Tour of CA moved to May. Excellent.

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Apr 9, 2009
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Wake Up?

Mate come on, are you that niave in thinking most of the pro peleton are interested in riding a half decent race thousands of miles away from there bases in europe?
Its ok in feb as its a gimmick something different none really takes it seriously its like a training race the same as the TDU.
What your talking about is typical American attitude. "We will hold a bike race, And it will be the best"
 
So I read the conclusion like this:

PROS: More scenic routes with more challenging mountains and therefore a better spectacle for the cycling fans.

CON: The spectacle will be between class 2 riders.

This reminds me of my national Tour of Colombia. Half of the field probably rides for free and we never have weather changes. I guess they do it for the passion of the sport. The spectacle is incredible but almost nobody watches.

Unless riders start riding for free in the Tour of California it will be doomed.

Just my 2 cents.
 
It's simple economics. Money is the key.

Raise enough money for prizes, riders will show up from Europe.

Raise enough money and you can hold the race anywhere, even over some of the remote roads.

Showcase the state enough: Like climbs through the Sierras, or up something like the Everett Memorial Highway on Mt. Shasta, you'll help increase tourism, which equals money.

Get enough fans to show up to watch, and that increases money flowing into the local communities who will want to support the races, which thus supports the race.

Having said that, I still think June would have been better than May. More riders would be apt to skip the Dauphine or Suisse than Giro I would think.
 
I'm sure people have said this before, but the bottom line is that this change dooms the race to having a weak field. The showcase of the race has always been that it attracted the absolute best riders in the world to come and race in the US. Now those best riders WILL go the Giro. Obviously every Italian will go to the Giro. The Giro is the 2nd biggest stage race in the World, always has been and probably always will be (at least on the time horizon relevent to cycling fans, not the history of the Universe!) Bad choice to go head-to-head with the Giro IMHO. I won't even watch the TOC even though I live in California because I want to watch the Giro!
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
It's simple economics. Money is the key.

Raise enough money for prizes, riders will show up from Europe.

Raise enough money and you can hold the race anywhere, even over some of the remote roads.

Showcase the state enough: Like climbs through the Sierras, or up something like the Everett Memorial Highway on Mt. Shasta, you'll help increase tourism, which equals money.

Get enough fans to show up to watch, and that increases money flowing into the local communities who will want to support the races, which thus supports the race.

Having said that, I still think June would have been better than May. More riders would be apt to skip the Dauphine or Suisse than Giro I would think.
Agreed on the most part. The only problem that I have with your theory is that the size of the prize will come with the quality of the riders unfortunately. The sponsors will start to turn away once the rider’s popularity starts to come down, because it is basically the cycling fans who keep afloat the races. The average person will not watch unless is Lance Armstrong in the race. How long will the Tour of Qatar last? What happened to the Coors Classic? What about the Tour of Georgia? Is it still alive?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
It's simple economics. Money is the key.

Raise enough money for prizes, riders will show up from Europe.

Raise enough money and you can hold the race anywhere, even over some of the remote roads.

Showcase the state enough: Like climbs through the Sierras, or up something like the Everett Memorial Highway on Mt. Shasta, you'll help increase tourism, which equals money.

Get enough fans to show up to watch, and that increases money flowing into the local communities who will want to support the races, which thus supports the race.

Having said that, I still think June would have been better than May. More riders would be apt to skip the Dauphine or Suisse than Giro I would think.

I doubt raising the prize money makes a difference (depending on the figures you are talking about). Most riders just don't want to interrupt their season(preparation) for a one week race in the US, which takes around 12 hrs to get their. This is excluding the logistics of the material the team uses. In TDU the organisers said that they don't have a TT because that would put many teams off for signing on, and that race is even the season opener. Even in Qatar, where I believe the prize money is pretty substantial, teams didn't use TT bikes.

Why would they go to Cali, in the middle of the season, where they presumably, have to do a TT?
 
May 6, 2009
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TDU could do a TT, but just make them ride road bikes, now that would be a test for some of them.
 
I like that idea Craig. I'd like to see a GT ITT stage where they could not use aero bikes.

A friend created this list of possible riders who might well show up to the TOC in May, as opposed to the Giro. This isn't bad at all.

