In an interview with BBC Sport, Jonathan Vaughters, who is both president of the Association of Pro Tour and Pro Continental teams (AIGCP) and director of the Garmin-Cervelo Pro Team, delivered a 10-point list to revamp cycling. (Read it here)
I find that his list, perhaps understandingly, focuses on the Pro Teams and does not address women’s issues or general racing in North America. But it did give my colleague Stephanie and I food for thought.
After discussion we came up with the following list:
- Revamp the NRC. Create National and Regional Race Series with leaders jerseys for both men and women. Squads leading the team classification get to wear color numbers at the race. Leader’s jersey are awarded at the end of the one-day or stage race. Simplify the point systems. Prize money awarded to overall individual and team winners.
- The winner of the previous year’s National Series team classification gets an automatic invite to the UCI .HC races – currently the Amgen Tour of California and TD Bank International Cycling Championship (Liberty Classic). Winners of the Regional Series get an automatic invite to a National Series Race in its region.
- Hold National Championships for Pro, Elite, U23 and Juniors – men and women – at the same location and same timeframe.
- Allow Pro Continental teams to field full squads at National Series Races. Allow Pro Tour riders to race at National and Regional Series one-day races.
- Every Pro Team must also sponsor a women’s team.
- Every .1 and .HC UCI race must also offer a women’s race.
- While we would love equitable prize money for the women, realistically we understand that this could be too much to ask in the current environment, the money for women should be at least 75% of the men’s prize money. The goal would be for equity in 3 years.
- Relax the rule for riders 28 years of age and older in UCI Continental teams.
- Oh and on the wishlist section: live streaming of all National Series and UCI races in North America
While we do not agree with all of Vaughters’ points, the use of technology to bring the fan into the race is one thing I can embrace. Cameras on the bike, in the car and live tracking of riders via GPS is all good if presented in an easy to the fan.
What would you do to improve professional cycling?