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.

Calling Time Out On the Team Time Trial

Cycling’s association of teams, the Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels (AIGCP), recently issued a strong rebuke to the sport’s ruling body – the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). Generally fed up with the pace of reforms and with the economic pressures they face in trying to field teams for all of the WorldTour’s far-flung races, the teams voted to boycott the upcoming UCI World Team Time Trial (TTT) Championship in Doha. This potential walkout highlights the teams’ growing discontent with the UCI – specifically the expansion of the WorldTour calendar in future years – and the frustration of not having enough input in how they run their own businesses. The key contention pointed out in the August 10, 2016 AIGCP press release announcing the boycott is that the teams will themselves have to continue to shoulder the costs of participating in what is...

Academia’s Role in Anti-Doping – In Microcosm and Big Picture

The recent fall-out between USA Cycling (USAC) and anti-doping researcher Dr. Paul Dimeo was widely reported in the cycling media. With the benefit of follow-up discussions and insights from both USAC officials and Dr. Dimeo, it is worth looking back at this incident in more detail – not only to understand what happened, but more importantly for what it can teach us as cycling tries to strengthen its anti-doping strategies.  In the broader context, this event has important implications for the conventional wisdom regarding anti-doping policy, freedom of expression, and the role of academia in driving change. Dimeo is a senior lecturer at the University of Stirling in Scotland, and a recognized and widely published expert in anti-doping and drug use in elite sports. He had previously conducted research and analysis for USAC, and in April, 2016, the organization asked him to chair a new...

UCI Scorecard: Are the CIRC Recommendations Being Implemented?

Brian Cookson took over the UCI Presidency in late 2013, heralding a new direction in pro cycling, and proposing sweeping changes in the way that the sport was managed and overseen. It was widely hoped that his election would signal the beginning of a new and cleaner era in pro cycling.  One of the key initiatives in Cookson’s early agenda was to create the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) – a panel of independent experts to look at the history of cycling, and to make recommendations for cleaning up and better managing the sport in the future.  The Commission was funded to the tune of €3 million, was led by three independent experts and was supported by a small internal staff.  It spent a year assessing the current situation in pro cycling.  It interviewed some 174 individuals, including past and present riders, team managers, doctors, scientists, owners, sponsors, event...

A Crazy Idea, or a Sure Bet?

Two recent news flashes in professional cycling have underlined some key uncertainties about the future of the sport. First, it was reported that Peter Sagan was in talks with Team Astana team about a contract for 2017, after Tinkoff Bank ceases its cycling sponsorship at the end of this year.  More recently, it was confirmed that the IAM Cycling WorldTour Team will be folding at the end of the year, as its management was unable to secure a successor sponsor. These may seem to be two unrelated developments, but there are some intriguing ways in which they might intertwine to create a lucrative opportunity for the right player. In addition to being the current World Champion, Sagan is the peloton’s most charismatic star; he was recently ranked by Sports Pro Media as the 26th “most marketable” athlete in the world – ahead of such global stars as Rory McIlroy, Usain Bolt, and Lionel Messi...

The Athletes’ Commission: Traksel Gaining Traction

Bobbie Traksel has had a long and distinguished pro cycling career. While he was never a big name at the highest level of the sport, Traksel’s talent and strength in the Northern Classics led to victories in the U23 Tour of Flanders, the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, as well as a highly regarded and hard fought win at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2010, after a heroic breakaway in the cold and rain. But Traksel now faces perhaps his greatest challenge, and one that he might never have imagined when he started his pro career over 15 years ago: representing the professional peloton – and seven other cycling disciplines – as the newly-elected President of the UCI’s Athletes’ Commission. Traksel’s election last December puts him in a potentially very powerful position at the forefront of the sport. The Athletes’ Commission (AC) was originally convened by prior UCI President Pat McQuaid in...

Breaking Away – From the Tour de France

The 2016 professional cycling calendar is barely underway, but controversy has already reared its ugly head. The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), owner of the Tour de France, has reignited its historical battle with cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), and threatens to plunge the sport into disarray again. ASO is upset over a relatively minor but widely-agreed licensing reform which would allow a measure of greater economic stability for the teams. The privately-owned firm has often acted against the interests of the greater sport, at times seeming to undermine the basis of its own business model – cutting off its nose to spite its face. The core challenge for pro cycling is obvious. The Tour de France is the one “super-marquee” competition of the sport – the only event in the sport where teams and sponsors can really profit.  Don’t participate in the Tour,...

Full Circle: Cycles in American Track Racing

The foundations of competitive cycling in the United States were built at its velodromes, from the early days of Major Taylor and Bobby Walthour, to the high point of the Six-Day racing era of the 1930s. Velodromes were one of the most popular sporting venues in the U.S. at that time and attracted the world’s best riders. Yet from those early days of widespread national and international popularity, the sport declined during and after World War II, with the last annual Six-Day race occurring in Madison Square Garden in 1961.

ASO’s Game of Monopoly

The recent move by the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) to reject proposed UCI changes and pull its races out of the WorldTour has left people wondering what it all means. ASO says that its move will preserve an open and more competitive atmosphere in the sport. But closer analysis shows that if ASO follows through on this threat, it will inflict severe economic pressure on the teams, strengthen their own competitive advantage over other race organizers, and marginalize the economic and career aspirations of the riders – even forcing many out of the sport. From the short list of rather marginal changes that comprise UCI’s so-called reforms, ASO is primarily unhappy about the proposed extension of WorldTour team licenses from one year to three years. This is a critical point for the teams, because WorldTour license holders receive an automatic invitation to the Tour de France – the...