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CycloSportive Glass Houses

MichuelMichuel Posts: 269
Cyclosport.org.uk are removing the Highclere event from their list of sportives because they say it's a race! They say it's promoted as a race with a ranked finishing list published with a handicap prize.

Well what about Fred Whitton Classic and many others? Taking FWC I believe James Dobbin won from Rob Jebb in record time. The cycling mags such as Cycling Weekly seemed to cover it as a race. They've also covered many other sportive/randonee events won by elites.

And what about Etape, Marmotte ...? Are they tourist events?

No. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

And the Highclere seems the best organised sportive event on British calendar.
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  • It's all rather foggy isn't it!!!!

    I'd like to know who the IACO really is. I see the list of 'members' on the website, but who sets the standards, decides which events meet them, etc, etc.

    In particular, I'd like to know if the organisers of the Fred Whitton, Etape du Dales and other IACO members who publish results in chronological order endorse the content of cyclosport's email, which seemed to be sent out on their behalf.
  • Agree with the OP.

    Ironically they've now opened a can of worms with that spam mail that will result in the events that they promote being crippled in the future - mark my words.
  • DominicBDominicB Posts: 15
    Michuel wrote:
    Well what about Fred Whitton Classic and many others? Taking FWC I believe James Dobbin won from Rob Jebb in record time. The cycling mags such as Cycling Weekly seemed to cover it as a race.

    Taken from the IACO website http://www.iaco.org.uk/about.html:
    The first Cyclosportive in the UK was the 'Fred Whitton Memorial' held in 1999.

    This reads to me like IACO are defining FWC as a sportive, if not the definitive sportive!

    There is something very strange, distasteful and vaguely commercial about Cyclosport behaving in this censorial way.

    Would it be cynical of me to think that there may be a fair amount of 'bandwagon jumping' by audax/reliability trial organisers to rename the event a 'sportive' and so attract more entrants...
  • MichuelMichuel Posts: 269
    It's all rather foggy isn't it!!!!

    I'd like to know who the IACO really is. I see the list of 'members' on the website, but who sets the standards, decides which events meet them, etc, etc.

    The CTC and BC have a democratic grass-roots process whereby their leaders and executives can be controlled by members and clubs. There's a considerable danger if an independent unelected, unrepresentative organisation tries to top-down control a sport.
  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    Michuel wrote:
    The CTC and BC have a democratic grass-roots process whereby their leaders and executives can be controlled by members and clubs. There's a considerable danger if an independent unelected, unrepresentative organisation tries to top-down control a sport.

    +1
  • True. They could just be ignored of course.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Michuel wrote:
    And what about Etape, Marmotte ...? Are they tourist events?
    Whilst I totally agree the Cyclosport's treatment of all UK sportives needs to be the same (no matter who is providing the insurance etc), the foreign events are governed by their own road laws and therefore are not comparable to UK events. The Etape for example uses closed roads so it is a race by any definition of the word.

    There IS a danger in sportives becoming quasi-races and the police then asking for the same standards as those applied to full on road races - if this were to happen, then most sportive organisers would struggle to get permission to run the events at all.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    Yes but how does removing the information about the ride/race from your website help? Hundreds of people are doing this and pretending it is not on the calendar of events, when it's one of the biggest sportives in the land is just daft.

    Either cyclosport.org is there to provide information for all cyclists or it is some business interest there to promote only a range of products and services linked to it.
  • jugglerjuggler Posts: 417
    i think this has more to do with the Highclere event being linked to British Cycling. Who i believe Mark Harding was complaining about some time ago as trying to take over the Cyclosportive scene., subsequent to whihc the IACO was formed.

    The supposed competitive element of the Highclere event - inter services challenge and 'awarding' the rider with the greatest time under the Gold standard was all part of the previous 2 years events, so odd that this has just been rasied to the attention of Cyclosport. Highclere is sanctioned by the UCI and British Cycling so the idea that this is somehow an illegal event seems a bit strange to me.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    I didn't say I agree with the goings on at Cyclosport.org or their weird email offering - just pointing out that event organisers are treading a fine line between promoting a "challenge ride" and a race.
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    Michuel wrote:
    The CTC and BC have a democratic grass-roots process whereby their leaders and executives can be controlled by members and clubs. There's a considerable danger if an independent unelected, unrepresentative organisation tries to top-down control a sport.

    and
    Kléber wrote:
    Either cyclosport.org is there to provide information for all cyclists or it is some business interest there to promote only a range of products and services linked to it.

    Spot on, both
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • MichuelMichuel Posts: 269
    juggler wrote:
    i think this has more to do with the Highclere event being linked to British Cycling. Who i believe Mark Harding was complaining about some time ago as trying to take over the Cyclosportive scene., subsequent to whihc the IACO was formed.
    ... Highclere is sanctioned by the UCI and British Cycling so the idea that this is somehow an illegal event seems a bit strange to me.

