Amgen Tour of California 2019, May 12-18

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My comment about Sagan was a little tongue-in-cheek. He was always going to ride the Giro at some stage in his career, no matter how much Specialized want him to stop by HQ.

Also, since we’ve now heard that some mayors were talking to the ToC organizers just 24 hrs before the announcement, I think we can take it that Sagan probably made his decision regardless of the fate of Amgen or whoever.
 
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My comment about Sagan was a little tongue-in-cheek. He was always going to ride the Giro at some stage in his career, no matter how much Specialized want him to stop by HQ.

Also, since we’ve now heard that some mayors were talking to the ToC organizers just 24 hrs before the announcement, I think we can take it that Sagan probably made his decision regardless of the fate of Amgen or whoever.
You'd hope so. If the race comes back...oh; who am I kidding?
 
Hmm... realised that we have a pretty good example of the mistaken belief that Nobody wants to watch women's sport:
The other US "C race"; Colorado. Brave choice of the organisers to decide to keep only the women's race, unfortunately they didn't keep the broadcasting...
 
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I think he'd make his decision on the basis of the size of the appearance fee RCS dangled under his nose.

With the book not selling well and a divorce and kid to pay for, guy's gotta follow the money... ;)
I’d say RCS have driven the same truck, full of the same stack of Euros, past his house every year since his first Worlds win. He can only hold out so long
 
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I find it interesting that a conversation about people's interest in watching cycling has led to questioning whether one cyclist who happens to be a social media favorite could be responsible for the demise of an entire race. That premise should be found to be insulting to fans of the sport.
 
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I find it interesting that a conversation about people's interest in watching cycling has led to questioning whether one cyclist who happens to be a social media favorite could be responsible for the demise of an entire race. That premise should be found to be insulting to fans of the sport.
American sports viewers are a fickle bunch.

The question is more about what factors have moved the dial and how far, that the race has apparently become unsustainable for the organizers and sponsors, and at short notice, too. The lack of Sagan in 2020 might be a (however small) factor. Though they have survived the past few years since Jens moved to the commentary role.

But if it is a factor, it’s likely to be a small part of the puzzle, hence us discussing other factors such as women’s race viewing figures, can participation, alternate race formats etc etc on this thread since the “hiatus” was announced.
 
I find it interesting that a conversation about people's interest in watching cycling has led to questioning whether one cyclist who happens to be a social media favorite could be responsible for the demise of an entire race. That premise should be found to be insulting to fans of the sport.
Why?

Scenario: Sagan chooses Giro over AToC. A major sponsor (maybe one with a specialised relationship with the race) says sod this for a game of cowboys, we're following him to Italy. AEG/ASO do the math. The plug gets pulled.

As has been noted - but rather overlooked by a bunch of fans tossing in their tuppenceworth on how to fix American cycling and why women are rubbish - host towns were talking to the race just twelve hours before the plug was pulled.
 
I find it interesting that a conversation about people's interest in watching cycling has led to questioning whether one cyclist who happens to be a social media favorite could be responsible for the demise of an entire race. That premise should be found to be insulting to fans of the sport.
Another "Why".
Cycling fans should be well aware that the Stars of the sport are compensated to appear at events just like tennis and gold stars. Most racers have careers that are short and having an emissary/VIP role to represent the sport lasts past the days of pedaling. Sagan's departure itself wouldn't kill an event that wasn't already on it's last gasp. Again, USA Cycling along with many other local and regional governments have made every level of racing in the US very, very expensive to promote. The Cascade Classic in Bend, Oregon was a very interesting race to compete in but very few fans could see any stages other than the criterium due to remote mountain course routes. Bend government and local volunteers were very supportive but USA Cycling continued to raise the required fees. The Pro teams also expect to have as much of their expenses covered as possible.
Fans should be irritated, not insulted.
 

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Another "Why".
Cycling fans should be well aware that the Stars of the sport are compensated to appear at events just like tennis and gold stars. Most racers have careers that are short and having an emissary/VIP role to represent the sport lasts past the days of pedaling. Sagan's departure itself wouldn't kill an event that wasn't already on it's last gasp. Again, USA Cycling along with many other local and regional governments have made every level of racing in the US very, very expensive to promote. The Cascade Classic in Bend, Oregon was a very interesting race to compete in but very few fans could see any stages other than the criterium due to remote mountain course routes. Bend government and local volunteers were very supportive but USA Cycling continued to raise the required fees. The Pro teams also expect to have as much of their expenses covered as possible.
Fans should be irritated, not insulted.
I completely agree. I raced Cascade many times. It was a great event and a great example of USA Cycling's role in the disappearance of events.
 
