T-MOBILE BOSS CALLS FOR PROTOUR UNITY
Bob Stapleton, general manager of the T-Mobile cycling team, has told CW that the Grand Tour organisers, pro teams and UCI should unite and back the ProTour for the good of the sport.
“I think the objectives of the ProTour make total sense with my business and marketing background. The concept is the right one,” Stapleton said. “The problem is, it’s not been very effective so far. I don’t think the ProTour works without the support of the Grand Tours, the Tour de France especially, and likewise I think those events are diminished without the ProTour.
“This is what I see: if you work together, you can really further the sport. If you don’t, then another fragmentation isn’t going to help, it’s not going to push the sport forward, it’s going to push it back a step, it will stay national, small. The ProTour should be a clear path towards a super league, or a Champions’ League-type environment, that is really important for the sport. At its most elite level, it needs to be exciting, it needs to have the confidence of the public.
“Right now, it’s entirely divisive with mixed messages, very negative messages in some cases. Get co-operation across the teams, event organisers the UCI and you’ve got a way to really, dramatically, propel the sport, I like that upside, I like that scenario, we just have to make it happen.”