Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Future of the World Tour

I guess this explains why the Tour of Britain didn't get the improved ranking it asked for:

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm in favour of a transparent system of promotion and relegation rather than the partially secret set of criteria that currently decides who gets a World Tour license and who doesn't.

I can also see that having no concurrent races means that teams won't need enormous squads and the huge wage bills that come with them, which should make life easier for the less well funded teams.

On the other hand, a lot of smaller races are going to get it in the neck, either by being shortened so as not to clash with the marquee events, or by being reduced to second division status. It seems possible that we'll have no more plucky French wildcards at the Tour de France and, conversely, no more cycling superstars turning up to their little hometown race. This new system might rule out the likes of both Ciolek's victory at Milan San Remo, and Wiggo's victory in the Tour of Britain.

On the other hand, it will finally put an end to that terrifying speculation that the Giro d'Italia could be shortened so as to free up an audience for the Tour of California. Silver linings, eh?

I think it'll take a bit more thought before I'm willing to fully pick the bones out of this, but I'm going to try to concentrate on the positives for now.

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