Lance Armstrong
Levi Leipheimer
Alberto Contador
George Hincapie
Andy Schleck
Frank Schleck
Robbie McEwen
Thor Hushovd
Roman Kreuzinger
Floyd Landis
Oscar Sevilla
Tom Boonen
J.J. Haedo
Carlos Barredo
Stijn Devolder
Kim Kirchen
Gerald Ciolek
Karsten Kroon
Stuart O'Grady

I do however agree with Escarabajo in that we in the US focus so much on Lance. Everything is Lance, and the man himself helps keep that so as much as he can. When he's gone, if no one between now and then is shown to be his possible replacement, both on the bike with results, and off it with some personality, a big void will be left. I once thought Saul Raisin would be someone who would podium in a future GT, and maybe win something like the ToC, but he's wisely retired. Taylor Phinney is a possible name for the future. But again, little focus is on him. Heck Levi has consistently out ridden Lance this year, and looked much more like the team leader, and yet 99% of focus in this country is on Lance. :(
 
The trouble with that list is, you can't guarrantee the PT teams until 2011.
In 2010, they will have to ride Romandie and pressumably, Catalunya, plus the Giro; 2 full squads.
Lance, George, Robbie McEwen, Stuey, even Levi will be getting pretty long in the tooth.
Come to think of it, I wonder what Levi's take is, on this move?

As for where Alberto Contador will be riding by then and you have the inevitable doping casualties.......

Sorry to put a dampener out there. I hope it works.:eek:
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Robbie usually rides the Giro (not this year because of injury). Sure, he uses it for training for the TdF. But why would he travel overseas, expose himself to jet lag etc, to ride the ToC when he can get better sprinting competition and training at the Giro? He is getting older, but he is still competitive and I cannot see him changing his normal routine.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I like that idea Craig. I'd like to see a GT ITT stage where they could not use aero bikes.

A friend created this list of possible riders who might well show up to the TOC in May, as opposed to the Giro. This isn't bad at all.

Lance Armstrong
Levi Leipheimer
Alberto Contador
George Hincapie
Andy Schleck
Frank Schleck
Robbie McEwen
Thor Hushovd
Roman Kreuzinger
Floyd Landis
Oscar Sevilla
Tom Boonen
J.J. Haedo
Carlos Barredo
Stijn Devolder
Kim Kirchen
Gerald Ciolek
Karsten Kroon
Stuart O'Grady

That is an interesting list, but hey, it's May now. Where are all these people racing? Most of them are not racing at the moment, saving energy or taking a well deserved break. On top of that, if you want to use ToC as a warm up such as the Dauphine, why would sprinters show up. In Europe they could come to a race, pick one or two early flat stages, and decide to go home again. That's in Euope, not the other side of the world. It doesn't seem like they want to be dragging their @sses over some california mountains, in anticipation of the TdF.
 
May 9, 2009
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May's OK

You're missing the point of the organizers. The TOC is for the benefit of American Cycling and American based teams. Sorry to sound provincial, buts that's not a bad thing. The weather in February sucks in Northern california at this time of year, while in Southern California it's cold on the the coast and warm in the desert (Tour of Palm Springs and Arizona?) The TOC would never have been a success at this time of year as a Statewide event.

And let's face it, other than Levi going balls out, the TOC was just one big training ride for the non-US based teams.

The move to May sucks because it conflicts with the schedule in Europe. But then again, what event scheduled between April and October would not conflict with a race in Europe? The travel, the logistics of moving the team and support over to the States - so what, we don't have any world class cycling in the US during the prime months because it's a pain in the *** and we infringe on ... what?

May may not be ideal but consider that the weather in California (not Cali for you Fred's) is unreal in May, and it shows off the State in its (almost) best light. Consider that a major sponsor of the TOC is the California Tourism board, with local cities sponsoring individual stages. They are paying the money, and they want to show off. May is their time. And let's face it, have a few names in the peloton plus the scenery and the Sponsors will get what they want on the TV sets of you and me. So it's a success. On top of this, there are more than a few resort towns that would love to fill their hotel rooms- Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, and to the South, Big Bear, and May is off season. Lot's of capacity, great riding and climbing, huge scenery, good weather. Big welcome mat.

