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Amgen Tour of California 2019, May 12-18

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This is a forum in-joke going back to when the race was Andrew Messick's personal hype project in the time when Lance was still active. The race attracted a lot of derision for its absurdly grandiose claims of its position in the calendar (describing itself as the fourth Grand Tour, people like Bob Stapleton and Levi Leipheimer pushing it as one of the most important races of the season, talk in the press of building it up to two weeks and the Giro and Vuelta being shortened to make room for it as a Grand Tour and so on), which to tell the truth it probably never fully recovered from in a PR perspective, even though it did eventually settle into a pretty decent niche, as once it stopped pretending to be something it wasn't and people could just enjoy the race for what it was, it seemed to do OK for itself. But back in those days, we had a few posters who would push the California line hard, either because of parroting the agenda that big name American cyclists and team owners were pushing, because they genuinely wanted to believe, or because they had something against the Giro or, more commonly, the Vuelta, and one of these was Bavarianrider. Bavarianrider pushed the Tour of California hard, defended it tirelessly against criticism in the build-up and hyped the race as hard as they could before it took place. The 2010 Tour of California, however, was a rocky start to its new role, with an embarrassingly bad queen stage, one stage being cut from TV before the finish to go to pre-game baseball, some of the biggest names in the race treating it as a training ride, and going up head-to-head with arguably the best GT of the last 20 years, and overall a big damp squib after all the build-up. While Bavarianrider continued to argue their side, by the end of the race they were reduced to talking about how the race showed off how developed California was, and how the roads had such pristine and beautiful tarmac that other races should aspire to (notwithstanding that one of the best received stages of the Giro it was being judged against was one which had several decisive sections without any tarmac at all).
I think I witnessed that wet edition. Mark Cavendish was way-dropped on the backside Howell Mountain with the harder climbs to come. Cancellera and a few other hit the deck coming down Trinity and cursed the promoters for that stage. Can't say I'd blame them.
 
In hindsight one of the big mistakes was the fact that US-cycling wasn't able to establish a big stage race durning the Lance era.
They could have uses him as the main attraction. Back then most of the big names had the Tour as their main focus, only Spanish and Italian cyclists had their respective gts as their main goals, so they could have attracted a lot of big names durning the Giro or after the Tour/durning the Vuelta.
The Tour of Georgia only lasted a few years, but I still think that the early 2000s were the best moment to establish an important US stage race in recent history.
 
Yes and no. I think a race that had started in the Lance years would run the risk of being overly associated with the Lance years, and would probably be running into the same troubles (increased cost of operations, less governmental assistance than European races receive, calendar clashes with more traditionally popular races) the ToC is this year, but with the addition of a bunch of photos from the race’s early years of America’s most-talked-about-cyclist, possibly in a leader jersey, possibly even on a final podium (in Atlanta, Sacramento, Austin, wherever).

What America needs is a face that becomes as recognized as Lance’s, but squeaky clean and without the baggage. And plaster that face all over the rebooted ToC, or whatever WT event they come up with to replace it.
 
Reactions: Koronin
Jul 5, 2018
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The ship has long ago sailed for any race on par with or more significant than TOC in the US. The cost simply can't be justified without VERY significant financial contributions from an individual or entity that sees promoting a bike race as a philanthropic endeavor.
 
Reactions: Koronin
I think 1 day races may have a better chance than stage races in the US. The new Maryland race will prove if that's true or not. That race will have the ability to draw riders who are getting ready for the two Canadian WT one day races.
 
The ship has long ago sailed for any race on par with or more significant than TOC in the US. The cost simply can't be justified without VERY significant financial contributions from an individual or entity that sees promoting a bike race as a philanthropic endeavor.
This is not a finite timeline game, there’s always a future, and there’s always a space to be found. Look at Strade Bianche or the Tour de Yorkshire; they didn’t exist not so long ago, but now they’re inked into the calendar and Strade is rivaling some of the biggest classics.

I guess what America needs to have a WT race is to find a pocket of fans who will line the road rain or shine, like Yorkshire, or find a defining characteristic that sets it apart from other races, like Strade Bianche. And that’s not necessarily to have a gravel race, but there is something to be said for building off the success of existing, highly successful American events like Dirty Kanza, Leadville, etc, or even RAGBRAI.

It’s a more natural way of creating such an event than to just plonk a major race into somewhere that such a thing has never existed before and expect it to thrive.
 
This is not a finite timeline game, there’s always a future, and there’s always a space to be found. Look at Strade Bianche or the Tour de Yorkshire; they didn’t exist not so long ago, but now they’re inked into the calendar and Strade is rivaling some of the biggest classics.

I guess what America needs to have a WT race is to find a pocket of fans who will line the road rain or shine, like Yorkshire, or find a defining characteristic that sets it apart from other races, like Strade Bianche. And that’s not necessarily to have a gravel race, but there is something to be said for building off the success of existing, highly successful American events like Dirty Kanza, Leadville, etc, or even RAGBRAI.

It’s a more natural way of creating such an event than to just plonk a major race into somewhere that such a thing has never existed before and expect it to thrive.
It looks like there's truth in what you, GFVTA and Koronin have said. It will take a strong and marketable US face(s), perhaps a serious 1 day race aligned with the Canadian events and some good luck. Then an angel cycling lover to bankroll the logistics for something else.

Assuming those possibilities; where would the 1 day event and then the Unicorn/weeklong Tour be held?
 
It looks like there's truth in what you, GFVTA and Koronin have said. It will take a strong and marketable US face(s), perhaps a serious 1 day race aligned with the Canadian events and some good luck. Then an angel cycling lover to bankroll the logistics for something else.

Assuming those possibilities; where would the 1 day event and then the Unicorn/weeklong Tour be held?
I’m gonna be biased and say that California has the population base and economic strength to support the race, and variety of terrain (high mountains, windswept plains and valleys, twisting ocean roads) to provide an all-round test of the riders’ abilities. The only problem is that CA sports fans are so fair weather.

A Fall classic in New England could be amazing picture-postcard stuff. East coast has the advantage of being closer to Europe.

Florida/Texas if you want to compete with the Middle Eastern early-season stage races with bright sunshine and pan-flat routes for the sprinters.
 

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