© pro shots.
Very cool interview with Verbruggen, the former president of the international cycling federation. He outlines what he was doing and why. Of course it mentions the doping going on at the time but this talks about the larger context of sport as business. This is what he found when he got on board and what he wanted to do to make cycling sport into a business, like basketball and the NBA, football and the NFL or FIFA (depending on what kinda football you are talking about).
In thinking about it, for me the question is ‘what is cycling sport?’ Is it what I did for so many years, going in circles in an office park on the edge of town? Is it the Tour de France or Tour of Flanders or Tour of Qinghai Lake? Is the sport the pro’s and how/what/where they ride or my races? Or not races at all (or exclusively), but rides I took from my house in Atlanta to Peachtree park, all of 3-4 miles but as a 10-year-old, forever away? Is it the cyclosportives and charity rides?
Certainly, what I learned about the business of pro racing in the 80’s and 90’s; Verbruggen brought some needed controls. Teams and riders have to operate in a professional manner, at least as far as employment rules require. There is still a lot of room to grow in a sporting and ethical stance.