Articulated race hub for the Vuelta a España shows not only

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In these troubled days, we’re learning that you can watch a bad thing developing in front of your eyes, in real time, and yet feel Authentic Adidas Mar kLetestu Youth Jersey utterly powerless to stop it. Fill in the blank with your own choice of contemporary socio-political phenomenon. But it can happen at a much more modest level, too, even in something as essentially trivial as sport. Which is how we come to the appearance of Team Sky’s “race hub” at the Vuelta a España.The race hub is a large articulated vehicle decorated with the team’s logo and those of its various sponsors. It travels each day from one stage finish to another, where it is reconfigured – a little like a Transformer toy – into a two-storey building complete with facilities for (to quote from the official announcement) “communal eating, team briefings, pre- and post-race relaxation” and “guest hospitality and media”.The mention of using it to host media activities was a touch amusing since it came from the team who, during the Tour de France, ducked out of the leader’s traditional commitment to giving interviews to the print media on the two rest days, citing higher priorities – although more probably motivated by a desire to avoid uncomfortable questions about Jiffy bags and therapeutic use exemptions.
But any complaints from the media are minor compared to the negative implications for Sky’s rivals. A contraption like the race hub does not come cheap. Apparently this one has been hired rather than http://www.authenticedmontonoilers.com/authentic-mark-letestu-jersey bought but the expense even of renting one is still something most other teams would rather not have to contemplate at a time when sponsorship funding is hard to find.Dave Brailsford’s team are fortunate to have the annual budget of £25m or so provided by Sky, thanks to James Murdoch’s continuing enthusiasm for the sport, and no one can say they have failed to give value for the investment. But other teams in the Vuelta are having to put out similar nine-man lineups with a fraction of those resources. They will not be impressed by the latest escalation of a technical arms race triggered on Sky’s initial appearance in 2010, when they turned up for their first Tour de France with a fleet of sleek Jaguar cars for the use of their sporting directors and mechanics, instead of the humbler but perfectly adequate Skodas issued by the Tour’s sponsors. Others immediately felt the need to match the gesture. A year later, for instance, the Schleck brothers’ Leopard-Trek outfit arrived with a fleet of Mercedes.
All this – like the creation of the Sky riders’ luxury coach, known to the peloton’s satirists as the Death Star, with its individual Authentic Adidas Joseph Blandisi Youth Jersey
ergonomically designed seats and its special washing facilities and its compartments for personalised mattresses and pillows to be taken from hotel to hotel – is perfectly legitimate. If you have the budget, why should anyone prevent you from spending it as creatively as possible, choosing your equipment in order to give your riders and staff the best chance to perform at their maximum?But Sky went too far at the 2015 Giro d’Italia, when their team leader for the race, Richie Porte, was given his own mobile home in which to sleep at night instead of being quartered with the rest of the team at a hotel of the organisers’ choosing throughout the three-week race. That, too, is a logical and imaginative way of spending money in order to optimise a rider’s chances and Sky made it known they planned to extend the practice.
But for once, thank goodness, the sport’s governing body moved quickly and decisively, banning the use of mobile homes and insisting all teams followed the normal procedure. If the riders have to put up with the occasional somewhat iffy accommodation, then that is a small price for maintaining the practice of treating each team as http://www.authenticnewjerseydevils.com/authentic-joseph-blandisi-jersey equally as possible. It also preserves a link with the sport’s more rustic past.The advent of the race hub revives another source of resentment, one provoked by Sky’s existing fleet of coaches and cars. This is the eternal battle for parking space on the Tour, always at a premium and particularly when the race starts or finishes, as it often does, in a village or a small town. If all 20 teams turned up with a Sky-sized caravan of vehicles, there would be chaos most days.
In effect, what Brailsford and Sky are doing, on and off the course, is dehumanising the sport of cycling, eradicating the traditional informality and erasing the unpredictability that made it so cherishable when compared with, say, Formula One. And it is no accident the inspiration for the race hub comes from F1, to which teams such as McLaren – in the days when it enjoyed lavish funding from Vodafone – and Red Bull introduced multi-storey mobile hospitality centres of staggering cost and ostentation. The need to accommodate these complex monstrosities did much to explain why a much-loved circuit like Imola, with its cramped paddock, became unacceptable to those for whom entertaining VIPs in a luxury environment is the top priority on a race weekend.Brailsford could plausibly claim his approach is in harmony with the evolution of the sport, where youngish investment bankers and hedge-fund managers have turned their backs on golf, the favoured pastime of their elders, the Trump generation. Instead of upgrading their irons every year, they line up to pay £10,000 for a bike.
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