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Amgen Tour of California 2019, May 12-18

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Nov 20, 2018
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Just got a post on my FB to say that the ToC will not take place in 2020.
Slightly extreme reaction to Sagan deciding to ride the Giro instead....

I am not sure about slightly :)

I thin that Sagan (Bora,Specialized) was informed that they consider/decided to not orginize the race in 2020. It may play an important motive in his decision to ride the Giro.
 
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I think that the most interesting way would be to make a really joint races as in the Czech and Slovak NCs. That is, same route and same starting time for both men and women (OTL rules may differ). As in NCs there should be two official results list, while the combined positions would be unofficial and maybe used for TT(T).


I presume that the results in such a race would be very surprising.
That would be cool too, especially considering that there are teams that have both a men's and a women's division. However, it might be too much for some people to have every stage like that, so maybe just one stage, perhaps the last.
 
I imagine the main reasons were rising costs and lack of sponsors. I just spend a week in central and northern California, and lived in the state in 1990s, and I cannot imagine how much it would have cost to close, say, Highway 1 for even half a day. Not to mention insurance, medical care etc.

Sadly the US is just not set up for WC racing. There are so many great opportunities to stage one-day classics, and yet Canada has managed to get two on the UCI calendar while the US has zilch. There are hundreds of thousands of cycling fans in the US but the scene is spread out over the whole country so there's no critical mass anywhere.
 
Dec 21, 2015
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Wise words there. I did the Etape du Tour this year, and it was a blast, even though I paid dearly for it. and rode with 15000 others. Tack on a pro division and, hey, you've got a cycling race like Dirty Kanza.
It's also the way that British Cycling are moving with the British National Championships - setting up a "Festival of Cycling" with a sportive and various family events, which not only generate cash to support the elite races, but also makes the event as a whole more attractive to any potential host towns because more people/visitors will be likely to attend...
 
Etape de California the last couple of years has taken place a month after the race itself, and the years it’s been in NorCal they’ve done an out-and-back that barely paid lip service to the race route. At least in SoCal they got to actually go up Baldy/Gibraltar. That’s something that needed fixing. I’m sure the events themselves were great, but my interest in it would have been to ride part of the race route, and do it a day or two before or after the competitors (or even the same day...)
 
Wasn't Lappartient all about going global with the sport of cycling?

I've always wanted an American one-day race like the Dirty Dozen on the WT calendar instead of the more comprehensive stage race format.

You could race it in the early autumn just before the Laurentian Classics.
 
Right, even if it isn't because of the equality law, it would still be rather cool if the organisers use this hiatus to actually make equal races for the men and the women. One thing I've noticed is that quite often when there is a woman's race at the same day as a men's race (same race, not like... the Giro Rosa overlapping with the Tour de France) the women's race will be treated almost as a "warm up" event before the "main race". However, why not switch it up a little? Have them take turns for who starts first.
As for the ITT - if such is held - does it even need to be "first the women and then the men" (or the other way)? If the stages before are completely identical, surely it'd be possible to make an "overall GC" for both, then send them off according to that.
This is a complaint I've had across all sports. They do it in football (soccer) too and I can see why they think it's a good idea but it does entrench the idea that womens sport is of a lesser value. I think the best way to support women's racing is to ensure that quality events are arranged and teams are supported to attend them. Mandatory Monuments for women would be a good starting point along with mandatory stage races for GT events. These don't necessarily have to happen at the same time as the mens GTs.

I've been able to attend a fair bit of racing in Glasgow over the past few years, from local CX, road, TT, hill climbs etc. to the Commonwealths, Euros and, in future, the Worlds. The womens racing has been at least as exciting as the mens, the difference is the media and promotion around the races and the riders. Drop the rider names and the spectacle is the same or better, so the product is good. They need to give it the proper platform for display now, rather than treating it like an afterthought. Taking the upcoming Track World Cup in Glasgow, the biggest draws will be Katie Archibald, Neah Evans, Jack Carlin and John Archibald, local riders done good. Of those riders, I would think Neah and Katie are the ones most people would specifically be going to see because people here know who they are through the media and want to see them race. There is clearly a desire to see womens racing when it's given the same platform as mens.




Back on topic, I doubt the law has anything to do with it. Haven't Amgen been involved for 15 years, since the beginning? That's a long time for a sponsor. I think it's more likely they have had their money's worth, no longer see the value in it and the organisers need time to try and secure another sponsor. JVs idea isn't a bad one. I doubt it would support the whole race but the guaranteed income from riders and increased tourism during the event would both offset sponsor costs and provide host towns/cities with an easier sell to the local population who will be disrupted.
 