    One can see some parallel to the UCI vs ASO (and other Grand Tour organisers) dispute. The race organisers have some strength in that they promote the 'name' events.

    In the UK the IACO could turn into a monopoly/cartel type situation where organisers and IACO cream off from rider entry fees (400 riders at £30 = £12000 but total costs maybe £2000 leaving £10000 profit). On the other hand it's fairly easy to start a new event, the basic requirement is a good route.
  • I think overall the guys at Cyclosport are doing a good job.

    However I have a concern. In time the site will be seen (it already is becoming so) as the key listing of Sportives in the UK. The links between the site and IACO are pretty solid and I fear a time when cyclosport will refuse to carry a sportive in its listing unless the organisers 'join' IACO. Hopefully someone will correct me on this.

    This quote from 'dot org' on cyclosport also worries me in response to how to reduce the number of no shows at events:

    "Original poster : '4) Advanced entry for Cyclosport members, those keen enough to pay a subscription to a Sportive organisation would be less likely to miss rides.'

    I'm liking the sound of that, if your prepared to put your money where your mouth is upfront, then that could save a lot of hassle for you and the organiser. I guess this would be preferential entry, but that's what you'd be paying for ..."
    Why the name? Like the Hobbit I don't shave my legs
  • That is precisely why I would like to know who the mysterious IACO really is. The thread you quoted above from cyclosport.org was started by "King of England". Here is what was posted by King of England on the thread (grammar unchanged!):

    Subject: "No show's"
    I've been reading all the chatter about organisation and entry fee's (regarding the Polkadot and the FWC etc). I think Sportive's are great value but the thing that really bugs me is the amount of 'no shows'. I noticed that the Chiltern 100 was fully subscribed with 684 entries but only 259 appear to have ridden the event.

    Sure, some might have good excuses, but I think there's a lot of people entering these events with an open mind as to whether they'll actually ride and this begs the question "should the entry fee's be MUCH higher"? If they were then some of us who really want to ride these events might get the opportunity. If the extra money paid for extra marshalling and signposting then that would be even better.
    Some ideas:

    1) Perhaps there should be a black list for 'no shows' that's passed between the organisers? Some people are regular 'no shows', they're easily identified by looking at the entrants and finishers lists.

    2) What about retaining 30% of the places for riders who turn up on the day rather than pre-entering?

    3) Higher entry fees.

    4) Advanced entry for Cyclosport members, those keen enough to pay a subscription to a Sportive organisation would be less likely to miss rides.

    and here's the link: http://www.cyclosport.org/forum/reply.a ... 6&tid=2170

    Now maybe I'm getting paranoid, but these posts by King of England look to me exactly like they were written by the cyclosport editor. Given postings like this, and the fact that the IACO website seems to be intrinsically linked to cyclosport.org, I get a very real feeling that someone is trying to cajole the organisers into some kind of commercial reliance on cyclosport.org. Now, I have no problem with this if that is what the organisers want. But it all seems rather cloak and dagger.
  • Perhaps only in the UK could we make a branch of cycling this complicated.

    FWIW I think some sort of preferential 'members' entry will lead to those with more money entering more of the prestige events. And they still might not turn up.
  • elliebellieb Posts: 436
    Wow. Just been to the cyclosport website & got this message:

    'System Maintenance

    Due to increasing competition and legalities, we can no longer continue normal operation.

    We would therefore refer you to the Independent Association of Cyclosportive Organisers.'
    :shock:

    Unless it has just been hacked?
  • le_patronle_patron Posts: 491
    Crikey, I assumed there would be fall-out from all the ridiculousness of late, but not this quickly.

    Doesn't look like a hack.
  • chasmchasm Posts: 3
    Me, too. This morning when trying to log on to cyclosport.org I get the following message:
    Due to increasing competition and legal reasons, we can no longer continue normal operation.

    Is the timing of this merely coincidental with the controversy about the highclere?
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    Due to increasing competition and legal reasons, we can no longer continue normal operation.

    PRAM ==============================> TEDDY

    "It's my ball and I'm going home!" :lol:
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    I have raised the issue of the blurred line between sportives and races being one of concern both here and on the cyclosport website.

    Not because I dont like the idea of racing. Once you have completed one or two then its natural to aim for better times. The ideal sportives for me are the ones like in France where the front groups run pretty much as an out an out race, supported by local admin/populace. Or the Tour of Ireland, with riders grouped by speed and geting a police escort, with city centre sprint finishes being seen as part and parcel of the experience.

    Issue for me is that mainland UK is not France/Ireland, support for and knowledge of cycling is less developed and if the perception gets about that sportives are just races by another name then they will be stopped.

