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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…

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


Download_summary

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.

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...

Home Sweet Home: How U.S. Racing Can Reshape Pro Cycling

Bicycle racing in the United States has always charted a maverick course.  American Six-Day track races were the most successful and lucrative cycling events in the world in the early 1900s – think of the “Madison” events, so named because many originally took place in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.  The sport was hugely popular across many segments of the American public, and the U.S. produced the majority of the star racers throughout that era.  But in the many decades since then, if an American wasn’t winning the Tour de France, then the coverage and interest in bike racing simply hasn’t been there.  In short, bike racing hasn’t really captured the attention of the broader American sports audience, and has fluctuated in popularity ever since the Second World War, when those “golden days” wound down. Enterprising bicycle race promoters stepped into this gap during the 1970s...

The World Championships: An Opportunity to Change U.S. Cycling

This fall, the United States will play host to a top-level international sporting event which has not occurred on U.S. soil in almost thirty years.  The  Road Cycling World Championships are coming to Richmond, Virginia, bringing more than a thousand of the world’s best cyclists from over 75 countries, to compete across 12 men’s and women’s events.  Richmond has played a major role in American cycling before, and was a centerpiece of the Tours de Trump and DuPont, back in the 1990s.  Now, the city has a new opportunity to showcase cycling and change the course of the sport in the U.S.  With its strong event organizing team – led by veteran U.S. promoter Tim Miller – this edition may redefine how World Championships are staged in the future. The “Worlds” have long been one of the crown jewels of global cycling.  They represent one of the most important career aspirations for any rider,...

The Path to Parity

A major priority of the UCI under President Brian Cookson has been to raise the profile of women’s cycling.  This may have helped spur the return of a women’s event to coincide with the Tour de France for the first time in over a decade, and is just one of several positive changes in the sport since September 2013.  The recent Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) report suggested several additional changes, but – like so many of the UCI’s new broad and sweeping proposals – they lack the actionable details needed to truly advance the sport in a coherent or timely fashion. Nowhere is the desire and need for positive reform more immediate than in women’s professional cycling.  A meaningful long-term strategy which will improve the opportunities and treatment of women has yet to materialize, and this is especially distressing for the current athletes who are attempting to make a...

The CIRC Report: A Missed Opportunity

There has already been considerable comment and reflection on the much anticipated CIRC report – and reactions have predictably varied across the spectrum.  But there seems to be general agreement that the published report has finally validated a relevant and cohesive historical narrative about doping and the role of the UCI – even if many of the facts and figures were already fairly well known around the cycling community.  Unfortunately, the formal recommendations offered by the report, which were intended to be the main focus of the overall project, fall far short of expectations. It is important first to look back at what the CIRC was originally chartered to do, and how the final report addresses those specific tasks and objectives. In terms of the first of its three major objectives – which were discussed on page 16 of the report, and as generally laid out in the original “Terms...

Out of Africa: How MTN-Qhubeka’s Model May Change Pro Cycling

The South African-based MTN-Qhubeka team has received a good deal of press attention this year, with its off-season signings of Tyler Farrar, Edvald Boassen Hagen, and Matt Goss among others, and particularly with its ground-breaking invitation to participate in this year’s Tour de France.  But apart from being the first African-registered team to earn a spot for the Tour’s starting line, and its notable racing successes over the last few years, the team is also driven by a different and unique philosophy – one which may eventually impact pro cycling at the highest level, and help to evolve the sport towards a more sustainable model. Team founder and owner Douglas Ryder sees his team as pioneering the future of African cycling in a way that will lead to more UCI events on the continent, and eventually to more African riders having the opportunity to race on top global teams. “If our...