Tour de France Blog spreads news about UCI ProTour:

The Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour of Spain are quitting the fledgling Pro-Tour circuit, their organisers said on Friday.

So what does this mean for the involved parties?

Tour, Giro, Vuelta

For the gang of three it means nothing: They won't loose money, they won't loose the prominent teams, and they won't loose their importance. But the ProTour is dead:

UCI ProTour

This removes not only the three-week tours, but their sponsored events, including Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Milan-San Remo, Paris-Nice, Paris-Tours, the Tour of Lombardy, Flèche Wallonne, and Tirreno-Adriatico from the ProTour.

Considering that the above events account for the lion's share of ProTour's media coverage (especially TV coverage), it will vanish into insignificance. If the UCI nonetheless decides to keep the ProTour intact, this will be good for a lot of the smaller racing teams because they get a chance to become one of the (currently 20) ProTour teams.

Remaining ProTour teams

For the remaining (considering that some will not participate in the ProTour anymore because it is against long odds) teams life will become a bit harder: One of the ProTour's objectives is:

Increase the interest that it generates with investors, by offering teams, organisers, broadcasters and their main partners, guarantees as regards the profit that they will make from their investment.

What this means is that after the withdrawal the ProTour will loose immensive momentum with regard to securing money and news coverage. This in turn means that the team sponsors become less interested in the whole thing.

All-in there doesn't seem to be much future for the ProTour on the horizon. It will be interesting to see how this continues.

Update 2005-12-11: Refined last section a bit.

Written on 2005-12-10 18:29:23.