The Outer Line

…. is the path often taken by cyclists who are unable to break into the lead-out train, but whose strength, resolve and tactical cunning can lead them to victory.


We provide an independent perspective on the challenges facing pro cycling – and offer an objective forum for analyzing the key structural, economic, governance and ethical aspects of the sport. Through informed and constructive discussion, we hope to improve the underlying characteristics, reform the historical models, and help pro cycling to truly grow and thrive.


 Cycling has relied on legacy and tradition for too long – locking us to an inner line that has clearly failed, and which risks the future of the sport.  It’s time to listen to new ideas and change direction.  It’s time to take The Outer Line…


Click below for a Summary of A Roadmap to Repair Pro Cycling



And, click here for an overview of our Business Plan for the proposed

International Pro Cycling League

Scroll down to read our most recent articles on the issues facing pro cycling and the perspectives of various leaders in the sport. Print out copies of any of our past articles from the Article Library page, and check back frequently for on-going commentary, innovative ideas and new directions in pro cycling.

New Twists on Sponsorship: Good or Bad?

Several new pro cycling sponsorship deals have been announced in the last couple weeks. The first was a commitment from Deloitte – the international accounting and consultancy firm – to be a new “gold” sponsor for the newly named Dimension Data-Qhubeka team.  Then the German grocery chain Lidl made a commitment to add funding to the Etixx-QuickStep team.  These two events share a common thread: the investments were needed to bring specific riders on board. Deloitte believes that Mark Cavendish and his key lead-out men can bring multiple wins and exposure for its brand name, while Lidl seems to think Marcel Kittel can do the same for them. Team sponsorship is the critical financial under-pinning of professional cycling, and it is always something of an economic gamble.  Sponsors come and go with alarming regularity; neither of the above-mentioned teams have the same sponsors today that...

Leading by Example: A Discussion with Marco Pinotti

During his professional career from 1999 through 2013, Italian Marco Pinotti was one of the most respected racers in the pro peloton. He won the Italian national time trial championships a record six times, as well as numerous stages in the Giro d’Italia, and he wore the race’s pink jersey on two different occasions.  In 2009 he joined the record-setting Columbia High Road team of Bob Stapleton – a team which set new standards in terms of clean racing as well as competitive results.  He finished his career in 2013 with Team BMC, where he still remains as a sports trainer, and where he recently guided the team to victory in the World Time Trial championships in Richmond, Virginia. Pinotti was perhaps never a household name in pro racing, but during his career he established himself as much more than an accomplished bike racer.  While training to become a professional cyclist, he also...

Kill Your Television?

Fact: The growth pro cycling has enjoyed over the past two decades has occurred largely thanks to television. TV is the primary way that about 99% of cycling’s audience can watch the sport, and it is also a key revenue driver for certain events and for the all-important team sponsors. The Tour de France is now the third most-watched sporting event on the planet, and its race drama plays out on millions of TVs around the world. Stronger and more effective cycling content and programming, and new distribution approaches could bring waves of new fans to the sport. This represents a great opportunity to grow pro cycling. However, there are first a number of obstacles which must be overcome. A Sea of Challenges: Cycling is one of the most expensive sports to televise, because it takes place on the road rather than in a stadium. A large array of highly-specialized and expensive equipment...

Shifting Gears: How a Stronger Union Could Change Pro Cycling

Stronger athlete representation is a critical need in professional cycling today. The examples from almost all other professional sports show that the players must have a spot at the table in order for overall conditions in the sport to improve. Although the influential CIRC report dedicated a mere five lines out of two hundred pages to this issue in March 2015, it did recommend that the UCI facilitate the creation of a strong riders’ union – “to give riders a collective voice, particularly on the issues of ownership, revenue sharing, the racing calendar, and anti-doping.” Despite the clear need for stronger athlete representation, and all the grand statements and intentions, not much has changed for the peloton over the past decade. UCI President Brian Cookson promised that he would push for a bigger role for the professional cyclists’ association, and pledged to appoint a special...

Pro Cycling’s Family Feud – and How to Solve It

The world’s cycling fans will be focused on France starting this Saturday, but not just to see who wins the Tour de France.  The long-standing feud over who runs pro cycling may be about to boil over and play out in front of a global audience.  On one side is Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the private French family company which owns the Tour and many other prominent races – and the undisputed commercial force in the sport. On the other is the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the international federation which regulates cycling and has historically controlled the pro calendar. Nominally, their current dispute involves overdue but relatively minor calendar and team structure reforms. Behind the scenes however, this feud and on-going impasse is about power and identity, and who will control the future of pro cycling. The UCI has been trying to recast itself as a professional league...

The International Pro Cycling League (IPCL) – Overview

There is a great opportunity to tap into the true entertainment and financial potential of men’s professional cycling, and turn it into a modern, 21st Century sporting league.  But first, the sport needs an injection of new ideas, new capital, and a transformative restructuring.   As detailed in a new Business Plan – which The Outer Line has been developing over the past six months – the party which is able to help pro cycling complete this grand journey will not only revitalize a proud and beautiful sport, but will also stand to make a very attractive financial return on its investment. Pro cycling’s problems and challenges are immense.  The sport has suffered from a nearly endless string of doping scandals which have tarnished its public reputation, turned off fans, and scared away potential sponsors.  The sport’s lack of a powerful central organizing body has led to an uncoordinated...

The International Pro Cycling League (IPCL) – Full Business Plan

To download a PDF file of the full 30-page IPCL business plan document – complete with the proposed race calendar, a time-task chart, appendices and a full financial model – please click below. The International Pro Cycling League (IPCL) Business Plan

Andy Hampsten – Looking Back, and Looking Forward

American pro cycling in the 1980s is synonymous with Greg LeMond and Andy Hampsten.  Both were supremely talented riders.  While LeMond was a superstar who paved the way for American pros as both a junior and a pro World Champion and multiple winner of the Tour de France, Hampsten quietly rose through the U.S. ranks until he got his first big break on the international stage in the 1985 Giro d’Italia.  Hampsten’ s climbing ability, mental toughness, and tactical instincts helped him build an impressive set of career credentials – including winning a mountain stage at that ’85 Giro; fourth place at the Tour de France in 1986 (supporting LeMond) and in 1992, when he also won the stage to l’Alpe d’Huez; winning the Tour of Switzerland in 1986 and 1987, and the Tour of Romandy in 1992; and taking stages in such races as Paris-Nice and the Coors Classic – when the Colorado event was still a...