Thursday, March 01, 2012

UCI to the rescue?

The International Cycling Union yesterday issued a press release concerning the financial difficulties facing the Vuelta al País Vasco and the Clásica San Sebastián, saying they're contemplating coming up with an "intervention strategy that can deal with the urgency of the situation". In other words, it seems the UCI are pondering coughing up the money needed to keep the two races alive.

In the statement, titled 'UCI WorldTour Spanish races: UCI is following the evolution of the situation', president Pat McQuaid is quoted as saying: "Although it is true that the globalisation of cycling is out strategic priority the roots and tradition of this fantastic sport are what make it so rich and we must be capable of preserving them. I can guarantee that we're working all-out, and that despite the fact that the resources at our disposal are fairly limited, we will do all we can to offer our support to the organizers. I therefore hope that the UCI will once again be able to contribute to finding a solution".

Deploying the UCI's WorldTour reserve fund seems to be the most likely option at the time being. The GP Ouest France de Plouay has received a considerable amount of money the last two years to keep the race going, but it remains to be seen if the UCI can come up with the full 150 000 euros the organizers are in need of.


Stephen said...

Good news.

This, in some ways, is the result of cycling failing to evolve commercially and run its own sport. When so many of the money spinning races are effectivy owned by private companies and keep any surplus revenue for themselves, its little wonder that races seen as smaller are the first to suffer in an economic downturn. If we are going to have a 'world tour' then all revenue should be held centrally and profits could be used to support a second tier ect. Some of the team owners have been banging on about this for years as the way things are going we may und up with 10 teams contesting 10 races. Pro Cycling need a rethink but won't get it.

Magnus said...

You couldn't be more right, Stephen. However depressing it is for fans and riders alike that races are disappearing, a lot could have been done in advance to prevent it


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