12.11.2012

A few reflections about pro cycling

1. The breakaway league or Cycling World Series or how you prefer to call it is probably a good idea regarding to the interest of big teams and big races organizers: they get more money, pay top riders more, have a financial continuity garanted. All the rest of cycling - small teams, small races, youths, women races die because they get no money at all. I'd like to pay and sit just on the finish line of a Classic but I prefer to NOT pay and be able to fight for a good place at the barriers in front of the podium or in the last 200 m of a race. That idea of cycling involves that start and finish areas are only for money and 'normal' people stay out. In add: that idea of cycling is for circuits of course. Milano San Remo or Liege don't suit it at all. OR/AND that idea of cycling is like that idea of football: something you watch in tv so made up FOR tv. Must I add more? I understand that project, I see its point. But I don't think it's a good idea really, not for people who live for/by cycling. What do you think?
2. UCI World Tour Licences: what a shame. How can cycling be a clean sport when licenses are assigned in such a UN-transparent way? Katusha didn't get it and they ignore why. Is that possible? but the UCI, asked by Cyclignews, confirmed: "They don't know but will know soon". WTF!! And the winner of UCI ranking, Purito Rodriguez, is now - in DECEMBER! - wondering what to do! That's simply ridicolous. Not only that. The whole iter is. 
3. Florence 2013: Worlds in Tuskany. I live here so wanted to be part of it. Just as a volonteer, just to collaborate. Well: there is - was? - an 'official comitee', formally 'open'. I asked to partecipate: silence. But no worry, I missed nothing! Basicly it never worked. Decisions have been made in private places, by wellknown people, as a private bussiness. Are you curious? have a look here:
http://blog.cyclingpro.it/2012/11/24/ecco-i-costi-folli-di-toscana-2013/
It's in Italian but you can google translate it. 
In short: next Worlds will cost 3 times more than Mendrisio. Yep, you understood right: 3 times more. In number: they asked 50 milions of euros and 'only' got 32 milions and 601.035 euros. Mendrisio costed 13 milions of Swiss Francs (11 milions of euros). What are they going to do with those money? They say they are FEW so will be used to asphalt the worlds roads. But those are NOT the only money wasted in mafia bussiness. Read here:
"To understand how a World cycling turns into a bottomless pit you have to look at '"program agreement" of 2011 (the award by the UCI is in September 2010), between the Tuscany Region, the provinces of Florence, Lucca, Pistoia, Prato and towns of Fiesole, Florence, Lucca, Montecatini and Pistoia. Yes, because while anywhere in the world Worlds are on a unique circuit with possible variant for the time trial, in Tuscany we speak of "global spread" to involve the whole region and "multiply the effects on tourism". Well, the program agreement established a Technical Institutional Group that measured the routes and estimated costs (public) for only external works in the sum of 157 millions of euros and 244,090.15. How much? 157 MILLIONS, divided into 71 million for basic stuff and 86 to complete things. In Switzerland they would have done FIFTEEN EDITIONS of Worlds."
But on 23 June 2011 the Italian Government said money are not sure so... the Comitee decided to focus: "focus on what, with the remaining 71 MILLION? On asphalting and the elimination of obstacles along the race track! Let us understand: 71 MILLION for asphalt and removing obstacles? Right." O.O  Yep because they say  they must fix "a minimum of one million square meters of asphalt 373,763.93, which amount - just to give you an idea - a scarifying and resurfacing a square of 37 kilometers per side."
But also those 71 millions of euros are in doubt and all they can get is the " "modest" amount of 49 718,088.21 million euro.": not enought they say! so "the technical group suggests to "scarify and repair the binder (bitumen) on half of the surface of the path (in width!) and repair the floor of wear over the entire surface. In short, it is a work in half: half good, half as it comes." O.O
But also those money are not sure at all. The
only sure money are the "32 millions allocated by the local authorities. In Switzerland, they would have done anyway THREE WORLDS". In Florence... they aren't enought to asphalt... so "they should be used sparingly, only for the recovery of individual anomalies to reach the lowest level of security required to guarantee the performance of individual races!" O.O
In add: "the only "definitive work"
planned in favor of cycling, the cycling track in Ponte Buggianese - cost  2 millions of euros (normal price for a velodrome in Italy: from 80 to 800.000 euros), almost certainly will not be realized and the money used for ... asphalting." O.O
There is much more in this beautiful and very interesting article. I'd like that the international media would talk about a bit louder...
Finally:
4. Training camps: I'm thinking fondly about those guys starting their season in THAT cycling mess...

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