Sir Dave Brailsford has said cycling needs a better business model, as the coronavirus crisis continues to cause upheaval and uncertainty in the sport.
In an interview on BBC Radio Four on Wednesday morning (April 22), Brailsford also said that there are still health concerns about delaying the Tour until late August, adding that safety measures would need to be taken.
Brailsford, the former performance director at British Cycling, said: “One of the challenges cycling has is that revenue is totally dependent on sponsors and different sponsors are in different businesses and some are more effective than others in the current climate.
“Modernising the business model going forward would be wise for everybody.”
He added that finding a new business model for cycling would be a “good lesson” for the future of the sport, featuring a more diversified season with bigger races spread out across the calendar, easing the pressure on one race, the Tour de France.
Brailsford said a new structure would those in cycling to plan for the medium to long term, rather than just the short term.
Earlier this month, Tour de France organiser ASO announced that the three-week race would be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the event now scheduled to start in Nice on August 29.
But the decision not to cancel the 2020 Tour has been met with scepticism in some quarters, as many people feel the coronavirus crisis could still prevent the race from going ahead.
However abandoning the Tour for 2020 could have sweeping consequences for the sport, as sponsors put so much emphasis on the exposure of the world’s biggest bike race.
On the safety aspect of the Tour, Brailsford said: “There are risks involved and hundreds of people lining the road in close proximity is not the best idea.
“Certain measures would have to be taken in order for the event to be run safely, which is of paramount importance.”
But Brailsford said his riders and team are preparing as if the Tour will go ahead in August and September.