Eleven WorldTour teams unite in bid to boost sport by launching Velon group

Team Sky one of 11 top tier squads involved; on-board cameras and a coherent race calendar among goals

Team Sky are among 11 leading UCI WorldTour teams who have come together to launch Velon, a group which aims to boost the profile of professional cycling.

Velon hopes to drive a sustainable financial model and bring more excitement to the sport – with on-bike cameras and other emerging technologies high on the agenda.

Simon Yates’ bike sports a Shimano SportCam ahead of stage two of the Tour de France. Velon believe embracing such technologies will help to draw more fans to the professional side of the sport

A more coherent season, with a simplified race calendar, and the promotion of stable, credible teams also feature among the group’s goals, with Omega Pharma-QuickStep also on board.

Belkin Pro Cycling, BMC Racing, Garmin-Sharp, Lampre-Merida, Lotto-Belisol, Orica-GreenEDGE, Giant-Shimano, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing are also signed up.

Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Sky’s team principal, was among the key figures involved in the founding of the group and said: “Collaboration is the cornerstone to positive change and this is very exciting for professional cycling.

“It’s a big step towards the sport reaching its full potential. The teams involved in creating Velon have come together with a powerful shared vision to optimise the sport and develop new ways for it to grow.

“If the teams unite and work collectively to make cycling better to watch and easier to understand, it’s to everyone’s benefit. It will encourage more fans to follow the sport.”

At the heart of the group’s long-term aims is the creation of a sustainable financial model through collaboration between teams, riders and stakeholders.

Making the race calendar easier to follow through the season and promoting sustainable, credible teams for fans to follow in the long term are also among Velon’s goals.

The group also hopes to make use of new technology – including the on-board cameras piloted this year – to make the sport more exciting for its growing fan base.

Eleven WorldTour teams are involved in the group, which hopes to bring about a more coherent race calendar and create a sustainable financial future for the teams (Pic: Sirotti)

CEO Graham Bartlett, formerly of UEFA and Nike, said: “The existing, sponsor-only business model is fragile for all teams.

“We need to change this to a more rounded one with fans at the heart of it, investing in new technological initiatives to generate greater excitement from the races and bring the sport closer to its fans.

“The company will look to use the combined commitment of the teams to create new revenues.

“This combined commitment can help to deliver more of what the fans want to see from the sport – exciting races brought to life with great technology.

“What we’re trying to build will hopefully create a virtuous circle where it’s easier for fans to engage with the teams and riders and gives the teams even greater incentives to maintain credibility.”

The use of on-board cameras at the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France earlier this year was co-ordinated by the group.

Giant-Shimano’s John Degenkolb was one of the riders to trial the use of a camera and said: “Last year, we saw already that the on-board cameras in the races were a great success.

“The magnitude of positive reactions to my in-race footage shows how valuable it can be to involve the fans closely in our great sport. Therefore, it is really satisfying to see that teams are working so closely together to advance the sport of cycling.”

Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome have both spoken in favour of the new group (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/

Chris Froome (Team Sky) has also expressed his support for the formation of the new group, saying: “More people want to ride, and as we saw from the incredible support in Britain at the Tour de France, more people want to be involved in the sport.

“With the development of Velon, teams can work together to find new innovations and grow the sport. That will keep fans excited and attract new followers.”

And Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) added: “It will be important to make our sport even better, more understandable, and more marketable for people outside the cycling world.

“I believe that this kind of project is important to enlarge our fan base and to increase the awareness of our sport internationally, using, for example, technology as we show in the recent past with on board bike cameras.”


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