Mehdi Sohrabi is a generous man.
The Iranian rider who was the top UCI points leader of the 2011 Asia Tour. Thanks to his significant 327 point total he was able to sign a contract with ProTour team Lotto Ridley. However, when Sohrabi heard that Liguigas-Cannondale rider Ted King hasn’t earned a single UCI point, he decided to donate some of his own.
“I am new to the ProTour but I would like to show my fellow riders that I am a man who is always ready to help,” said Sohrabi. WHen I heard of Mr. Kings’ plight, my decision was easy. Just give me some of my points.”
The Iranian plans to give King 25 of the points his gained this season while riding for the Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team. “It is not a lot, but I hope is something that he can use. He is a deserving man,” said Sohrabi.
While King and fellow American Timmy Duggan have been a valuable assets to big talents like Peter Sagan and sprinter Elia Viviani, those efforts have not earned him any of the currency of his sport.
“It’s not something I’m stewing on. I’m a domestique, I’m a support rider. I’m not out there searching for points,” said King. “I would rather show what I can do as a rider than go chasing points and messing up the politics of the team.”
Reached for comment on the generous and unexpected gift, King was at a loss for words. “Wow, did he really do that? I mean, that’s pretty cool of him to help me out,” said King. “I’ve never met the guy but he sounds like a class act.”
Current UCI bylaws are unclear on whether such a points gift is permissible. UCI spokesman Alan Ducassise was not able to clarify the situation. “It’s an unusual circumstance. We’ve never had to deal with something like this before,” said Ducassise. “UCI points are quite valuable but it’s hard to say under what conditions one could grant them to someone else.”
Whatever the ruling by the UCI, Sohrabi doesn’t want the points back. “I give them to Ted King. They are his and he is free to do with them what he likes,” he said. “You cannot measure a man by points anyway. You must look him in the eye. If there is honor, that is all that matters.”
Unfortunately for Sohrabi, his new director sportif Mark Sergeant took a dim view of the UCI points giveaway. “We signed him just for his points, so we could get a ProTeam license,” said Sergeant. “So now he’s giving them away? We’re going to have to sit him down and explain things. This is not a good idea.”
Ted King however is already planning a new signature line for himself: “I am Ted King. I have UCI Points.”