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The organizational structure of professional road cycling

: Rebeggiani, Luca


Reet, D. van:
The Economics of Professional Road Cycling
Cham: Springer, 2016 (Sports economics, management and policy 11)
ISBN: 978-3-319-22312-4 (online)
ISBN: 978-3-319-22311-7 (print)
Aufsatz in Buch
Fraunhofer FIT ()
sports economics; cycling; Organisation; sponsoring

Professional road cycling is one of the oldest professional sports, and its organizational structure has been subject of heated debates during the past decades. The search for an optimal institutional setting is not trivial since cycling has several peculiarities which heavily complicate the finding of an equilibrium satisfying all players involved. But not only is the relationship between these players quite complex, there is also an unclear power distribution between the involved parties making it difficult for one side to enforce changes that could possibly harm other actors. This chapter presents a multi-sided perspective of the organizational structure of modern professional cycling. After a historical review of its recent development, it provides a detailed analysis of the current organizational setting, describing its complex interplay, the different players involved, and the current contest modus, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour. Some specific issues are analyzed in more detail: the underlying peculiarities of professional cycling, which make its organization so difficult, the ongoing debate about the optimal contest modus, and some organization-related dysfunctions such as doping.