The pulse of the teams continues, with the general director of Visma-Lease a Bike at the helm, so that the race organizers rethink the organization of cycling, make this sport more profitable and, most importantly, at the end of the day , to participate in the benefits that are generated, which currently fall almost entirely on the large organizers.

Look like Formula 1: Objective of the Cycling Super League.

What until weeks ago seemed like the usual tantrum of cycling teams, is gaining strength and threatens to change cycling as we know it since its beginnings at the dawn of the 20th century.

The Cycling Super League project, promoted by the teams, needs greater sources of income due to the increase in budgets year after year since, as has always happened, these only depend on the contributions of the different sponsors.

Meanwhile, aspects such as television or image rights are received almost exclusively by the race organizers and, not even by all, since they are the big organizers, those who monopolize the organization of the big events such as ASO/Unipublic, RCS or Flanders Classics who take the lion’s share of the cake.

A Super League that has, as its visible head, the general director of Visma-Lease a Bike, Richard Plugge and has already been baptized as One Cycling. Plugge is clear about the need for a Super League: “The cycling business is around 500 million while that of bicycles in general is 55,000 million,” according to what the leader declared in the Belgian media.

Richard Plugge is clear about where cycling should go: “We want to make cycling a Formula 1” he stated emphatically although he did not reveal nor has it been revealed what the format and calendar of this new Super League would be, although Plugge pointed out “we need to have a calendar, with a limited number of races featuring the best runners.

In any case, the One Cycling project would have a league format that would seek to attract new sponsors, as well as control the rights as occurs in competitions such as the aforementioned Formula 1, NBA, UFC, etc.

A project that, despite the background noise it has been generating, still seems to be quite green and lacking in definition. For now, the 2024 season starts as usual, with the Australian races. We will have to keep an eye on the evolution of this bet and, of course, the response of the organizers, especially ASO, who will surely not be willing to give up the privileges they have been enjoying since they reached the newspaper archives.

Nor is there any reference, as is always the case with these proposals, to the fate that would await minor races that, to a greater or lesser extent, continue to have their relevance in the calendar such as the small rounds at the beginning of the season, semi-classical, the Italian tests in September, etc Nor what would happen to the more modest teams that could not access this elitist competition.

Without going any further, we have the precedent of the arrival of the World Tour, which initially started from an idea similar to the one now proposed for the Super League, promoted in its day by the former director of ONCE, Manolo Sainz.

The creation of the World Tour was the final straw for many competitions that were organized in a completely artisanal way, sometimes due to the impulse of a single person, compared to the paradigm of total professionalization that was implemented.

It also meant the disappearance of a huge number of teams, incapable of meeting the economic requirements of the higher categories and which were practically expelled from the competition’s spotlights.