Many of you agree that the team car can go, which is quite surprising to me. You like the idea that such a change would likely encourage bike manufacturers to put more emphasis on durability, which has real benefits for regular cyclists. The most concern people seem to have is for the sponsors (thank you), on issues like:
- “A sponsor would not be happy if a rider wins on a neutral support wheel or bike”. First of all, this happens already, albeit rarely because the team car is usually there. But the principle won’t be new, just the frequency.Secondly, this is exactly what you would want. If the sponsor is unhappy that the rider used neutral support equipment, you can bet they will focus on durability more. As a result, the neutral support equipment use will shrink, and everybody will be happy again.
- “How can you fit a rider on a neutral bike with different pedals, etc.” No doubt, this may be a bit tricky. But then again, it’s just an incentive to make sure your stuff doesn’t break. And you can put pedals on a bike in 30 seconds, that’s a lot better than being out of the race.
- “Each team has its own energy drink sponsor, you’ll need tons of neutral support to give each rider their own bottle.” Maybe, maybe not, if it’s just about bottles, then quite a few different ones can fit on a motorcycle. Alternatively, there could be one central energy drink sponsor (like in Ironman races for example) supplemented with team support in feed zones (similar to the special needs bag at Ironman). If you’re afraid feed zones are too dangerous too, toss in a maximum speed (like the F1 pit lane).
- “Teams have energy drink sponsors, so revenue will be lost.” This revenue is quite small, so it would be a very small price to pay for safety. In reality, this set-up would allow the race to sign a large energy drink deal, and create a revenue-share with the teams for probably a net-zero or net-positive result.
- “Where do all the rain jackets go when the weather changes?” Well, where do you put yours when that happens? Doesn’t seem to be a problem for millions of cyclists to carry their rain jacket. Some cycling jerseys even have pockets in the back! :-)