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Old 07-17-08, 05:08 AM   #1
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50+ primer on bikes and politics.

This is being posted because many 50+ers who don't take part in some of the forums that cater to bike racing had questions earlier in the year about all of the politics surrounding the Tour de France.

Back then, we were wondering what all of the fuss was over which teams would be allowed to participate and why. Was it about drugs, ego, money or just plain power. Well, some of the answers are in and in some cases even more confusion exists than before.

The tour is underway and being run by the ASO (owners of the TDF) with help provided by the French cycling federation. The Pro Tour Organization had fought to retain control over big time professional bicycle racing on a world wide basis even to the point of threatening to ban teams that participated in the TDF without Pro Tour controls. As of monday, 17 of the 18 teams (out of a total of 20 in the Pro Tour ranks) taking part in the TDF had voted not to apply for liscences from the Pro Tour organization for next year. We have just watched a classic union busting war in which the union lost.

What will happen next...............that will be interesting to watch.
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Old 07-17-08, 05:39 AM   #2
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What will happen next...............that will be interesting to watch.
But not as interesting as the race, which has been a very interesting one so far with much excitement yet to come.
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Old 07-17-08, 07:52 AM   #3
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This is one of the best TdFs in a long time and I have not missed any of the stages and even watched the recap on the rest day.

UCI, the international sanctioning body, is more than men's pro racing. It sanctions many events. Clearly, there is a power struggle between the promoters (such as ASA) of the European Grand Tours and UCI for the power to set the rules. In the US, the major race sanctioning body is the USCF. To race in their events one must have a license and follow their rules.

We are considering participating in an international event next year which requires a UCI license. We will NOT be on a pro team.
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Old 07-17-08, 08:00 AM   #4
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We are considering participating in an international event next year which requires a UCI license. We will NOT be on a pro team.
Why not
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Old 07-17-08, 08:02 AM   #5
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How does the Astana bit figure into all of this?

And why has UCI made such a power grab?

Is the UN behind all of this? OK, just kidding with that one.

The whole thing seems more than a little Byzantine.
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Old 07-17-08, 08:19 AM   #6
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I don't think that the UCI made a power grab............."Pro Tour" appears to be a subset under the auspices of UCI that is/was regulating the top 20 pro racing teams in the business.

The UCI is still going to be necessary for the bulk of the bike racers in the world.

For example........all decisions and determinations made during the TDF are applicable to France only as that is the total area of influence.

By interesting I mean we are now looking at a form of anything goes.
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Old 07-17-08, 09:39 AM   #7
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The tour is underway and being run by the ASO (owners of the TDF) with help provided by the French cycling federation. The Pro Tour Organization had fought to retain control over big time professional bicycle racing on a world wide basis even to the point of threatening to ban teams that participated in the TDF without Pro Tour controls. As of monday, 17 of the 18 teams (out of a total of 20 in the Pro Tour ranks) taking part in the TDF had voted not to apply for liscences from the Pro Tour organization for next year. We have just watched a classic union busting war in which the union lost.
Didn't they just recently go through something similar with Champ Car/Indy Car raceing? In my personal case at least, the ultimate result was that I lost interest and became more interested in NASCAR.
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Old 07-17-08, 10:00 AM   #8
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How does the Astana bit figure into all of this?

And why has UCI made such a power grab?

Is the UN behind all of this? OK, just kidding with that one.

The whole thing seems more than a little Byzantine.
Astana is a UCI Pro Team and therefore should have been allowed to participate in the TdF. http://www.uci.ch/templates/UCI/UCI2...MenuId=MTUyNzM AS0 excluded them allegedly due to past doping problems but let Rababank, a team whose principal sponsor is Netherlands company, who had the TdF leader kicked out of the tour last year, participate.

UCI sets rules, including doping, that ASO did not want to follow and wanted to do as they please and invite whoever they wanted to their event and disqualify and remove immediately riders caught doping. Hence, a power struggle between UCI and ASO. It was further compounded when all the pro men's teams recently elected to pull out of the UCI.

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Old 07-17-08, 11:32 AM   #9
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Old 07-17-08, 11:41 AM   #10
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Who are these "red" socks of which you speak?
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Old 07-17-08, 11:50 AM   #11
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Browsing this thread was a bit of a cultural shock to me. Here are the terms used in it that I have never heard of before:

ASO
Pro Tour Organization
UCI
ASA
Astana
Rababank

Mind you, that I am not asking for anyone to define any of these terms. At least not for my sake.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:13 PM   #12
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On Holiday this week so the TDF is taking up part of my day. Normally in previous years by now I could pick out the stage and eventual winners. This year I can't. I think this is down to the drug control that has taken place. I know 3 have been banned for a new form of EPO- but that has been found with the stringent drug test's that are taking place. Other than Ricco- who found a sudden turn of speed on one of the stages in comparison to all the other competitors- There has been not one single rider that stands out as a "Winner". And Ricco is one of the banned.

So I don't think that ASO or UCI are going to be winners in the cycling world. What is going to be a winner is Cycling in general.

And Talking of Winners--- Mark Cavendish. 3 stage wins and a possible 4th tomorrow. AND if he makes it to the end- Possibly at the Champs Elise. And Drugs for Him? Hopefully it is no stronger than Earl Grey Tea and Chocolate Digestives.

Attachment is of Mark at the tour of Britain last year when he won the prologue Time trial
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File Type: jpg Cavendish.jpg (34.0 KB, 4 views)
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Old 07-17-08, 12:32 PM   #13
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And Talking of Winners--- Mark Cavendish. 3 stage wins and a possible 4th tomorrow. AND if he makes it to the end- Possibly at the Champs Elise. And Drugs for Him? Hopefully it is no stronger than Earl Grey Tea and Chocolate Digestives.

Attachment is of Mark at the tour of Britain last year when he won the prologue Time trial
Well fine but it was good ol' George Hincapie who was doing all the heavy lifting so some Brit greyhound could bask in the glory.

Just kidding of course. Cavendish is a stud and Team Columbia's performance makes me want to descend to the depths of Uber-poseur (don't think about the image too hard) and purchase a team jersey or something.
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Old 07-17-08, 12:42 PM   #14
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Well fine but it was good ol' George Hincapie who was doing all the heavy lifting so some Brit greyhound could bask in the glory.

Just kidding of course. Cavendish is a stud and Team Columbia's performance makes me want to descend to the depths of Uber-poseur (don't think about the image too hard) and purchase a team jersey or something.
I have to agree with you. The only way a sprinter will have that amount of energy at the end of a day is if he has been able to save energy. Stage 10 in the slopes and where did Mark Finish? No chance of winning so no assistance coming his way. He came last by the way. But just face it- Anyone that can put on that turn of speed- anywhere- has to be respected. And on the Team jersey- I prefer the white Highroad version. That had some class to it.
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Old 07-17-08, 05:43 PM   #15
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Every year I think I'm going to get excited about the Tour again....every year another doping scandal drives me away. As much as I love cycling, professional cycle racing has become a circus I just can't get excited about any more.

The low point for me was all the name-calling and sniping among Greg LeMond, Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong, and based on today's revelations we are still just bouncing along on the bottom of the sports world.
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Old 07-17-08, 06:37 PM   #16
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The Red Sox are a half-game in front at the All-Star break.
Any team not the Yankees.
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Old 07-18-08, 01:32 PM   #17
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Who are these "red" socks of which you speak?
Is a red sock like a yellow jersey?
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