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Tour of California vs. The Giro

Sep 8, 2009
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http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/messicks-masterplan-for-the-tour-of-california

What do you guys think? I think Messick is being a bit too optimistic, I don't foresee next years field to be anything like previous years. Granted that you'll get a nice field of big name American riders, but in terms of big names...it's gonna go down drastically.

And while we are on the subject of California, or the US for that matter...maybe I'm not looking good enough, but why is the US so into crits? Seems like every local race I look into is a criterium :confused:
 
Have you got a handy Zoncolan over there, as it's just hit the forums that it's back in the 2010 Giro.
Monte-Zoncolan-Ovaro_profile.jpg



That should scare a few people to locals to stay closer to home.

"Rightly or wrongly, for US fans the season ends with the Tour de France and we feel that we need to be part of the lead up. It doesn’t make sense for us to be in August or September." - Andrew Messick

I find that comment just so sad. He obviously thinks that Cali has no stand alone value, then.
Using that logic, it either doesn't matter, or he doesn't expect, a lot of big Euro names to turn up.

So, it lives or dies on the strength of US riders continued success at the Tour.
I've got Georgia on my mind.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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The place they had, they had a lot of exposure in european tv channels.

Being in May every channel will be showing the Giro. The european viewership is going to tank just the same as happened to the Volta a Catalunya since it changed from June to May....except it doesn't have the big name that the Volta a Catalunya has, so it'll be worse.

The big name european riders racing there will be ones that have just come back from their after-classics break, so they really won't be going there for anything but racing miles.
 
I think the date change is stupid, and I live in Calif.

What serious Tour contender will want to come? To make it worthwhile, they'll have to come out at least a week early (can't do well if you are jetlagged), race for a week and a half, then lose another week or so getting used to Euro time afterwards.

The sprinters won't come, they would rather rack up stage wins in the Giro.

I'm predicting seriously diluted fields, B teams from all the PT teams save Retirement Shack. Do you really think Columbia will send Cav to California vice the Giro?

February is much better from a field standpoint. No competition with the Euro calendar in February, so most everybody comes over.

Weather-wise, there's plenty more places to race that would be fine in February. Palm Springs for one. If they want to race on Highway 1, create a course going south from Pt Mugu, it's almost as iconic as the section they usually run. If they want mountains in Feb they have Palomar, Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara, lots of others under the snow line.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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I hope that they reschedule after this upcoming event. I hope their will top talent at the CA event but I will settle for Kelly,Jelly and a team sponsored by a California Chiropractor company.Seeing Landis rides just plain hurts.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Crits

soOpOSMthanks! said:
...maybe I'm not looking good enough, but why is the US so into crits? Seems like every local race I look into is a criterium :confused:

I think crits are prevalent because, cycling being such an unrecognised sport in the US, it's too hard to get road closures for longer races. A couple of years ago a rider was killed in a head-on collision with a car during the Tucson Classic because the locals wouldn't stand for a road closure on a hilly, twisty road with NO businesses on it... They had to totally change the course after that.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Climbs

Mellow Velo said:
Have you got a handy Zoncolan over there,

Actually, part of the reason for moving to May is that it opens up the possibility of racing in the Sierras, which have some pretty Knarly climbs... Not sure how many are likely to be open in May, but more likely than in Feb. And there's a good chance of doing some of the bigger climbs in the South, which might not be possible in Feb. Not that this (DeathRide) is as steep as the Zoncolan, but there are some of those around, too. The Death Ride compares pretty well to some TdF and Giro Queen Stages.

http://www.deathride.com/elemap.html
 
Jun 9, 2009
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As a former race promoter, I can explain why the U.S. is so into crits.

It costs less money to stage a criterium than a road race.

Crits require either a small section of road or a parking lot or office park. Paying for a parking lot or office park on a weekend is very inexpensive. Paying for a section of road (a city block) is a little more expensive, but exposure to the businesses on that block can be used as a selling point to a city council.

A typical four-corner crit requires a small presence from local law enforcement to ensure that cars do not cross the barriers.

For a road race, a rolling enclosure of police cars is required. If a rolling enclosure is not used, then large stretches of road must be completely closed. Considering that most US events have races for masters, juniors, all of the senior men categories, women, and sometimes all of the collegiate categories, that is a lot of rolling enclosures requiring a lot of police cars. It gets very expensive.

The risk of altercations with motorists for cyclists who drop out of the rolling enclosure is also great. There have been incidents where cyclists have been hit by cars on what they assumed were safe roads for racing. These incidents have driven up the requirements by USA Cycling for the number of police needed at a road race. Event insurance rates also have increased.

