Friday, December 17, 2010

2013 Tour de France in Fiji ?

As i trawl around the net i come across the odd item that perks the interest, one such is below:

Of course this is an unlikely possibility even with New Caledonia as a near neighbour but when you hear of Washington, New York and Montreal being considered as Grand Depart by the managements of the Grand Tours one wonders about other possibilities. Over the past years i have enjoyed the cross border excursions by the TDF to Spain and Italy. Harder to deal with were starts in Belgium and Holland before the transfer back to Italy, for me Air Travel but for the caravan personnel and Team support vehicles it was a tedious drive through the Autobahn System during what is considered to be a rest day for the Racers.

Pegasus the team for the Aussies by the Aussies was supposed to rise from conception to the Pro Tour status as did Team Sky but no such luck here, my guess it was because Murdock was not involved, further more Pro Continental status is still under consideration by the UCI. Hopefully any othe team starting out will see that "throwing Money on the table" does not buy the right to push aside other longer established teams regardless of the calibre of the Racers that they have recruited along the way.

Fallout from the Pegasus episode is the reduction in the Team Roster and thus we now see that some talented Racers are without contract for 2011 .

Currently the Guy who was Australian Vice Champion in 2010 and raced the 2010 TDU with distinction is sidelined and seeking employment for 2011. Kempy as he is known to the Cycling Fraternity is temporarily without a future in 2011 and this is entirely due to Over ambitious expectations of People who failed to lock in their projected financial backers let alone do the due dilligence that most businesses planning success perform. Vaughters the owner of Garmin wrote an article recently about the essence of Cycling 's future and he touched on this subject with his discussion of Geox not knowing at the time that Pegasus would have similar problems.

Sponsors are hard headed business people who see Cycling as an opportunity to promote their interests and are only interested in their ROI even when they have an interest in the sport. Too often recently we have seen Teams collapse because funding has been cancelled because the sponsor does not wish to have their reputation sullied by the constant roll call of "Bad Eggs" seeking to take short cuts to the podium.

Too often i have offered my two penny worth for the "Powers" to clean house by calling a moritorium, getting all the skeletons out in the open and then imposing harsh penalties for future transgressions. Four year suspensions with time locked in the house with electronic tags would serve to remind anyone considering letting themselves down let alone their family and colleagues that there is no benefit in taking the easy road. With being locked out of participation as an athlete, supporter or spectator any normal person would feel that Sporting Fraud is no longer an option.

2011 will see the usual crop of Sporting Fraudsters but it is possible that WADA & UCI can make the risks so adverse that 2012 will be the beginning of an era where "Respectable Companies that currently worry about their clean reputation" and thus shun Cycling Sport as an avenue of investment will make the decision to participate and sign up for long term sponsorships. Several banks over the years have invested for upwards of 20 years and there are other types of Business who could be encouraged to join thus providing the stability that will grow the sport further.

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