Has Pro Cycling Screwed Itself? | The GCN Show Ep. 242

Has Pro Cycling Screwed Itself? | The GCN Show Ep. 242


– Welcome to the GCN Show. This week we ask, has pro
cycling screwed itself? – And a very hot topic here in the UK, should police crack down
on fixies with no brakes? – Si, when people see
the new Shimano Ultegra, everyone is going to want
brakes, mark my words. – [Simon] True that. Right, elsewhere in tech, we’ve
got a new bike from Giant, we got a new power meter
and we’ve got new hubs. – Plus, we take a look at how our very own Johnny Chocolate Voice Beavan
got on at the Haute Route. Did he survive? – Er, is there a toilet around here, Matt? (upbeat music) (audience cheering) – This week in the world of cycling, we learned that Sir Chris
Hoy, very much like us, doesn’t think that you should
wear white cycling shorts, adding that from the front, he thinks men look like
a percentage symbol. – Valid point, I think. And also, despite Chris Hoy being one of the nicest people around, he’s managed to offend a lot
of people with that view. – He certainly has.
– As I. – Now, following last
week’s show, we also learned the reason why most
people ride their bikes, why do you ride? It’s the escape. – For 51% of you. 31% of you say that you
like the challenge, though. – And 12%, which I think’s
quite a high number, well, very much like Tom
Last, they ride their bikes because of the pain and
because of the suffering. That’s a lot of masochists out there. – That is remarkable, isn’t it? And we also learned this week
that professional cycling is as unforgiving as ever,
because unfortunately, the Cannondale-Drapac team
announced that they were struggling with budget problems for 2018. Basically, a potential major sponsor has apparently pulled
out at the last moment, leaving the team with a $7
million hole to fill for 2018. – Yes, not a good situation at all. – No. – There’s 100 people whose
jobs could be at risk, including lots of talented young riders who could be left without contracts, therefore potentially
prematurely ending their careers. – Yeah, again, a lot of
people expressing frustration at the, in quotes,
unsustainable business model of professional cycling. But actually, has pro
cycling screwed itself? Have budgets got too big simply
for the available sponsors? – Yeah, well, the big
teams, well, they’re able to stack the roster with the best riders, inflate salaries in the first instance to attract those riders
there, plus they’ve got the best equipment and the
most superior backup as well. – Yeah, and there is, of course, no limit to their budgets, is there? Meanwhile, smaller teams have less talent or they have spiralling
wage bills, or, in fact, they have both, so why
not have a budget cap? That could potentially
mean it would be easier to lure sponsors, because the
barrier to entry is lower, and that would, therefore, mean you get more sustainable teams. – Mm, but Chris Froome
doesn’t seem to think so. – [Simon] Unsurprisingly. – Yeah, he said at a press
conference at the Vuelta that continuing to strive for big sponsors and bigger budgets is
just a part of the sport, and if you took that away, in his words, would be like being a communist. – I don’t really agree with
that, it’s gotta be said. I mean, surely the point of pro cycling is actually to entertain the fans, and I think a super team
could, and I stress could, ultimately undermine that, because if you have a
bigger budget, bigger team, bigger riders, more victories, that leads to bigger sponsors
and an even bigger team. Meanwhile smaller teams
just can’t compete. They get completely
crushed out, they go bust, and you end up with one
or two teams dominating, and ultimately, that’s gonna
turn fans off, I think. – Well, I think that’s maybe
just a touch pessimistic, Si, because people have been
saying for the last 60 years about the over-commercialization
of professional cycling. – They have. – So think back to 1985, when
essentially the modern era of the sport was ushered in
by the La Vie Claire team. Big budget, signed Greg LeMond
for a record $1 million. But since then, we’ve had 32
years of fantastic road racing. – Yeah, we have, yeah. – I think big teams pushing are actually good for the sport, but there does need to be a balance. – Yeah, yeah, balance is definitely good. For my money, actually,
I think it’s the races that are probably the most
important part of all of this, because as long you have
big races, classic races, the Tour de France, the
best riders are gonna want to race there, and personally,
I don’t really care whose sponsor’s logo is on the jersey. It’s all about the rides. As long as the races
aren’t being dominated and being crushed, then I
think that’s going to be cool. – I do tend to agree with you, Si. But as ever, we’d love
to know what you think. Should there be some sort of budget cap for professional cycling teams, or should we just leave
things as the way they are. Now, we have a poll for you to let us know what your thoughts are, just up here. – Yep, and who knows,
next week we can maybe lobby the UCI with your opinions. – Hey, it’s my turn to go to Switzerland. – I think it might be, actually, yeah. And actually, if you can think
of a better way, another way, to modify pro cycling, then let us know in the comments section down below. We would be very interested to
read what you have to think. And in the meantime, let’s
keep our fingers crossed for Cannondale-Drapac. That would be a big loss to the sport. (“Reveille”) – It’s now time for Cycling Shorts. – Fixie bikes hit the headlines
for all the wrong reasons the other day, when a
person riding a bicycle was convicted of causing bodily harm with wanton and furious cycling, which is a quite archaic
bit of British law, when they hit and tragically
killed a pedestrian in London who was crossing the road, whilst riding a fixie
without a front brake, or in fact, any brake at all. – Yeah, now the husband
of the victim in this case has actually, quite reasonably we think, asked for a change in the
UK law in order to prevent such tragedies from happening
again in the future. Understandably, as well, this
is a hugely emotive subject, and it’s making some pretty big waves in the UK media at the moment. – Yeah, a hell of a lot of anti-cycling and cyclist sentiments,
to be honest with you, which, I must admit, I do get. – Well. – But Si, I think we gotta revisit this, because it again raises
