Organized from September 18 to 25 in Wollongong, on the east coast of Australia, the World Cup comes to the end of an even more exhausting season when several teams fight for their survival in the World Tour, the first division of cycling, another reason for the absence of several corridors.
Too far, too expensive, too late: The Road Cycling World Championships are being snubbed by several pack leaders, cooled by the long, grueling and expensive journey to Australia.
“I also have a wife and a life”. mads petersen, world champion in 2019, uses an unstoppable argument to explain his absence ‘Down under’. At the end of the Vuelta, the Danish sprinter already had more than 80 days in the race this season. Had the World Cup been held in Europe, the epicenter of cycling, it might have prolonged the fun. But getting out for at least a week at more than 15,000 km, the plane ride, the jet lag and the change of season – it’s spring in Australia – was beyond him. He’s not the only one.
In August, his compatriot jonas vingegaard, exhausted by his Tour de France victory and his new superstar status, said he was ignoring it. The French benoit cosnefroy he had deleted the event from his calendar in June. “It’s a very energy consuming trip at this time of year and with such a time difference. I hadn’t won yet and I didn’t feel in a strong position with my team, the sponsors that pay us., he explained on Friday after his victory at the Quebec GP on a route similar to that of the World Cup. .
Plane, accommodation, staff: traveling to the Underworld costs a small fortune that some nations are unable to put on the table. Countries like Ireland and… New Zealand, a neighboring country but where most professional cyclists are based in Europe, have simply canceled their participation. The best Canadian racers like Hugo Houlestage winner in the Tour de France this summer, miguel woods Where antoine duchessThey also gave up when they learned that the Canadian federation was asking them to pay for their plane ticket. “Cycling Canada can’t afford to send the athletes. So it’s totally up to us. (…) I’m not interested.”Houle commented. “This year’s road world championships in Australia are incredibly expensive. We are committed to building teams in every category, and with a bigger team this comes at an additional cost.” explained Scott Kelly, sports manager of the Canadian federation, which has allocated 110,000 Canadian dollars (83,000 euros), or a third of the annual budget to the road competition.
too late or too late
At the end of the season, several great arms of the peloton have already burned all their cartridges like the British tom pidcockwinner in Alpe d’Huez in July, or the German Maximilian Schachman, double winner of the Paris-Nice and another potential contender, who finished his season exhausted. Tiredness is a recurring element in the World Cup, but the trip to Australia acts as an aggravating factor, even for a young runner like the Spaniard John Ayuso (19 years old), who lost Tuesday night after his “great effort in the Vuelta”who finished in 3rd place.
To this is added, for the first time, the fight to remain in the World Team for the next three seasons. This crucial issue has led several teams to retain their riders to field them in as many races as possible in Europe in order to score UCI points. Belgium will do without Lotto runners and Spain will be deprived of Movistar champions like Alejandro Valverde. According to coach Pascual Momparler, the 2018 world champion was ready for it. “But he didn’t get permission”. French coach Thomas Voeckler has thought of bringing him Bryan Coquard. But there too the sprint team, Cofidis, frowned. “There are coaches who need their running backs to score. It’s something I respect a lot. They have jobs to save for the next three years and I would do the same in their place”Voeckler commented.
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