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Eisel calls for better promotion of UCI WorldTour

Jean-François Quénet
January 24, 2013, 00:26,
January 24, 2013, 00:26
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 24, 2013
Santos Tour Down Under
Bernhard Eisel (Sky) lines up for stage 1 of the Tour Down Under.

Bernhard Eisel (Sky) lines up for stage 1 of the Tour Down Under.

  • Bernhard Eisel (Sky) lines up for stage 1 of the Tour Down Under.
  • Bernhard Eisel (Team Sky)

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Athletes commission members sees improvements in the sport but lack of communication

Two years ago, Bernhard Eisel raised questions to Cyclingnews in a story entitled “Eisel bemoans lack of clarity and promotion of UCI World Tour calendar” as the new series had just been introduced after the ill-fated ProTour. In the meantime, the road captain of Team Sky took a constructive stand as he entered the athletes commission of the UCI. Two years on, same place (Hilton hotel, Adelaide), same time, we’ve asked him to comment on what has been done since.

In January 2011, Eisel said: “If I’m asked what is the WorldTour, I’d say it’s like the Champions League of cycling, but there should be a proper presentation somewhere. Is there a leader’s jersey? Does the individual ranking or the team classification determine the order of the team cars at the next one day race? If it’s hard for me to understand which races are in there, how can people who are out of the sport understand?

“Is the World Tour a league in its own or is it part of the UCI? There must be a clear decision on where we’re going, let’s say for the next three seasons. Teams and riders must be united to go in the same direction. We want the public to understand our sport. We want a world ranking that determines who is the best rider and which is the best team. The ranking must sanction the season and qualify for the WorldTour the following season. The sporting evaluation system is very confusing. We need clarification.”

In January 2013, Eisel says: “Through my meetings in a commission that includes all aspects of cycling like mountain biking, paracycling, track racing etc. I’ve realized that the UCI has also done many good things for cycling, but their PR has been so bad that they never got any good publicity out of it.

“I’m not here to defend the UCI”, he continued. “Those meetings haven’t changed my mind, but for example, they have pushed hard to make sure that teams have the money in the bank and riders get fully insured. They have taken this part to a much higher professional level in recent years.”

About the introduction of the WorldTour to a large public, Eisel is confident that “the UCI website should become attractive soon.” The series has started this week at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide in the absence of a representative, and with nobody from the governing body for the teams and media to talk to, but Eisel explained that [World Tour coordinator] “Javier Barrio had so much work at the office that he only managed to attend two races last year and that was during his off-days.”

“It’s again a question of PR,” the Austrian said. “We could use the WorldTour as a brand.”

“It was easier for me to comment from the outside two years ago”, he added, but yet noted – like everybody else – that “the sporting evaluation system could be better.” The man who called for clarification two years ago still awaits a proper explanation from the governing body on why Katusha has been excluded from the World Tour. “Whatever the reasons were for the decision of the commission, the public and the riders need to know. Once again, it’s a problem of communication.”

RHRH19861986 More than 1 year ago
Eisel is not completely wrong, but: 1.) Cycling has other, much bigger problems in the view of the broad public, and 2.) Broad public always will have problems to understand cycling anyways. There are enough people who don´t know why someone can win 10 TdF stages and still finish only137th in Paris.
skippy More than 1 year ago
If Eisel is " Confused " about the World Tour Events Calender , then he is correct in thinking that " Joe Public " , will be totally bemused ! That UCI , still has not sorted out the " Katusha Enigma " , demonstrates the " headless chook syndrome " currently apparent in Aigle ! That Barrio , could only attend Two Events ( TDS as it passed Aigle ? & TDF as it passed through the Romandie Canton ? ) on his " Off-Days " , speaks volumes for the disorganisation ! With phat stepping down , today , from the 2020 Candidate bid Jolly , losing out on his bid for the IOC Executive last May , being removed from the WADA Executive last year , withdrawing the Legal Action against Paul Kimmage , being asked by his " creation " , UCIIC , to revise their " Terms of Reference " , this week , there is little wonder that speculation is rife , that phat is about to announce " Health Issues ", or ,the desire to spend more time with his family in the near future : Can see there is little point to send UCI personnel to Oz , when @gaudryt , is on hand . Could Tracey be the first woman President of UCI or will Silvia Schenk , be recalled , since she has vast experience up to 2006 , and was sidelined after contending for the presidency .
Murali Parameswaran More than 1 year ago
I think UCI should start outsourcing their non-core areas like good PR, good TV coverage of ALL the races, to professionals. A paid cycling tv to cover all cycling races across disciplines maybe the first step. Earnings from the big races could be used to support the smaller races.
skippy More than 1 year ago