the issue, doesn’t it, of how we regulate and
legislate for reckless cycling, whilst at the same time,
keeping ourselves safe from vehicles, and other road hazards. – Yeah, a tough subject, that one. Change of gear now though. Our man John Chocolate
Voice Beavan has been, quite frankly, riding
the event of his life at the Haute Route Alps recently, and he is, he’s too tired to film today, so actually, Matt and I
are having do it ourselves. – Yeah. – How do you switch it on? Is that on? – Sort of get me in frame. Is that it? – Is that looking okay? – Woo, welcome to the GCN Show! – Yeah! (laughing) – Alright, okay, so we’re
clearly not filming ourselves. – Couldn’t actually turn it on, could we? – No, we couldn’t work it out. – Gotta say, it’s been an
absolutely amazing week. There were times where I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish it. But it’s amazing, the power of the mind, the power of other people
helping you on, as well. It’s been an absolutely
fantastic experience. Today was just a rolling hilly stage. I just emptied the tank today,
gave everything I had left, and came up with a pretty decent time, it was actually probably my best day. That’s pretty much it, so stay tuned for a bigger mass edit from Haute Route Alps in the next couple of weeks. – Good lad, John. You know, what a hero, what a hero. Now Matt, there have been
loads, loads of great fish puns coming in in the GCN Show again last week. Aidan Morley said, he always thought there was something fishy
about Salmon Sanchez. – Si, can we just stop carpin’ on? – No seriously, mate, you say that, but geniusmike1 said that, although these puns are not
the sole reason he watches GCN, he does prefer the channel with them. – Si, seriously mate,
these have got to stop, otherwise, I’m gonna bring back
some more Mario Nippollini. Alright?
– Okay, alright, you’ve made your point. – Let’s leave it, park it. – You’ve made your point. Here is something very
cool, with no fish puns. Mr. Mark Beaumont still on track. He’s currently riding across Canada, and on schedule to
circumnavigate the globe, still, in just 80 days. But what is extra brilliant this week is that actually there’s
been loads of GCN viewers out en route giving him
support, and, indeed, supplying him with cookies and brownies. – [Matt] That’s cool, isn’t it? – [Simon] Isn’t it amazing. Let’s hear from Mark. – Hello GCN, quick catch
up, this time from Alberta. So I’m in leg three of
the Artemis World Cycle, trying to get around
the planet in 80 days, and today’s day 58. Still very much on target, but North America’s been tough, so far. So I landed in Anchorage, and I’ve come down the Alcan Highway, the Alaska-Canadian Highway,
just wilderness up there, riding through herds of wood
bison, bears on the roadside, just epic landscapes. In the first five days, I
did about 70 hours of riding through just a corridor of trees. So the first week was over
3,000 metres climbing a day, so pretty punchy. And it’s started to flatten out, since I’m now come across
the continental divide and across the Rockies into Alberta. So I think today’s my last day with any sort of decent
climbing, I think about two, two-and-a-half thousand metres, and then I really hit the
flatlands, hit the prairies. And I hope I’ve got the tailwinds, because, yeah, I’ve lost a bit of time, I lost about a quarter of
a day in terms of mileage, so if I can make that
up over the next week, that would be superb. So now, well, tomorrow, I’ll be three-quarters of
the way around the world, so into the final three weeks
of the race around the planet. Hope everyone’s enjoying following it. Loads of people have been
joining me on the road, and tonnes of them have
heard about it through GCN, so thanks for the coverage. – There’s still plenty of
interesting transfer talk around, even without potential riders from Cannondale-Drapac
being on the market, the first of which is Domenico Pozzovivo. He’s going to swap the brown,
blue, and white of AG2R for the gold and red of Bahrain Merida. – Good move, for sartorial
reasons, if none other. – Yeah, definitely. I’m not a big fan of brown
shorts, as we well know. Also a couple of interesting moves. Ben Hermans and Ruben Plaza, from BMC and Orica respectively,
well, they’re moving over to the Israeli Cycling Academy, because of their intention, potentially, to ride a Grand Tour next year. And finally, agent Jack Bauer, well, he’s going to be looking after the Orica-Scott boys
for the next two years, coming from
– Keeping them safe. Quick-Step Floors, yeah. – That’s right. You know what, if the
Israeli Cycling Academy do have a Grand Tour, that
means our mate Dan Craven may well end up dragging
himself around, and his beard, in fact, around another Grand Tour. – And on the ground, yeah. – Good lad. Right, now, pertaining to
our lead story, in fact, Team Sky have been mopping up the cream of young talent for next year. They’ve just signed the recent winner of the Tour de l’Avenir,
Egan Bernal of Colombia, super talent, for three years. They’ve also got last year’s
under-23 World Road Race champ, who is called? – [Matt] Kristoffer Halvorsen. – Thank you very much, of Norway. And then, they’ve also got the winner of the recent Baby Giro, Pavel, – Sivakov. – That’s the one. Thanks mate, you’re on fire today. – Good lad. No worries. What about this, Si? – [Simon] What’s that? – Double stage winner
of the Tour de France, and King of the Mountains
winner, Warren Barguil of France, was sensationally sent
home from the Vuelta by his team, Sunweb. – He was. – For refusing to adhere to team orders. Now initially, Sunweb did
get a little bit of flack, especially on social media. But do you know what? Good by ’em, I don’t think
there’s any one rider that should be bigger than the team, so I think they made the right decision, despite his lofty status
as a bit of a superstar. – Yeah, I think you’re right. And you know what, as well, Team Sky have kind of
come under a bit of flack in this week’s GCN Show, but, actually, one thing you’ve
gotta give them credit for is that they managed
to keep a cohesive team despite the talent, and therefore
the egos, that are in it. – [Matt] They are pretty
well drilled, Team Sky, you’ve got to give them that. – They are. Right, finally, we’re going
