The International Cycling Union may be preparing to spin off the trade team time trial world championship from the main events in Richmond, USA (2015) and Doha, Qatar (2016) according to reports in the Dutch media.
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7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM


De Telegraaf reported on Monday that the UCI had identified the city of Limburg in the Netherlands as one possible host venue for 2015, citing a reported $50,000 cost to teams to transport staff and equipment as the reason.

The team time trial, a legacy event of the previous UCI President Pat McQuaid, was launched in 2012 in Valkenburg, Netherlands, and has never been held outside Europe.

It has since been a successful complement to the nation based events at the world championships and acknowledges the importance of trade teams to the ongoing success of the sport.

BMC's general manager Jim Ochowicz reacted negatively to the possibility, noting that for his team the event is the "cost of doing business", but the idea does have some historic merit.

In the past a men's trade team time trial championship was run in
Eindhoven, Netherlands. That lasted three years, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Team CSC (now Tinkoff-Saxo) was the last winner of that event.

"The expenses to get to the world championship are the cost of doing business and should not be a factor in deciding to move the team time trial event to another date or to another location," Ochowicz said in a press release.

"The teams and athletes will be ready to participate in the United States (in Richmond, Virginia) and in Qatar, as this is what we do. This event now holds a prestigious place in the realm of the world championships and should be left to continue as it has in the past."

BMC is the reigning world champion in the teams discipline after its victory in Ponferrada, Spain. The team is owned by billionaire Andy Rihs the CEO of hearing systems manufacturer, Phonak. He is also the owner of the BMC bike brand.

Rihs has used his deep pockets to build a highly paid team of stars who also serve to promote the BMC brand. The US is a major market for BMC so this possibility would be a brand building opportunity lost for them.

But while WorldTour teams are collectively in a position to absorb the costs, the proportionally higher spend may be a more difficult proposition for the smaller Pro-Continental and women's teams.

The possibility of different venues would be an acknowledgement by the UCI of the economic disparity in the sport.

However, the idea also presents logistical difficulties for riders who have a professional obligation to their trade teams, but are also selected to represent their country at the world championships.

Some riders may be faced with competing in Europe before flying to Richmond and Qatar for other selected events with their national teams.

So far the reports are light on detail, with the most important consideration, the timing of a separately run TTT relative to the scheduled world championship dates, unknown. Only then can the idea be properly assessed.