Race promoting is a business. There is either an individual or a club that tries to turn a profit (or at least break even) from staging a race. It is easier to turn a profit from a crit than a road race.

Sponsors are more willing to pay for their product placement at the start/finish of a crit where there will be much focused attention rather than at the start/finish of a road race that is usually in the middle of the country. Having sponsors offset the costs of staging a race means the prize money for the riders can be a larger percentage of the entry fees collected. Larger purses attract more cyclists, which helps an event to grow from year to year.

The economics of American cycling dictate that crits are the prevailing type of race here in the U.S.
 

laura.weislo

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Mar 4, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
"Rightly or wrongly, for US fans the season ends with the Tour de France and we feel that we need to be part of the lead up. It doesn’t make sense for us to be in August or September." - Andrew Messick

Makes one wonder why the US Pro Championships are in late August then, doesn't it?
 
Jul 14, 2009
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suro speaks truth, Cops and porta-a-poddies cost lots. Our racing officials are all paid and you need photo equip and usually an MC. The closed course is very expensive and rolling enclosures are a little tricky on a big circuit unless you have lots of professional people and communication. The pro fed here should put the US Pro back in Philadelphia where it belongs. Leave the TOC as an early season hit. The whole world could see the TOC differently if the race was moved further into the summer and included Mammouth or Tahoe in the climbs, Cal is not only the coast, have those euros race up into the Sequoia National park and let the world see some California climbs, PCH,101 yes great views not our best climbs.If you want to take the place of the Giro make the race better.
 
Rupert said:
Actually, part of the reason for moving to May is that it opens up the possibility of racing in the Sierras, which have some pretty Knarly climbs... Not sure how many are likely to be open in May, but more likely than in Feb. And there's a good chance of doing some of the bigger climbs in the South, which might not be possible in Feb. Not that this (DeathRide) is as steep as the Zoncolan, but there are some of those around, too. The Death Ride compares pretty well to some TdF and Giro Queen Stages.

http://www.deathride.com/elemap.html

Whats the Big Bear climb like, as that's now supposed to be the big MTF finish?
 
Jun 9, 2009
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I hope the best for the Tour of California.

Moving their dates to May will allow them to have a better route since access to the mountains won't be hindered by the weather.

This year's TOC was brutal for the riders. Riding through cold rain for a week must have been miserable. The TV coverage was less than spectacular since many of the communications links weren't all-weather capable.

Having the race compete with the Giro on the calendar doesn't have to be the kiss of death. Most top TDF contenders skip the Giro in favor of shorter events. The TOC is now poised to be one of the races where TDF contenders can sharpen their form.
 
May 8, 2009
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I think moving the race to May is a huge gamble, which could pay off big or not. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. The United States is a huge market, so for a European sponsor that wants more exposure or to break into the U.S. it may be worth sending a competitive team to the U.S. in addition to the Giro or even instead of. Also, as Messick points out, U.S. bike manufacturers are heavily invested in sponsoring pro-tour teams, so they will certainly want their bikes being ridden in the U.S.'s biggest stage race.

I would guess that the TOC sees this as the now or never time with the resurgence of interest from Lance's comeback (love him or hate him, you can't deny the publicity). It will be really interesting to see what happens. I certainly hope the gamble pays off.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Big Bear

Mellow Velo said:
Whats the Big Bear climb like, as that's now supposed to be the big MTF finish?

I will look at the route, there are long, hard climbs (more long than steep) from the South that end at Big Bear, I haven't ridden the approach form the North but I'm told it's an interesting climb... We ought to hear from someone from the area, I've ridden he Death Ride twice and Big Bear twice but don't know about much more than those climbs.
 
A

Anonymous

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I think it is a stupid change. I will watch the Giro stage every day, and look at the cyclingnews summary to see who won in Cali. I only have so much time to watch things, and regardless of the fact that Cali will end in the late afternoon on the east coast, I just won't be bothered to watch it. The real talent will be at the Giro excluding the RadioGeritol Team.
 
The only way this gamble might pay off is if:
*The TOC focuses only on USA participation & national coverage/Interest & is already estimated the drop on International attention for part of the organizers
*If the racing hours/Broadcasting wouldn't interfere with the Giro's (difficult task to accomplish)
*If eventually a couple of European big names skip the giro to race the TOC
(Don't expect Big names from Italy to come for obvious reasons)
*If the race grows on more stages & mountain finishes to catch enough attention to the Pro teams, so they can see it more as a real competition rather than a nice training race.

As far as LA boosting the event- I doubt it this time around:
This year what really encouraged all the Europeans to ride it was to check on LA's shape and to kick the beginning of the season for that matter - so by taking away those reasons, I believe he wouldn't cast the same "international" interest from the other side of the pond to cross it and ride along him....
 
