Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html en-gb 30 Sat 29 Aug 2015 10:24:18 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html Sam http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=88#comment8 Thanks for replying Matt, always nice to feel these forums have a response on the other side. I agree, yes, I overlooked Jean Wauthier's response a bit, focusing too much on the Boardman/Obree v UCI comparison a bit too much no doubt!A good technical development to highlight your article would be the tyres they will use in Beijing. I know they have/had developed a tyre to achieve the lowest rolling resistance that is practical. The UCI rulebook doesn't say you must use tyres with a higher rolling resistance, just that they must be rubber tyres and round etc. As you suggest to the UCI, will combining these with a handlebar having slightly less drag, a frame that's slightly stiffer/responsive and whatever else has yet to come out of that squirrel room in Manchester be an issue. It will be a new situation for the UCI, but I honestly can't see them changing anything now. The components have all been inspected and passed in other races and there's no calculation possible to judge, what is too much development or not, unless they restrict it by budget or something?I honestly don't see how the UCI can alter the regulations now either or even stop British riders competing. I mean Theo Boss of Holland has a bike that costs more than the entire British Cycling technical development budget and many teams are doing what British Cycling do anyway, just as effective.While I love bicycle technology and development, I would be equally happy to see everyone ride standard track bikes and kit like a discuss or javelin thrower does etc. Problem is, just as in F1, there is a huge marketing opportunity behind what riders use. Maybe not so much in this case where components are custom to British Cycling's requirements and not publically available, but certainly for many teams using the top end components from the big manufacturers this would cause friction with the UCI. Arguably, the last lot of changes after Boardman, has confined what is possible anyway! Mon 30 Jun 2008 22:40:53 GMT+1 Matt Slater http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=77#comment7 You make fair and valid points, hockinsk, about the differences between the Boardman/Obree situation and BC's rolling programme of lots of small improvements.But I think you're missing the context of the UCI quotes. We emailed them to ask specifically about what BC has planned for Beijing and the response we got slightly surprised us (and I've quoted it verbatim). To say it is cryptic is an understatement. One of my colleagues thought it was a thinly-veiled threat. I wasn't so sure about that (English isn't the guy's first language, for a start) but it certainly wasn't a ringing endorsement.Just so you have the full context, here's what we asked:"BBC Sport is working on a report about British Cycling and the technology involved in the bikes being used for Beijing."I am writing to ask if the UCI is satisfied with all the new components that have been used to date, and what would be the reaction if it were all to be all to be used together on one bike in Beijing."Please could you also clarify what is meant by the fact that new components need to be within 'the spirit of the law' and whether this is open to interpretation." Mon 30 Jun 2008 09:16:11 GMT+1 Sam http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=66#comment6 Don't tell the FA or LTA that thundercinamon. Two of the UK's wealthiest sporting bodies and both with equally embarrassing returns on their investment would not want to agree with you.In some respects, easy sponsorship money and an almost guaranteed biased TV Coverage from the BBC and others to continually keep giving these failure sports the absurd levels of coverage and money they don't deserve, I don't believe helps them one bit. I can guarantee if you asked any of their Sporting Directors, “what is your long term plans for achieving World success” was, none of them would be able to give you a straight answer beyond this week, when they need to be looking at the next decade.Vision and a structured plan my friend is the problem with much of UK Sport in this country at the moment, bar a few select sports who are getting it right like cycling for example which was in a similar mess just 10 years ago before David Brailsford and the support team he built up around the riders turned them into the best in the World by a long way. Admittedly you need some funds to get things rolling, but after that money does not equal gold i'm afraid. Sun 29 Jun 2008 15:31:18 GMT+1 thundercinamon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=55#comment5 LordLargeAs I wrote, we didn't like it when the Soviet Bloc won everything in sight with heavily financed national sports programs.I can remember a time when certain race promoters sought to ban them from their events. We also didn't, and I still do not like it, when large advantaged nations pump finance into their sports programs (such as the Chinese and US as you quite rightly mentioned), increasing further the gap between themselves and less privileged nations. There was a huge amount of protest at the US basketball 'dream team' as I remember at that time. This was because the IOC opened up the games to professional athletes, so removing the disparity between nations financed by centralised economies, such as the Soviet Bloc, and capital based national states which often had their best sportspeople excluded due to having to abide by the ‘amateur’ distinction.Now China is the last big (very!) centralised economy still able to pump large finances into its sports programs so it can dominate for