to have a bit of good news about the world’s greatest MAMIL. Alejandro Valverde is back
riding his bike, just, what, a month after– – I thought you were talkin’ about a blue whale for a minute. – (chuckling) Right, you’ve
totally thrown me with whales. He’s back riding his bike
following knee surgery, after he broke his kneecap in
the opening time trial stage of the Tour de France. He joined his Movistar
team on the first rest day, on the rest day ride out of Vuelta. Brilliant. – Apparently attacked after about a K, and went along to get to Gruissan. – Did he? You know what, that’s new, ’cause normally you’d just
sit on them, wouldn’t you, and outsprints at the end. – Yeah. It’s going to be a big
week in tech this week because it’s Eurobike time! – Woohoo, yeah! – The biggest thingamajig,
in what’s it called? – Show?
– Show. The biggest show in cycling,
it’s going to be fantastic, because so many brands
are going to be showcasing some really cool new products. – Yeah, Lloydy is out
there flying the GCN flag, so he’s going to be
sending back daily reports, so make sure you stay tuned to YouTube and Facebook for those. However, a number of brands
have already jumped the gun. – Mm, now Shimano invited us, i.e., Simon, out to Austria to check out
the new R8000 Ultegra groupset, and we’ve got a little sneaky peek from the video right here. – So we don’t test products here on GCN. Many people assume that
we do, but we don’t. Now, having said that, I don’t feel like I can ride
this bike, with this groupset, without at least trying to
describe how it feels to perform, in comparison to Dura-Ace. So here we go. The functionality of the
Di2 derailleurs is the same. The functionality of the
mechanical derailleurs is the same. The chainring’s the same,
the cassette the same, and also the chain the same. So, the shifting performance is absolutely on a par with Dura-Ace. And I wanted to check this, so
I asked one of the engineers whether or not there were
any design differences between the two, so, perhaps the placement of the shifting pins and
the ramps on the chainrings was different on Ultegra. And he said no, they’re
absolutely identical. The difference comes
in the materials used, which means the Dura-Ace
ends up being lighter, say, by about 500 grammes or so. But, the functionality of these
two groupsets is the same. And I think that is a
really important point. – Functionally, the same as Dura-Ace. – Functionally, the same as
Dura-Ace, yeah, big news. Much like this, the new Giant Propel. Oh yeah, now it was actually used, or one of them was used, by Michael Matthews in the Tour de France, so we have had a bit of a
sneaky peek, haven’t we? But officially unveiled this week, designed in collaboration with ACE, cool brand, yeah, Aero
Concept Engineering, over a three-year period. The big news is that it has disc brakes and only disc brakes. The only available option
for braking is with discs, and they say that in the wind tunnel, it’s right up there at the very top, up there with the fastest aero road bikes. – Si, it does seem to me, though, that we’ve kind of reached
a little bit of a ceiling in racing to aerodynamic road bikes. – I think we have. – I mean, what’s next, lightweight? – Lightweight? Good thinking, mate. You heard it here first,
lightweight is the new aero, which was the new lightweight. – Indeed. Rotor, well, they have
announced a new hub. – [Simon] They have? – Okay, it’s called the
Revolver, or the Rvolver, a completely new hub design, and promises to reduce hub drag, very much like new Zipp NSW does, and they look pretty cool, too. – I do think they look cool, actually. Nice little bit of
innovation there from Rotor. Finally, in Tech of the Week, we’ve got the new Stages power
meter, this one, wait for it, dual-sided, yep. Team Sky, Stages’ sponsor team, have actually, what was that? – Two sides. Never mind.
– Okay. Stages’ sponsor, Team Sky,
have actually been using this dual-sided power meter since 2015, but it is now available to
buy, and for those of you using Shimano cranks, this is one of your few available options,
other than, in fact, the new Shimano power meter. Apparently, it’s gonna retail
for $1,300, slash Euros, for the Dura-Ace model. – Almost slash pounds these days, as well. – Yeah. – As the Vuelta heads
into its first rest day at the end of week one, it’s
Chris Froome who’s leading the GC after he took the red jersey on stage three into Andorra, while the stage was actually
won by Vincenzo Nibali from the elite group of GC contenders. – An elite group of GC contenders
minus Alberto Contador, who tragically lost 2 1/2
minutes, and with it, probably, any chance of high overall finish. – Yeah, you’re right there, Si. But El Pistolero did go a
fair way to redeeming himself, – He did. – with an absolutely cracking
10-second bike sketch, which still shows that
he’s able to pull out a show-stopping performance
when he needs to. – Champion entertainer. – For the latest 10-second bike sketch, we have Alberto Contador. Never done it before, but
he’s going to get a count in. Are you ready? – I don’t think so, but okay, I will try. – Three, two, one, go. He’s got the two wheels, he’s
going for the forked frame, five seconds. Saddle, bars, two, one, stop. That is, that’s pretty good. I think that might be on a
par with Michał Kwiatkowski, two wheels, almost circles,
we’ve got the frame, two, almost, not quite
the second triangle here, the bar, there’s a lot of
detail there for 10 seconds. – It’s the bike of the future,
because having this box for the wind, and, it’s very nice. – Yeah, aero. – Yeah, but we need to change the rule, because this bike is more
or less four half kilos. – Yes, it’s under the UCI’s weight limit. – Yeah. – Well, well done, Alberto, I think that was a very
good effort, indeed. Thanks for your time. – Thanks. – He’s also hinted at his possible post-cycling career, recently. This Instagram post, Global Triathlon Network presenter, maybe? – I tell you what, I think we need a couple of expert judges on this. Sorry to interrupt the show, guys. We’ve got a dive by Contador, just wondered if you could
give us your marks out of 10. – Okay, um, well, it’s a speedy entry. Seven if I’m put on the spot? He’s better than you, Matt, I’m sorry. – I’d hate to beat you, Matt,
so I’m gonna give it a six. Got to keep my friends here. – Cheers, guys. – What they’re saying, then,