Mar 11, 2009
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ASO owns a part of ToC, so going head-to-head vs. the Giro makes sense.

As a prep race for TdF, ToC in May also makes sense, Giro too long for some folks (although it got LA in shape).

I agree with running the ToC thru SF (over the Golden Gate when sun out vice rain as this year), Yosemite, Big Sur, Death Valley, by Redwoods will get a lot of US eyeballs. Who gives a **** about Euro eyeballs? Hook the US market...besides, they (Americans) wouldn't know a Giro if it bit 'em on the bum.

ToC is the top US race by a bunch. In compairison the Tour of Georgia (who?) was a bunch of hicks by the road.

BTW, I live in Cali. :p
 
Mar 12, 2009
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JayZee said:
I would guess that the TOC sees this as the now or never time with the resurgence of interest from Lance's comeback (love him or hate him, you can't deny the publicity). It will be really interesting to see what happens. I certainly hope the gamble pays off.

According to this Spanish translated interview Lance gave to Velo magazine, he is riding the Giro instead Cali?
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/deportes/2009/10/01/00031254404643371792162.htm

A stupid question, since Cali has been moved to May, how many European based Pros, aiming for the Tour, will attend the race? May/June are crucial times to prepare for the Tour, will jet lag play a part?

I think the February date was perfect for the riders, enough time to recover from the travel & time difference to attract top riders. May, not so much.

I also don't like that it overlaps the Giro.

edit. more here about the interview
http://www.cyclingfans.com/node/536

Wish Lance had stayed retired.
 
Aug 16, 2009
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They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. It was too early to begin with and as other mentioned the conditions were less than ideal. I think the ToC might serve as viable alternative to teams who want their riders to race but not for the same duration as the Giro. I think there will still be a classy field.

One interesting idea that Bob Stapleton had was to move the ToC to the late summer/fall and have a week in between Missouri and California.
 
Jul 28, 2009
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BeachBum said:
Do you really think Columbia will send Cav to California vice the Giro?

I could actually see that. Cycling is changing with a lot of English speaking riders, arguably not as good on average, a lot of those guys seem to be in there to just pull on the flat and not much else but nevertheless there's a gradual shift going on.
 
Jun 3, 2009
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cromagnon said:
I could actually see that. Cycling is changing with a lot of English speaking riders, arguably not as good on average, a lot of those guys seem to be in there to just pull on the flat and not much else but nevertheless there's a gradual shift going on.

Really, because i always saw the Giro as the joint 2nd most presitgious race in the calendar, wheras the Tour of California, well let's just say it's not in the top 20 or 30.
 
Wrecktangle said:
ASO owns a part of ToC, so going head-to-head vs. the Giro makes sense.
As a prep race for TdF, ToC in May also makes sense, Giro too long for some folks (although it got LA in shape).
I agree with running the ToC thru SF (over the Golden Gate when sun out vice rain as this year), Yosemite, Big Sur, Death Valley, by Redwoods will get a lot of US eyeballs. Who gives a **** about Euro eyeballs? Hook the US market...besides, they (Americans) wouldn't know a Giro if it bit 'em on the bum.
ToC is the top US race by a bunch. In compairison the Tour of Georgia (who?) was a bunch of hicks by the road.

BTW, I live in Cali. :p

Make up your mind. Are you going head to head with the Giro, or not giving a shit whether we watch or not?
Hook the US market? You mean folks in the US who follow cycling aren't already hooked?

Whether you like it or not, the only way Cali can survive, long term, let alone expand, is by attracting the vastly bigger Euro market.

In 3 years, it had started to do just that, through it's unique positioning in the pro calander.
This year, thanks to LA and Eurosport, we had major live tv coverage. Folks watched in their droves. Sponsor and potential advertisers like very much, when viewing figures explode.
Next year, I suspect, they will just bomb.

It's in direct competition with arguably the best race, certainly the best Grand Tour, of the year.
The vast majority of cycling fans, will have their eyes on Italy, sparing only a second thought for Cali, if they have the time.

Cali could very well end up like those bunch of hicks, who struggled to survive, just as soon as LA quit.
 
cromagnon said:
I could actually see that. Cycling is changing with a lot of English speaking riders, arguably not as good on average, a lot of those guys seem to be in there to just pull on the flat and not much else but nevertheless there's a gradual shift going on.

Cav to Cali, not the Giro?
Not chance in hell.
Major difference in ranking points, not to mention more opportunities.
You'll find the gradual shift will be going in the opposite direction.

The way it is perceived from this end, is almost like putting it up in direct competition with the Tour. Not much difference.
There are several HC stage races on, already in May, in France, Spain and Germany. All struggle because of the Giro.