Patrick McQuaid continues to promote himself outside of the UCI regime, today publishing another personal press release about his proposal to restructure UCI World Tour and Continental teams in order to ‘protect clean riders’.
His proposal calls for new team structures to ensure that there is one doctor, one coach and one sports director, each with separate responsibilities, for every seven riders. Riders would also be limited to a maximum of 80 days of racing.
The proposal seems to require additional team support staff, and as such, may “require the UCI to reduce the size of teams at UCI World Tour level and UCI Continental level by five or more riders respectively”.
This is where the plan starts to break down.
5 fewer riders. An imposed maximum of 80 days of racing. About 140 days of racing on the World Tour Calendar alone. If you add in the Continental Tour that number goes up significantly.
By reducing the number of riders and not reducing the number of races, you are spreading the riders thinner. More race days equals more fatigue and more temptation to dope.
Furthermore, by reducing the number of available slots for riders in the sport’s top team structures, this plan effectively increases competition for a scarce resource. If you want to get one of those top spots, you have to win races. Thus, more temptation to dope.
That’s my opinion. Anyhow, here’s the press release:
McQuaid unveils policy to restructure team model to protect clean riders
UCI President Pat McQuaid has unveiled new policy proposals to prevent doping by ensuring that teams are no long structured on the historic model that left riders without adequate mentoring, support and supervision.
McQuaid stated that the UCI had a pivotal role to play in supporting teams and riders in creating an environment that continues to be conducive to the cultural change within cycling.
“Today’s riders should never be faced with having to make the same choices as previous generations,” said McQuaid.
“Today’s teams and those of the future must be built upon a model where riders are placed at the centre of the organisation where their performance is monitored and underpinned through collaboration with a multi-disciplinary scientific team,” he said.
McQuaid announced that the foundation of his new policy was the proposed introduction of a skills certification standard to ensure that those working within professional cycling as doctors, coaches and sports directors are suitably qualified and approved to do so.
The UCI President is proposing new team structures to ensure that there is one doctor, one coach and one sports director, each with separate responsibilities, for every seven riders.
“This will enhance the level of monitoring care and support available to each rider, thereby helping riders to better manage their workload, race schedule and recovery,” said McQuaid.
“Individualised training and sustainable race load programmes up to a maximum of 80 days racing are also required,” he added.
McQuaid acknowledged that the UCI must also introduce a sustainable and long lasting economic model to assist teams in implementing the initiatives that he is proposing.
“This may well require the UCI to reduce the size of teams at UCI World Tour level and UCI Continental level by five or more riders respectively,” he said.
He went on to say that the ability of teams to embrace and finance the implementation of these policies had to be supported by a model that provides them with a more equitable share of the revenue generated by race organisers.
McQuaid expressed his intention to consult and work with teams to introduce and implement his proposed policies, which he described as a roadmap for the direction that cycling must take in the immediate future.