A Storm in a Tea Cup? National Champs Jerseys 2010 New Rulings!

Feb 11, 2010 at 0:08
Feb 11, 2010
by Simon Paton  
 
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The UCI for 2010 have re-introduced the mandatory wearing of the National Champs Jersey during any timed runs and podium appearances.

So what I hear you ask? Well what if you're a pro rider in with a shot of the National Champs jersey? If you win that coveted jersey then all your big time sponsors get not much more space than a postage stamp of real estate, if any! Come and join in on the debate..

I'll quickly go through the regs, swiftly as not to bore you to death... Now these are for Great Britain and I'm sure will apply across the board to whatever country you are from.

During practise you can wear your team colours
During practise you can wear your team colours

National Champions Jersey Regulations.

The British Cycling logo should appear on the left hand side of the breast of the garment. Use of the British Cycling logo is specified in a style guide available from British Cycling.

Band to be 5cms wide in order of Red, White and Blue.

Manufacturers logo can appear only once on the jersey on the right hand side of the breast section with an area of 25 sq. cm.

Red, White and Blue bands can appear on collar and cuffs. Other regulations regarding National Champs jersey appear in tech reg 8.4.

Technical Regulations 8.4:

8.4 National Championship Jerseys:

8.4.1 The design of a National Championship jersey for men and women shall be white with 5 cm wide red, white and blue bands around the chest, the red band being uppermost.

8.4.3 The National Championship jersey must be worn by the holder when competing in events of the relevant discipline, unless eligible to wear the jersey of World Champion or event/series leader.

8.4.4 The following advertising inscriptions are permitted on National Championships jerseys:

8.4.4.1 On the front and back - within a rectangle with a maximum height of 10 cm.

8.4.4.2 On each side - a lateral band with a maximum height of 9 cm.

8.4.4.3 On quarter sleeves - one line with a maximum height of 5 cm.

8.4.4.4 The garment manufacturer's mark may also appear once and within a maximum area of 25 sq. cm.

8.4.4.5 The only inscription which is permitted on the National Championship jersey presented to a rider on the podium immediately after a National Championship is that of the garment manufacturer which may appear once and within a maximum area of 25 sq. cm.

British National Champs 2009 - Note the Masters and Vets wear a blue top.
British National Champs 2009 - Note the Masters and Vets wear a blue top.

With this new rule in place I went about and asked a few of the top riders and team managers out there about what affect this will have on their decision to race what is deemed as the most prestigious domestic race of the year.



Martin Whiteley - President IMTTO:
The position of IMTTO is very clear, and has been stated a number of times to the UCI.

The National Champion's Jerseys is not the same at the National Team kit which is worn once a year at Worlds and only in the race, not in training.
The National Champion's Jerseys is not the same at the National Team kit which is worn once a year at Worlds and only in the race, not in training.

The National Champion's Jerseys have to be worn in all UCI Calendar races. This has been the way of life in Road Cycling for many years (where teams can be up to 24 riders strong), but in DH and 4X, teams are rarely more than 4, and in the case of IMTTO members, usually 2 or 3. If you have 2 or 3 National Champions on your team, your team identity and branding is lost. We are not against recognizing national champions, and we want our riders to race those championships with pride, that's why we advocate the use of the national champion bands on the jersey...this gives recognition to the champion riders but at the same time allows their employers, the teams, to give their sponsors and team identity the full exposure they need as teams of non-Olympic disciplines in order to survive and grow.

Is the UCI World Cup Leaders Jersey another fly in the ointment
Is the UCI World Cup Leaders Jersey another fly in the ointment



Scott Beaumont - Multiple 4x National Champion:
Currently not attending National Championships at all in 2010. If I did attend, I intend to get the holeshot lead the race and stop before the finish line, looking to take 2nd position and maximum world ranking points without wearing the jersey.

I feel re introducing the National Champions Jersey is a step backwards and will lead to problems with Elite participation at National Championships in 2010 for Downhill and 4X.

I also feel this will lead to some moto cross clothing manufacturers, re-thinking their involvement with the UK’s and World’s finest gravity riders and events. To give you an example of the impacts, in the UK, myself, Charlie Phillips the Elite Women’s 4X National Champion, the British Downhill Series and the National Points 4X Series are all sponsored by Fox Racing Europe.