is that he’s better than Matt, but he’s not quite up there
with the best of GCN’s divers. – Thanks, Mark and Heather, for that. – Hey, I tell you what,
if Fabian Cancellara also looks like he’s
dabbling in triathlon there. – Oh, nice swimming helmet. Very good. Anyway, away from all things
tri, back to the Vuelta, the first week has
actually been dominated, pretty much, by the breakaway
and notable performances made in Grand Tour victories, no less, from Matej Mohoric of UAE Team Emirates. – [Simon] Top pedaller extraordinaire. – Indeed. Also Julian Alaphilippe
of Quick-Step Floors, he took his first big
Grand Tour stage win. But Chris Froome, he’s
looked particularly, he’s not really been trouble
from a GC perspective. – No, he hasn’t. – Won’t be put under too
much pressure as yet. – No, and in fact, on stage nine, which finished on top
of the Cumbre del Sol, he took his first win of the
year, discounting, obviously, the overall at the Tour de France. – Yeah, doesn’t really count, does it? – Right, he didn’t cross
the line first, did he? And he actually left the entire
field trailing in his wake. – [Matt] Smoked ’em, didn’t he? – He basically did, and
extending his overall lead over Esteban Chavez to 36
seconds, and over Nico Roche, surprise package, to a minute and six. – Froome is looking particularly good. Meanwhile, over in France,
Elia Viviani continued his amazing run of form by
taking out the GP Ouest France, sorry, out-sprinting Alexander Kristoff. Very late lunge for the
line took that victory. But, amazingly, that’s four wins for Viviani now in seven days. – Fair play. And in the same area, the previous day, the women’s World Tour
stopped at the GP Plouay, and it was Lizzie Armitstead
who took her first World Tour win of the year,
perhaps showing her intentions for the World Championships
coming up soon. She’s clearly in stellar form,
as is Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, with whom she escaped on the last climb, ultimately outsprinting, of
course, to take that victory. – Now, before we end racing
news, Si, it’s time– – For Eurobike! – No, not quite. It’s time for Wattage, let me get it off the wall, Bazooka! Who won? – Okay, so this week’s pro
Wattage Bazooka goes to Michael Woods, for third place
on stage nine of the Vuelta. In fact, not just Woodsy, his
whole Cannondale-Drapac team, because they controlled that
stage with an iron fist, and you’ll remember, that that
was literally the day after they all received that
pretty worrying news about the future of the
Cannondale-Drapac squad. – Yeah, a superb example of
solidarity and fighting spirit from the whole squad, and
Rusty Woods, in the end, he was third, wasn’t he, and only just missed out on the victory. – It was close, I thought he might get it. – Anyway, the viewer
Wattage Bazooka, well, that goes to Evens Stievenart, for the 24-hour Le Mans cycle event, and was nominated by Justin
Acube over on Facebook. Now, Si, you’ve got some
nicely impressive stats– – Well, he’s got some impressive stats, I’m merely the messenger, Matt. – Yes, indeed, yeah. – It is bonkers, okay. So he set a world record. He rode 940 kilometres in 24 hours. He beat most of the
teams, and it, he rode, he rode at 40 kilometres
an hour for 24 hours. – I, I’m speechless. That’s nuts, that’s an entire day, that’s two sets of–
– An entire day of cycling before he came out.
– A night and a day. Beat that.
– Just gonna leave it at that. – Mic drop. – Actually, we’re not
gonna leave it there, if you want to be nominated
for Wattage Bazooka next week, you can do so using the
hashtag #wattagebazooka, on your favourite form of social media. – It’s time now for Hack
forward-slash Bodge of the Week. And first up is this, that was spotted by Alain
Labrie in Quebec City. It’s a bicycle with a wooden framework with a rubber dinghy on top. Now we’ve discussed this before, is that to shelter themselves from the elements or to
do an endo into the sea and then use it as a boat? – An amphibious bike? Well, yeah, imagine that, you
get to the end of the jetty, yank on your front brake,
before you know it, you’re lying upside down in your boat with your bike over your head. – [Matt] Yeah. – [Simon] That could actually be a hack. – [Matt] Could be of use,
a bit James Bond-ey, innit? – [Simon] Yeah. – [Matt] Low-fi James Bond. – Yeah, I think that’s right. Next up, we’ve got this one, sent in by Eric Robb on Facebook. He spotted this in Evanston,
Illinois in the USA, and, well, he said, hashtag GCN I say, if you want a bike
that looks like an antelope, that is a hack and a half. Look at that.
– I thought it was a, [Matt] I thought it was a goat that had its legs amputated
and replaced with wheels. – Yeah, and that is a pretty
good bit of camouflage for your bike, there, not to mention, probably quite comfortable. If you rode that naked, that would be like really nice chamois, wouldn’t it? – I don’t know, there’s that, but what about the aerodynamic
qualities, too, Si? I mean, the possibilities become endless. – [Simon] Slight risk
with, well, in a crash, I’d say that’s arguably more dangerous than disc brakes, having horns. – [Matt] I think so. – [Simon] You know, the
risk of some kind of, lung puncture and impalement.
– Yeah, it probably would contravene the UCI
regulations, quite blatantly. – [Simon] Maybe you’re
right, maybe it is a bodge. Okay, let’s move on. – Yeah, we dwelled quite a
long time on that, didn’t we? Anyway, lastly is this. – [Simon] Whoa (laughs). – [Matt] Well, yeah, you’ve
got a couple of bikes basically attached to the
back of this transporter. – [Simon] Attached loosely. – [Matt] Precariously, I
mean, they’ve just tethered it to the hinges and just
dangled it on the back, obscuring the number plate, for one. I mean, that’s a public
health hazard, if you ask me. – [Simon] Imagine it, every
time you go around a corner, they’d just pendulum out, wouldn’t they? – [Matt] I know! – [Simon] Potentially getting
hit by oncoming traffic. Well that is definitely a bodge. Thank you very much
for sending that one in – [Matt] Thank you, David. – on Facebook. Right, make sure you keep ’em coming in, ’cause we love this part of the show. Any form of social media
using the hashtag #gcnhack. Let us be the judge, hack or bodge. – Yeah, with a new subsection of bikes that look like animals, as well. Competition time, now, and this week, I’ll tell you what, it’s a huge one again. 10 people could win a smart