Oct 28, 2019
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I always thought it was strange to have a maker of EPO sign on as a title sponsor for a big-time Stage Race. I realize cancer treatment takes many forms.. but still, it was a bit unsightly.
 
Right, even if it isn't because of the equality law, it would still be rather cool if the organisers use this hiatus to actually make equal races for the men and the women. One thing I've noticed is that quite often when there is a woman's race at the same day as a men's race (same race, not like... the Giro Rosa overlapping with the Tour de France) the women's race will be treated almost as a "warm up" event before the "main race". However, why not switch it up a little? Have them take turns for who starts first.
As for the ITT - if such is held - does it even need to be "first the women and then the men" (or the other way)? If the stages before are completely identical, surely it'd be possible to make an "overall GC" for both, then send them off according to that.
I like the idea of blending the TT start list. Leader of men’s and women’s races as the last 2 off, and the rest of the start list determined by time behind (ie, if the 2nd place woman is 30s down, she goes after the 2nd place man who is 45s down).

I think there’s a lot to be learned from tennis, who, for better or worse, have successfully blended their biggest competitions so that the top women have equal or near equal recognition with the men. I grew up watching Navratilova and Evert and Seles and Sanchez-Vicario as much as I did Becker and Sampras and Agassi.
 
It's also the way that British Cycling are moving with the British National Championships - setting up a "Festival of Cycling" with a sportive and various family events, which not only generate cash to support the elite races, but also makes the event as a whole more attractive to any potential host towns because more people/visitors will be likely to attend...
Just as long as they follow the template of the National Championships, and not RideLondon, Innsbruck, Tokyo or others where the generating of cash clearly only applies to the men's event, because the opening up of the course to the everyman takes place while the women's race is going on, relegating them to a crappy crit course while the men get to do the full race. No amount of equal prize money and income generated from the everyman ride while the women get an hour-long pan-flat circuit race can make me think that that isn't counter-productive and disrespectful.

At least while one of the women's Tour of California stages was like that, the rest of the time, shorter race though it may be, they got to at least do some decently tough racing, aping the Lake Tahoe and Mount Baldy stages the last couple of years.

I totally get the - especially in less established pro cycling markets, which apart from a couple of boom periods coinciding with high profile Americans in the pro péloton, the USA has been - interest in maintaining interest and income from doing an everyman race, maybe even at the same time, along similar lines to Visma Ski Classics or high profile marathons (though obviously that would preclude circuit races), but we shouldn't be left with a situation - as we sometimes are, and continue to be in London - where the amateur women are able to ride a tougher course than the pros are allowed to. That's just absurd.

Maybe there could be a revival of the old 'Open' days with something akin to the Coors Classic with the pro péloton setting off a short period before the everyman. Set the elite men off, then the elite women a few minutes later, then the amateurs. À la Vasaloppet. Bring back the Morgul-Bismark Loop and the Tour of the Moon. Those were absolutely key to Colorado not achieving full buy-in imo. Those were among the very few truly iconic cycling sites and landmarks that America had that could give us photographs and images that buy into cycling tradition in a similar way as that with which we look at iconic images of places like the Casse Déserte, the Sottoguda gorge, the Santuário de Covadonga, the Trouée d'Arenberg, Mondim de Basto or La Porta per l'Inferno.
 
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Jul 5, 2018
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I suspect it was likely the straw that broke the camel's back. They had be losing money for a few years, but the new laws likely ended up with the organization and sponsors decided it wasn't worth it to keep going. For me, I get the intent of the law, but unfortunately when it was passed I was afraid this was going to happen. You can't legislate full equality in sports. You have to have the fan support and sponsor support or it won't happen. They do mention financing as a reason for shutting down the race.
Amgen has had a long run in cycling, but are also dealing with almost 10 years of financial struggles internally.

The third-quarter revenue drop followed a 3% decline in the second quarter and flat sales for the first quarter of 2019.
Patent losses and competition have obviously taken a toll. Sensipar sales slipped 73% to $109 million during the third quarter, while Neulasta fell 32% to $711 million. Neupogen and Epogen sales declined by 36% and 15%, respectively, to $54 million and $215 million

That is just this year!
 