Tracy Moseley the elite women's National Champion is sponsored by Alpinestars, and Gee Atherton the Elite men's National Champion is sponsored by Animal. Fox, Alpinestars and Animal have no interest or any potential sales revenue from National Champions jerseys. They simply take sales away from their business.

Incredible that for 2009 UCI banned lycra and skinsuits specifically from Downhill and 4X. So all the riders and teams got sponsored by moto x kit manufacturers who cannot produce one or two national champs jerseys for each rider like lycra manufacturers can. It is a nightmare for any professional rider or team in 4X and downhill.

It’s a tough economic world out there and this decision is not great for the sport of 4X and downhill. The armbands that we used in 2009 were a perfect solution. Riders were happy, sponsors were happy and event organisers were happy.

Now we have forums talking about it, Facebook petitions and magazines asking us about Boycotts. It could have all been avoided if the UCI had left things as they were last year...

We race the World Championships because a World Champions jersey can be reproduced in the correct numbers and sold at outlets worldwide to increase sales. A National Champions jersey is hard to distinguish which country it represents and has an extremely limited market. A World Champion jersey has a much bigger audience and potential sales. Plus the endorsement of a World Champion can help to sell that jersey. A National Champion jersey just does not have the kudos for the customer and sales potential for the manufacturer.

Trust me. Armbands again = everyone's happy.

No more brand logos galore means less photo bonuses for the riders..
No more brand logos galore means less photo bonuses for the riders..



Stu Thomson - MTBCut.tv:
From my perspective when I was a rider and now as a team manager I'd always encourage riders to take part in the National Champs regardless of the jersey.

However, both myself as a racer and now my riders Ben Cathro and Joe Barnes are not at the same level as Peaty or the Athertons and as a sponsor I am not plowing hundreds of thousands of ££'s into them. If Ben or Joe won the Nationals I would be delighted (as I was with Ben's 2nd last year) and as long as my name appeared on the Champs jersey somewhere I would be content with both the knowledge of Ben/Joe having won and the coverage I would have gained out of it. It would be a great return on the investment I put in.

On the other hand though. If I was Animal/Santa-Cruz/Commencal/GT/whoever and had invested so much money into Steve/Gee/Marc then I would not be encouraging them to race. Simply put, the credit/coverage/publicity they would receive for winning the champs doesn't outweigh the loss in advertising in reduction of logo's on the jersey.

In the case of World Champs, there is so much marketing and promotion to be gained from a rider winning Worlds and prestige to be gained from wearing the jersey(how much talk about Peaty in the stripes now!) that any brand would be stoked to have their rider being seen and promoting themselves as the best on the planet.

It seems crazy to me that a rider can have sponsors that support him/her all their career and then at perhaps what is the pinnacle of their achievements (being Nat Champ, Worlds selection or whatever) that they essentially have to stick the finger up to their sponsors.

I fully believe that a rider should celebrate their National or World title in a method like a jersey or armband, however this should not be to the detriment of the people and brands who believed in them and allowed them to achieve that title.

Don't mind being quoted on the lot... just don't miss quote me.... I'd say the last line sums it up best.



Kathy Sessler - SantaCruz Syndicate Team Manager:
Regarding my team, I'm sure Steve and Josh will be racing to win at National Champs. The arm bands is the best idea because it allows for the sponsors to get the deserved jersey space that they pay for. If they had to wear a National Championship jersey I would have to say that I would tell them not to win.

It's my understanding that the National Federations determine the National jersey, whether it is arm bands or overall design (correct me if I'm wrong, not 100% on that). So if a federation would like a good competitive National Championships, it would be wise for them to keep this jersey/arm band issue in mind if they wished to have top riders racing their best. When they raced halfheartedly it benefits no one and makes the National Championship title hollow.

Another option to wearing the National Champs jersey is by not wearing it and paying the UCI imposed fine for not wearing it. Not a very good option, but that is one way to give sponsors their branding. And if that was done it would also demean the National Champs title. Yet again, arm bands making sense.

Notice not one of these guys are wearing a National Champs Jersey. The UCI rules say you must wear it on the podium or a big fat fine comes your way. Just note that a World Champs jersey over-rides a National Champs jersey (Gee).
Notice not one of these guys are wearing a National Champs Jersey. The UCI rules say you must wear it on the podium or a big fat fine comes your way. Just note that a World Champs jersey over-rides a National Champs jersey (Gee).

Regarding why we would race for the World Champs jersey...just a bit different prestige there with that one over the National jersey, and only one of those on the hill.



