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Governing body's president wants to see an end to big teams dominating races...

UCI president David Lappartient has said he is in favour of introducing a salary cap in professional cycling to make the sport more competitive and prevent teams with the biggest budgets from dominating it.

Lappartient, who succeeded Brian Cookson as UCI president in September, told AFP that he envisaged a restriction on a team’s overall wage bill, rather than thee amount an individual could earn.

"We should be able to pay an athlete as much as we want, but if we pay a lot for one rider, we have a bit less money and that balances our strengths," he said.

"The aim is to have attractive races and not that a team has the best riders in the world and blocks the races.”

The latter is an obvious allusion to Team Sky, whose budget – £31.1 million (€35 million) in 2016 – is believed to far outstrip those of the next wealthiest teams, including BMC Racing and Astana and is double the €18 million that Lappartient says is the average budget of a WorldTour team.

That money has allowed Sky to attract and keep some of the best riders in the world and helped it dominate the Tour de France in recent years, winning five of the past six editions with its strength in depth often allowing it to control the race in the mountains.

Lappartient acknowledged it would be difficult to put a salary cap in place but he did welcome the introduction of smaller teams at races next year as something that would encourage competition.

Under measures voted through in September, teams at Grand Tours will have eight riders instead of nine and at other races there will be seven riders, not eight.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

19 comments

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Yorkshire wallet [1704 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

FFS don't pay people their worth or anything. Be the best in the world - get paid the same as the 10th best.

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Keep trying France. Maybe you'll win the TDF again some day.

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Edgeley [523 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

FFS don't pay people their worth or anything. Be the best in the world - get paid the same as the 10th best.

//firewallcafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/10/101433/google-1456798794267-04.jpg)

Keep trying France. Maybe you'll win the TDF again some day.

 

Most sports have salary caps.   Even football.

If Sky can be the best without hogging talent, then they will deserve our praise.  Until then, they are deadening the sport.

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Yorkshire wallet [1704 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Salary cap in football.....£100k a day.

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alansmurphy [1665 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

Football does NOT have a salary cap. Team Sky deserve praise for being the best team in the Pro Peleton...

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Goldfever4 [396 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Edgeley wrote:

Most sports have salary caps.   Even football.

Does it?

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maxdabrit [10 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Great, so instead of finding ways to encourage more companies to invest greater amounts in our sport or dealing with the fact that tour teams get almost none of the TV money, let’s penalise the one team that pays a decent wage to many pros. That should make the long term health of cycling much better.

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davel [2125 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

'Financial fair play' isn't a salary cap.

And it isn't even fair play as long as states/organisations/oligarchs can pay players to buy their own contracts out, and then claim that paying Neymar €200m is his going rate as an 'ambassador' for that state/organisation/dodgy bastard.

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darnac [16 posts] 3 months ago
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Salary cap - after 28 years in France - just a typical French politician's dig at the 'Anglo-Saxons' - sadly, Lappartient, according to all my French cycling friends, is a typical youngish ambitious French politician - need I say more ...

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kitkat [486 posts] 3 months ago
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Perhaps Lappartient should spend more time lobbying potential sponsor industries, addressing the machinations of ASO and growing the women’s side of bike racing

Last year i didn't think Team Sky just turned up and walked off with their prizes, there was some close racing in the grand tours and they really had to work to get the result they wanted

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peted76 [894 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
darnac wrote:

Salary cap - after 28 years in France - just a typical French politician's dig at the 'Anglo-Saxons' - sadly, Lappartient, according to all my French cycling friends, is a typical youngish ambitious French politician - need I say more ...

 

..err... yes.  Or should we just assume that all typical youngish ambitious French politicians all marry their teachers and like cheese.

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ConcordeCX [634 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

FFS don't pay people their worth or anything. Be the best in the world - get paid the same as the 10th best.

//firewallcafe.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/10/101433/google-1456798794267-04.jpg)

Keep trying France. Maybe you'll win the TDF again some day.

salary caps are not a communist thing, they are capitalism, pur et dur. The only people they benefit are the bosses. The same amount of money flows into the sport, but instead of market forces deciding that the best workers - the athletes - get a decent share of the money, the bosses keep it for themselves.

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frogg [135 posts] 3 months ago
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What a lack of imagination ! what is it supposed to do ? I hate that socializing mentality. This guy thinks it's only a question of money ? How such a narrow mind and typical of a French (and EU) politician nowadays. You guys in the UK don't know how lucky you are with Brexit and stay away from all this crap.

Disclaimer i'm French.

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Simmo72 [678 posts] 3 months ago
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Or UCI you and the big event organisers who give out some of tv revenue to the team (f1 style) and give some stability and make it more attractive for big sponsors to come in and stay in....greedy swiss bootards.

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RobD [580 posts] 3 months ago
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Surely the teams would find pretty simple ways around this, win bonuses etc, and you'd still end up with the same situation just a more complicated and less transparent system? As others have said, capping the biggest teams wouldn't be half as effective as helping increase the money available to all the teams, I'd love to see the majority of the teams able to afford any riders they wanted, it'd mean things like the training techniques, team support etc (which the biggest teams likely are the best at anyway) would come into play more.

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Innerlube [28 posts] 3 months ago
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Personally I thought the racing was pretty exciting this year!

Hard to legislate for the fact that Froome is just way ahead of everyone at the moment. So much so that he could aim not to peak at the Tour and pick up the Vuelta as well.

Despite all efforts to shake things up with the course the Tour was once again the least interesting of the grand tours. 

If they want more exciting racing in France then could learn a lot from the route planners for the Giro and Vuelta.

The classics weren't exactly dominated by the richest team...

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Rapha Nadal [746 posts] 3 months ago
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alansmurphy wrote:

Football does NOT have a salary cap. Team Sky deserve praise for being the best team in the Pro Peleton...

What's a "peleton"?

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Sniffer [458 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
Simmo72 wrote:

Or UCI you and the big event organisers who give out some of tv revenue to the team (f1 style) and give some stability and make it more attractive for big sponsors to come in and stay in....greedy swiss bootards.

The UCI doesn't have alot of money.  It has fewer ways to generate income than other sports.  The rich sports are rich from selling TV rights.  The UCI don't have access to this revenue stream as the race organisers own this revenue for all but the World Champs.

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psling [275 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Rapha Nadal wrote:

What's a "peleton"?

 

Well, according to wiki: "In a road bicycle race, the peloton (from French, originally meaning 'platoon') is the main group or pack of riders"

In football though, a peleton is something to do with Brazilian football in the 60s/70s.

I'm surprised you didn't already know that?

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Edgeley [523 posts] 2 months ago
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alansmurphy wrote:

Football does NOT have a salary cap. Team Sky deserve praise for being the best team in the Pro Peleton...

 

Football has a salary cap.  Teams are obligated to break even under FFP rules.  The bulk of expenditure is on salaries, ergo there is a cap.  It isn't a very good mechanism, and cycling can do it much better.