Tuesday, November 1, 2011

UCI Lost Money on Tour of Beijing??

--Woohoo, the Tour of Beijing was profitable!

"We've not finished the whole process but I've spent a lot of time signing invoices. It does cost a significant amount of money but it's too early to say how much. Clearly the goal with the budget provided by the city of Beijing was to organise a very good race and make sure the teams and riders had the best experience. We achieved that.

The other goal for the end of the project was to make sure that money was left for the UCI because that was another goal and Pat McQuaid has been quite clear on the fact that the event would be a source of revenue for the UCI, which as an international federation, needs money to fulfill its mission. So we do expect that there will be money left for the UCI but due to the fact that it's the first edition it's hard to finalise just now."

Oh wait, I must have misread the first part of the article which "confirmed" the Tour of Beijing was profitable. I guess, according to the aforementioned quotes by Alain Rumpf, that maybe he meant "confirm" in the loose, Darach McQuaid sense.

In one news blip alone the UCI spun the event as "confirmed" profitable to "expected." The real question, though, is if the race wasn't profitable, who paid for it? I understand the intent was to actually make money--putting aside the enormous conflicts of interest of the UCI trying to turn a profit which I have noted--but its attempt had to have cost someone something. And since this event was put on by Global Cycling Promotions, a company connected to the UCI, I'm guessing the investment was made by the UCI.

From the beginning, Pat McQuaid appears to have used his influence at the UCI to coerce the teams into racing the Tour of Beijing, a race put on by the for-profit Global Cycling Pomotions, at which McQuaid sits on the board. The assumed funding of said company, since it's tied directly with the UCI, is the UCI, and thus the teams, since the UCI's money comes mostly from the teams. The "expected" outcome of the venture is "profitable," according Rumpf who made two conflicting statements in one article. If in fact it wasn't profitable "due to the fact that it's the first edition," then Global Cycling Promotions which appears to be funded by the UCI, operated the Tour of Beijing at a lost. And under this assumption the money invested by the UCI, as funded by the teams which didn't want to do the race, would have been lost by Global Cycling Promotions.

Regardless of how the race did, I think McQuaid did well. Given the amount of fuss he made about the rumored boycott, I think he did better than well. Pat McQuaid likely paid himself off the top from the budget allotted by the Chinese, irrespective of the profitability of the event. (Actually, it was probably a cut proportional to the expected profitability or lack thereof.)

But now I wonder, where else could he be cheating?

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