I'm not offering my opinion on this one except I ran the National Champs back in 2009 and what a race that was. All the top boys and girls were in the house and won respectively but so did downhill mountain bike racing that day.

Others have been a bit more vocal and started up on one of those teenager websites "Facebook" or something, you know, the place were nobody has real friends.
Facebook National Champs Petition

I'm sure you lot will all have something to say about this hot topic, if not, why the hell have you got down to this part of the article?

Stay Unclipped.

Si Paton..
Descent-Gear.com
Michelin 2010 DH Tyres Instock 34.99GBP
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70 Comments

  • + 23
 pro dh racers dont get paid that much, and now their gonna get payed even less. wtf uci? it almost feels like those jerks dont want riders to become rich and succesful!!! thats a stupid rude for sport like this cuz riders dont get like couple of millions just from frame sponsor only.
  • + 8
 yeah it does seem a little too far, its alot better when its more chilled out
  • + 12
 way too far, racers are stugglin to make a livin out of riding bikes only, and now this stupid rule, seems like uci don't care about the growth of the sport
  • + 18
 can't we just get rid of the UCI and get someone else?

those ruddy skinsuit-wearing lycra-bandits haven't a clue.
  • + 7
 fucking ridiculous.
  • + 4
 i personally think that the skinsuits were a good idea with the national colors because it is just a ONE day race and the sponsor doesnt pay for them to go there. But these riders wear all there sponsored clothing during the whole WC race circuit and other races. all of the top Pro DH riders get payed extremely well. idk what variiis is talking about them not getting paid as much. JMO
  • + 3
 This is a bad idea as it will cause more problems in itself, i do think that the armbands is a good idea though maybe then the UCI will stop crying about it!!!
  • + 5
 kaibrabo: most top pro's get payed enough to live through the off season and their travel expenses and stuff during the racing season, but they dont get payed extremely if you compared them to other extreme sports athletes, and also the prize money in mountain biking is far lower.
  • + 5
 yes whitetux is right about the prize money, motocross riders get like 100 grand by wining just one AMA supercross round, but in dh ive heard that for comming 3rd in a world cup round, you get a few hundred quid, thats ridiculous. And kaibrabo, i havent seen any pro rider who has got like 5 or 6 cars each worth at least 300 grand , big house with 2 private mx tracks , and all the other stuff that riders like Carmichael, Pastrana and Bubba have.
  • + 1
 whitetux: Maybe if you arent in the Top 15 on the circuit you might now get payed like sam hill or steve peat, but these are UCI events. i was reading a while ago in a bike mag that Cedric was getting payed 250,000 USD annually just from Cannondale alone when he was still riding for them, not even counting his other sponsors like 661 and oakley.
  • + 1
 what i meant by UCI events, was that they can make whatever rules they want. and if we arent racing the circuit, we really have no say in what they are doing
  • + 4
 i seriously doubt that, that amount of money would be hitting credric's account, that might be his total bike/travel/financial budget and whatever is left is his to live off. It is common knowledge that downhillers are clearly not in it for the money due to fact that they are paid a very basic wage and only those who are top 10/5 can actually live off what they make
  • + 1
 well he does own multiple estates from san francisco to andorra
  • + 2
 Kaibrado....do you really think that wearing a skin suit is a good idea? Come on... really? Skin suits?
  • + 5
 Cedric is not getting anywhere near that from his sponsors. Most of the money he earnd was from being an estate agent in the off season (not too sure if he still is in that line of work).

Either way, your top level podium hitters are generally only on a ~£30,000 annual wage. Which is not great for a very successful athlete. But does not include winnings from race positions.

Now, sponsors who don't make parts, like Muc-off or Finish Line etc, get minimal exposure as it is. They get their logo on press reports, a mention every now and then and a spot on the sponsored riders jersey. Without the logo on the riders jersey they see even less of a point to sponsor said rider/team. Thus pulling money from the sport and lowering the riders wages.

