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Livestrong will be at Gila

Mar 10, 2009
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Come on, how lame.

At least when ProTour teams do this at the Early Aussie Races they split up and each ride on separate teams to really help out the Conti teams and hopefully spread the competition around. I hope the Conti teams let them ride at the front and never take a pull the whole way. The Conti teams should always ride on the opposite side of the road from them as well. :rolleyes:
 
Mar 10, 2009
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WHAT? How is this lame? Lame like not having the race at all?

If you were an investor in a company that came in and barely saved the company, what would be your first marketing move if you have the likes of LA, Levi and Horner to help promote the company? They are not a full team, but they will bring more attention to all the Conti teams and the OTHER team sponsors will get more exposure than they EVER would have gotten on their own. This race wouldn't even exist without SRAM and this move was a very important part of the deal. The UCI tried killing it, and while these guys will be the talk of the race, the publicity it will bring to the other teams, riders and sponsors is priceless!
 
I struggle a bit with this ... it smacks a bit of manouvering around the rules to me.

There is a reason why a sport has different categories of competition - it's to allow for different folk to find a level and to compete against each other in a meaningful way. And yes it's completely contrived by the rules but that'sthe point.

I am sure there are some riders that would love to line up with some of the best in the World and see how they compare and I am equally sure that there are as many who are unhappy about their event being hijacked by the Lance show.

It's hard to tell what the feeling around the actual event is ... do they welcome the attention that this will bring ... is this what is needed to save the event? Do we have any folks that are in (or around) the race that would like to comment?

Overall - I am not sure this a way to create viable and sustainable competition.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Kudos to all involved

Kudos to USA cycling, the UCI, SRAM etc for making this happen. This event had 1 foot in the grave and is now getting lot's of exposure. This is good for US Cycling, the Gila community, and will be a thrill for all those entered this week.
 
sdmike said:
Kudos to USA cycling, the UCI, SRAM etc for making this happen. This event had 1 foot in the grave and is now getting lot's of exposure. This is good for US Cycling, the Gila community, and will be a thrill for all those entered this week.

I hope you are right - and if everyone at the event is happy than that's great. Still leaves some questions for me...
 
Apr 28, 2009
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Cool.

They'll be going right by my house tomorrow, heading to Mogollon. I think it will be great to see the Astana guys down here, and a big economic boost for the area. They have a big feed for the teams after the race tomorrow in Glenwood.

If the UCI had uniformly enforced the rule it would be one thing, but they haven't.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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The scoop:
USA Cycling reached an agreement with the International Cycling Union.

The deal allows up to three members of a pro team to race individually without a team car or team director. The agreement was forged by USA Cycling's chief operating officer, Sean Petty, and UCI president Pat McQuaid in Europe, where they were attending UCI road meetings.

Astana riders (Armstrong, Leipheimer, Horner),plan to race wearing jerseys representing Mellow Johnny's, Armstrong's bike store in Austin. The BMC team that had entered an eight-man squad will also be allowed three members and must wear neutral jerseys.

IMO it’s a win, win for all parties involved and a much needed shot in the arm bit of publicity for Gila.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Gila race

So it looks like that if the "great Armstrong" doesn't show up at a race, then USA cycling goes down the tubes.

This is a very sad state of affairs and makes me wish that he had simply stayed away in retirement.," Come on boys, let's beat up on the small fry"..easier than racing in Europe where the fans are more knowlegable and perhaps a bit hostile.Why didn't they also invite Contador along to make it an easy 1, 2, 3...Oh, I forgot,,he is probably doing some real event on the Continent with the rest of the Big Boys.

If the State of New Mexico wanted to make a statement, why not have all the riders dress up as aliens and include Roswell.

Having said all this, thanks to the sponsors for stepping up and keeping the event alive and also keeping the Astana team away from the other races so that they would lose the edge against riders doing Pro-Tour Races.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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This is good for cycling. Sponsors will recieve maximum exposure and continue to do their part for the sport we all love. Not to mention the benefit to the community where the event is taking place.
 
I'm pleased they'll be able to ride because I'd like to do the race in the next couple of years and anything that raises the profile and exposure for the race, the better. Probably wishful thinking, but maybe next time they're having financial difficulties, LA will pony up a check?

As far as the rule is concerned, I don't really like it, but they rarely enforce it. Riders do small, non-UCI races in their home nations all the time. Like everything else, this got blown up because Lance was involved.
 
I do agree with other posters that this is certainly good for the sponsors, good for the race, and *perhaps* good for domestic US cycling as a whole. I say "perhaps" because I'm certain that it's NOT going to be good for several Cat 1's who otherwise had a shot to win it and get the contract they've been seeking and likewise not good for existing domestic pros who otherwise had a shot to win.

Yes, sponsors and the governing bodies are important, without which we would not have the sport and big races to watch. But we also would not have these things without the riders, and I know from personal experience and from my friends just how difficult it is to be a neo-pro in the US and even first make the jump to a pro squad. These folks are often not getting paid at all (but are getting racing expenses covered) and face very difficult economic circumstances pursuing this great sport.