    Must say I thought I was in minority view judged by feedback. And I will be concerned if this issue is used as smokescreen to serve other agendas. Not reassured by the fact that the sportive held as example has a page listing 2008 results in time order.
    http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk/2008results.html
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • If I've just cycled 100 miles in challenging terrain I like to know where in the scheme of things I finished. I find it hugely annoying if the results are published in a format that makes it difficult to find that out.

    My motivation is not racing or even times, but I do like to know how I got on in comparison to others. It doesn't mean I'm racing anyone though. In fact last week I raced absolutely nobody at any stage for 104 miles and enjoyed myself no end. I still like to know how I did in relation to everyone else though.
  • bahzobbahzob Posts: 2,195
    If I've just cycled 100 miles in challenging terrain I like to know where in the scheme of things I finished. I find it hugely annoying if the results are published in a format that makes it difficult to find that out.

    My motivation is not racing or even times, but I do like to know how I got on in comparison to others. It doesn't mean I'm racing anyone though. In fact last week I raced absolutely nobody at any stage for 104 miles and enjoyed myself no end. I still like to know how I did in relation to everyone else though.

    Sorry but racing means finding out where you finished in relation to others. That's why time trialling is a race.

    Also in sportives finding out where you finished in relation to others tells you diddly squat. I've got more respect for the guy who suffers 3 punctures and finishes alone in 100th place than the guy who hugs everyone else's wheel for 6 hours and finishes 20th.

    Most sportives publish gold/silver/bronze standards. Knowing how you did against these/plus the circumstances you rode in should be enough information.
    Martin S. Newbury RC
  • chasmchasm Posts: 3
    I agree, bahzob. I think the distinction between races and sportives has to be preserved, and made as explicit as possible, if we are to avoid sportives being treated as races by the police - and therefore stopped. So whatever the merits of the decison about the Highclere, I'm a supporter of what IACO and cyclosport were trying to do.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    dooncaan wrote:
    So, does anyone know where I can find an alternative, comprehensive and easy to use list of these kind of events*?
    Everydaycycling's website (British Cycling's leisure ride site) carries some but not all the UK events that were/are on Cyclosport I think:
    http://www.everydaycycling.com/
  • rusty nutsrusty nuts Posts: 49
    Cyclosport only carry details of events if the organisers pay for the privelidge. The IACO does not represent all sportive event organisers in the UK and has no official credibility. As some of the biggest events are not represented what does that tell you?

    BC through their Everyday Cycling site should publish a full list of sportives.
    TL
  • chasm wrote:
    I agree, bahzob. I think the distinction between races and sportives has to be preserved, and made as explicit as possible, if we are to avoid sportives being treated as races by the police - and therefore stopped. So whatever the merits of the decison about the Highclere, I'm a supporter of what IACO and cyclosport were trying to do.

    My view too. You can't (and shouldnt) stop people "racing each other" in a sportive, any more tan you can on a club run, but it canot be explicit, since then it officially must be declared a race and subject to the legislation to organise such an event. It's a bit like the early days of time trialling with the secret codes for the courses - everyone knows that half the field is racing full on in a sportive but for goodness sake keep it quiet. Quite why some riders feel compelled to shout it loud from the rooftops and argue semantics is franky stupid and is partly responsible for the mess that we now appear to be in. Whatever personal views one may have of Cyclosport are kind of irrelevant if we now no longer have a useful list and central portal for event planning, which after all was its simple purpose.....
  • richaricha Posts: 2,020
    we now no longer have a useful list and central portal for event planning, which after all was its simple purpose.....

    It started as a useful list and central portal, but then allowed itself to become political.
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    [Whatever personal views one may have of Cyclosport are kind of irrelevant if we now no longer have a useful list and central portal for event planning, which after all was its simple purpose.....

    It is a loss

    One will emerge, probably through British Cycling

    Mark deserved to be able to make an income from his idea and the site, IMHO, had he run it in a businesslike, open and courteous manner
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • Stranger and stranger, the cyclosport website now has a message saying:

    System Maintenance

    Due to increasing competition and legal reasons, we can no longer continue normal operation.

    We would therefore refer you to the Independent Association of Cyclosportive Organisers.
  • Iain SIain S Posts: 6
    Strikes me that irrespective of how results have been published for previous events, someone at BC has finally read their own rule book.


    The British Cycling Rule Book says…

    APPENDIX 4
    REGULATIONS FOR BC CYCLOSPORTIVE (CYCLING FOR ALL) EVENTS

    1 These Events will be known as Cyclosportive events…

    6 The organiser shall wherever possible select a route that is low in traffic volumes and away from major towns. When choosing a suitable route consideration should be given to finding a hill early in the event to alleviate the possibility of bunches forming

    9 There will be no list published which indicates a finishing position or time. An alphabetical list of finishers and times will be published.
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