We have great racing and more cycling drama
What a week of racing with the UCI stirring up the drama.
Danish squad out of the WorldTour?
I'll be the first to admit I'm lousy at guessing what the UCI, or in fact any governing body, might do. I swore up and down that Contador was going to escape any kind of punishment - not because I thought he was innocent - but because I've gotten rather jaded and assumed the fix was in with CAS and the UCI.
However, looking into my Magic 8-Ball I think Saxo Bank will keep the points earned by Pistolero. My reasoning is that while Contador earned those points, his team contributed to those victories. Remember, this is a team sport. Removing the points only penalizes his teammates, which had nothing to do with his positive clenbuterol result.
The UCI will give their ruling sometime this week, so stay tuned for more drama as someone will be offended no matter what. If Saxo Bank is removed another team such as Project 1t4i could move up and not have to be concerned with wildcard invitations. If Saxo doesn't get the boot, teams will cry foul as Contador's points from events that he has ultimately been stripped from are still being considered for WorldTour entrance.
The always interesting blog by Gerard Vroomen basically stated, "don't hate the player - hate the game." What I mean is that Contador was cleared by his Spanish federation, so he continued to race and earn points, as he could legally do so. The case slowly wound its way through CAS due to the numerous delays from both sides, arriving at the decision we have now. I can't recall a single quote from anyone involved in the case that were happy with the long delays, but that's the situation we're left with.
Then the UCI press released a statement claiming that cycling teams' budgets have increased 36.5% since 2009.
"This result shows that cycling is in a healthy position and resisting the effects of the current global economic downturn," claims the UCI report.
Really? No where is women's cycling mentioned. In fact the ladies are glossed over with the statement by UCI President McQuaid, "It is very pleasing to see that the men`s professional cycling is prospering in these difficult times."
The press release also states that UCI ProTeam salaries have risen from 190,000 euros to 264,000 euros in 2012. But not to be picky I would love to know the mean salary of the riders as an inflated salary of a couple of riders would drive up the average. That would be a more true reflection of a ProTour rider's paycheck.
It's also interesting to note something that Velonation made mention of. While it all seems like roses from the UCI's standpoint, Ben Atkins points out that several ProContinental squads were forced to downsize or in the case of Geox and HTC, disband. Atkins goes on to mention that Vuelta a Pais Vasco and the Clasica San Sebastian are facing financial problems and the 2012 editions might not take place. The 2010 winner Chris Horner tweeted that he hopes Pais Vasco finds a