Wednesday, November 8, 2023
HomeCyclingVingegaard Wins Velo d'Or; One other Biking Reform Undertaking Will get the...

Vingegaard Wins Velo d’Or; One other Biking Reform Undertaking Will get the Rumors Going; What’s EY As much as In Professional Biking? Quintana Returns; Trying Again on the Glasgow Worlds…

The distinguished Velo d’Or award recognizing the very best male bike owner on the planet was awarded final week to Jonas Vingegaard, winner of the 2023 Tour de France, whereas Demi Vollering obtained the ladies’s accolade. Vollering’s dominant season left little doubt as to her Velo d’Or resumé, however Vingegaard was a barely shocking alternative primarily based on this 12 months’s laborious numbers.

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Is Vingegaard a worthy winner of the Velo d’Or?

As we detailed in a Particular Report final week, Vingegaard positioned third when it comes to complete factors, simply behind Remco Evenepoel and trailing factors winner Tadej Pogačar by a big margin. Vingegaard additionally positioned third when it comes to complete wins, and fourth when it comes to what we outlined as “high-quality” wins and podium placements. When it comes to probably the most prestigious victories, or “high wins,” Vingegaard additionally positioned third, after Pogačar, and behind Mathieu van der Poel’s exceptional three victories on the world championships and the monuments of Paris-Roubaix and Milano-Sanremo. On condition that the award is set by a bunch of journalists on the French journal Vélo (to not be confused with the American Velo web site) we surprise if the award this 12 months may higher be titled the “finest winner of a giant French bike race?” However, Vingegaard additionally gained the Tour final 12 months, and he didn’t even rank among the many high three finishers for the Velo d’Or. So, it’s a little bit of a puzzle. As we emphasised in our report, there’s by no means a single proper reply to the query – who’s the world’s finest bike owner – and that’s a part of the attract of biking.

Demi Vollering’s dominant season left little doubt as to her Velo d’Or resumé

One other veritable frenzy gripped the biking world this previous week after a Reuters report instructed that there are superior talks underway, amongst a couple of key stakeholders, to create a brand new “aggressive league.” Though the One Biking idea – initially promoted by Jumbo-Visma boss (and AIGCP president) Richard Plugge – has been bouncing round for a pair years, this newest iteration appears to be a extra particular and near-term plan, apparently supported by a number of of the stronger groups. Reuters additionally reported that the accounting and administration consulting agency EY had been retained to gather expressions of curiosity from potential traders to fund the scheme – with proposals supposedly due this previous weekend. The personal fairness agency CVC Companions – already closely invested in sports activities – was talked about as a attainable investor. Later within the week, there have been strategies that the Saudi Arabian PIF (sovereign wealth fund) was the potential backer – a rumor that rapidly echoed across the biking media, however with none verified corroborating sources. Nevertheless, whereas tales of Saudi curiosity within the sport did flow into a couple of months in the past, inferences that the Saudis are “on the cusp” of taking on professional biking appear extremely speculative. The one proof appears to be some offhanded observations – resembling podcaster Daniel Friebe’s rumination that the Saudis may be “one of many events who might presumably be enthusiastic about investing.” The PIF has invested in quite a few sports activities, however traditionally it has not publicized its investments, nor has it labored through intermediaries. Hopefully, the biking media is just not getting approach out over its skis once more on this story.

Foto LaPresse - Fabio Ferrari 08/02/2018 Dubai (Emirati Arabi Uniti) Sport Ciclismo Dubai Tour 2018 - 5a edizione - Tappa 3 - Dubai Silicon Oasis Stage - da Skidive Dubai a Fujairah - 180 km (111,8 miglia) Nella foto: Photo LaPresse - Fabio Ferrari 08/02/2018 Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Sport Cycling Dubai Tour 2018 - 5th edition - Stage 3 - Dubai Silicon Oasis Stage - Skidive Dubai to Fujairah - 180 km (111,8 miles) In the pic:
Extra funding from the Center East?

What has not obtained a lot consideration on this new controversy is the background or nature of EY’s (previously Ernst & Younger) alleged participation on this scheme, in addition to its broader – if considerably below the radar – pursuits in professional biking. It’s value noting that the agency has had an prolonged and seemingly cozy relationship with the UCI; it has traditionally been concerned within the WT licensing course of, and has not too long ago authored a lot of complimentary stories on the financial affect of UCI occasions. If EY – one of many world’s largest skilled providers companies – is actually serving to this casual group of groups solicit and qualify potential investor curiosity, it raises a number of questions. First, who’s paying them? Prime-flight administration consultants don’t come low-cost. Has EY helped play a mediation function to carry the groups and the UCI nearer collectively on reform concepts? Is EY itself someway financially concerned on this effort to reimagine biking?

Bahrain, UAE and….

Maybe a very powerful query is: what about this plan will allow it to succeed when related reform concepts prior to now have by no means gotten off the bottom? What’s completely different about this plan, and the way will EY or another participant on this go-around persuade traders that they’ll make an honest return? If actually a serious monetary backer for this undertaking does emerge, it might find yourself being a state of affairs just like what we noticed within the LIV golf experiment; i.e., assemble an unique portfolio of athletes or occasions and make some huge monetary guarantees. To this point within the LIV case, the massive amount of cash paid to some gamers has come straight out of the Saudi pocket – not from TV or occasions. Therefore, it’s maybe comprehensible that many across the sport are skeptical, and reserving judgment, ready to see what really occurs right here. As former UCI President Brian Cookson commented, considerably wearily, “right here we go once more.”