The UCI are morons, simply put. All they do is hinder the sport from expanding by adding silly rules.
  • + 5
 criscokid25: skinsuits have almost no drag and it cant get caught on anything. and they are more distinguishable when it comes to flying the country's colors and flag
  • + 3
 Kaibrabo: Skin suits do nothing for the image of our sport. Part of getting the sport out to the masses is selling the image of the sport. Take surfing for example: Flip flops and board shorts can be seen on every continent and being worn by people who haven't even seen the ocean. The popularity of surfing has in no doubt led to larger corporate sponsors, more money for athletes and more buy in from the public. Mountain biking has to follow surfing in this regard. Skin suits do the opposite. People look at these suits and don't see the national colours that the racers are sporting...they see some wank in a skin suit.
  • + 3
 i only support them for the world championship. but im just getting to wonder why everyone is concerned on the marketing aspect of racing kits.
  • + 3
 i swear the UCI does not want the sport to progress. every season it seems like they have a new stupid rule that is just another step backwards. Race winning are already pathetic and taking away from possible sponsorship money that the riders are getting is plain stupid. Mountain bikers are already underpayed if you compare them to other extreme sports. The Lecondeguy brothers have started switching to MX and FMX because the events will pay them more to just show up and ride then they would get from winning a major mountain bike competition. The UCI needs to stop coming up with new stupid rules that are slowly ruining the sport and start trying to turn downhill into an extreme sport that everyone knows about like it should be.
  • + 1
 apprently its been changed back to how it was last season.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I was not aware of this ruling, but after reading this article that Si has put together, it makes me feel bad for racers. As a sponsor of several DH racers, we work really hard to get them what they need to be successful and now to think that some of our recognition on a visual level will be removed if our rider's do well is really quite disheartening.
  • + 5
 I agree with everything brule said,disheartening is exactly what this is,DH,is still a sport thats on the up let's not forget,this type of U.C.I ruling is going to be detrimental to the sport we know and love,make no mistake if this sticks sponsers are going to hit big time and in turn so are riders and teams.
Just back off U.C.I,theres no need for this type of intervention,whats wrong with the sport as it is?
Gringo Frown
  • + 3
 I can see teams getting around this by having the Race pants/trousers/shorts covered with logos and maybe even covering the bikes (even more then they are already) in logos and stickers to make up for the missing advertising
  • + 1
 In the past only a few countries were allowed to wear armbands. Brits, Aussies, South Africa, etc. Now the rule will be the same for every country. I don't like it, but at least they are being more consistent.
  • + 4
 I also know of a number of sponsors who are happy to have the opportunity to create a national champs jersey with their logo. Maybe sponsors should stop crying about the need to make a few $100 jersies and look at this as an opportunity?! Time for our sport to grow up?
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Really. "Kathy Sessler - SantaCruz Syndicate Team Manager:
Regarding my team, I'm sure Steve and Josh will be racing to win at National Champs. The arm bands is the best idea because it allows for the sponsors to get the deserved jersey space that they pay for. If they had to wear a National Championship jersey I would have to say that I would tell them not to win." I know who these people race for. Telling your racers not to win because you won't have enough real estate to pimp your product just seems wrong. I know the sponsors pay the bills, but what about pride. Big business has taken over politics and now they are flexing there muscle in biking? What next, require riders to get their sponsors tattooed on their foreheads. Shame on you Kathy. And yes the UCI rule does need to be addressed further, but not because of corporate pressure.
  • + 6
 shame on who?

organisations enter sponsorship deals to boost their profits through marketing, remove that opportunity and why should they bother?

the only shame handed out should be directed towards the UCI for their failure to understand capitalism and the importance of private investment in sport.
  • + 6
 ''Telling your racers not to win because you won't have enough real estate to pimp your product just seems wrong. I know the sponsors pay the bills, but what about pride.''

without sponsors most riders wouldnt be able to attend forign world cup rounds and dramatically shrink the sport.
we live under a capitalist society and are bombarded by advertising in every walk of life. within every small community / subculture their is always going to be specific brands advertising to that community to make money, and most of us buy their products to enable us to ride bike and persue our hobby.
without advertising there wouldnt be a community, there wouldnt be such choice of bikes and also such advancements in technology.

