CycloSportive Glass Houses

Organising a chain gang? Entering a Sportive/Audax?
Michuel
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CycloSportive Glass Houses

Postby Michuel » Wed Jun 04, 2008 13:08 pm

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.

Diesel_engine
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Postby Diesel_engine » Wed Jun 04, 2008 13:21 pm

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.

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magliaceleste
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Postby magliaceleste » Wed Jun 04, 2008 13:54 pm

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.

DominicB
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Re: CycloSportive Glass Houses

Postby DominicB » Wed Jun 04, 2008 14:16 pm

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...

Michuel
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Postby Michuel » Wed Jun 04, 2008 15:05 pm

Diesel_engine wrote: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.

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GeorgeShaw
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Postby GeorgeShaw » Wed Jun 04, 2008 15:11 pm

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

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magliaceleste
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Postby magliaceleste » Wed Jun 04, 2008 15:12 pm

True. They could just be ignored of course.

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Bronzie
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Re: CycloSportive Glass Houses

Postby Bronzie » Wed Jun 04, 2008 15:15 pm

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.

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Kléber
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Postby Kléber » Wed Jun 04, 2008 15:27 pm

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.

juggler
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Postby juggler » Wed Jun 04, 2008 15:34 pm

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.

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Bronzie
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Postby Bronzie » Wed Jun 04, 2008 15:46 pm

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.

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Ken Night
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Postby Ken Night » Wed Jun 04, 2008 16:26 pm

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

Michuel
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Postby Michuel » Wed Jun 04, 2008 20:57 pm

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.

bilbo.baggins
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Postby bilbo.baggins » Wed Jun 04, 2008 21:45 pm

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 ..."

Diesel_engine
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Postby Diesel_engine » Thu Jun 05, 2008 07:30 am

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"

k1ng_of_england wrote: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.



k1ng_of_england wrote: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.

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skavanagh.bikeradar
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Postby skavanagh.bikeradar » Thu Jun 05, 2008 07:47 am

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.

ellieb
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Postby ellieb » Thu Jun 05, 2008 08:39 am

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?

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le patron
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Postby le patron » Thu Jun 05, 2008 09:13 am

Crikey, I assumed there would be fall-out from all the ridiculousness of late, but not this quickly.

Doesn't look like a hack.

chasm
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Postby chasm » Thu Jun 05, 2008 09:52 am

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?

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Bronzie
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Postby Bronzie » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:07 am

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


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