Salary caps, banning race radios, more education for young riders: Romain Bardet's plan to change cycling

Revered as much for his erudition as his élan, Chris Marshall-Bell gets the lowdown from the French cyclist

Romain Bardet at the Giro d'Italia
Romain Bardet at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You’ve been at the top of the sport for more than a decade,” I begin softly, aiming to warm Romain Bardet to my theme before coaxing him to reflect on his long career at the sharp end. So I’m shocked to get knocked back so soon. “At the top?” he interrupts, taking issue with my premise. His longevity at the top is objectively true: he’s a two-time podium finisher at the Tour de France and runner-up at this year’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège – but he has a point to make about the fact he hasn’t won any of cycling’s biggest races. 

“The most organised team or best riders win almost every race they target and it means the sport has become less entertaining,” he says. “Nowadays, you can bet that the next three Grand Tours will be won by the same one or two teams.”

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and long reads across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013. In 2024 he released a seven-part podcast documentary, Ghost in the Machine, about motor doping in cycling.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains. He lives in Valencia, Spain.