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Old 03-22-09, 08:36 PM   #1
cupcrazy4
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confused about Cervelo Test Team

I was reading some wikipedia articles that said the Cervelo Test Team was in the UCI Continental Circuit, and not the the UCI Pro Tour (which is apparently the best). Cervelo has Thor and Sastre (which I thought were 2 of the better riders right now), and I assume a bunch of riders from the old team CSC which was one of the best teams last year. Why aren't they racing in the the top circuit (aka UCI Pro Tour)? Does this mean Cervelo won't be racing in the Grand Tours?
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Old 03-22-09, 08:56 PM   #2
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ProTour has had a lot of issues in the last year or so, mostly because they want more control over events than race organizers want to give them. Things got very ugly, political, not really worth reviewing... Except to say it's possible that ProTour will fall apart or lose a big chunk of influence.

I'm not sure that any events are "ProTour only," and if Cervelo did join ProTour they'd probably have to compete in some events they might want to skip. So it's sort of unclear if there is an advantage for a new team to push to get on ProTour right now anyway.

It's also possible that Cervelo was just formed too late for the ProTour application deadline.
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Old 03-23-09, 04:58 PM   #3
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UCI pro tour is designation based on money, the idea being the biggest teams with the biggest budgets and star riders will pay more money to get guaranteed entry into the major events. The ASO killed that idea last year... They want to control who gets into their races and rightly so. Continental teams don't pay the exorbitant upfront license fee to the UCI and are left to the whims of the organizers for wild-card entry to the biggest races. LPR and Diquigiovanni-Androni are also in the continental category. It's not about merit - it's about money.
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Old 03-23-09, 05:01 PM   #4
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Cervelo tt has been invited to the Tour.
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Old 03-23-09, 09:07 PM   #5
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Yep, Cervelo got a wild card. In theory being in ProTour would guarantee a slot.

I have to say, I don't think ProTour is about cash; the UCI is a non-profit organization, while ASO and other tour organizers are commercial entities. Besides, from what I can tell the fees are less than $300k per team, and over half of that is the "biological passport" costs. The UCI is not making money off of ProTour.

I believe it's a little more about control and coordination to promote the sport. Basically being in ProTour gets you a lock at the prestigious events, in exchange for a requirement to compete at smaller and/or new events -- thus getting bigger teams, and more notice, at the smaller stuff. In theory it also gives the teams a way to compare their records, but in reality sport pays more attention to which riders are winning the big races.

Or to put it another way: To the UCI, the ASO banning a ProTour team without explicit evidence of misconduct is like the Orioles refusing to let the Yankees play at Camden Yards because Alex Rodriguez took steroids with the Rangers.
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Old 03-24-09, 02:37 PM   #6
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Great explanation. And I especially like your finishing analogy.

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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
Or to put it another way: To the UCI, the ASO banning a ProTour team without explicit evidence of misconduct is like the Orioles refusing to let the Yankees play at Camden Yards because Alex Rodriguez took steroids with the Rangers.
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Old 03-25-09, 04:42 PM   #7
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I assume a bunch of riders from the old team CSC which was one of the best teams last year.
That "old team" is still around and has the same core group (both Schlecks, Cancellara, Arvesen, Larrsen, Voigt and O'Grady)...ervyone except Sastre (now with Cervelo) and Julich (now retired but working in management for Saxo bank.
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Old 03-26-09, 06:23 PM   #8
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k solid, thanks for the explanation. Just curious, but why would Sastre leave the team? They won the TdF... Why take a risk on a smaller team?
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Old 03-26-09, 07:47 PM   #9
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He said it wasn't money and it was just that Cervelo had a positive outlook and he though he'd fit in well or some other mumbo-jumbo.
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Old 03-27-09, 09:48 AM   #10
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I am sure it is for team dedication and his role within the team. It would also appear that he would be the primary leader at Grand Tours on the Test Team. Most other riders on Cervelo are one day classic specialists, sprinters and support riders. I am sure he would have had to compete for a leadership role on SaxoBank (formerly CSC/Saxo) with Jens Voigt, Frank Schleck, Andy Schleck (who Riis has stated is the future Grand Tour leader of the team) and perhaps even Cancellara who has shown some improvement as an all around rider in Grand Tours beyond his obvious TT skills.

This has been done in the past with other teams hoping for Grand Tour success (think Levi, Landis and Hamilton who all left Disco/Postal for leadership roles on less dominant teams at the time) or for riders whose teams have chaned their targets (think McEwen this year leaving Lotto who is building more around GC in Grand Tours and less around a sprinter's train).
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Old 03-30-09, 10:54 AM   #11
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yes but no...

"I have to say, I don't think ProTour is about cash; the UCI is a non-profit organization, while ASO and other tour organizers are commercial entities. Besides, from what I can tell the fees are less than $300k per team, and over half of that is the "biological passport" costs. The UCI is not making money off of ProTour."

Sorry Bacciagalupe

If you go back and read about the formation of the pro tour and why smaller team directors were opposed to it you would see it was about money. You pay more but you get into the biggest races, you pay less and you have no guarantee of getting in. Smaller teams who didn't have the budget were worried that they would lose their sponsors if they didn't get the exposure the classics and grand tours would provide. McQuaid and Verbruggen said at the time that they didn't think having dozens of little teams was good for the sport but that fewer but better funded teams would be better.

The stated UCI model was formula 1 auto racing - global, big bucks, international and year-round, so teams would be forced to carry larger rosters because they would be required to enter all pro-tour races or forfeit their status - all three grand tours, all the classics etc. This was all years before the biological passport was dreamed of - and that was to placate the ASO due to a continued perception that the UCI was not doing enough to combat the drugs problem.

At least go to wikipedia and read a brief history and chronology of it all - if you don't already have subscriptions to cyclesport or procycling or don't read cyclingnews.com religiously. The UCI may be non-profit but that doesn't mean they are not interested in making more money - I'm sure Pat McQuaid got a fat bonus for ramming pro tour licenses down the teams throats.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JFO-NY View Post
If you go back and read about the formation of the pro tour and why smaller team directors were opposed to it you would see it was about money.....
That's your interpretation. Seems to me that it's about promoting the sport, strengthening the field at smaller events, etc. If that boils down to "just money" for you, that's your choice.

To be specific, I mean that the UCI does not view or treat ProTour as a revenue generator for the UCI itself. Your comments do not alter my perspective on that topic.
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Old 04-03-09, 11:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by CrimsonKarter21 View Post
He said it wasn't money and it was just that Cervelo had a positive outlook and he though he'd fit in well or some other mumbo-jumbo.

I've read that it was primarily tensions between Sastre and team director Bjarne Riis.

Cervelo is tearing it up this year, Pro Team or not -- Haussler is definitely one to watch. We haven't heard much from Sastre yet this year, but that was apparently the same last year until the TdF itself.
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Old 04-05-09, 01:32 PM   #14
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There are rumors that Sastre didn't like the way Riis manage his cycling team, plus if you add that Riis got the "gold couple" Frank and Andy Schleck, there's not much room for Sastre.

For sure he got a nice contract out of his performance last year at TdF with Cervelo and he deserves it.
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