IF they need another lance Armstrong to start loving the Tour!

I saw this in a well-known Cycling rag this morning} https://www.cyclingweekly.com/racing/tour-de-france/why-american-cycling-needs-a-new-greg-lemond-or-whisper-it-lance-armstrong [ and thought why do Americans need another American before they can love the tour? there are some fine American competitors competing in the UCI tour so why do they simply have to win at any cost before they can love a sport?
Le Mond aside, I well remember what Armstrong did to cycling, it wasn't just the doping but the destruction of anyone or anything he saw as a threat to his way of doing things and making money, it was the apparent need to have the sport do things HIS way at any cost on his crooked journey that did so much damage, on his defective journey he corrupted not only himself, his teammates and managers (Although there is good evidence to show that many of those already in the sport were as bent as a nine bob note! but also those that are supposed to maintain fair play and riders' lifestyle safety the UCI themselves.
Armstrong courted the very worst of people, those such as Michele Ferrari and others who systematically and cynically assisted Armstrong and others to cheat others of their rightful wins. I NEVER want another Armstrong anywhere near the sport it's OK as it is, the US will just have to accept cycling as it is, or live without it is my view.
 
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This is not exclusive to Americans, but it is rather universal across sports and nations. Before Roglic and Pogacar, there were hardly any Slovenians on this forum (can't recall any, honestly), now there are several prominent Slovenian posters. Almeida has woken some rabbit Portuguese cycling fans.

In Belgium women's tennis was huge 20 years ago. But after Henin and Clijsters quit, TV channels can't be arsed to even show Mertens who has semi and quarter finals at Grand Slams on her resumé, as well as doubles titles. Now they show hockey, because Belgium became Olympic/world champion hockey. After decades of motocross (and dozens of motocross worldchampions across leagues) it hardly gets aired anymore.

TV stations/broadcasters need to make money so they will only invest when they know they can raise the interest/viewers and many people need a countryman to identify with. Americans might be some of the worst of the lot, but it's really rather universal imho.
 
In general, Americans don't care about bicycle racing. It is pretty telling that the Tour of California, Tour of Utah, Pro-Cycling Challenge (Colorado), etc have all gone belly up. Just not that much interest in the sport, and that includes the TDF.

A quick look at the viewership #'s confirm it ...

Tues July 19th - The TDF was the 110th highest rated show on cable TV that day in the US with ~343,000 viewers.

https://showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-tuesday-7-19-2022-top-150-cable-originals-network-finals.html

The weekend numbers were about the same.

Amereican's view the TDF in the same way they watch the Olympics. If there is an American competing at the highest levels (ie with a chance to win it all) they will watch anything: swiming, speed skating, biathalon, curling (lol) ... pretty much anything. But if no American's are involved in potential glory, the american public isn't interested as it is not one of their primary sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc).

Furthermore, I don't think the 1) early start times, 2) 4-5 hour days (often quite boring) and 3) the Armstrong affair has endeared the sport to the average american. In fact, most Americans believe that success in cycling is about the teams/riders that run the best doping program ... who cheats the best wins. Fair or not .. that is how the sport brand is viewed in the US

It won't be until the US gets a GC rider that can podium the TDF will American's again watch the sport.
 
American here who is a new cycling fan in the last 2-3 years.

Americans typically aren't sports fans. What they enjoy is celebrity, events and spectacle. When an American is at the top of an international sport, it increases the celebrity and spectacle of the sport, and thus more people tune in (and the media pushes it more and tries to sell more advertising).

I'm a very atypical American in terms of my sports consumption. I more or less loathe the big team sports, and prefer individual sports and especially those that aren't focused on only a few celebrity-level athletes. I tend to watch sports like amateur wrestling, tennis, skiing, and now cycling. I will say that I do also enjoy Formula 1. I actually sometimes even prefer watching a sport at a level a tier or 2 lower than its highest level, where I don't know any of the individuals and can just appreciate the pure competition.
 
@FroomeWagon: Yes, the simple truth is that Americans don't care about cycling, which is only appealing to those who actually like Europe (an increasing rarity today). Any sport that isn't football, baseball or basketball, must have a major international home event to garnish any public appeal, like the US Open (tennis). But it isn't only cycling, but soccer (even though much played at the amateur level) and Formula 1, etc.
 
American here who is a new cycling fan in the last 2-3 years.

Americans typically aren't sports fans. What they enjoy is celebrity, events and spectacle. When an American is at the top of an international sport, it increases the celebrity and spectacle of the sport, and thus more people tune in (and the media pushes it more and tries to sell more advertising).

I'm a very atypical American in terms of my sports consumption. I more or less loathe the big team sports, and prefer individual sports and especially those that aren't focused on only a few celebrity-level athletes. I tend to watch sports like amateur wrestling, tennis, skiing, and now cycling. I will say that I do also enjoy Formula 1. I actually sometimes even prefer watching a sport at a level a tier or 2 lower than its highest level, where I don't know any of the individuals and can just appreciate the pure competition.
While there is of course truth in the bolded and Americans do indeed thrive on those things, the idea that Americans as a whole "aren't sports fans" is just an assertion without evidence. They're just not fans of Olympic sports, generally, except basketball and to a lesser degree hockey. They're HUGE fans of football, baseball, and basketball and are as a whole, deeply knowledgeable on those topics. Fantasy sports leagues, endless talk shows about the details of the sport, great viewing and attendance numbers, etc all go against this claim.

