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Perspectives and requests for world ranking system, Tour de France and major event selection

PERSPECTIVES AND REQUESTS OF PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAMS FOR WORLD RANKING SYSTEM, TOUR DE FRANCE & MAJOR EVENT SELECTION PREAMBLE

It is my sincere hope that we can study, debate, and even argue over the following items during our time in Liege. Debate is productive and constructive, however, to let the debate spill over into the public and media is something we must all work to avoid.

In all cases, as many viewpoints as possible have been taken into consideration. A concentration has been placed on the ideas and concerns that were consistently brought to our attention. This is not a document set out to refine detail but rather a document meant to invite ideas and discussion about the basic tenants of world ranking and event selection. The foundation of all these ideas is to establish STABILITY AND CREDIBILITY for all teams, which will also enhance the image of your events and the sport of cycling as a whole.

  • Mutually agreed upon
  • Fair
  • Stable, and
  • Clearly understood

The importance of this agreement cannot be understated. A set of clear parameters outlining the path a team must follow to gain entry into major events is critical to relationships with potential and current sponsors.

  • Athletic performance
  • Financial stability of organization
  • Image and popularity of team
  • Ethics and commitment to Anti‐Doping
  • Longevity and history of organization

WITHOUT A CLEAR AND SET OUT PATH TO THE BIGGEST EVENTS, WE HAVE NOTHING TO SELL TO SPONSORS


SUGGESTIONS AND DISCUSSION POINTS

  • Rider A is ranked 9th in the World. Because he is the team leader for Grand Tours, he carries 40% of his team’s total points. He crashes and breaks his femur. Doctors confirm he cannot compete for 6 months. The team loses 40% of its points, dropping from 9th to 21st in the World, losing its place in the Tour de France, which automatically cancels the contract with the title sponsor.

$15MM AND 60 JOBS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED DUE TO A BROKEN FEMUR

  • Purchased ProTour licenses starting in 2004, and
  • Signed the agreement of 17 teams with ASO/RCS in 2008.


Typically, these are teams with a long history in cycling. They would like to see:

  • A stable sponsorship sales environment
  • Lower overhead costs, and
  • Re‐established credibility after many hard years


CREATE LONG TERM EQUITY IN MANAGEMENT GROUPS

 

SALARY AND/OR OVERALL BUDGETARY CAPS

  • Limits the ability to “buy” victories and promotes fair competition amongst teams
  • Protects the interest of commercial sponsors that must be efficient with their marketing dollars, and,
  • Attracts sponsors looking for value in a tough economy, as they know that they can win, even with limited dollars


WE ARE FOCUSED ON FAIRNESS IN CYCLING IN MANY OTHER ARENAS, WHY NOT IN THE FINANCIAL ARENA AS WELL?


MUTUAL RIGHT OF REFUSAL FOR OFF‐CONTINENT PROTOUR EVENTS

  • If both organizer and team agree there is no interest in the team participating, the team is granted an exemption from participation
  • If either the team or the organizer demands participation, it overrules the desire of the other
  • In short, the team must participate if either party so desires


BOTH ORGANIZER AND TEAM MUST AGREE FOR A NON‐PARTICIPATION TO OCCUR. IF EITHER PARTY DESIRES THE TEAM TO RACE, THE TEAM MUST RACE.

  • Newly formed teams that wish to gain entry into major races based on recent and current performance & recent and current organization, and
  • Seek objective guidelines as to how this may be achieved

ESTABLISHED PROTOUR AND PRO‐CONTINENTAL TEAMS SHOULD BE GRADED USING THE SAME STANDARDS IN MATTERS OF FINANCIAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY

  • When potential “bonus points” are considered for having a top notch organization behind the athletic side of a team, all teams must be looked at equally, regardless of whether or not they hold a ProTour license
  • New teams must be graded objectively, despite lack of history
  • Perhaps E&Y will need more information and greater transparency from younger teams, but if this is provided, they should be granted equal footing


GREATER SYNCHRONICITY BETWEEN UCI AND RACE ORGANIZERS REGARDING WILD CARD LABEL AND INVITATIONS GIVEN BASED ON THIS LABEL

Pro Continental teams seek objective selection procedures for Wild Cards outlined well in advance of major events. These selection procedures should be clearly defined and publicized, so that fans may follow the progress of their favorite new/small team.

  • Objective and transparent grading of Wild Card based on:

1. Organizational infrastructure,
2. Ethical approach, and
3. Performance capabilities when compared head to head with ProTour teams Passport status and Wild Card label should be clearly defined Teams’ informed (and confirmed receipt of information) well in advance of deadlines

NEW AND SMALLER TEAMS WANT TO KNOW PRECISELY WHAT STANDARD THEY MUST MEET IN ORDER TO COMPETE IN THE LARGEST EVENTS


CONCLUSION

Thank you for your time, effort and participation. This can work but we must all compromise a little and dream a lot.

Jonathan Vaughters