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by Mark Zalewski
December 14, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Richie Porte’s road to the 2017 Tour de France: ‘It’s probably the most important year of my career’; Colnago helps find sponsors to keep TJ Sport team alive; Jan Bakelants critical of WorldTour reforms; Tom Meeusen changes training after tests; Gert Dockx retires at 28; Amateur cyclist, doctor receives four-year anti-doping sanction; Quick-Step Floors shows off new kit; BORA–hansgrohe unveils a new team kit for its WorldTour ascension; Astana presents team, names Aru leader; Team Crelan Willems Verandas shows new kit design; Study recommends cities use ‘Idaho Stop’ to better manage traffic; Man cycling Antarctic with custom quad fatbike; Strategy board game inspired by ‘Breaking Away’ race; ‘Jesus Bikes’ causing fuss around Melbourne; Massive flyover built for Belgian cyclocross championship course; Film calls out Berlin on cycling infrastructure.
AG2R-La Mondiale’s Jan Bakelants said he thinks the current efforts to reform the WorldTour are being managed poorly and the results are showing it.
“I see at this moment many things going the wrong direction,” Bakelants said. “I can not understand how the UCI allows teams to say they will build a team, then determine later that the money is not there. Then there are 20 riders on the streets in December.”
The latter refers to the ongoing drama surrounding the Chinese-backed TJ Sport team which is trying to take over the Lampre-Merida WorldTour license. In addition, he is suspicious of the latest agreement between the UCI and Chinese company Wanda Sports.
“I also do not understand cycling organizers in China can say ‘We are going to organize something’ and that race immediately gets WorldTour status …”
“It has been 10 years of trying to reduce the number of [WorldTour] races in order to try to get to the best riders at all the races. There are now, what, 80 race days added to the World Tour calendar? They are organising races in Turkey, where nobody wants to go. And then in China, where no one knows what it will be. I think it’s all managed very badly.”
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