The stage racing situation in the USA seems to be pretty dire. Most of them died off didn't they ? Maybe Tour of Utah is still alive ? When they are asking riders to pay their own way to the Worlds in Australia, it doesn't augur well for a healthy domestic scene...............Wow Greg Lemond movie w provocative titles.. " only American to win the Tour d France "..certainly a matter of opinion.
And American cycling is trying to kill itself.. Road racing withering into near nothing.. And the bread and butter of US racing criteriums..being cut up for lack of organization and diluted further still by the sudden gravel tsunami that is engulfing the country, if not the world.
US crits have an old school reboot w the NCL an American take on roller derby, bike racing and traditional velodrome points race w 3,2,1 points going to first 3 riders every lap and final sprint..9 winner,6 for second and 3 for 3rd .
Typical and traditional deception for the prize money.. Says over a million..5,6 race series with the catch being sex..prize money is based on combined point teams for women's and men's teams combined.. So as if US race fans couldn't figure anything out..again another rules twist.. The real life result is a good fast paced crit in a good city. Wildcard.. you can substitute riders.so sort of like a mechanical lap..rider can come in drill it for the single sprint and drop out to rest.. So flash in the pan by design.
Rules for lapping the field.. Dumb..if riders are nearby it's better for them to hang back and gsalesmanship.because if they catch sprint points are available to the combined group even though some are a lap down.
And now for the elephant.. Unbound..called the championship of gravel.. Takes place in Kansas.. Cool course 200 miles and a bunch of other distances available depending on ability and desire. The 200 mile event is the mainstay of cheerleading about world class and here on CN everyone looking to see if Valverde or anyone famous, recently or currently is racing.. the short answer is no..Wout no..Van der Poel, Pitcock..no..trade teams..no major names for obvious reasons.. lack of start money and prize money.. US to Europe travel times and expenses.. and European race schedule.. Nobody can break away for a one day event and stay on schedule for Tour d France or other offerings in Europe. In the US it's as if race organizers and bike manufacturers have put all their eggs in the gravel basket.. everything else is scraps..
And when you think things can't get more upside down.. Races,racers,media and federation are mixing up a transgender stew with few major race victories being argued by everyone, from current and ex elite racers,media, general public, race organizations and cycling federation.. so far it's only affecting road,cyclocross,mountain bike and track racing but it's still early.. and for sponsors and people looking for sponsors.. Have to ask what else can go wrong in the sport before almost every sponsor says this thing is radioactive. past,currently and in the future
Very very soon American cycling audience will see and hear people say that National Cycling League is world class, as good as it gets and at the same time watch 3 weeks of Tour coverage and competition and wonder if the claims by American race promoters are 99.9% hype or 110% salesmanship