trainer, courtesy of Zwift. – That is huge, isn’t it? – That’s huge. – Now, the reason being
is that Zwift are running their super-cool academy
again for this year. Now, you’ll remember
that, on the one side, female riders can compete,
or rather take part, initially in a programme of
training sessions, group rides, and also races, with the
ultimate prize being a spot on the Canyon-SRAM pro team for 2018. You could win that.
– Mm. Now new for this year, i.e., next year, is the inclusion of a
men’s academy, as well, where one rather talented
cyclist can win a spot on Dimension Data
Continental Development team. How cool is that? – [Simon] That is super cool. – Now, whilst you have
to be a male and under 22 to win a spot on the Development team, the academy is open to riders of all ages, so you can challenge yourself
and help the Qhubeka charity, because for every 10 graduates,
Zwift will donate a bike. – [Simon] That’s mega, isn’t it? – [Matt] That’s cool. – Now, you don’t need a
smart trainer to take part, but they are great, – Yeah, they are. – Which is why Zwift are
giving you the opportunity to win one, and not just
one of you, 10 of you. That’s right, we’ve got
five Wahoo Kickr Snaps, so Wahoo being a partner
of the Canyon-SRAM team, and five Tacx Fluxes, Tacx being a partner of
the Dimension Data team. You can find the link to this competition in the description beneath
this video, and do make sure, as well, that you enrol for the academy, ’cause that actually starts pretty soon. – It does. – It does, doesn’t it? – Have you enrolled yet, Si? – Yeah, yeah, I’m training hard. Well, I don’t mean training hard, I mean training as I normally do. – Crackin’. Hey, we’ve got another
prize to announce, as well. The Assos unboxing. – [Simon] Oh, yes! – What a competition segment
it is this week, it’s nuts. So, four lucky winners, can I
have a drumroll, please, Si? First of which, Lysanne
Sansoucy from Canada, Nicholas Fanaras from the United States, Leif Justham from Australia. Austria.
– Austria! – Sorry, Australia. – No, Austria. – Austria, sorry, and Nura Flores, also from the United States of America. Well done to you four. – And we have more competition
results for you, as well. We have more because, don’t forget, the ultimate urban cycling
package was up for grabs. That was, of course,
the Schindelhauer bike with Gates drive. It was the Sena helmet with Bluetooth, we had a lot of fun with those. And also the Cyclic lights and cameras, so the winner of that package is, it’s another Austrian, Matt! – Really. – Austrian, not Australian. It’s Luka Malic. – Well done. – Congratulations. Caption competition now. First of all, we’ve got
to give you the results of last week, because it was
hotly contested, as always. We gave you this image of Alberto Contador in front of an image of himself. Not so sure anyone
quite scaled the heights of our pun-tastic entry
last week, but nevertheless, Gustavo Santos, congratulations, you get a GCN bottle with this. Ah, the good old days, when
GCN had me making fun of Matt instead of having me draw bicycles. – Well-deserved, that’s pretty good. – It is very good, yeah. – Did like that one. Well, this week’s photo
to caption is this. It’s Vincenzo Nibali winning
stage three of the Vuelta. Okay, Dan is gonna start us off. He sent this one remotely. – Good work, Dan. – I’m a shark, but I don’t bite, I nibble. – If you think you can beat that, and I suggest you probably can, then do put your caption entries in the comments section down
below, it’s as simple as that. We’ll go through them and we’ll pick all of
them that beat Dan’s. – Do you know what? I think Dan actually owes
us a bottle for that. – Yeah. We have an absolutely huge GCN
unboxing for you this week, not only in quality, not only in quantity, but also the fact that
it is a total exclusive. Exclusives. – Indeed. On Thursday, we’ve got
some cool Eurobike content. In addition to that,
we’ve got Chris Froome’s X-Light Pinarello Pro bike for you. On Friday, we’ve got an Ask
GCN Anything with a twist. It’s from Eurobike. – Oh, amazing. Plus, Eurobike content, I would imagine.
– Yes, indeed. – Saturday’s pro bike is Romain Bardet’s Factor time trial bike. That’s a nice-looking bit of
kit, if you’ve seen that one. Sunday, we’ve got a
Power2max factory tour, so this is where I tried
desperately to make a power meter. – [Matt] You were soldering, weren’t you? – I soldered and everything, yes. I didn’t solder the right
bits, but I soldered. Sunday, we’ve got another unboxing, so that’s three unboxings this week. How cool is that? And then Monday, we’re
back in the maintenance set for more maintenance. – And Tuesday, episode 244? – Potentially is, yeah. No. Three.
– 245. – It’s the GCN show. Okay, it’s time for Extreme Corner. This week, we’ve got a wicked little edit from the State Bicycle Company. This is Wrong Bike, Right
Lines featuring Addison Zawada. I like this. (Simon and Matt imitate percussion music) Ooh, that was nice, wasn’t it? – I feel quite relaxed. It wasn’t really extreme,
it was just smooth. – [Simon] Flow. Right bike, right lines. – [Matt] Right everything. – Not a hint of chatter, just, wicked, classy. Anyway, right, before we go, we’d just like to say thank you very much for all those many people that responded in the GCN Club survey. We had some really, really
great stuff, really great ideas. We also had five of you,
chances, gonna call you, who said you wanted free beer. I imagine, well, how many
email addresses has Lloydi got? – He’s got about nine. – So we’ve got four more responses for free beer yet to come. – Yeah, most likely. – Oh, well, anyway, thank
you very much, anyway. – Well, the GCN Club is gonna be launched in only a few weeks’ time,
so make sure you register your interest at www.gcnclub.com. – Yeah, before leaving
this video, as well, do make sure you subscribe to GCN. It’s completely free, it’s very simple. Just click on the globe right now. – It is your one-stop-shop
for all things cycling. And if you want to see
Dan’s tour at the Vuelta of the AG2R mechanic’s truck, which is just full of
cogs and other cool stuff, click just down here. – Yeah, or for more cogs,
how about that first look at the Shimano R8000 Ultegra groupset. That one is just down there. – And don’t forget to like a
charity you fancy, as well.

