• well … fuck

    by  • December 2, 2008 • too random • 21 Comments

    from CyclingNews.com

    Racing changes for Tour of California

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    The three-day women’s stage race originally planned to run concurrent with the men’s race at the Tour of California has been scrubbed, with two of the cities, San Jose and Sacramento, dropped from the plans. Only Santa Rosa remains – it will now host a scaled-back women’s criterium on the men’s 0.7-mile finish circuit on February 15, similar to last year’s event. Additionally, the original out-and-back opening stage for the men in Sacramento has been changed to a prologue time trial.

    The Examiner.com cited a report in the local Santa Rosa newspaper on Monday, with local officials excited that they were now hosting the ‘first stage finish’ of the race, and of Lance Armstrong’s American return. “This will be Lance’s first stage finish in America since he retired three years ago,” Raissa de la Rosa of the city’s economic development and housing department told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. “And it will be in Santa Rosa. Given his stature in cycling and that cycling is an international event, this is huge.”

    The reasons why the women’s stage race, listed on the 2009 UCI calendar as a three-day event, was cut-back to just a criterium were not immediately known. However, the money and logistics involved in closing down roads on top of the men’s race would have been significant and likely result in much longer road closures for the communities.

    Representatives from AEG, owners of the race, did not return calls for comment regarding the reported changes.

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    21 Responses to well … fuck

    1. kwc
      December 2, 2008 at

      Shafted, again

    2. Kyle S.
      December 3, 2008 at

      I spoke with a rep from AEG and they said that this year the women’s racing is just plain boring with Armstrong’s return taking on such momentum and press attention. So they will focus their efforts to highlighting his return to racing.

      I think AEG is making a big mistake in judgement!

    3. December 3, 2008 at

      Super lame!

    4. Hooptie
      December 3, 2008 at

      Weak, sounds like it’s not a financial problem. They should pony up the 3 days of prize money and put it on the single race to help ease the pain a bit.

    5. December 3, 2008 at

      Total corporate BS. Pretty sad statement by the AEG rep. How about doing the RIGHT thing and likely be surprised with how many people come out and support the women’s races? If they don’t have the money to do 3 races do 2 races instead. Do something cool instead of the “sure thing”. Grow it!! shite

    6. Anonymous
      December 3, 2008 at

      I find it hard to believe that an AEG rep would state that the womens race would be “boring.” Resources both financial and manpower are limited so corporations need to make hard decisions at times. Corporations of course are going to look for there best ROI. Like it or not with Armstrongs return it makes sense to focus in that area.

    7. Michael Hernandez
      December 3, 2008 at

      yeah, i don’t even know what an AEG rep is…

      the bottom line is, the organizers can’t make it happen, or don’t see the value in making it happen.
      .
      and i guess that’s what burns me up the most … that folks in the bike industry don’t understand the $$VALUE$$ of women’s cycling.
      .
      what i would have liked is that if AEG would have extended a hand out for help in promoting the event. Here in NorCal, we have the most vibrant women’s racing scene in the nation … hell, probably the world.
      Week in, week out – a woman can go race her bike against top quality competition here.
      .
      .
      i think that we have the promoters, volunteers, grassroots sponsors who could have assisted in making this event happen.
      .
      sigh.
      .
      i guess there’s always next year…

    8. December 3, 2008 at

      That just really really sucks.

    9. December 3, 2008 at

      That’s really poor. The main criticism against road racing as a spectator sport is the relatively small fraction of time the fans spend with direct sight of the riders. My view of fan views is it’s quality, not quantity, which counts, and just a brief glance of riders climbing Sierra Road is worth more than a full 9 innings at AT&T park, but that’s besides the point…. having a women’s race essentially doubles the exposure, for much less than double the investment b organizers. Yeah, road closures are outrageously expensive, that’s unfortunate, and I’m sure it can be challenging to find housing for riders and support personnel. But it seems it should be possible to squeeze a 3-day women’s race in there!

    10. December 3, 2008 at

      Dang it! I really hope this gets off the ground at some point. It was a “wild dreams” goal for me to get good enough to someday enter the TdC women’s race. And, to be able to watch all my fav local women race it this year was going to be epic.

      I’m bummed… :(

    11. Justin
      December 3, 2008 at

      Yeah, this is really disappointing… But I think the biggest culprit in this case starts with an ‘E’ and rhymes with astronomy. Everyone’s cinching the belt, and cycling as a whole was first on the corpo-sponsorship chopping block, (wait till you see the ex-pro trickle down in effect on this season’s starting lines).

      Is it wise to chop the tiny women’s race down even further and keep the XY-chromosomal ToC in full? I really can’t say. Is it fair? Surely not.