Not being cycling fans or futbol fans as a criticism of Americans, is akin to criticizing the Brits for not being football or basketball fans. Granted. So what? Those of us who are fans of more European sports can stream them whenever we want now.
 
While there is of course truth in the bolded and Americans do indeed thrive on those things, the idea that Americans as a whole "aren't sports fans" is patently ridiculous. They're just not fans of Olympic sports, generally, except basketball and to a lesser degree hockey. They're HUGE fans of football, baseball, and basketball and are as a whole, deeply knowledgeable on those topics.

Not being cycling fans or futbol fans as a criticism of Americans, is akin to criticizing the Brits for not being football or basketball fans. Granted. So what? Those of us who are fans of more European sports can stream them whenever we want now.
Soccer in the US is also becoming more popular, thanks the the availability of most of the major soccer leagues with just two apps(NBC/Peacock and ESPN+). It’s also helpful that US soccer is on the rise.
 
While there is of course truth in the bolded and Americans do indeed thrive on those things, the idea that Americans as a whole "aren't sports fans" is just an assertion without evidence. They're just not fans of Olympic sports, generally, except basketball and to a lesser degree hockey. They're HUGE fans of football, baseball, and basketball and are as a whole, deeply knowledgeable on those topics. Fantasy sports leagues, endless talk shows about the details of the sport, great viewing and attendance numbers, etc all go against this claim.

Not being cycling fans or futbol fans as a criticism of Americans, is akin to criticizing the Brits for not being football or basketball fans. Granted. So what? Those of us who are fans of more European sports can stream them whenever we want now.
You're not understanding what I'm saying.

Yes they of course like sports. But Americans love sports like the NFL or college football where they can have a party on the weekends to watch, or tailgate, or go out to a bar. It also gets more women involved. They like those sports because of the social and "event" nature of them. Also, no surprise that basketball, another popular sport, is a star/celebrity-driven league.

Go to a team sporting event in the U.S. and sit anywhere with good seats. I can't tell you how many of those people got the seats through work, clients, lawyers, etc. So many of those people in attendance often don't even like the sport they are attending -- they just took the tickets because they could get them and they were "good" tickets. None of those people will ever care about that same sport even 1-level down from the top league. The one exception is certain college sports, and again, that tends to be because people get together with college friends in cities, tailgate at the games, etc.

Most Americans who are, for example, tennis fans, other than the really die hard ones, will only care about the Grand Slam tournaments. They care about those because they are spectacles. You could have Nadal and Djokovic playing in the finals of a 500-level tournament in February playing a match as good as any Grand Slam tournament match, and 98% of tennis fans in the U.S. won't know or care.

Something like fantasy football/baseball is a similar thing.

In America, you won't find a ton of people who are really into the sporting nature of a sport. Of course there are some, but it isn't the dominant aspect of our sports-consuming culture.
 
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You're not understanding what I'm saying.

Yes they of course like sports. But Americans love sports like the NFL or college football where they can have a party on the weekends to watch, or tailgate, or go out to a bar. It also gets more women involved. They like those sports because of the social and "event" nature of them. Also, no surprise that basketball, another popular sport, is a star/celebrity-driven league.

Go to a team sporting event in the U.S. and sit anywhere with good seats. I can't tell you how many of those people got the seats through work, clients, lawyers, etc. So many of those people in attendance often don't even like the sport they are attending -- they just took the tickets because they could get them and they were "good" tickets. None of those people will ever care about that same sport even 1-level down from the top league. The one exception is certain college sports, and again, that tends to be because people get together with college friends in cities, tailgate at the games, etc.

Most Americans who are, for example, tennis fans, other than the really die hard ones, will only care about the Grand Slam tournaments. They care about those because they are spectacles. You could have Nadal and Djokovic playing in the finals of a 500-level tournament in February playing a match as good as any Grand Slam tournament match, and 98% of tennis fans in the U.S. won't know or care.

Something like fantasy football/baseball is a similar thing.

In America, you won't find a ton of people who are really into the sporting nature of a sport. Of course there are some, but it isn't the dominant aspect of our sports-consuming culture.
I understand what you're saying, I just don't agree with it as stated. As I said, there is truth in what you say, but I also think you vastly overstate the idea that Americans aren't...real fans...I'll say. I think you overstate the difference in American fandom and that of other countries. It's simply not my experience, being an avid fan of both football and basketball, and living in an area of the US where I can and do go to many live games. Having also grown up around Belgian cycling culture as a kid every other summer, it's clear that there are always a huge number of casual fans of big spectacles like the Tour or the Ronde, and basically no one attending the weekly kermesse by comparison. And people also make a day of it, party, hang out, and basically hardly watch the event in Europe as well.

All this is subjective and I only disagree to the degree which you feel American sports fans have these attributes.
 
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