Now, all that being said, perhaps the ends may justify the means in this case but I fear that we may be sacrificing some up-and-coming riders for the overall health of the sport. I guess that's just how it is and has always been though.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Actually I disagree that it's bad for the other riders. Over the last week I've spoken to almost a dozen of the riders from Ouch, Bmc and Fly V. All of them were excited that LA, Levi and Horner would be there. The reason is that it's good for them in every way. Most feel that with only 3 riders from Astana the continental teams have a strong shot at at least a stage, and still a GC possibility. Lance brings press to the race. Press is what you need if your on a continental team looking to get your name out there. If you can do well in a stage you get publicity. If LA didn't show up at the race and you won the GC you'd be nothing more than a bi-line in a blurb somewhere.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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I've raced at Gila way back in the day and I have a friend who won it (though even farther back in the day). He did get a good contract the next season but I think if you were 2nd to Armstrong or Leipheimer that'd look pretty good on a resume too. And personally, though I was far from contending for wins when I raced there I would've loved to have some big-name pros there. Maybe a handful of GC contenders are bummed about this but I bet all the rest of the pack fill are stoked. And it raises the profile of a great event, which generally is a good thing.
 
Typical UCI under McQuaid: The rules don't apply to Armstrong.

Leipheimer beating up on such famous and illustrious squads as Now-Ms Society, Nashvillecyclist.Com, U23 Lombardi Sports, Bike Religion, and Cyclepaths/Wild Cherries when he could have been in europe riding Romandie, Trentino, and/or the Ardennes classics makes me think the guy is a real turd. It must be about as much challenge to him as racing against the nine to fivers in an MS 150.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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This brings sandbagging to a whole new level, when you get special permission from the UCI to sandbag.

I guess Lance's trophy case had an empty spot in it. Giro, Gila, same thing right?
 
Apr 28, 2009
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Former local's view

I grew up in Silver City and am extremely pleased that Armstrong, Horner & Leipheimer will be racing the Gila. This will bring the attention that this race deserves and will be an incredible shot in the arm for the local economy. Gila already was the biggest event of the year for the area, filling the hotels and restaurants. It's been a rough year for the area's economy with hundreds of people losing their jobs at the copper mines, so this place could use some good news.

There are two elements that put this race a cut above the rest. The first is the race organization. The race director, Jack Brennan, is probably the best race director in the US. Somehow he has kept this race going despite a revolving door of title sponsors over the past 10 years. Sram will be the longest running title sponsor the race has had since the Scott Nichol days. On a personal note, my father died 10 years ago when he was hit from behind by a car on the road to the time trial course. That year Jack renamed the time trial in my father's memory. Thank you Jack.

The second element is the terrain. The Gila is truly epic. I drove neutral support one year for the Gila Monster stage of the Pro race and watched race leader Bart Bowen come within inches of being taken out by a black bear crossing the road. I had my first ever mountain lion encounter on that same stretch of road...he was a big boy! The pavement is marginal to good at best, NM loves its chip seal. The Sapillo descent is probably the most hair raising descent LA will experience this year. Watch the high speed blind decreasing radius corner that is banked the wrong way Lance.

As far as the whole Lance is going to ruin the race for all the Cat. 1's thing goes. I highly doubt that you will find a single Cat 1 who is signed up for Gila upset that he will be there. The Astana guys are not sandbagging they are racing the highest category, its not like they signed up for the cat 3's. I also know that there are some Gila veterans (Swindlehurst, et al) who will do their best to make the race hard for Astana.

I wish the best of luck to Jack, the volunteers and all the racers. This is going to be a very unique Gila.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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absolutely correct Jaylew

to quote Jaylew earlier, if anyone was reading
"As far as the rule is concerned, I don't really like it, but they rarely enforce it. Riders do small, non-UCI races in their home nations all the time. Like everything else, this got blown up because Lance was involved."

It's a simple fact that it is a rarely enforced rule. The question is why enforce it now. I can tell you for a fact the organizers and participants are thrilled with the outcome.
 
Apr 2, 2009
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I love cycling.....

This is for the good of the sport. Participation is what it is about.
What I would like to see is the Pro Tour riders only get a placing but not the prize money. It should go to the first non-Pro Tour rider to cross the finish line, I am assuming that a Pro Tour rider will win the race. (what a nut)
 
Apr 28, 2009
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Bmc???

has anyone taken the time to consider the implications for BMC in all of this?

Pro-conti teams have always been able to race NRC races and these teams have helped increased the level of cycling in the U.S. These teams have also given a number of americans the in-between step needed between a domestic team and a full ProTour team. Taking away the opportunity for these riders to race in their home country while also aspiring in Europe is a nearsighted decision that will only hinder the development of American cyclists. Also of note is that BMC fields more American riders at domestic NRC races than many of the continental teams. If we're going to enforce this rule, we might as well limit the number of foreign riders on Continental teams, as most European countries do.

I know Lance is BIG news for this event, but this decision is BAD news for American cycling.
 

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