100 thoughts on “Has Pro Cycling Screwed Itself? | The GCN Show Ep. 242

  1. the race organizers could have a budget to per rider ratio. teams with a higher budget get less rider invites and teams with lower budget get more riders.

  2. When I watch Sky at the front with 9 of the strongest riders in the peloton stringing things out and putting the pressure on, all I can think about is "big money" not the skill and hard work that the athletes put in.

  3. The same argument gets trotted out in most team sports; Football, Formula 1 and now cycling. As a fan of sports I want to see fair and equal competition, where it's difficult to predict the outcome of whatever event I happen to be watching. However, imagine that in your place of work you were told that there was no feasible way of bettering yourself or specifically your earnings. You'd either not join or look for opportunities that offer better progression, options or earnings. That is effectively what you'd be doing with budget caps.

    Another poster made a good suggestion of having a % cap, whereby the largest team's budget couldn't exceed a certain percentage of the smallest. This moves in the right direction but I'm not sure it's a solution and if I'm honest I'm not clever enough to think of one. The Americans have got it right in the NFL where, in the draft, the worst performing team gets first pick of new and emerging talent. The knock on is that no one team can always take the best, earn the most or win everything and creating a monopoly.

    It's possibly a dynamic that could work in cycling but the mechanics of implementing such a system make the only other brain cell I have (that's not thinking about cycling/my bike/parts/routes/watts or bacon) stop working.

