Over two years ago I wrote a piece and the impact of the liquidity crisis on cycle. Here is the follow up.
It's not the credit crunch that's killing the sport.
I said, two years ago, that the "credit crunch" would be good for cycling, my reasoning being that it is a very cheap and effective form of marketing. This seems only to have applied to the top tier. The top tier is very much a closed doors situation; there are at least another 800-1000 riders in the world that merit decent pay and professional conditions.
If we observe recent events surrounding Geox/TMC and the "Pegasus" Australian cycling project, we can see that merit and pure competition has no place in the top tier. Soon after the Pegasus project flopped came GreenEdge. A project with all the cunhas*...
If there is money, let there be more teams. Of course only 20 or so teams can take part in the snore fest that is the Tour de France, but if there is a lack of big events, make more big event instead of ridiculing project like the Tour of America. The sport as a whole would grow. Look at motor sport FAI control WRC, F1, Touring Cars, etc... All valuable franchises.
I adressed the "World Tour" above. Now my little team: We do battle with the best and we earn the equivalent of a house cleaner or gardener. Is it fair? No, it's a bitch. As I said two years ago "Cycling mirrors society" what we are seing is the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. It has got nearly imposible to cycle professionally here.
We need people who love cycling but are not cyclist or athletes to help run the sport.
*Cunhas is a Portuguese word meaning "in-laws" and is used as an expression when someone gains position through someone they know.