Movistar’s general manager addressed the media ahead of the Tour Colombia, calling on the cycling world to make some significant reforms, noting the sport needs reforms, as it’s been the same in the time he’s been in it.
“All sports evolve but we continue to do the same things as forty years ago. Since I started in the 1980s, the rules of cycling have changed very little. I think it’s time to adapt.”
One of his ideas was that of a substitute “player” in the Grand Tours–just like in soccer.
In 2023, Movistar lost its team leader, Enric Mas after a crash during Stage 1 which was catastrophic for the squad.
“Why not allow him to be replaced, at least during the first week, and continue with eight riders. We must make the rules more humane and less brutal, better protect the health of the riders,” he said. “Today, if a rider falls, he must sometimes suffer like an animal to reach the finish and have the right to continue again the next day. Why not allow him to get into a car or an ambulance, have it examined and compete the next day if there is nothing broken?”
He also floated the idea of reducing the Grand Tours from three weeks to two. This, he said, would allow the best riders in the world to ride in all three and be competitive in each of them.
“It would add to the spectacle to see the best racing against each other more often,” Unzue, 68 said. “We all grew up with the epic idea of sport but we need more humanity.”