Team Dimension Data to fight ‘bizarre’ WorldTour system

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A year after earning their licence and capturing the imagination of international cycling, Team Dimension Data could be left out in the cold on the 2017 WorldTour.

Doug Ryder, the team principal at Dimension Data, said in an interview for iol.co.za that he would fight tooth and nail to keep the African-registered team in the WorldTour top-flight.

“We will fight it, so we will go to the PCC which is the professional cycling council and the licence commission that issues licences on behalf of the UCI. If we fail, we will go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) because we are an ethical, honest team.”

“The WorldTour is supposed to talk to sustainability and continuity for big teams that are healthy in their budgets and race well,” Ryder said.

“At the end of 2015 we were the No 1 second-division team in the world and we had an opportunity to be in the WorldTour. There wasn’t promotion-relegation at the time because there were only 17 teams and they wanted 18 so we kind of walked in although we earned it.”

“We would need to lobby to get into races. Will we still race the Tour de France and the biggest races in the world.

“If we get 200 points in the last two races on the WorldTour then we will be in the top 16 teams in the world and we will be fine but the heat is on. Nobody can believe that a team with five stage wins on the Tour de France is potentially not going to be in the WorldTour.”

“Showing how bizarre the WorldTour system is, if Cavendish wins the world championships it counts for nothing on the WorldTour and he could be a world champion on a second-division team and that is a reality,”

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