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"We have to adapt to the times. I am in favor of that. In short, we have to make our sport more attractive and at least try to make some change.”

Photo: Sirotti




23.12.2015 @ 10:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The war between Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organizer of the Tour de France, and the International Cycling Union (UCI) has been unleashed. The Frenchmen do not want to be part of the WorldTour reform and Brian Cookson has the support of the teams. Eusebio Unzue, general manager of Movistar, regrets the disagreement.


In an interview with BiciCiclismo , Unzue claims that the “waiting game” has destroyed what he considered "a good alternative." The Spanish manager believes it is time to "be consistent" and that the cycling world must "seek solutions to continue to move forward." He supports the "media power" of some historical races but also claims that they need to "adapt to the times" to make "our sport more attractive."


”On a personal level, it was not the news we wanted the most,” he told the Spanish website. “To destroy the project is not good news for our sport. It is a situation that we have had in the past. And once again we see that there is no way to get a worldwide agreement.


“Right now we have to wait and listen to everyone. We thought it was a good alternative that had been created. One can say that it has been destroyed a bit and it is now up in the air. First we must listen to the UCI who makes the rules. They have to take the first step. And then all the stakeholders can share their views.”


The UCI has issued a statement and wants to proceed with the reforms.

“We must analyze it further, with all the data, and then the teams will make a statement,” Unzue said.


” Let's wait for them to digest this. Time will pass because the news came out just a few days ago. It is not the best time to negotiate because of the holidays. Then it is time to continue our work to find solutions and move on.”


Unzue recently said that things need to be done differently.


”I wish this game was a bit less static than it is,” he said. “The weight of history is not always a reason not to develop. For example, the weight of history is reflected in the calendar. A first consequence is that no one dares to change things because things have always been done in this way.


”I wish I could guarantee a show with the best riders in a calendar of 90 days. But it has to be consistent. I have more faith in some smaller races where everyone could be and have more time between the big races. The best be to have the best riders clash on many occasions. Not like now, the best are hardly in the same race. And in my eyes, that makes our sport weaker and we lose a part of the great appeal of being in the best races with all the best. For now, it is impossible due to the way things are done. I wish they would study this possibility to have the luxury of having the best in almost all races and reduce certain days of competition.”


The race organizers have called for a reduction of grand tour line-ups from 9 to 8 riders.


“For me this is a step backwards,” Unzue said. “We don’t have the ability to replace someone if he gets sick, if he is injured, if he crashes fall. Any other team sport allows you to recover from bad luck. Why can’t we have a replacement if a rider crashes so that the team has the same number of troops at the start the next day?


”Admittedly, certain historic races have some power in the media and we must care about them, protect them, but we have to adapt to the times. I am in favor of that. In short, we have to make our sport more attractive and at least try to make some change.”



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