jason get a clue.
  • + 4
 This is definitely a step backwards by the UCI. I cannot understand why they don’t have left things like last year, an armband is the most simple and best way to have place for sponsor-logos and place for celebrating a rider’s achievement.
I think that is an issue which involves the whole community and not only the pro-racers at the World-Cup Circuit, without people investing in the sport we all would probably still ride on hardtails. Don’t get me wrong, the sport will continue concerning progression but this inconsiderate rule is definitely impeding the process.
Without sponsors or people investing for something in return, there wouldn’t be race series on national and global scales, also many tracks you ride on would never have come to existence without that.
I’m pretty sure you also wouldn’t be able to have high-end parts on your bike like now, if there would have never been advertisement or sponsorship by a company which helped them to increase their sales in order to develop new innovative products.
Just think about that, looking at this in a wider aspect everyone is involved to certain extent.
You also wouldn’t be able to watch a high-end mtb-film, because no one would invest for this project and no one could pay the bills for travelling etc…
The top guns like Hill, Atherton, Minnaar wouldn’t be able to race the whole World-Cup Circuit, just because of a lack of money, although they are undisputed the best in their discipline. I assume no one would like to see that. This is directed to the ones who commented that it don’t bother them much and don’t hinder them to have fun on their bikes.
  • + 4
 Let’s compare mountainbiking to other sports.
The risk of injury of a DH pro-racer is as high as the one of F1 racing pilots, their wage for that is a fractional amount… Just think of that for a second for all the guys that said that the pro´s shouldn’t complain about their situation concerning money.
By sponsoring and taking the sport into the media and to the public the sport and the industry will grow, and everyone will have an advance of that, in the way of more riding-possibilities because more and more people got into it by seeing it on the medias or in several other ways just like innovative products. And perhaps pro-racers would then get their appropriate salary.
By implementing such a rule I see no advance for anyone, neither for the the UCI or the particular national biking organizations, nor for the riders, teams, industry, the sport and and the normal bike-enthusiast in general. If anyone has an idea what this regulation is good for, tell me, because I wasn’t able to imagine any reason for that.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some sponsors don’t see any margin any longer in putting their company logo in a few centimetres restricted area.
When you get nothing in return you’re also not able as a sponsor to give the riders what they need for being successful and to support them in all aspects.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 personally i dont care because i have no chance of winning the jersey, but to be total honest i do think its unfair!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I agree with pretty much everyone on here, this seems almost spiteful. There doesn't seem to be any benefit for ANYONE?

Just shooting the sport in the foot. Sponsorship if the only thing that keeps sports going at an international level. Advertising revenue is a part of our lives and nothing changes that, theres no shame in any of it, i thank sponsors for making the world champs etc happen.

Without sponsorship the World champs would be nothing, and people complaining about poor coverage etc etc can go whistle without it.

I completely disagree with Jasons comments, Cathy (Santa Cruz) is doing her job by ensuring that her riders do the best they can whilst maintaining the advertising real estate that pays their wages!!!
  • + 2
 agree as well. the uci does not appear to have any cohesion with anything or anyone
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Agreed, WTF does the UCI even have to gain from this. They are just hurting there own sport. Like everyone above has said, the majority of Pro riders are struggling as is, so now they want to take away sponsorship space, and in essence the riders lively hood. This is bull shit and I really hope the UCI has the ability to turn this around before it gets out of hand.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 I really don't think the UCI understand Downhill at all - either that or they don't care for it much. Last year's solution seemed like a step in the right direction - going backwards again is just plain daft.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 This is just another example of UCI's blatant disregard for our sports progression and it will totally undermine the sport on a national level. I feel for the guys organizing the national series as this rule is likely as in the past do nothing but put the top riders off taking a full national series seriously. It's hard enough trying to get the top racers to race a full national event as it is with their ever increasing schedules. This rule will also have a knock on effect for all the small trade business, trade teams and local business and economies at national events whom will loose out on many spectators and potential customers not to mention new blood in the sport whom would other wise be drawn by the big players who may now be absent from these events. Its drastic i know but isn't it about time we left the UCI in the dark ages and broke the shackles they are weighing us down with and brake away and form our own governing body. I see it as the only way we can progress further and put this sport on a higher plain it deserves as the UCI obviously aren't capable and are only hindering the sport with pathetic rules like this.
  • + 1
 Totally agree with that one !
  • + 1
 When i said series i ment the national champs which isn't a series, ooops!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 This rule is not very well thought out because the riders sponsors support the riders much more then their national teams, i am all for being a patriot but this seems over the top.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This is a really dumb idea, it will push sponsors away from teams and riders. The UCI governs both Road and Mountain biking, but they need to realize that the same regulations for road biking cannot be imposed on mountain biking, they are related, but at the same time distant cousins. Simply put, its an excessive and retarded rule.
  • + 1
 The problem here is that the same rules are not being applied !! On the Road there are no such restrictions on the Nat.Champs. Jerseys !!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Kaibrabo - "i was reading a while ago in a bike mag that Cedric was getting payed 250,000 USD annually just from Cannondale alone when he was still riding for them, not even counting his other sponsors like 661 and oakley."

