bank so to speak. Let’s get these riders more TV coverage, radio coverage and more viewership, then the sponsor dollars will start rolling to them!

            I for one, vote that my local sports channel (I live in Toronto Canada) forgets that the NFL even exists and that would free up dozens of hours of TV coverage. A men’s/women’s combo racing package is a million times more interesting than NFL – NFL games take 4hours, with probably 10-15 minutes of real action. Cycling fans complain so much about how little actual excitement there is watching our sport, but believe me, it doesn’t come close to the NFL boredom. At least with a men’s/women’s combo package you could plan for the women’s race to end 1-2 hours prior to the men’s race, so right before the men’s race heats up.

            • DaveRides

              This is an issue of professionalism.

              Professionalism is not about money but about quality of management. The money comes later, and is a result of professionalism rather than the cause.

    • DaveRides

      It’s a symptom of poorly negotiated contracts.

      This could perhaps be improved by all the men’s rider agents agreeing to each take on a couple of riders from the women’s peloton for a token €1 fee, on the understanding that the riders would start to pay full fees to their agents (and the agents take on a new €1 client) if/when their salary rises over the minimum salary for a men’s Pro Continental rider.

      It would be a good way for the agents to advertise their services and generate goodwill, while still being fairly easy work given the lower level of salaries and endorsement contract negotiations. Everyone wins except any team bosses who are trying to cut corners.

  • DaveRides

    On the comments about the new Movistar women’s team, I think it’s not a bad idea to start off with a youth/development roster (maybe with 1-2 experienced riders?) rather than poaching big names. There are some unique opportunities in terms of young rider development that they will only get once, plus it gives them a year to work out any kinks in organisation where they find that things are different from how they work in the men’s pro and junior divisions.

    Hopefully the organisers of WorldTour races with an associated women’s race will pitch in to give them plenty of invitations. Teams that invest heavily in the sport and are represented in all three major levels of the sport should be encouraged at every opportunity.

    • ML

      Fair points. Sunweb started out under the radar (as Liv/Giant) without so many stars, and have gradually built up success. Could be good for Movistar too. And hopefully one day, the 3 major levels you mention will become 4 level as women’s U23 grows as well. One step at a time…

      • DaveRides

        Movistar are contributing to that day inching just a little closer. Women’s U23 will only get split off as a separate division once the women’s elite field is deep enough to need it.

  • Lieblingsleguan

    Once again, there is no insight, only opinions that don’t have to be written incognito. Some use of explicit language doesn’t make up for that.

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