I think the problem with the TOC is that the State is too big for an 8 day race - need to be 14 with one off day in order to get around the State w/o long transfers.

Hey, what about a time trial through Yosemite? Shack up at the Ahwahnee. Come to think of it, a late May race enables the FANS to follow the race and actually camp out in the numerous, plentiful campgrounds that grace the great state of California. And in clement weather. Maybe we could pull a few Euros over to watch he race, or even better, a few Aussies. Better to party with.

As to pulling talent into the peloton, a few of the previous posts rightly say that more than a few pro teams will come regardless - Quickstep, Columbia, Garmin, Liquigas, AG2R, RaboBank (they are a big lender in the middle of the State and have a big presence) plus Cervelo and BMC. We don't need all the stars in the peloton, only a few, and a bunch of quality US riders (sorry to sound provincial, but that's what is going to bring in the casual viewer to the race. And despite what a few posters have said, there are not 1M + rabid cycling fans in California - they are drawn by the event and only vaguely aware of "cycling stars" other than Lance - for now).

Which brings to the fore the issue of Continental Pro US teams vs. Continental Teams in light of the Tour of Gila. Pro tour aside for 2011, doesn't this put into focus the need to create a separate rule for US teams to allow Continental teams (pro and non-pro) to race NRC and UCI events - that is to allow a BMC squad to race both the TOC, in Europe, and NRC races. Isn't that better, and potentially allow the Bissel's, Jelly Belly's and the Colvita's (and dare I say it, Rock Racing), etc. to grow into a distinct US squads that can field strong US teams racing as pro Continental teams? The TOC has always been about raising the bar of the US peloton, and the more that WE do to support racing in the US by raising the bar of racing in the US is GOOD.

As to other teams to include in the race (again ignoring the 2011 pro-tour), how about Serramenti and Tecos and a few other very, very good Mexican, Central and South American teams. Think the travel would be better, the TV better, the fan support among hispanics in California better? How about a few strong Aussie teams - hoping Fly V keeps it together.

Can the TOC get other pro teams? The Organizers of TOC put on a great event, not just from a spectator point of view, but from from a pro's point of view. They get two pillows in their hotel rooms! Don't discount the fact that the pros that come here to race are treated like Kings, unlike Europe, and that is not lost on the peloton. As the race grows in stature, as the race becomes more "preferred" by the racers themselves because of its organization, more and better riders will race. The TOC has to earn its place on the calendar over time.

How does this affect the local/National racing calender? Can't see that it will do anything other than benefit it. There's lot's of racing before and after it in the western US (Joe Martin, Gila, Mt. Hood) that it makes it easy for US teams to race in the same geographical area.

The TOC moving to May only means that the race is muscling into the international calender. If it is run well, it will wedge itself in an take its place amongst the premier events in cycling. If not, it goes away. It has all the assets, and the sponsorship to succeed, and grow. To **** and moan that it can't succeed because of competition with the Giro, as geat as it is, is ignoring what the race has going for it.
 
But then again, what event scheduled between April and October would not conflict with a race in Europe?

Well, as I originally said, August, where it would compete with the ultra boring Eneco Tour. But August may be a bit too hot and dry for everything in the valley and from Sacramento south, that isn't in the mountains or on the coast.

Still think June would have been best. Competition with the Dauphine would have been less stiff than the Giro me thinks.

If it's a Pro Tour race (and there's still a PT) then the theory that it's for American teams won't hold up. It means all major teams will be required to send a squad there. Again, why I say June would have been better than May. Still, I think a lot of fans would be happy to see an old Lance, Levi and Floyd race against a bunch of younger Americans, and second tier Europeans, no matter when the race is. Feb, May, June, August.
 
I think ProTour status could be a double edged sword for California. If all the Protour squads showed up, it would only leave space for 1 or 2 US continental teams teams, kinda disappointing if US teams couldnt compete in the biggest race in the US, on the other hand, if the race doesnt have Protour status, there will be less chance of getting all the Euro teams and the field would be akin to Tour of Georgia fields. Would that level satisfy most US fans?