Remember that Cedric was riding for Cannondale back in 2000/2001 when the glory days of downhill were going on, 661 hadn't even been formed then. There was a huge amount of corporate sponsorship and massive team trucks/budgets which ultimately all collapsed. I could quite believe Cedric was getting that money for a year or two back then.

Orge.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 mountain biking needs something like the NHLPA(players union for the nhl) if there was a party representing the riders and sponsors stuff like this wouldn't happen...



END RANT
Nate
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I like what you done in this article Si. Dirt just ran a quick thing saying abou the FB group but you went indepth and opend the whole situation up so every on could understand. Good work.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 They are demanding a lot of 'real estate' for literally nothing in return. Athletes and sponsor work hard to make it possible for racers, for example, to win races like National Championships, and they should be able to have the recognition they deserve. Unfortunately if this rule doesn't change it will effect the way racers approach Nat. Champs.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 to be honest they should just put the stripes on the cuffs and collar or something
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What I don't understand here is the way DH is being treated differently within the UCI. I don't see these Jersey restrictions in Road Racing. There the sky is the limit with what a Team does with the Nat.Champs. Jersey ( and Bike ! )...they make a big thing of it and everyone knows which Team they belong to and who the Sponsor is !
The problem here is not that the Riders have to wear them but on the Sponsor/Advertising Space restrictions !! They are just rediculious ! Typical UCI stupidity. I'm ashamed of my Countryman Pat McQuaid sometimes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 More info trickling through..

Why yet do they race the World Champs still? You have to wear that jersey..
The top guys race the World Championships because a World Champions jersey can be
reproduced in the correct numbers and sold at outlets worldwide to increase
sales. A National Champions jersey has a couple of problems.

1. It is hard to distinguish which country it represents.
2. It has an extremely limited market within that country.

A World Champion jersey has a much bigger audience and potential sales. Plus
the endorsement of a World Champion can help to sell that jersey. A National
Champion jersey just does not have the kudos for the customer and sales
potential for the manufacturer.

It is simple economics from a sponsors point of view.

Of course every rider wants to be National Champion. They just cannot afford
to upset sponsors over the wearing of a jersey. Gravity Mountain bike teams
consist of 1,2,3 or 4 riders usually. They need the main rider (National
Champion) to represent the team in full team clothing.

I am sure you are all aware by now, but in its first week, the Facebook
petition has nearly 1,200 people who have joined the petition:

www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Petition-to-the-UCI-to-scrap-the-r
ule-of-wearing-the-National-Champs-jersey/291998471910?ref=mf

The online petition has 150 members in its first 2 days:

www.petitiononline.com/UCIrule/petition.html

Cheers.

Si..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the UCI is run by a 60 year old ex-road racer named Patrick McQuaid, i bet he has never done a jump on a bike in his life. If the facebook petition doesn't get through to them, i suggest an 'accidental' tactical nuclear strike.

win national champs
recieve jersey
burn jersey
????
profit.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i agree there needs to be consistency between cycling types with this rule, but i would give my left nut to be a national champ! there has to be a happy medium with sponsership logo size and so on.....but i wont sign a petition to get the rule reversed because cycling should be about more than sponsors despite the fact that they do so much for the sport.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It might be important to keep in mind that there are several sides to the cycling coin. Most of the comments here seem to come from those who are passionate about a sport we love, with some from corporate entities (in the article anyway) and racers. Each of us looks at the sport from a different perspective. Fans love the passion, racers wear many hats; business entrepreneurs, athletes, advocates for their sponsor's products and etc. Businesses are in it to make money. Each entity has its own agenda. If a 25 sq. cm. is all a national organization allows, then the frame manufacturer, and often title sponsor, won't see that adding to their sales revenue, and possibly/probably try to dissuade a rider from earning that specific honor in order to capitalize on the advertising space on the jersey. Who knows, there may even be a bonus from a sponsor for NOT winning a national championship. That part of the argument will come down to a decision by the sponsors about whether or not having their brand associated with a national champion is good for sales despite the loss of advert space, and a racer's economic decision.
  • + 1
 As fans of those riders who show us what is possible on a bike, I think we are often blind to the fact that so much of what happens off the track (and possibly on) is business plain and simple. Calculations are made about whether or not a decision will sell product. If the decision is yes, then the sponsors will support it, if the answer is no, they won't. It feels kind of whorish to think that decisions would be made to have a contender for a national championship not give her/his best effort in order to maintain a certain number of sq. cm. of advertising space on a jersey, but these are business decisions made by people whose livelihood depends on the perceived or demonstrable link between advertising on the jerseys of the top contenders and sales of their bikes/kit/wheels/drivetrain/suspension/glasses/goggles/lube/shoes/armor/helmets/gloves/bars/stems/grips/saddles/seatposts/pedals/etc./etc./etc.

