August 06, 2019

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It’s not just the trade teams that feel cheated by the UCI’s rule changes, but the fans too…

HUUB Wattbike

After the UCI made its irrational decision and we made our feelings known, plenty of you have been in touch to show your support and let us know what you think.

We might have lost our right to race - for now - but pleased to see you haven't lost your sense of humour. We can't tell you how much it means to know you're in our corner - and the party doesn't end here…

Sports Journalist Tim Heming shared the tweet and link to our announcement:

Tim Heming Tweet

Paul Jean (@Jeano668) replied on Twitter, “Surely there is a little non-cycling nation that would give these guys citizenship so they can race as a national team and still stick it up the UCI?”

Damon Hesford (@damonbwfc ) added, “It's the professional sporting equivalent of taking your football home and sulking because some boys are better than you. England should do that with all the sports we've invented. Win the World Cup every time!”

In response to the open letter that HUUB Wattbike and their partners sent to the UCI, Adam Stone (@dt00aas) commented on Instagram, “Killing innovation, hard work and athletic commitment. Top job @uci_cycling... you're not growing the sport you're asphyxiating it.”

Colin Taylor commented on our initial announcement on the HUUB website, “I read this article with great sadness, I foolishly thought that that the main ethos of any sporting organisation was to grow it, not limit participation. Cycling is one, if not the biggest growing sports and should be moving heaven and earth to accommodate and welcome all newcomers not slam the door in their face, or in this case frog march them out of it. One previous contributor suggested a breakaway series should be formed if ever there was a case for it, this is it for sure.”

Richard Eastham added to the comments on the announcement, “Aside from the questionable issue of ‘national teams only’ which is understandably the focus of this article, the switch to summer months makes no sense whatsoever. Some years back, there was a welcome rearranging of the calendar to create a logical winter programme of track racing, culminating in the track worlds around February or March. Made a lot of sense… cyclo-cross and track as winter disciplines; road and MTB in the summer. Makes no sense to unpick this.

Peter Berrie added, “ I am almost 70 and have been a cyclist for many a year road and off-road but mostly road. Track was something I never tried but enjoyed watching it, that is until HUUB Wattbike and Beat came on the scene. Now I realised what I was missing, these teams have rejuvenated track cycling in a way no national body could and without the media circus. I love cycling but will not be following the track this year if these changes are implemented. Do these people have such a high opinion of themselves that they cannot see the damage they are doing to our sport.”

We also interviewed HUUB Wattbike’s founder, Dan Bigham, on how the team feels let down by a wall of silence from both the UCI and British Cycling.

Jonathan Mckee summarised his thoughts after reading the inteview, “HUUB Wattbike, BEAT and other trade teams have been a fantastic addition to track cycling over the past few years. The winter track season allows us to follow riders throughout the year and l look forward to the transition from road to cx, track and back to road through the seasons. Lack of consultation by the UCI is wrong but their silence having made a decision which has been widely criticised is unacceptable and lack of support by British Cycling is equally unacceptable. We don’t need these changes but we do need respect for riders, teams and cycling fans.”

Former Pro Cyclist, Kathryn Bertine and one of the driving force’s behind the women's Tour return a few years back responded to our interview with Dan Bigham, "Many small nations have only one or two very talented cyclists, and they rely on trade teams to enable their race opportunities. Same is true in track cycling. Not every country even has a track, so athletes have to live/train elsewhere for such exposure. To think that gifted and talented athletes might not have an opportunity to thrive in track cycling simply because their nation doesn’t have a national team… that is not okay. What UCI is doing is creating an elite barrier which will only serve developed nations and wealthier countries. The saddest part? I don’t think UCI even has the ability to see their own wrongdoing. Which is why we must keep speaking out until they do”.


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