I read today where the UCI is imposing immediate limitations on the length of team names because they wouldn't fit in their databases. These databases are used to track riders whereabouts so that they don't sneak off to get blood transfusions or visit doctors known to provide performance enhancing drugs to riders. This is a gem of a story. There are so many things that intrigue me about it, and so many things that make me laugh.
First, the UCI will now attempt to track riders to keep them from getting to the doctors known to aid in doping. The first obvious question is who will track the doctors? If the riders must always provide their whereabouts to the UCI, don't you think they would catch on pretty quick and say "Hey Doc, I need some stuff. I can't come there, can you meet me here?" I guess I don't see the point if this can happen.
Second, what kind of archaic, 286-powered crappy database only allows 32 characters in the team name field? Yep, I said 32. That's pathetic. Pictured above is the An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton-Sean Kelly Team. They would have to just call themselves Team Long Name.
Third, who names their team An Post-M. Donnelly-Grant Thornton-Sean Kelly Team? What were they thinking? Having sponsors is good. It's good for cycling and it's good for business - especially in Europe. But, you have to be a pretty bad businessman to tell every sponsor you get that they will get equal billing as all the others. Set some priorities people!
Finally, I loved a particular line in the story by Raol Awileus on www.cylingnews.com about the new limits. An unnamed UCI spokesman said "We also suggest that the teams leave off 'pro cycling team' or 'cycling team' from the name for brevity's sake. If you're in a bike race, we all know you're a bike racing team, isn't it a bit redundant?"