For the rest of today’s post, I’d like to go over an interesting little story that’s been brewing stateside this past week. It seems that one Tyler Hamilton was out racing this past weekend at a local, unsanctioned criterium in Boulder, Colorado. Yeah, he’s supposed to be suspended, but the UCI has no power over unsanctioned events, and Hamilton has done it before without causing problems. For some reason, though, the UCI decided that, this time, it’s not ok, and complained to USA Cycling; USA Cycling reacted by threatening to not exempt UCI License holders (generally Cat 1/Pro racers) at the event from a largely-ignored ban on unsanctioned racing. (UCI Rule 1.2.019). Bisceglia’s comments from a recent Velonews article are as follows:
“They contacted us and asked, â€˜What is Tyler Hamilton doing riding in a bike race with other UCI pros?’ We said it wasn’t sanctioned. They said, â€˜What are you doing allowing suspended riders in non-sanctioned races?’…Our practice is still to allow riders to participate in non-USA Cycling races…But we also have to recognize that we have to support the war on doping.”
With the same pathetic dependency that our President cites the “war on terror”, USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia has invoked the “war on doping” to try and justify kissing the UCI’s pinky ring in so shameless a fashion. Where was your war on dope last August? Or earlier this month (scroll to bottom)? Only when the UCI comes knocking do you start to care what events your racers do? Honestly, I’m at a loss for words that you’re so dutiful to your Swiss overlords that you’d threaten to suspend riders for competing in a meaningless tune-up criterium series, with apparently no prize money, and where a third of each entry fee goes to a charity, just because some guy who got caught cheating two years ago also happens to be on the start line. What are you gonna do for an encore, guys? Fish all of Hamilton’s dimes out of the Salvation Army bucket? How about you grow a backbone and tell those Euros to knob off and fix the ProTour, instead? After all, if the UCI is going to tell you how to boss us American riders around, why shouldn’t we just eliminate the middleman entirely?
thoughts on “UCI, USCF Hate Tyler Hamilton, Charity – Rant”
Okay … so what IS the answer here? Admittedly, your blog entry was a rant: USCF/USAC does appear to be kow-towing to the UCI over this. But in your other _rant_ on Tyler racing the hillclimb, you bash him for racing (while also diss’ing the race itself).
My question to you — so what SHOULD be done about this Tyler racing situation? What is the right thing, ethically, for Tyler (and his vanishing twin) to do while serving out the remainer of his ban? And what should be done if he fails to follow that path?
The Mt. Washington rant is pretty clearly just about the Mt. Washington race – how the event has become an exclusive holiday where the organizers absolutely fleece participants, while, as an added insult, allowing banned pros to come up and beat the snot out of them.
The Stazio series is almost the opposite of that – an inexpensive, early-season come-as-you-are affair for anyone from first-timers to world-class athletes.
Despite the fact that he’s been convicted, I don’t think the UCI shouldn’t have the power to prevent Tyler Hamilton from ever racing his bike. At a non-sanctioned, low-key event like Stazio, I think it’s fine to let him compete against a Pro-level field.
But if you’re running a race with an entry fee that soars into the hundreds of dollars, and a field with no true pro riders, you’ve really got to close the “official race entry” door on Hamilton, especially on a course like Mt. Washinton, where the competition (for him) would be just as hard with a field as it would be riding alone.
What the UCI and USCF are doing here isn’t really 100% new. Back when I was racing in college, a guy I trained with was from New Hampshire. Given the limited number of races up there, the USCF-licensed riders would join in a bunch of the unsanctioned rides. Every once in awhile, the USCF district rep would drop by and hand out suspensions to licensed racers he saw participating.
I haven’t taken out a USCF license in years, but when I did, it was still in the fine print of your application that you agreed not to join in any unsanctioned events. Traditionally a blind eye was turned toward full on charity rides (the MS 150 was the big event back then), but “charity races” were usually not, especially as many municipalities required a charity aspect to avoid needed some type of sanctioning body’s approaval (for legal and liability reasons).
Looked at from the UCI’s and USCF’s perspective, why should promoters be able to free-ride on their product — after all the rider’s reps are earned in events the UCI carries out — and yet not even take the minimum step of having their event listed (e.g., pay a listing fee) with the national federation?
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USA Cycling reacted by threatening to not exempt UCI License holders (generally Cat 1/Pro racers) at the event from a largely-ignored ban on unsanctioned racing.More about pro team cycling clothing https://www.cycylingsky.com/ if the UCI is going to tell you how to boss us American riders around, why shouldn’t we just eliminate the middleman entirely?