Cycling should modernize its business model to end its dependence on the Tour de France in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, said Sir Dave Brailsford, director of Team Ineos.
The postponed Tour de France 2020 should now start on August 29.
The teams rely on sponsorship for most of their income and the Tour offers the most visibility to sponsors.
“If something were to happen this year, we would all choose to be the Tour,” Brailsford told BBC Radio 4.
Speaking to the Today program, Brailsford said the Tour is the biggest race on the calendar “by far”.
“One of the challenges of cycling is that the revenue is totally dependent on the sponsors and that different sponsors are in different companies and that some are more effective than others in the current climate,” he said.
“Modernizing the business model in the future would make sense for everyone. “
The International Cycling Union (UCI) still plans to organize all major races this season, with the other two three-week Grand Tour races, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana, rescheduled after the Tour de France and the road. World Championships in September.
The postponed one-day “monument” races – Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastonge-Liège, Tour des Flandres and Paris-Roubaix – will also take place on dates yet to be determined.
The UCI faces a difficult task to integrate into all these races in October and November, when cold and wet weather in Europe could also play a role.
Brailsford said there is a “good lesson” for the future for the sport of finding a “better model, which is a little more diverse and has the largest races spread across the calendar, so we don’t count that much in one race. “
“Everyone would see the benefits of having a more robust structure,” he added.
“It would allow people to plan for the medium and long term, rather than planning for the short term and, for some only, to survive in the short term – it would be a very big change.” “
The French Sports Minister said that the Tour de France, won last year by Egan Bernal of the Ineos team, could take place without supporters at the side of the road.
Brailsford said the Tour should only be organized in a “reasonable and responsible” manner.
“There are risks and hundreds of people lining the road nearby are not the best idea,” he said.
“Certain measures should be taken to ensure that the event takes place safely, which is of paramount importance. “
However, Brailsford said that the Ineos team, which has won seven of the last eight rounds, including under former sponsor Sky, assumed that the race would take place.
“At least, mentally, you can put yourself in a position where you are working towards a goal, but we fully recognize that this may well change,” he added.
“If you try to work in uncertainty, it doesn’t give anyone the benefit of being able to plan and have something to do. “