This is a very short comment on the stages of the Balkan Rendezvous cycling event.
Full details of each of the 21 stages is on this page of our draft web site.
Details there include the start and finish towns, the distance and a link to the road map which has been thoroughly and carefully researched.
At the time of writing, the maps of some stages are incomplete.
Our various national committees are presently researching the best roads and eventually, will negotiate with local transport authorities to enable rolling closure of all roads.
The major issue for the entire event is to obtain governmental approvals from the most senior politicians in each country, to allow our 154 cyclists, their 22 vehicle entourage of support vehicles, and the mobile film crews to pass through all borders without stopping.
An unusual matter also is to obtain permission for the airborne film crews to cross international airspace with prior approval from the relevant aviation authorities, issues which our dedicated committee members assure me pose no problems.
“Stop worrying Greg” they say.
Well, it’s all right for you guys. I’m 20,000 km away anticipating the worst. I’m too damn cautious, that’s my problem.
Those issues above are pretty serious because without those approvals, the whole thing becomes damn difficult. No wonder I worry.
But in the end, we’ve got 30+ highly efficient people and each one of them wants to be the first country to approve.
We think it’s a domino effect – we get the easy ones first and the rest just fall into line.
According to our members, Trieste, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania are the easy ones. I’m told the relevant ministers will love us.
mmmmm, time will tell and we have lots of that to get what we want.
In the end, the distance of each stage will be less than those of the Grand Tours.
The prospects of finishing and starting in different towns is a logistical nightmare and why we are desperately keen to prevent that from happening.
The only way of course, is to finish and start in the same town and NOT to stop at borders.
Anyone care to bet on our success?
There is a major difference in the team structure of the event when compared to any of the other major cycling events.
It is our collective opinion that in the current world-wide financial crisis and the cost of sponsoring teams is fast becoming a poor economic option for the major sponsors which in some of the Grand Tours, can exceed US$20 million per team per annum.
Because the public can view the entire event without paying or buying tickets, the huge costs have to be covered by either sponsors or the sale of broadcasting rights.
We take an entirely different approach to that issue which is described in our next chapter on The Teams.
Read on Macduff.