Maybe there could be a revival of the old 'Open' days with something akin to the Coors Classic with the pro péloton setting off a short period before the everyman. Set the elite men off, then the elite women a few minutes later, then the amateurs.
This could work, an established mass-start 'everyman' event can have 'waves' in which a professional division starts first, and the participants' entry fees pay for prize money for the pros, and for the logistics of the event. In fact I 'raced' Rahsaan Bahati in that manner... haha, within that premise, it's just a joke that 4-watt-per-kilogram amateurs are going to catch the professionals, but it's a real race, which in theory, anyone can win. Then having more of these 'hybrid' pro/am races supports cycling in general, and in turn makes a WT race more like to be re-established in the USA. The 'camping-out stage racing', with the amateur masses following the same parcours as a marquee stage-race event, to me, seems unlikely, but one-day races certainly can work well
 
Hopefully the race will be back for 2021, maybe moving a step down from WT if necessary.
Unfortunately that's highly unlikely. When a race goes away for a year it's very, very rare for it to come back. If they don't have the money for next year taking a year off isn't going to help secure more money for future races. The new law could scare away new organizers from even attempting something in California.
 
Unfortunately that's highly unlikely. When a race goes away for a year it's very, very rare for it to come back. If they don't have the money for next year taking a year off isn't going to help secure more money for future races. The new law could scare away new organizers from even attempting something in California.
Giro di Sicilia came back. Though, hopefully in this case it'll be a bit sooner than over 40 years, but that's just me being an egotistical ***!
 
Dec 21, 2015
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Just as long as they follow the template of the National Championships, and not RideLondon, Innsbruck, Tokyo or others where the generating of cash clearly only applies to the men's event, because the opening up of the course to the everyman takes place while the women's race is going on, relegating them to a crappy crit course while the men get to do the full race. No amount of equal prize money and income generated from the everyman ride while the women get an hour-long pan-flat circuit race can make me think that that isn't counter-productive and disrespectful.
Yes, I totally agree.
I don't know about future years, but in this year's champs in Norwich, both men & women raced on a large single-loop parcours, with the difference being that the men did some extra laps out in the countryside to add extra distance. The women's race was 4+hrs with the men's around 6hrs. Both races finished in the centre of Norwich, so it provided a pretty equal platform, which was good to see.
The sportive took place on the same day but on a different route I think, albeit with the women's race taking place in the afternoon there was more interaction with the women's race. Although again, good to see was the fact that the women's race took priority, so it was the sportive riders who were stopped at junctions for 10mins to allow the women's race convoy to come through...
 
Oct 31, 2019
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Many years ago we had the "Tour de Trump" which became the Tour DuPont. Someone needs to get a bug in the President's ear about bringing back the Tour de Trump with federal dollars. With the ego on Donald, we would probably get about a billion $ to fund a pretty nice race in the Northeast/mid Atlantic with a finishing circuit around the mall in D.C..
 
Aesthetically, a race starting in New England and finishing in Pittsburgh area (I'd love to see the pro-riders tackle Canton Avenue!) would be an improvement. Especially if you pass the historical monuments dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. You don't have the big mountain passes but there are some difficult hills and older routes you could use.

I've been to California a couple of times. It's an amazing experience. But watching the peloton on wide roads in arid areas is monotonous as hell.
 
Many years ago we had the "Tour de Trump" which became the Tour DuPont. Someone needs to get a bug in the President's ear about bringing back the Tour de Trump with federal dollars. With the ego on Donald, we would probably get about a billion $ to fund a pretty nice race in the Northeast/mid Atlantic with a finishing circuit around the mall in D.C..
Yers, with the impeachment Donald would welcome d
Many years ago we had the "Tour de Trump" which became the Tour DuPont. Someone needs to get a bug in the President's ear about bringing back the Tour de Trump with federal dollars. With the ego on Donald, we would probably get about a billion $ to fund a pretty nice race in the Northeast/mid Atlantic with a finishing circuit around the mall in D.C..
Yes, with Donald's impeachment looming, I am sure he would donate billions of tax dollars, to fund the uber popular sport of pro cycling in the USA, MAGA!
 
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Many years ago we had the "Tour de Trump" which became the Tour DuPont. Someone needs to get a bug in the President's ear about bringing back the Tour de Trump with federal dollars. With the ego on Donald, we would probably get about a billion $ to fund a pretty nice race in the Northeast/mid Atlantic with a finishing circuit around the mall in D.C..
Congress, and specifically the House, controls federal money.
 
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