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UCI confirms contact with organisation group
Plans for the proposed “breakaway league” continue to take form, with RadioShack-Nissan said to be one of eight elite teams which has agreed to participate. A sport marketing company involved in the deal has already contacted the UCI for approval of World Series Cycling in 2014, the Bloomberg news agency reported.
Gifted Group Ltd. has sought approval for the ten-race series, according to anonymous sources. UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani confirmed the the contact but did not comment further.
As Cyclingnews reported last November, Rothschild's and Gifted Group are planning the new race series, which would involve current trade teams participating in ten new four-day races, all of which would have the same specific format. The main reason for the new league however, is financial, as the teams would share in the income.
The eight teams which have signed up will get 64 percent of the equity, unlike the current UCI situation, under which they get nothing.
“This is potentially a real change in the balance of power in cycling,” Simon Chadwick professor of sports business strategy at Coventry University said. “The teams are being driven by the marketplace instead of history.”
The only other team name mentioned was FDJ, which is said to be amongst those who will not participate.
The series is said to be based on football's Champions League, but could be a “difficult sell” outside of the tradtional European cycling countries, Chadwick said.
“Cycling has no history, no established market and no big stars in new and emerging markets. The acid test is how good they are at packaging this and selling it.”