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The place does this depart the UCI?

Complementing our look final week on the particular person factors rating for 2023, our sister publication – the Past the Peloton publication – printed a breakdown and evaluation of the ultimate groups level rating, highlighting a couple of fascinating tendencies behind the numbers. The highest takeaway was that – regardless of profitable the UCI factors rankings – UAE Group Emirates didn’t maintain tempo with Jumbo-Visma when it comes to the quantity and high quality of wins; i.e., UAE could have gained the factors competitors however Jumbo was clearly the very best workforce. Curiously, when the ultimate 2023 factors standings have been cross-referenced with BTP’s points-based pre-season efficiency predictions, the highest groups – UAE, Jumbo, Soudal-Fast-Step, and Ineos – all carried out roughly as predicted. Even the 12 months’s worst WorldTour workforce, Astana, barely outperformed their prediction primarily based upon pre-season roster power. Bora-Hansgrohe, nevertheless, which completed a respective tenth within the rankings, was one of many greater underperformers of the season, given a scarcity of constant performances from their largest stars. This lack of a singular star rider, who can reliably gather factors and wins, in all probability helps clarify their resolution to roll the cube on signing 34-year-old Primož Roglič to an costly multi-year contract.

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BORA-hansgrohe wanted Primož Roglič

Over the weekend, Movistar introduced that that they had signed a contract with Nairo Quintana, ending the Colombian climber’s year-long hiatus from the game. His prior Arkéa-Samsic workforce launched him after final 12 months’s Tour following a constructive take a look at for Tramadol, and he failed to search out one other workforce prepared to choose him up. (On the time, the painkiller was prohibited by the UCI, however was not on the WADA banned record.) Many followers, notably in South America, will probably be completely satisfied to see such a recognizable face again within the peloton – particularly after he appeared to be considerably unfairly blackballed. Nevertheless, it’s unusual to see Quintana return to Movistar – which he left after a number of public disagreements over his management standing – and it looks like a determined transfer by the Spanish workforce. As the game’s high stars tilt youthful, and the largest races are more and more gained by youthful legs (solely a single race amongst biking’s 5 Monuments, World Championships, and three Grand Excursions have been gained by a rider over 30-years-old in 2023), it’s considerably baffling to see Movistar go after a veteran coming off a year-long hiatus, regardless of what they’re paying him. The workforce’s growth technique has not been clear lately, and it appears odd that they might herald an older rider on the expense of specializing in growing in-house expertise or mining the junior ranks. It’s additionally not clear how Quintana and Enric Mas may share GC management duties. If the workforce, which is presently in twelfth place within the UCI’s 2023-2025 relegation rankings, falls into yet one more relegation battle through the 2025 season, we could look again at this resolution as a serious turning level.

Nairo Quintana again within the WorldTour

We not too long ago examined how the UCI World Championships (WCs) in Glasgow went almost $10 million over price range. The determine is considerably greater when accounting for a $6.3 million emergency allocation and the truth that native counties needed to make investments hundreds of thousands in highway and infrastructure enhancements past what was within the unique price range. The UCI highlighted Glasgow’s constructive broadcast attain in a “press launch” (through X), touting the occasion’s viewership successes – and its 200 million “viewing hours” bode nicely when put next towards the game’s general flat efficiency because the Armstrong period’s excessive factors. Nevertheless, the numbers weaken when contemplating that the viewing determine doesn’t differentiate “attain” impressions ‒ for instance, when somebody sees the race in a information report for a minute or so ‒ versus these viewers who really hunt down and watch the race. And there’s nonetheless an enormous distribution drawback, as stay racing was solely broadcast in choose markets.

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The Glasgow World champs have been widespread, however…

On this gentle, Glasgow’s marginal viewership beneficial properties and monetary losses embody the paradox of internet hosting a serious worldwide sporting occasion. The Olympics, varied World Championships, and stadium/workforce internet hosting investments are huge bets when it comes to long-term financial progress and reinvestment in a bunch location. On a macro degree such internet hosting endeavors represent a grasp class in sports activities enterprise failure; the Olympics debt phenomenon is exceptional in that the final Video games to show a revenue was Los Angeles in 1984. UCI-hosted occasions have usually completed within the purple, and even bankrupted the partner-nation’s internet hosting group. So, whereas Glasgow viewership was encouraging, its cost-per-viewer was far too excessive when one realizes how far over price range the version went. It is a warning signal for sponsors who perceive the metrics, and who demand robust and verifiable content material distribution outcomes to justify an funding in biking. As has been instructed for future Olympics, we’d invite UCI stakeholders to revisit our proposal to centrally host future World Championships at current biking monument websites – which might help and draw followers into the storied venues and historical past of our sport – and extra fastidiously consider, place, and stage new World Championship venues ‒ maybe solely each 4 or 5 years — the place they may have probably the most affect on biking’s future.

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Would you need to host the Worlds?

– You’ll be able to meet up with Professional Biking and the World of Sports activities – with Evaluation, Perception and Reflections from THE OUTER LINE. –

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