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Pro cycling is too predictable, UCI survey says

Cycling's governing body is moving for changes in elite road racing, and highlights results from a recent survey to back its vision

The results of the UCI’s recent unscientific fan survey revealed that many like the sport, but want more of everything — more TV, more action and more diversity.

In early July, the UCI offered up an informal online survey open to fans to offer their views on a variety of topics. The cycling governing body produced a report, available via this link.

“The consultation shows us that road cycling enjoys a positive image with the fans, regardless of which continent they are from, and that, generally speaking, they are satisfied with the sport and the coverage on offer,” said UCI president David Lappartient.

“They also told us, however, that there is room for improvement, such as making more information and data available during broadcasts and that serious thought should be given to aspects seen as potentially damaging to the appeal of road cycling — domination by a small number of teams or the use of radio communications for instance.”

The survey was part of a larger effort by Lappartient to reshape professional cycling. More consultations with select stakeholders will continue over the next several months before the UCI makes serious proposals to be introduced by 2020.

“A series of proposals will be drawn up on this basis and put before the Professional Cycling Council and the UCI Management Committee for their approval in 2020,” Lappartient said.

The UCI said more than 22,300 fans from 134 countries on the five continents participated in the survey. Some of the key takeaways:

>> 62 percent of participants actively ride bikes, 27 percent race, and 21 percent use a bike to commute.

>> About 70 percent say pro bike racing is “easy to understand,” and two-thirds say the rules are “not too complicated.”

>> When it comes to racing, about half say racing is too “predictable,” citing such causes as earpieces, power meters and team budgets.

>> Fans also were worried about a relatively small number of teams dominating the results, three-quarters said that the difference in budget between teams can make races “less interesting.”