The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has revealed the results of a survey on road cycling that the public participated in between July 10 and 16 – and the outcome was largely positive.
More than 22 300 people from 134 countries expressed their opinions on the state of competitive cycling and its future development.
What was revealed was that a large number of the respondents are active cyclists – 62% ride socially, 27% race and 21% ride to work.
Most associate the sport with positive terms such as “excitement” (58%), “bravery” (56%), “excelling oneself” (50%), “heroes” (37%), “respect” (37%) and “nature” (34%).
Around 70% say it is “easy to understand” and two-thirds feel the rules are “not too complicated”.
The vast majority are “very interested in road races” and 84% feel road-racing is “exciting to follow”, although 50% regret that the outcome is “predictable”.
The appeal of road cycling lies in the attitude of the riders and the special characteristics of each event. However, some aspects negate this positive perception.
Those mentioned include earpieces (48%), the use of power meters by riders (40%) and the variations in budgets between teams (39%).
Another issue raised was difficulty finding a media outlet that offers coverage. The majority follow events on TV (68%), with 21% using a PC/laptop, 6% a mobile phone and 4% a tablet. Of the respondents, 65% share and follow cycling-related content on social media.
Forty percent like the fact that races are shown live and in full, but 26% prefer watching the final hours that includes a summary of the start, while 21% prefer watching without the summary.
“The consultation shows us that road cycling enjoys a positive image with the fans, regardless of which continent they are from, and that generally speaking they are satisfied with the sport and the coverage on offer,” said UCI president David Lappartient.
“They also told us, however, that there is room for improvement, such as making more information and data available during broadcasts and that serious thought should be given to aspects seen as potentially damaging to the appeal of road cycling.”
He added that they were continuing with their consultation work and the consideration of possible changes aimed at making cycling even more attractive.
“The working group looking into this has already met once and its members will meet again in the near future; in parallel, interviews with different stakeholders continue.
“A series of proposals will be drawn up on this basis and put before the Professional Cycling Council and the UCI Management Committee for their approval in 2020.”