In a decision that may or may not have been a bolt out of the blue, the cycling”s governing body – UCI – has banned motorhomes from bike races and tours, a measure that will take effect in time for the Tour de France. Instead, riders must stay in hotels.
The decision was revealed on June 26th:
The UCI Management Committee voted the amendment of article 2.2.010 of the UCI Regulations. The article now clarifies the requirement of rider accommodation during stage races: “In all road stage races on the international calendar, the organisers must cover the subsistence expenses of the teams from the night before the start to the final day; riders must stay in the hotels provided by the organiser throughout the entire duration of the race”. The decision was made in order to reaffirm absolute fairness between all riders. The amended article comes into force immediately.
So what this amendment says is that riders are forced to spend the night at the hotels made available by the organization, and not motorhomes. So motorhomes might, in theory, still be around the competition, but are not a valid lodging option anymore.
Why did the UCI make this move?
Apparently the UCI is concerned that riders sleeping in motorhomes while their team mates sleep at the hotels may endanger team union and camaraderie. Such a case happened last May in Italy when Richie Porte of Team Sky opted to sleep in a luxury motorhome. For the team”s manager, Dave Brailsford, having the team leader in a motorhome was due to the fact that changing hotels every day can turn out to be strenuous, with the riders sleeping on the floor in mattresses. The environment and privacy of motorhomes therefore sounds more appealing for higher performance and rest.
And you don”t have to be a genius to accept that going back to your own comfortable room every night gives you a potential edge over the competition. You also don”t have to be very smart to realize that unless all teams and riders have access to similar motorhomes, those who do, have a competitive edge that goes beyond simply sports and training routines. Teams with lower budgets would therefore be in a position where, no matter what their sports merits were, they would be at a clear disadvantage.
What the introduction of motorhomes also meant for many, was a complete rupture with cycling”s long-standing culture of the grand tours with all bikers together.
Quite obviously, Team Sky is not particularly happy with the decision, Chris Froome, winner of the 2013 Tour dee France, being one of the first ones to voice his disappointment with the ruling.
Motorhomes are obviously very much in demand with several sports, particularly motor sports where competitors have to spend a long time on track, but at least for the time being, bike riders will have to revert to the time-long tradition of floor sharing in overcrowded hotels. How teams will react and what stands will be made in the future, one can only tell.
But why not take your own motorhome and follow the glory of the cycling sport? Cycling tours go from town to town, meaning that whoever follows them, is actually taking a tour of the best the country can offer, and this is as true about the Tour de France as it is about the Tour of Portugal, or “Volta a Portugal”.
The “Volta a Portugal” will take place in August and, believe it or not, following hot on its tracks is a great opportunity to get to know the rich landscape of Portugal, from the Mediterranean south and Algarve, to the continental climate of the north, up to Bragança. Each stop is a new city or village to discover and the presence of the tour ensures that locations are buzzing with entertainment and activities. One day the tour will take you to the beaches of algarve, the other to the hills of Alentejo, stopping by in the much sought-after Oporto, and keeping heading north to some of the most beautiful hills and mountains in Europe.
If you”re planning on travelling to Portugal this year, there are plenty of rental options for motorhomes in Portugal, giving you and your family a golden opportunity to get to know this small but diverse country at you leisure, and without breaking the bank.
Com formação em Produção Animal e em Topografia, Márcio Marques procurou sempre que as suas ocupações profissionais estivessem relacionadas com alguns dos seus hobbies e gostos pessoais. Assim, em 2011, aliando o seu desporto de eleição - o surf - ao prazer pelo contato com o mar e a natureza, criou a Wild Side Campers - aluguer de autocaravanas e equipamento recreativo. Esta combinação perfeita vem possibilitar a quem, como ele, ambiciona percorrer o território livremente, unir a viagem à prática de desporto. Em 2013, Márcio Marques, definiu uma nova etapa para a Wild Side Campers e, assim, além do aluguer de viaturas, passou a disponibilizar a transformação de veículos pessoais em autocaravanas. Quando não está em funções, gosta de estar com a família e os amigos, praticar desporto, andar de mota e viajar.