|Picture from: www.sbs.com.au|
I feel like the trade teams are really good why is there a need to change it up and ride national teams. I feel like trade teams are more balanced to compete for race titles that national teams. Furthermore, I don't like that some national teams get more riders than others. I do know that national teams earn their number of riders based on how that country has performed so it is somewhat fair but I don't feel it is the fairest system out there. Why should riders from powerhouse nations get a much higher shot at winning than really good riders who are from non-cycling nations.
|Picture from: cycling-passion.com|
The solution is either to qualify countries for the World Championships with every qualifying nation getting the exact same number of riders or do away entirely with national teams and just ride as the trade teams that are used the rest of the season. In a system with trade teams the great riders from non-cycling nations would not be handicapped because if they were the best on their trade team the team would ride for them and they could contest the race. A great example is Peter Sagan who comes from Slovakia which is not known for cycling. So in the World Championships his team has few if any riders to support him over an exceptionally long and grueling course. However, if he were to ride with the support of his trade team, Cannondale (soon to be Tikof-Saxo), He would have quit a few riders working for him to bring the race to a sprint finish that he could contest.
I also think that racing trade teams would actually increase the prestige of the World Champion not diminish it. The wearer of the Rainbow Jersey wears it as a part of his/her trade kit for the entire year anyways yet the riders who support him while wearing the jersey didn't help him earn it. The riders of the national team that helped the World Champion earn that prestige fade back into anonymity because they most likely race for different trade teams. But if a trade team won it the whole team could ride with pride knowing they as a team earned the Rainbow Jersey. Cycling is a team sport so it is unfair to the riders who work so hard for a World Champion to fade away because they don't ride as a team the rest of the season.
Also, it would provide great exposure for the trade teams who already get much of the news coverage anyways throughout the year for having the World Championship jersey display their sponsors' logo even though they didn't really earn the right to be there.
The race would be easy to hold using the 18 World Tour teams and then the top 2 pro-continental teams from each of the UCI continental circuits. This would provide great exposure for smaller teams that normally only race in their home region but instead get to step up onto the World stage of cycling for one race. Every team would be allowed 7 riders which would give a total number of only 196 rides which is actually smaller than the current World Championship event. It would even be possible to ride 8 riders per team and still only have 224 riders in the event. This would create a level playing field for all teams as they would all ride with the same team size.