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Old 07-03-2011, 01:40 PM
Location: Here, or there
214 posts, read 705,559 times
Reputation: 186


If you know anything about the sport of cycling, then you have probably heard of the Tour de France. My question is, why has the United States never been able to capitalize on such a big event? America offers just as scenic and diverse landscape as France. The Tour draws thousands of people to France every year, surely the United States could stage an epic cycling event that reached coast to coast.. The Tour of California has gained a lot more publicity in recent years. Will they ever expand of this one state race, or do Americans not follow cycling enough?

What are your thoughts?
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:46 PM
Location: Back in MADISON Wi thank God!
1,047 posts, read 3,989,705 times
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I am not a cycling expert by any stretch, although, I have, and do watch the tour de france every year. My thought is, France is roughly the size of Texas. I think it would be problematic and next to impossible to organize a bike race across the entire United States. I would think that the tour of California would be the equivalent of the T.de F.
Also, you might be right. There just may never be the interest in some parts of the country.
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Old 07-04-2011, 07:36 AM
Location: Sweden
23,857 posts, read 71,329,057 times
Reputation: 18600
A Boston-Miami race or something like that would have been cool.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:15 PM
3,804 posts, read 6,172,700 times
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There was a footrace across the US in the early 20th century, and it just barely managed to make enough to pay out its prize for two years in a row before being ended. Probably discouraged any races of any kind across the country back then. Plus the long stretches of high heat and high heat/high humidity aren't exactly friendly to endurance athletes.

Also very few care.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:31 PM
Location: Saratoga Springs and Copake Lake.
263 posts, read 626,180 times
Reputation: 174
France is actually more the size of NY, Tour of America? come on, realisticaly, the pros will not leave the Europeen Tours, there are not enough " great riders" or interest here, its very expensive, with all the road closings and Police etc. not Mainstream, In Europe there are 3 sports, Soccer, Formula1 car racing, Cycling. Everything else is fringe.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:10 AM
3,822 posts, read 9,477,031 times
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My two cents from a guy that used to race bikes at an elite amateur level (AAA league to use a baseball term) and did a very small handful of pro/am races. Watching a bike race is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Most Americans, including myself do not have the patience to sit on the side of the road for hours only to watch a bike race blow by for 30 seconds. I do enjoy watching criteriums because you get to see the pack go by every minute or two. But you can't base a stage race around criteriums.

Back in the 80's and 90's there were several attempts to start our own "Tour of America". First big one to try was the old Coors Classic. The stages went from northern California, through parts of Nevada and into Colorado. When the title sponsor Coors pulled out, their name was so entrenched in the branding of the race nobody else wanted to be a sponsor and the race died. This race did attract Euro-pros. The next race to try was the Tour de Trump (yes, the Donald) and when he stepped out it morphed into the Tour du Pont. Had great race courses on the east coast, hit most of the steep mountains and hills from New York, Pennsylvania down to Virginia. Same story, attracted a ton of Euro-pros (which was met with a big yawn from most Americans) and when DuPont pulled out nobody else picked up the sponsorship.

My experience in sponsoring bike races and bike racing teams is that the typical person in the U.S. that sponsors cycling is a cyclist as well, owns a business and has money burning a hole in his pocket. These guys just get a thrill from seeing their name plastered on a banner, team car or team jersey. There are just not enough guys who have deep enough pockets to sponsor a huge "Tour of America". In Europe, sponsoring a cycling event will give you R.O.I., in the states it is like flushing money down the toilet. Most sponsors in the U.S. see sponsoring a team or a race like donating to charity, not as an advertising investment.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:37 PM
69 posts, read 218,492 times
Reputation: 64
Originally Posted by Roland 544 View Post
France is actually more the size of NY, Tour of America?
State of New York 54,556 sq mi (141,300 km²)
metropolitan France 213,010 sq mi (551,695 km²)
France 260,558 sq mi (674,843 km²)

This is not the same
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:17 AM
Location: Saratoga Springs and Copake Lake.
263 posts, read 626,180 times
Reputation: 174
Thank you for the correction..... we French people are always exagerating thinks you know! your research on the subject should be commended
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:25 AM
78,416 posts, read 60,593,823 times
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What interest I used to have in cycling has died as winner after winner is later stripped of their title for doping etc.

Kinda like the olympics where the gold medalist stands up there, name trumpeted in the papers, they play the anthem....then later on it's stripped and they mail the gold to the next person but they get none of the thrill and especially for the 4th place person that actually medals but never got to stand on the podium etc.

Just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. (Like with baseball too.)
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:18 AM
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Looks like they cleaned up the TDF a little this year. If you look at the times up the Alpe d'Huez climb (it's the one climb that is in every TDF) during the major drug years the winner did the climb in 37-38 minutes and change. This year the winner of the stage did it in 41:40, back in the 80's before EPO and other drugs the winner was doing the climb in around 47-48 minutes.

The other thing that killed watching bike racing is now everyone has radios on their bikes so that the team managers control the race better. Liked it better when guys had to think for themselves and took more risks. Plus the advent of everyone wearing helmets and big sunglasses, it's tough to figure who is who in the peleton. Combined with the fact that all the bike racers all look like horse jockeys now, watching bike racing is no longer fun. Watch some footage from 1986 and compare it to what you saw this past July and you will know what I am talking about.
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