Plugge Reveals Ambitions for ONE Cycling, Advocates for Formula 1-Inspired Racing Schedule

Richard Plugge, the team manager of Visma-Lease a Bike, recently shared his vision for the future of cycling, advocating for a significant transformation similar to Formula 1’s racing structure. This proposed change comes as part of the ambitious ONE Cycling initiative, aiming for its debut in the 2026 WorldTour cycle.

ONE Cycling is designed to revolutionize the sport by forming a new entity that connects teams, race organizers, and the UCI. This entity’s focus will be on developing new financial avenues, including the commercialization of broadcast rights for smaller races and the promotion of athletes’ image rights.

Despite current delays in the project, Plugge highlighted ONE Cycling’s objectives in a recent interview with Belgian news site De Tijd. He emphasized the need for a more structured and profitable racing calendar, taking cues from the success of sports like Formula 1. Plugge pointed out that races featuring circuits, such as the Tour of Flanders, are not only more profitable but also provide a safer environment.

“He gets surrounded by screaming young fans, those young people do not rush towards Jonas Vingegaard or other top riders. I want to change that,” he told De Tijd.

Since taking over his team in 2012, Plugge has successfully tapped into diverse revenue sources, including documentaries, fan club memberships, and an online store. However, he believes that cycling, in general, has not fully leveraged its potential in these areas over the past decade.

Plugge’s vision for ONE Cycling is to redefine the sport’s landscape over the next ten years. He argues that the real competition for cycling isn’t other teams or organizers, but all forms of entertainment, including popular sports and figures like professional boxer Jake Paul. To compete, Plugge stresses the importance of creating a recognizable and engaging format for cycling events.

The Dutch director acknowledges the challenges of restructuring cycling to mirror Formula 1’s model, a concept that has faced resistance in the past. Despite this, he sees a growing demand for reform and cites Tomas Van Den Spiegel of Flanders Classics as a key supporter. Plugge believes that reformatting races to include circuits, as seen in the Tour of Flanders, can enhance security, benefit the environment, and increase revenue through ticket and VIP package sales.

Plugge’s proposal aims not just to reorganize the sport’s structure but to elevate it to a level where it can effectively compete with other forms of entertainment, capitalizing on its untapped potential.


a 35-year-old web developer and cycling coach based in Boulder, Colorado. Over the past ten years, my passion for cycling has transformed from a casual hobby into a way of life. As a lover of all things cycling, I am thrilled to share my journey with others who share the same enthusiasm for this incredible sport.