Are big sponsors polluting the clean image of cycling?
“It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world”. Team Sky, however, see it differently. Gone are the evangelistic slogans to help kerb our use of plastics (www.skyoceanrescue.com) now welcome the new saviour of Team Sky, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, head of the petrochemical giant Ineos, one of the worlds largest producers of plastics!
The opening quote is from Robert Bolt’s “ A Man for all Seasons” and finishes with ....“but for Wales?” Someone tell Geraint Thomas that his position as the most liked and well respected Tour de France winner in recent times might not hold for much longer.
Is it time to control the funds available to professional cycling teams in order to make for a fairer sport?
Well I think your right Adrian and it's naive of me to think this is any different. However, we are plumbing depths of crass hypocrisy when a Team has moved from waving the environmental flag - hashtagpassonplastic - to getting sponsored by one of the worlds largest producers of the stuff!
As I say, this could taint Gareth Thomas's legacay and also damage Wales. And whales!
There's already interesting discussion on the subject
No, but I did think of trying for some of the intermediate distances ( 5 and 10 mile indoor national records ) before my 66th birthday - however my "team" were all busy. I couldn't have considered the hour without the help of these guys - Simon, Dean, Phil and Ian. Maybe the end of the year.
It's amazing what you can achieve with just guts and determination - and a bit of thinking outside the box. Have you caught up with the young lads from Derby who have out performed the national pursuit team? With students overdrafts and a huge amount of optimism and self belief Team KGF ( now Team Huub WattBike ) have had a huge impact on track cycling. Maybe the same could happen in road cycling?? But then, as you say Adrian, it's always down to the money.
But yes, Team Falmouth Wheelers? Maybe we could get sponsored by Age Concern?
There’s now been a steady stream of news reports, many putting forward precisely the point I raised, that of the unbridled hypocrisy. However, it has been pointed out that the very tool many of us use to vent our rage, the trusty iPad, was not only the product of the petrochemical industry but also of the mining industry that hoover up the worlds valuable metals at an astonishing pace. However, much of the materials used in the manufacture of this hardware can be recycled effectively, unlike the colossal mountain of single use plastic we are daily charged with disposing of. And it’s not for that reason alone that Friends of the Earth will be demonstrating at the Tour of Yorkshire later in the year. Ineos, it appears, owns fracking sites in the county which will undoubtedly lead to anti fracking demonstrations and no doubt some disruption in the smooth running of the event. It might well be a “rocky road” the peloton will have to ride - as Amanda can testify to!!
Jim Ratcliffe has taken the now familiar stance of “zero tolerance” as he becomes chief sponsor of currently the worlds most successful cycle team, now “Team Ineos”. At the opening of the Tour of Yorkshire yesterday he said, “We have done our due diligence. I have absolutely no interest in cheating or drugs”. So, clever to take the moral high ground so early before the real scrutiny begins into the ethics of a large petrochemical company and its insatiable greed to harvest, in as short a time as possible, all the worlds natural resources. No thoughts to any industrial moguls in future generations. No real thoughts to the future. In fact, frack the future!
Both Ratcliffe and Brailsford are in positions to make changes in their respective worlds that will secure their legacies - and make for a better world - but somehow I feel it’s going to be business as usual!
There’ll be demonstrations “Up North” today but they will have more “clout” as they are on the back of those recently in London that have highlighted climate change and seen it taken seriously by most political parties. Like London a lot of people are going to get pissed off - and as I mentioned before, it’s likely to be the start of a very rocky road!
I'm not that naïve to believe that this isn't the norm throughout all sport - it's just that the stakes have risen considerably and two of the biggest players are now at the table. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.