      But I just wanna remind y’all– we do live in our own little velotopian bubble, and just because *we* can see the potential in women’s cycling, it dun’t mean Schmucky McMoneybags who grew up in Godknowswhere understands the demographics in norcal.

      Basically the guys with the cash are scared and they wanna play it safe. Lance is safe, so they’re going to drop everything else and worship at his altar once again…

    12. Michael Hernandez
      December 3, 2008 at

      JFrag,
      time to kill this word “sponsorship” …
      .
      it’s from a bye-gone era when we transferred from national teams to corporate-owned.
      .

      cycling is ADVERTISING. Advertising just like any other media. You don’t hear NFL, NBA, MBL, etc team owners calling what they do ‘sponsorship’ … because, it ain’t.
      .
      Professional cycling is an advertising mechanism. All advertising is taking a hit right now, but that’s little to do with the way cycling is run in the US.
      .
      Unfortunately, what we have in the US is a bunch of bike industry folk who … i just have to say it … have very little business sense.
      .
      Women’s cycling – and all women’s sport – has a huge market awaiting to be exploited much more than it currently is/has been. If anyone hasn’t seen the changing demographics in women’s buying power, just do a bit of googling on the subject. Women are a driving force in the american economy, and will only increase as such in the coming decade.
      .
      women’s products: clothing, personal hygiene, personal activities, etc, etc, etc … these are all businesses that have VESTED interests in finding new and creative ways to advertise to their markets.
      .
      but, we (us bike industry folk) have to sell these businesses on the viability of cycling/sport as the profitable marketing mechanism that it is.

      With Cycling – you get an almost year-round promotion of a product. Cycling teams travel to every region in the US. Local media covers team activities – newspaper, tv, online … free press. Cycling teams connect with people – or, they CAN if they act as a business.
      .
      .
      Professional Cycling is BUSINESS … not sponsorship. Advertising is investment in the profitability of a company’s product. And it’s cheap advertising, at that.

    13. Justin2
      December 3, 2008 at

      It appears as if Armstrong is the big show and AEG wants to put all of their eggs in his basket.

      Hernando dont be stupid, a AEG rep is a AEG representative who should have kept his mouth shut.
      You and I both know womens racing is action packed and the fields are stacked, if you know what I mean.

      Armstrong will only race for a few more years max, but womens racing will keep getting better and better for years to come. I would not be surprised if in 50 years there is a Ladies only Tour of California, only I am afraid it will be put on by Playboy or Girls Gone Wild, instead of AEG.

    14. Michael Hernandez
      December 3, 2008 at

      J2,
      uh huh, sure baby.

    15. Justin
      December 3, 2008 at

      Hernandismo–

      As a professional marketer, let me be the first to lay blame on the profession as a whole. We are mostly slick talking idiots with very little vision. And that’s true for the big money guys marketing widgets that go ‘beep’ in your pocket. I can’t imagine it’s any better in the (comparatively) small-fry bikin’ industry.

      But if you read between my lines (behave!) I think you will see I am sounding the same alarm as you.

      Women’s cycling isn’t huge… NOW. Women’s cycling will be huge… SOON. How do we get from here to there? Somebody has to step up. I guess we can’t count on AEG.

      Where to start? VK is on the right track, in a marketing sense. But I’m not as full of ideas as I’d like to be. Like I said, we’re mostly hacks in this business…

      By the way, that Justin’s expressed opinions are solely his own and do not reflect the views of this Justin, necessarily.

    16. Michael Hernandez
      December 3, 2008 at

      ayup

    17. Justin3
      December 3, 2008 at

      personally i am sick of women being exploited!!!!

      some of the best racing i watched last year was on the women’s side of things.
      lets face it, women are aggresive, they attack, and they can dig very deep inside to produce good rides.
      i stopped even going to watch the guys race, they are boring compared to the ladies on 2 wheels.

      lets just not exploit the women like hernando said, lets promote them on to bigger and better things, and lets do this as a community and not with lame AEG helping.

      lets start our own tour of california next year for women only.

      hernando you take the lead in this please, but no exploiting, just promoting in a positive way.

      women make the best racers, bottom line.

    18. Justin1
      December 3, 2008 at

      Dude… do you need a date?

    19. Gr8whtx2
      December 4, 2008 at

      Well, look at the bright side…you (everyone)can always come out and race CX in Santa Rosa the same weekend.

    20. Déjà vu
      December 4, 2008 at

      Sorry I pretty much expected this to happen so not surprised at all.
      Always promises and little action.

      Get some money together and do it.

    21. Flandria
      December 4, 2008 at

      how will women’s cycling possibly grow when they are always in the shadows…?

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