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Nineteen WorldTour teams "the only solution" according to Vaughters

Cycling News
February 18, 2013, 19:25,
February 18, 2013, 19:28
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 18, 2013
Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters was present in Milan for the unveiling of the new leaders' jerseys for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters was present in Milan for the unveiling of the new leaders' jerseys for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

  • Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters was present in Milan for the unveiling of the new leaders' jerseys for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
  • Team Katusha time trials
  • The peloton in action along the Ligurian coast during the Trofeo Laigueglia.

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Garmin-Sharp manager advocates for longer-term team franchises

Garmin-Sharp Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters said that following Katusha's late admission to the WorldTour, the UCI's decision today to have 19 teams in cycling's top league for 2013 was, at this stage of the year with the season already in full swing, "the only solution". But in the mid- to long-term, he called for a restructuring of the regulations governing admission to the WorldTour to avoid incidents like the prolonged saga over the Katusha team.

A member of the Professional Cycling Council (CCP) which took the vote today that increased the WorldTour to 19 teams, as well as president of the teams association, the AIGCP, Vaughters told Cyclingnews that he had supported the measure rather than reduce the WorldTour back to 18 by removing another squad after Katusha's inclusion.

"If you think about it, doing anything else mid-season - if they [the UCI] had pulled out another team, that team was going to appeal to CAS [the Court of Arbitration for Sport] as well and then [assuming the appeal succeeded, they would have had to pull another team, and it would just have gone round and round," said Vaughters. "It's just not reasonable to do it any other way."

As for any possible opposition from the race organisers over having automatically to admit 19 rather than 18 WorldTour teams, Vaughters said "I think Katusha, because of their strength as a team, more often than not, would have ended up being a wildcard squad anyway. And so, therefore I don't think that many races are going to be too heavily burdened by this."

"For those races which chose not to have Katusha as a wildcard, that is going to place them in a difficult situation. They'll either have to carry the [financial and logistical] burden of one extra squad or reduce their wildcards by one. That's certainly something that's regrettable, but from what I can see, the race organisers are generally taking on that burden in a gentlemanly way."

Looking further down the road, Vaughters said, "My personal position is that this selection procedure [for the WorldTour] should not be a yearly process."

"This process needs to occur once. There need to be more permanent franchises in cycling. Cycling suffers from constant upheaval and that puts it on the back foot."

"You need to take on these battles once and then it's done. Have it reviewed after that at certain junctures for sure, but it can't be a year-to-year process." On top of that, Vaughters said, "The selection criteria needs to be defined, understood, transparent and public and WADA-code compliant."

"It's difficult when the ethical criteria are somewhat obscure. A more open process would be helpful, as well as one that can be put through the rigour of CAS and be successful."

"I don't have all the answers, I'm the first one to say that, but the less often you can have this licencing process, the better."

PeterMc More than 1 year ago
BB, This is becoming a habit.. Agreeing with a large part of what you say..... Adding to, or altering slightly, your comments about the selection though. If you are to do a relegation system similar to English Football, then you should also limit the rosters for each team. Be that by number of riders, I can invisage a wealthy squad buying 100 riders to race in everything thus gaining points, or a yearly points score for individual riders and stipulate that a team can only have Xxx point value for total roster (I don't believe in salary caps), to prevent "Super Teams" and keep the sport interesting. Unfortunately you still need to have a controlling body (read UCI) but with your system they have far less opportunity to mess with the state of play. Every sport has top have a controlling body, but not every sport has a body as WEEK as the UCI where it lets other factions heavily influence what it does and thus creates the bunfight we see. Bernie Ekleston with F1 would not be the most "Honest person to deal with" But has COMPLETE control.. Those at the Head of UEFA likewise, NFL? NRL? All the same but they are all in complete control... {please note not excusing the UCI or that for their antics, just being honest that part of their down fall is that their main product is NOT their own. TdF, Giro, Vuleta all belong to another party as well as the main races. Very difficult to control what is not yours, yet those that own the main attractions DON'T want to control the sport, Weird hey?}
Troy Browning More than 1 year ago
They need to expand the ProTour teams to 20 total teams with two teams being 'provisional' or 'probationary'... Only a team which has spent the previous year in one of the two probationary slots could then be dropped to Pro Conti... that way teams would have a 'warning' year in which to get results. If a top team loses a big star to injury or other issue, they aren't immediately doomed... they still have a year to turn things back around. It would also make it harder for Pro Conti teams to move up, further ensuring that teams which do make it to the Pro Tour are stabilized and more likely to be well run.
Jamie Wire More than 1 year ago
Peter Mc, rosters are already limited to 30 so there's no need for further legislation there IMO.