  4. Absolutely. The Grand Tours have become predictable and boring. There's no actual racing going on among the GC contenders, who have absolutely no incentive to win stages, and are coddled and protected by teammates, so much so that they have forgotten that the point is to race. Time to change the rules to encourage individual performance over team dominance.

    1. In order to win a Grand Tour GC, the leader must finish in the top 5 in at least two stages in each week of a tour, win at least one stage per tour outright, finish in the top 15 in both the Points and KOM categories, as well as in the first 25 to finish the last stage of the race (no more final stage parades).

    2. At the end of each week of a Grand Tour, any rider who is not within one hour of the overall leader will be removed from the peloton.

  5. Photo Caption: Vincenzo Nibali takes advantage of an obscure section of UCI rules – brought over from the old days of unicorn racing – stating that horns may count as the first part of a racer across the finish line

  6. I agree the easiest solution to financial challenges might be race revenue sharing. Some other stuff that would borrow from other professional leagues: instead of a hard salary cap, a luxury tax for riders salaries, with tax revenue going to either other pro teams or development squads (still no limit on operating costs). Additionally, use the luxury tax in conjunction with transfer fees so that teams can develop riders and aren't left empty when those riders get good and leave to a richer team and Sky doesn't just poach the best riders. And exemptions to the salary cap so teams can go over the salary cap to pay their own developed riders — which would encourage a development squad like BMC to stick around and encourage other big teams to sponsor/partner with their own development squads. (And a luxury tax exemption for also developing women's riding, like Sunweb)

  7. That guy was a douche bag however, if you walk into the road without looking, you may get hit by stuff going about it's way…

  8. All major sports leagues in the US have salary caps and have to structure their rosters to fit within those caps. There is no reason pro cycling can't do the same thing to make teams sustainable and to bring some parity to the racing.

  9. Bikes for the road should legally require brakes. It's not rocket science. They sort of do already hence the conviction.

  10. I like the idea of Budget Caps Because it would facilitate riders on the developmental teams to move into prominent positions. Yes, they would come in at a 'migration' salary until proven, but it would bring in new talent, more interest and save $$$$. There are so many interesting suggestions below in the comment section, one's that should have consideration.

  11. Hey guys – for the Zwift comp: you guys have got the teams/trainers mixed up. Just so we are clear, I'll have the Tacx Neo (Dimesnion Data) 🙂

  12. I for one am sick of watching the skyborgs dominate gc at the grand tours. Thank goodness for the classics and cross to keep me interested. As for budget caps, big budgets are good for growth but a luxury tax system would limit the excess. Set a soft budget limit and re allocate the penalties to teams with smaller budgets. A way to keep big sponsors and ease the pain of the smaller teams.

  13. Photo caption: It's my Mental Jedi Hack: Keep the Jaws theme in your head and try to bite all riders in front of you!

  14. Re Death due to cyclists: If you go to the ROSPA website they publish the deaths figures. Looking at the disappearingly-small number of deaths and injuries caused by cyclists it is apparent that the numbers are down in the noise-floor. With the enormous number of deaths and injuries caused TO cyclists the media generated hysteria about cyclists is completely misplaced.

  15. Oh NO… Not more unboxing, lads. This is an unwholesome practise based on consumerism victimhood. Undo box, fiddle about, gloat. It's not proper.

  16. You DON'T want budget cap and you CAN'T leave things as-is.
    Use the current UCI divisions (Pro – Tour, Pro-Conti, and Conti). If budget is > $xx, you're Pro-Tour. If budget <> xy, you're Pro-Conti…etc. Pro-Tour teams race with 6/7 man rosters, Pro-Conti teams race 7/8 man, Conti teams race 9 man.

  17. Cycling is the new football? Massive amounts of money for top teams and star players whilst lower teams and peripheral staff are paid a lot less….

  18. What about a drafting system? In that each rider is ranked and teams are given priority picks that can be traded or exchanged.

  19. yes i agree cycling needs cap or something so smaller teams can complete or we will just end with sky winning everything

  20. American Football has a team salary cap averaged over a few years. It works pretty well keeping the teams more or less competitive with each other. There are several other factors that go into keeping the league balanced. Seeing how Team Sky ride like kings and how smaller teams come and go, a bit of stability and parity might convert cycling to more of a "This is the team I follow" sport. Sure you can hire Froome for big money, but your Dom squad is going to be less talented trying to support him. Is that better? If you want a sustainable sport, I think so.

  21. Cycling needs to have access to the money that the TV rights
    generate like Formula 1, they are the product but the teams / Cyclist don’t
    seem to get a share of the income. Image the cycling event organisers trying sell
    the TV rights for the Tour de France with only two teams, or a one day cycle
    classic with only 20 cyclist. This is not the silver bullet but it can assist
    in the teams budgets and also seems fair to give back some the profits to the
    teams and cyclist who are the product. Just my 2 cents worth. Also I am giving money to canndale #saveargyle to help save the team https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/saveargyle-keep-cannondale-drapac-alive-in-2018-sports#/

  22. The sport is still growing and has a long way to go to catch up with some other sport with regards to salaries and costs for sponsors. The bigger the sport the more sponsors who will be interested. Keep the big teams fighting it out, after all there are is always plenty of racing for everyone!

