Cycling's worldwide governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), has launched a large scale consultation of cycling fans to better understand what they like about road cycling and how they watch and follow the sport.
The 10 minute survey aims to find out what fans think about what makes road racing interesting and appealing and what the UCI could do to change the nature of races.
In what could be an area of concern for Team Ineos, QuickStep and Movistar, several of the questions appear to focus on whether the difference in budgets between the large and small teams make for less attractive racing. The concentration of a large number of star riders in a small number of teams also seems to be an area the survey is looking at, suggesting that a salary cap is something the UCI may be considering.
It also looks at how easy it is follow riders during a race and the quality of broadcast streams, suggesting that rider tracking including data such as power outputs could be something that will come to major races in the future.
Questions in the survey include:
Which of the following terms do you associate with road races?
- Surpassing oneself
- Old fashioned
- Environmental impact
Generally speaking, how would you describe your feelings after watching the broadcast of a road race?
Which of the following, if any, do you believe reduce the attractivity of a cycle race?
- Team budgets
- Size of the teams in the race
- Use of power meters by riders
- Number of teams in the race
- Ear pieces
- Team strategy
- Race route
Those who enter the survey will be entered into a draw to win three nights for two people at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, including access to the VIP hospitality lounge. The winners will also receive a rainbow jersey signed by the 2019 UCI World Champions.
The UCI explained the reason for the survey, saying: "The purpose of this survey is to hear from you about your interest in professional road races, which is defined by teams and riders entering races registered on the UCI international road calendar, with the UCI WorldTour (e.g. Grand Tours), UCI Women's WorldTour and UCI Road World Championships being the pillars of the road cycling season. This survey puts fans at the centre of a consultation process to understand how you follow the sport and collect your opinions about how it is conducted. The results will help the UCI make the best decisions to strengthen and improve the attractiveness of the sport for those watching.
The UCI President David Lappartient said: "Developing the appeal of road cycling in a world that is changing is one of the central aims of the UCI's Agenda 2022. To do this, it is essential to have the opinion not only of cycling's different stakeholders, but also the wider public, both committed fans and casual spectators. The survey that we are launching today offers everyone the chance to give their opinion and is part of a wider consultation process that will enable the UCI to take steps to modernise road cycling that will meet the expectations of as many people as possible. My thanks go to all those who take a few minutes of their time to contribute to the evolution of our sport."
Click here to take part in the UCI fan's survey. The survey will close on 16 July 2019 and is available in eight languages: French, English, Spanish, Arab, Russian, Portuguese, German and Italian.