What's Cool In Road Cycling

Boxing Sets Fine Example For UCI Pro Tour

The UCI’s new Pro Tour has many good and bad points, but one in particular sticks out. The UCI want to eliminate the points earning system in favor of a “Ranking system”, where by the riders will get, uh… ranked.

OK, this reminds me of another sport that “Rank’s” people… Boxing. Honestly, the UCI remind me of the many governing bodies in boxing (WBC, WBF, IBF etc…) that cropped up when a fighter or promoter couldn’t bribe one council to get a ranking, and they basically created their own council to bribe.

If the added pressure to ride more isn’t a reason for the riders to protest the new Pro Tour, The Ranking system is… With points awarded based on performance going away, to be replaced by an as yet undetermined alternative, THE RIDERS LOSE THE ONE THING THEY CONTROLED. And how are the guys in the newly formed “Semi-Pro’s” supposed to make the grade, if they won’t be able to earn any points in lesser events?

I find it extremely easy to believe that the UCI wants to pattern part of the new program after boxing, a sport that is so rife with shady deals, that even US politicians look at it and say “damn that’s corrupt”. But I would love to see Jean Marie Leblanc take the role he would fill in the Boxing world as Cycling’s Don King. Just so long as he had the same haircut, it would work out fine in my books.

If we really want cycling patterned after a “fighting” sport, I say we model it after a more worldly Sport than Boxing…

… Hockey.

Let’s see, how would this work…? They could institute a penalty system based on time. 2 minutes for Roughing (McEwen and Casagrande would love that…) 5 minutes for Fighting etc… Get caught, and you climb into the Race ref’s car and sit by the side of the road until a buzzer goes off…

I can just see it now, half way through the tour, T-Mobile decides to “get things going” and sends someone over to incite the Postal boys…

Next thing you know the camera zooms in on Pavel Padrnos or Big George who have someone’s Pink jersey pulled up over their head and are going to town with big right hands… Or during a Team TT the rare thing happens when the squads get into a real Hooly Mallooly and team leaders get into it too!

Much like Goalies (and after watching the Lance Chronicles on OLN), Lance and Jan will no doubt suck at trading punches, but, just like when goalies go head to head, the fans would love it!

Maybe then we can rank the riders. And this opens the door for a new Type of rider altogether! You’ll still have climbers and TT types, But it would be great to see “enforcer” get added to the list… can someone tell me what the French word is for Goon?

Until then, At least leave the riders with a way to be rewarded based on performance…

And before you think we missed a few other topics, a follow up regarding the Pro Tour is on the way…

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