Manufacturers are in the business of selling product. DH/4X are means of getting product in the public eye, racers who are successful and good representatives, are a means of highlighting the products and increasing their appeal. Just read about Cedric getting a new ride with SC and the number of comments below it about how amped fans were with the sponsor/team relationship. It's going to boost sales in the minds of those at SC when they read the comments, and they're going to want that to continue. Why lose any space to the national champion's jersey of Andorra, a country half the size of NYC and with a population of less than a hundred thousand? (Of course I don't know if he'd be eligible to race in that championship. Is he a French expatriate living in Andorra and still eligible to race for the French national championship? I don't know, but you may get the point I'm trying to make.)
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  • + 4
 This rule....... S U C K S !
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  • + 2
 This takes a huge step back, Like Kathy said the Sponsors pay the bills, If they don't get their logos on the top racers... Bills start to go un-payed.
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  • + 0
 not that I dont agree with the general concensus on here, I think it will be on some level detrimental to the sport, but i'm trying to look at the other side.

sponsors will have to get sponsorship and marketing out else where.

more sponsors for less known dHers and freeriders?
more sponsorship on the tracks themselves? more maintainance of those tracks?
more videos/shorts, more appearances by pro's else where in the sport?
more grass roots level investments?

I think perhaps they are trying to 'drag up' MTB to be a more nationally recognised sport, a more 'official sport' one that they can show on grandstand or sport sunday.

just an idea perhaps?
  • + 1
 Snowboarding is an 'official' sport and is now in the winter olympics, they wear baggy pants and a jacket with a small country badge on a vest across the chest. They want mountain bikers to wear country jerseys when competing on a NATIONAL level, not just international, and no promise of olympic status. UCI need to be replaced with a body that has the sport's best interests at heart.
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  • + 1
 I don't use Twiter but for those who do ya can also let your feeling on the subject be known too here twitter.com/UCI_cycling!
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  • + 1
 one of the , if not the worse notice off last times . just like the author , i ask : WHY ? seems like authoritarianism , for me , only ...
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  • + 3
 Get rid of UCI, racer purse series, thats what we need.
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  • - 1
 Why is money every one's concern? No one is forcing these riders to do what they do, it is their choice. If they want to remain in the sport and have fun, they'll find a way to survive. And if you can't survive, get a different job?

You shouldn't ever do something based purely on money.
  • + 1
 This is true, but these riders have bills to pay. Its quite expensive to travel to all of the world cup circuit races, maintain the bikes at peak performance, pay mechanics, and so on. The vast majority of riders in the world cup circuit make just enough to live comfortably middle class. The sponsors enable riders to focus on the sport, rather than working another job to support themselves. removing the "real estate" will introduce pressure from sponsors to perform at a sub-par level in some situations. That can't be a good thing.
  • + 1
 Yeah all of that is understandable too. This sort of reminds me of some Olympic athletes. Many are successful at their sport, but not many have the rich and fame like Phelps, Bolt etc. They can still be number one, even without all of the big money and corporate sponsors. And although the jersey is a major spot for sponsors to advertise, there is still the helmet, shorts and the bike for them to use. Unless those are under restrictions too. And no matter which way it is sliced, I can't deny at all the pressure from sponsors to have their athletes not perform at their best and risk losing the advertising if they win. That is just sad in so many ways.
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  • + 1
 Sponsors still have space on the bikes socks shorts helmets. some of the national champ jerseys are plain boring and ugly.
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  • + 1
 Im a bit confused, is this for juts the national champs race or for every race in the year( world cup, champs etc)?
Seb
  • + 1
 the new rule/proposal is that if you win the national champs you must wear the national champs jersey (with almost no sponsors logos on it) until the next national champs.
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  • - 2
 "Join the debate"??
Doesn't look like its up for debate really. Looks like its now a fact.
And who really gives a $hit?
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