political rather than any Corinthian sporting ideals.Standing against them is the US, again looking to dominate to help promote to the world their view of how we all should live.Underneath those two are nations such as ours, finally able to capably finance, (though only select) national sports federations who have shown they can organise themselves sufficiently to compete at world level. Granted, we are unlikely to be doing this as part of any ‘world domination plan’ and more for sporting ideals plus the national feel good factor that international success seemingly brings.However we need to keep sight of where we used to be and all those countries that are still there.What would be interesting at the end of the Olympics is to see a table of nations, not selected by how many medals they have won, but by how much money they have spent to gain that success.I possibly should have stuck this elsewhere in some blog on the general international sporting arena, then GB cycling wouldn’t have got caught in my ‘cross hairs’, but the question is still thus.Is it worthwhile for ordinary nations to continue and try to compete internationally when a small financially advantaged elite will instead ensure they keep themselves distanced from the rest? Sun 29 Jun 2008 10:42:50 GMT+1 Sam http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=44#comment4 I'm sorry Matt, but you have taken your article out of all context with the known facts about what British Cycling has done in preparation for Beijing. British Cyclists are not in the same situation or confusion Obree, Boardman and the UCI found themselves in the 90's. I'll explain why.For starters, Obree and Boardman both made radical improvements in bicycle design in the 90s by using carbon fibre non-diamond shaped frames (Lotus), aerodynamic bars and rider positioning and applied it all in huge amounts to each Hour record attempt during a time when the UCI regulations hadn't significantly changed since the 1930/40s. The UCI regulations now restrict such giant leaps happening again. i.e. you can't use narrow bottom brackets made out of washing machine bearings, no Lotus shaped bikes, no mono forks (I liked them) and no Superhero riding positions either – shame?Most important however, and your big omission, is that British Cycling has taken a completely opposite approach to that of the ever faster Hour records of the 90's. Instead, they have improved each and every component, both mechanical and human in tiny amounts, so the sum of these improvements when combined into the complete system of bicycle and athlete should gain a slight advantage. Further more, each of these 200+ improvements have already been in use throughout the 2008 UCI World Cup track season anyway. Therefore, the UCI's commissaires who'll also be inspecting bikes and riders at Beijing will have already approved each and every development already. Just in case they say they haven't, British Cycling staff have filmed them doing so anyway just in case.Therefore, the only discussions the UCI will be having with British Cycling is the pleasantries exchanged on the podium in Beijing as Pat McQuaid puts a load of gold medals around their necks. Sun 29 Jun 2008 09:41:08 GMT+1 LordLarge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=33#comment3 thundercinamon Do you really believe that the Chinese are not going to be financed to a huge degree? Why is it when the U.S. pour money into all their sport (remember the ridiculous 'dreamteam' basketball fiasco in barcelona), nobody has a problem, but when the brits actually win something, we get accused of triumphalism and over-funding. Classic 606 double standards and anglophobia... pack it in. Sat 28 Jun 2008 16:04:06 GMT+1 thundercinamon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=22#comment2 Interesting.Raises a numer of questions, not just limited to cycling.For instance, is it ok for a select few nations, with the ability to pump cash into national sporting federations, dominate sports on a world level?Don't get me wrong, it's great seeing GB sport on top for once, but look at the other nations around us.All but a few are well developed countries able to pay to support full time sportspeople and finance development squads.How many other countries can afford a decent velodrome, let alone have full time athletes?We might like to think we are on the top of the pile right now, but it is a pretty small pile.We used to cry out loud when the Soviets and Eastern Bloc countries easily rolled us over with their full time sports programs (admitedly with a bit of chemical assistance), but we seem uncannily comfortable basking in success now we have our own.The UCI, and even our own BC, have a tough job here to try and create a more even and level playing field to open up competition to a truly world level, allowing competitors from less priviledged nations such as ours a chance to compete.So don't be so tough on the 'men in blazers'.If then can hold things down to a far simpler level, there may be more chance of events being won by the 'best man/woman', instead of the best financed nation.If you want another example, just look at footballs Premier League. Forget it if you haven't got the financial power of the top four.Good luck to GB in the Olympics, but don't get too carried away. If every other national had our new sporting finances at their disposal we might be looking so good Sat 28 Jun 2008 11:57:56 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=11#comment1 British cycling has some learning curves. It will changed when improvements are made. Sat 28 Jun 2008 00:04:22 GMT+1 jscottrfm http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/olympics/2008/06/to_suggest_british_cycling_is.html?page=0#comment0 This post has been Removed Fri 27 Jun 2008 21:30:58 GMT+1