The 11 teams -- Sky, Belkin, BMC, Garmin, Lotto, OPQS,
Orica-GreenEdge, Giant, Lampre, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek -- say
they want a new calendar, plan to introduce new technology, such
as on-bike cameras, and create a "better economic future for the
"The existing, sponsor only, business model is fragile for all
teams," Velon CEO Graham Bartlett said in a statement.
"We need to change this to a more rounded one with fans at the
heart of it, investing in new technological initiatives to
generate greater excitement from the races and bring the sport
closer to its fans."
The statement, however, remained extremely vague, giving no
details on how Velon will operate and how they will achieve
Among the teams who are not part of the venture are Tour de
France champion Vincenzo Nibali's Astana, as well as the three
elite French teams (Europcar, AG2R-La Mondiale, FDJ).
Velon said they were looking forward to working closely with the
stakeholders of the sport, including the International Cycling
Union (UCI) and the race organizers, who cash in the television
In a statement sent to Reuters, the UCI said that it "has been
in regular contact with Velon and looks forward to continuing
that constructive dialogue throughout the current reform process
Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the super power of cycling and
owner of the Tour de France, Tour of Spain and other races
including Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Nice, said it would not
Reading between the lines, Europcar manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau
told sports daily L'Equipe: "There is always the will to create
a NBA style professional league and I'm against it."
Russian outfit Katusha and Spain's Movistar have also opted
against joining Velon.
At the end of 2012, eight teams founded the World Series Cycling
(WSC), a breakaway league project that failed to materialize.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Justin Palmer)
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