Monday, January 30, 2012

Pat McQuaid, the Newt Gingrich of Cycling

--I'm not sure who the title insults more, Gingrich or McQuaid. It's clear from recent news about both they're in the same ballpark. Recently, McQuaid has been trying to raise additional money for Global Cycling Promotions, the for profit operation of the UCI. (And yes, this is equivalent of Moody's or Fitch hawking bonds but I've already discussed that ad nauseam.) Apparently blackmailing teams into racing races no one watches wasn't enough make a buck.

According to a recent Cyclingnews article the ASO was offered the opportunity and decided not to invest in GCP. The ASO claimed they wanted to remain in the role of a "service provider." Which is French for "We know a for profit operation when we see one, we own the Tour de France." Clearly, GCP is not a promising investment.

--As if that weren't enough, McQuaid and Verbruggen are also seeking damages from Paul Kimmage. The pair have accused Kimmage of "annoyance" and are demanding "he take out advertisements in the international media publicising [sic] the court's final order."

The UCI's response to the matter speaks volumes: "Mr. McQuaid can not allow for him or the UCI to be called corrupt." Mr. McQuaid won't actually address the corruption at the UCI, merely the talk of said corruption. This is move #7 from the Lance playbook Deny, Deny, Deny.

--Paris-Roubaix may skip the Arenberg forest this year. This past year a lot of moss has grown over the stones and it is unsafe for riding. The same situation came about in 2005 and the race skipped the section.

--I guess Velonews is now in the business of writing paid articles that are indecipherable from advertising. A recent article is titled
"LOOKing Forward" and includes a section called "The case for pedal-based power."

I wrote before that I thought pedal-based power was a really bad model. However, I think the margins on power meters can be pretty good so companies, especially ones like Look, are eager to get in on it. I think having it pedal-based is a poor model since it limits you on pedals, but it's still better than having to ride a special wheel!!~

--As if two year suspensions for doping weren't already the toughest in any sport, Valverde's recent win brought up another punishment suspended riders face: the points they earn during their first two years back don't count toward a team's WorldTour ranking. Despite Valverde winning a stage in the first big race of the season, it won't benefit Movistar in terms of points.

--Speaking of suspended riders, it looks like Rebellin will follow Rasmussen and race for Christina Watches. He was at Miche, former home of the Cobra.

--Bart Wellens's house was recently searched in a doping investigation.

--Someone at the Tour Down Under took some killer portraits of the riders (a la those from Roubaix). These are worth checking out.

--Also, in case you're interested in how cycling does in terms of TV ratings Cycling Tips has a post up about coverage of the Tour Down Under.

--Lastly, I'll leave you with the latest in a long line of incredible cycling movies:

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