Why?

Scenario: Sagan chooses Giro over AToC. A major sponsor (maybe one with a specialised relationship with the race) says sod this for a game of cowboys, we're following him to Italy. AEG/ASO do the math. The plug gets pulled.

As has been noted - but rather overlooked by a bunch of fans tossing in their tuppenceworth on how to fix American cycling and why women are rubbish - host towns were talking to the race just twelve hours before the plug was pulled.
This. The towns wanted the race. Spectators have shown up for it. Even big cities cared about it (I’ve been to the stage finish in Downtown Sacramento the last 2 years and it was crowded both times). It was interesting reading the Nevada City mayor’s comments about how they get people coming to visit long after the race left, saying that’s where they heard about the town.
 

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This. The towns wanted the race. Spectators have shown up for it. Even big cities cared about it (I’ve been to the stage finish in Downtown Sacramento the last 2 years and it was crowded both times). It was interesting reading the Nevada City mayor’s comments about how they get people coming to visit long after the race left, saying that’s where they heard about the town.
The US Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado was partially (largely?) funded by the state tourism commission as a marketing tool for the state as a whole and not just the host towns. It would be interesting to talk to local decision makers and get their take on the real value of spending money to host a start or finish. Was it ever really about the bike race?
 
Reposting this article from last week, where a Nevada City Council member spoke about the race:
Strawser said the move was so unexpected that tour officials were coordinating with him just 12 hours prior to the hiatus announcement.

“Nobody saw it coming, even for me as someone who maintains a close relationship with the folks that run the race. I was caught off guard.” Strawser said. “All the cities I’ve spoken to that had contracts for stages next year along with us, it caught everyone off guard.”

Nevada City, which was a stage host city for the Amgen Tour in 2010, 2011 and 2015, would have seen an influx of up to 40,000 people on race day and doled out around $50,000 in guaranteed merchant service contracts, according to Strawser.

Strawser said that while the direct economic benefits may have made up for 10 to 20% of losses suffered from recent public safety power shutoffs, the business community would continue to feel indirect benefits years down the line.

“Really it’s about the buildup, it’s the months before and all the hype once they announce the cities that are hosting,” Strawser said. “We have people who come years later based on seeing us on TV during the race. It’s a long-term ripple effect of economic benefit for our tourist-based economy.”

According to Strawser, who also owns Tour of Nevada City bike shop and was leading the effort to bring the Amgen Tour to Nevada City, said the city would incorporate surrounding communities and would have been the second-to-last leg of the tour, with racers traveling north from Southern California before ending in Sacramento.

“The whole town would have been shut down. This is like a traveling circus,” Strawser said. “This event trumps everything else put together we have in our county tenfold, as far as international exposure.”
 

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Reposting this article from last week, where a Nevada City Council member spoke about the race:
That is obviously one individual's (maybe the community as a whole) take on the situation. Nevada City is a very small town. 4000 residents maybe. Of course 40,000 people coming to town ( if that # is correct) is going to have a huge impact economically.
In 2012 the US Pro Challenge attracted their largest crowds ever at the stage that finished in Boulder. Local merchants saw no increase in spending. They over staffed just in case, causing an even greater negative economic impact to their business. That being said, almost all merchants were supportive of seeking the races return.
 
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Is the Tour ever really about the bike race?

Most all of sport's mega-events sell themselves to local hosts on the basis of economic impact.
The Tour is a bit of a different situation. In regards to an event like California, is the economic impact sold as race day numbers, or the potential economic impact spread throughout the year as part of an overall marketing strategy. My guess is that it was sold as both, but most communities don't measure much of a positive impact on the day of the event.
 

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Do you really think that the UCI would commission a study that found otherwise? I'm sure if you asked the Richmond World's organization about the weeks impact on the area, you would find nothing but positives. Ask them why there was no backing for a one day UCI race in the years after. My guess is that their answer won't be that people were afraid of so much success again.
 
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Sagan not going is not close to the only reason that the race would be cancelled. If that is the "reason" for the cancellation, there were a lot of other problems going on. That would be the same as saying when Valverde retires la Vuelta a Murcia will be cancelled all because their star rider is retired and thus not racing there anymore. The reason they aren't expanding to a 3 day race for 2020 as they had hoped is due to all the flooding from the rain storm they had this year, but are keeping it a 2 day race for 2020.
 
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