There’s a lot of talk about what’s going wrong with cycling. Historic races are disappearing, while the UCI gives World Tour races to repressive regimes because they have the money and a growing middle class. The team association has no confidence in the “leadership” of Pat McQuaid, and rumors of a breakaway league persist. Lots to worry about. However, one shouldn’t fear for there are good things happening!
Here’s one I’m excited about.
The British Continental team Rapha – Condor – Sharp (aka RCS) could have up graded to “Pro Continental” status, increasing the number of races they would be able to compete in. What they did instead, was use their hard earned sponsor money to develop yet more young British talent. This is an unexpected move in an sport where sponsors are always looking for the ROI that comes from a bigger stage. Luckily for RCS, their sponsors are on board for such a bold move.
But that’s old news. What I am finding exciting is the website they’re lunched with their sponsor Sharp Electronics. Inside-Out is meant to be a look inside being a PROfessional bike racer. The site, which is a constant work in progress is filled with great pictures from Camille McMillman, and great musing from retired PRO Tom Southam.
This is the type of thing cycling needs. Content like this helps fans feel more connected to teams and riders. Yes, every team has a website with rider profiles, race reports, power files and general news about a team, but this takes that a step beyond (which is where it belongs.) Garmin – Baracuda is doing a good job by adding training camp videos and clever ads (one of which I gushed about here).
There’s a lot of talk about teams getting a slice of TV revenues, but if teams want to survive they also need to be working with sponsors to create things like Inside-out.