As I entered my build phase on the trainer here in MN, getting ready for the weather to break, I have also started watching GCN races while on the trainer. As I watched stage 1 of the Tour of Turkey yesterday I could not help but take note of a new team, China Glory Cycling.
A new team as of 2022, with I think 6 Chinese riders and the rest from outside China…notably Willie Smit and Sean Bennett.
So it got me thinking: What’s in a name? And I imagined a team called USA Pride or (get this)…America First! Just think of the outrage in the US cycling community. Or am I wrong, maybe everyone would be fine with a USA team named as such.
Most team names are mundane: consumer products in which the sponsor is trying to market their product. So I wonder, what is the product being touted with China Glory??
I also found it somewhat incongruent to watch Shanghai citizens screaming by the 100’s of thousands in lockdown, while seeing China Glory spreading their message outside in the world. But I guess that’s marketing.

I have to admit this seems like an odd reason to come back to the TR forums after a year…and the comparison to some imaginary “America First” team only further makes me question the motivation behind it.

However, to the point, “sportswashing” is a very popular technique among authoritarian governments.
I hope you were / are similarly offended by the following teams, which are much higher profile than China Glory:

  • UAE
  • Bahrain - Victorious
  • Gazprom

You could probably even throw Israel - Premier Tech in there as well, but I am uncertain how much of their funding comes from the actual Israeli government.

And yes, I would imagine many people would be outraged at an “America First” team that purported to represent the entire country when such a name is so clearly associated with only one political group in the country.

I would like nothing better than to see international governing bodies divest themselves of “sportswashing”…whether it be the UCI, FIFA, F1 or any other governing body who gladly accepts the $$ from authoritarian governments. At least F1 had the decency to cancel the Sochi Grand Prix this year after Russia invaded the Ukraine and the Hass team kicked Mazepin (and his oligarch father) to the curb.


were you also this upset when bike racing continued when much of europe was also under lockdown or nah?


They need to start winning before it matters

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The reverse… I was against lockdown from the jump. And remain so.

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Just a note to keep this cycling / training related and avoid the detours that are already hinting a bit in the comments above.


my first impression was that I’m happy to see another non-european team in the mix.

I’ts possible that the name “China Glory” is born out of language differences? Maybe this sounds less jingoistic in Mandarin or Cantonese or whatever is spoken where the team is based.

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Not only possible, but highly likely.

I think there is also a question as to how involved the Chinese government is with this team. It is highly likely there is tacit approval, but at the same time, this is a pretty low-profile effort at “sportswashing”. You usually want something on a huge scale / stage. See the previous mentioned teams or, closer to the point, the recent Beijing Winter Games.

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China Glory and “America First” is no different than Bahrain Victorious or Presidential Tour of Turkey as far as naming conventions and sportwahshing go.

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Their website is charmingly dated. Doesn’t look like gov propaganda to me :man_shrugging:

You can never really be sure, but IIRC the team was financed by a Canadian Jewish billionaire. I’m not sure he’s even a citizen of Israel?

I think people have a “problem” with Ineos as well and their record with environmental issues.

But, there’s a fix for those people so concerned. Just stop watching, don’t click on links about those teams, don’t mention them on social, have to be a pretty large blackout before most of the wrong/bad teams would get the picture in my estimation.

But in a sport that needs money investment to even function let alone to thrive, it’s a hard question between money for the activity/sport/show that people love and their indignation with where that money comes from. Has to come from the right sources. We saw this when the loud mouth owner of QS said he was not going to fund a womens team a few years ago. And the winner of last years ladies PR was like “we don’t want your money anyway”. This year he says he’s going to fund a team…money money money helps soothe much of the indignation apparently.

Seems a condundrum for the eithically conscious sports viewer for sure. Do you draw the line at bad or wrong teams/owners? Or will you stop watching the entire sport if one of the athletes is a bad person? Are three or four or even 5 teams out of however many cycling Pro UCI teams there are a small enough percentage that we’ll still keep on watching? Is keyboard outrage enough for most?

Just “acknowledging” sportswashing does the trick for plenty it appears. For real change I’m guessing the numbers would have to be very stark in the wrong direction for the leagues/governing bodies/teams to really take notice and change.

Yup, understood…but since the title sponsor is listed as “Israel” and not one of his companies, I don’t know if the government is involved or not.

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I assume they are since the first couple of stages of a TdF were in Israel not too long ago.

It was the Giro, but yeah, I assume that the government is involved in some manner, to what degree is anyone’s guess. Their website is pretty vague on the subject.

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It looks like it was done in 2003 by a group of seniors learning how to use FrontPage 98 in their Windows 95 machines.


Seeing as this has been the only response to the thread from the OP, I think it is safe to assume at this point that the discussion was not started in good faith.

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No surprise when emotion enters a thread. I’ve watched and read the reports from Shanghai, its pretty shocking. But this is/was a political topic from the start, and has no place on this forum IMHO.


Actually, my intent was about the team name. Given most team names are not country related, this one struck me as odd, standing out in the Peloton. The name is more than just country name with an associated business, it is a direct message (positive) about the country. No ill will towards the team, I wish them well, but I do think it is interesting that name denotes an attempt market a country vs a product or service. Especially seeing almost all (I think) teams are trade teams, not country teams, except for the Olympics.

Nope…as pointed out, see UAE, Bahrain-Victorious (complete with “direct, positive message”), and Israel-Premier tech.

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And that’s at World Tour level. China Glory are Conti level and there’s heaps more “national” teams there. I think the name is probably due to language difference/translation than anything.

No doubt they are promoting China and Chinese Cycling, but that’s not unusual.