"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - good stupid question
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12-14-02, 08:28 AM
What is the difference in teams such as Postal that goes to the TDF... and Like Saturn... that don't go (to my knowledge) What is the diff. in the riders... and all.? Someone asked me and I didn't know the direct answer.....
It basically has to do with the teams' UCI rating (TT I, TT II, etc.), which indicates the level of riders, sponsorships, etc., and the rules of the specific grand tours (such as the TdF).
You can find all, or at least most, of the answers here: http://www.uci.ch/english/
12-14-02, 09:07 AM
Well, I don't have the complete answer, but that never stopped me before. Hopefully, Xavier or someone will elaborate. Anyhow...
First, to compete in one of the grand tours, it must be a division 1 team, i.e. the team must have competed in and completed well in ranked races. In the TdF, I think French division 2 teams (same as above, but don't compete as often and/or didn't do as well) can get in.
Second, it costs a lot of money, so the venue has to be one where major sponsors want visibility (and to some extent, this drives item 1). For example, I assume Saturn doesn't sell cars in Europe. I'm still not clear on why USPS sponsors a team for the European circuit (but I'm glad they do).
12-18-02, 05:48 AM
Simply put, to use an equivalent in the US, Saturn would be like a top minor league baseball team, and USPS would be the major leagues. Rider talent, length of races, and cost are all part of it. But the teams can opt for what level they want to compete, and cost and salaries are involved. But if you obvioulsy do not have the talent and results, you cannot jsut show up and opt for Div 1. THEN, you have to put up a bond to secure costs with UCI to ensure you will be around and sometimes teams have to have UCI pay the riders.
The UCI controls all of the "trade teams" that are professional, world-wide as well as the races in which they race. Your results are measured by how you finish and the ranking/rating of the race. So, if you look at the UCI schedule, you will see each race, rated, like 1.1, 2.1, or "Grand Tour". The closer to 1 you are the more dificult the race. So, Mercury, two years ago opted for Division 1 and had hoped their results woud get them into the TdF. The did not and the economic results were devastating.
UCI has a website. The top ten (if my memory is decent) Div 1 teams in the world get into the tour. There are four wildcard teams. The last two are selected in April, I believe. That is how teams like Jean Delatour and Ag2R get into the Tour. Wildcards.
See the UCI link above for the correct answers. :confused:
The TdF rules have changed a couple of times in the last few years.
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