What's Cool In Road Cycling

Coast Suspended Again: UCI Too Little Too Late?

Is anyone really surprised at Coast falling off the map? It’s pretty close to time for someone to ask the UCI exactly what guarantees they actually provide riders, and why they seem to so actively stand up for some teams and continue to find ways to support continued operation.

Team Coast is suspended again for failing to meet last month’s payroll. So, how about the teams handle their pay through the UCI? Or at the very least, present bank drafts a month in advance, so that the UCI don’t continue to get involved a month (or a year or two) late?

It seems like every other site and publication on the planet is focusing on Jan Ulrich. As has been reported before at PezCycling News, Jan is a mega star and a great rider. But frankly, when news like this hits, I don’t give a rat’s ass about where Jan parks his entourage or his Porsche. The real focus needs to go to guys like Andrй Korff, Thorsten Rund and young guys like Christoph Von Kliensorgen.

Right now you’re saying who??? And unfortunately the UCI seem to have missed guys like these and even more noted names like Niki Aebersold and Sven Teutenbrg…

The point is that when the UCI allows a team like Coast to operate as poorly as they do, resulting in a team being sent down, we so often say “oh no, where will Ulrich and Casero go?” when we should be far more concerned about guys who haven’t drawn massive paychecks for the last few years…

The attention should go to the guys who carry the bottles and the workload for the team’s stars. The guys who’s reward for being on the team isn’t a life of luxury, but simply a paycheck to live off, and little more (or sometimes less!). When their checks are gone, they don’t fall on a gilded pillow full of cash. They land hard on their ass, which is exactly where the person at the UCI who was responsible for monitoring Coasts financial position should land after being tossed from his or her job. Or better yet, maybe he should pay the salaries of riders whose salaries rank in the lower 75% of that team. And while they are at it, the UCI should fork over the money that Coast still reportedly owes the guys they didn’t pay last year (or how about the Mercury / Viatel guys that still haven’t seen paychecks from long ago).

This happens all the time, but as long as the guys governing the sport get their dues from teams first, the riders will always be second. Hell, that would be a great way for the UCI to need to pay more attention to the riders. Establish a system where they must ensure that the riders get paid before the UCI do! Nobody turning a pedal would miss a check, that’s for damn sure.

In a union for Cyclists like the UCI, the attention should go to the bulk of its members (meaning the ones without 6 and 7 figure salaries), and that membership should be allowed to vote on everything affecting them from their leaders to the rules that govern their daily existence. Until then, it should be called the DCI, as without the vote of the public it’s more a dictatorship than a Union.

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