  23. Caption competition – "Is riders not being able to change their names a UCI rule? Better ask Dan. If not I'm now 'Fin'cenzo Nibali"

  24. Caption competition – "As said time and time again, an aero helmet saves more time than an aero wheelset or frame. Wheel then, better put that to the test"

  25. its the same for all major sports , just take a look at football and transfer fees its all spiralling out of control. i think its fair to cap spending limits to make it fairer all-round otherwise we will just watch the SKY train and no other team lol .

  26. Ah Warren. Doping called they said you tested a little high for EPO. We know your leaving the team and you want some good results for your next team. Lets say you go home and we'll chalk it up to you going rogue and we'll call it a day.

  27. Budget cap is the way to go. This is what save professionnel hockey in North America. At the beginning of the hockey season nobody can say what team is going to win the Stanley cup. In north american hockey there are two caps. Minimum caps and maximun caps. Those caps are different from years to years. It depends on the revenues.

  28. There is huge untapped viewing market here in 'merica. Most of us could care less about the European roadie scene except for the occasional..hey did you see the tour. Yeah froome won again…yawn.

  29. Would love to see the cycling model flipped around so that I could consistently cheer for a team (e.g. Montreal Canadiens) as opposed to the "flavour of the season" sponsor (e.g. Garmin Cervelo Cannondale Sharp…..)

  30. Would love to see the cycling model flipped around so that I could consistently cheer for a team (e.g. Montreal Canadiens) as opposed to the "flavour of the season" sponsor (e.g. Garmin Cervelo Cannondale Sharp…..)

  31. Have to say, having my name butchered by Matt as a contest winner is one of my favorite moments on the GCN show. Love you, guys!!! And I will love that sweet Assos kit 😎

  32. Do more indoor racing to get money from fans. Footballers get most of their money from fans, so does cricket, rugby, boxing, tennis, basketball, just to name a few. Why can't cycling do the same? Too much open road competition hence the reliance on sponsors.

  33. Big budget teams is a good reason the major tours are so boring to watch anymore. It's like the NBA.  It's Golden State vs Cavaliers League.

  34. Pro Cycling………. Motogp has 22 riders per race approx, 8 factory supported bikes yamaha honda suzuki & ducati x2.. and then there are the satellite teams. not perfect but it does work. sometimes the satellite teams beat the factory teams. not often though.. love GCN

  35. I agree on that, pro cycling is to entertain. If people don't get entertained you lose public and there by sponsors. team sky is boring as f*%$ for the sport. Would love to see smaller teams.

  36. Cycling is about the racers and the races and the fans, but big budgets is producing disproportionate technological differences between teams, that is taking the focus somewhere else. In last tour we saw a team in which several of its riders apart from the team leader were even better than team leaders from other teams. Looks like cycling is looking every time more alike formula 1 which is more about the cars, the engines an dthe teams than the drivers.

  37. Not a budget cap but a salary cap would help I believe. That will spread the talent out if one team can’t buy all the top cyclists
    You could pay the primary rider what ever the market would bear but they’d be forced to deal with how to support him with other team members of quality
    IMO

  38. American football has a cap and it works great. Otherwise we would have the Cowboys and Patriots every year in the Super Bowl.

    Sky is a prime example of why cycling needs a spending cap on cyclists. They've made the Tour boring as hell. With a cap, Sky would still have Froome because they place a premium on GC riders. However, they would have less money available for support riders (some of which could ride lead on another team and compete with Froome and Nibali and whoever else is a real contender). Cycling is so boring since Sky hit the scene. I haven't really watched Le Tour in years now. I know how it's gonna end. Froome is not the best GC guy….but he is on the best team (due to money). Cycling is hemorrhaging fans.

  39. The media, yourselves for example, feed the frenzied "idea" that cycling needs to "advance" and "improve" and we must bring science to bear on the "problem." Graphene bikes? In the grand scheme of life, why?

  40. I agree all teams should have a budget cap there are great riders in team sky that will never be allowed to win because the have to support Fromme but may win if in another team.

  41. I would like to see a GCN conversation with Alberto Contador in Spanish 🙂
    Listen to him in his native language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPXvNeYgiHA

  42. I was doing my best to watch this through, but at 4:03 I had had enough. Firstly; pro cycling ended when cheating became OK. Secondly; it's money that is behind this, and the crooks running pro cycling. Your negating serious mention of doping/cheating bolsters the equation, and propagates this behavior amongst the youth who watch. Those teams with these abused budgets garner no sympathy, and are predominantly the ones cheating…to sell there garbage. Fuck cannondale. Where is heart with cheating? The same place as every so called victory….in the shitter.

  43. I agree we should spread this masterstroke out over all sports, Ban Chelsea FC, Man Utd. Man C. etc and all the top clubs in all the big leagues… that will be entertainment… Now take that to Cycling… and ask if you really want this.

  44. You cite 32 years of great racing, but, things do have a limited life. A cap should be imposed, apologies to the riders who want big contracts. Then, the next cycling controversy won't be doping, but cheating on the cap.

  45. Yes budget cap is a good idea just like we have in rugby in NZ, it means all teams become competitive which is great for spectators and grows the sport. Also NO Mr Froome NZ is not a communist country.

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