Velochimp offered a great response in regards to the first posting regarding a Tour of the US. Restating my comment that it is a dream, chances are, a US Tour would never happen (in the grand tour sense). It just wouldn't work.
Velochimp does have an excellent point in stating, "I would be against such an idea as I think the regional one week race aspect has better potential. If more areas begin to setup their own stage races, then that would help cycling in the US in several ways..."
I fully agree. However, I feel that a new pro cycling tour here in the United States could easily revolutionize American cycling with inclusion of the Tours (California, Georgia, & Toona). Although all three races are run by different organizations (for example, California is run by AEG, Georgia by Medalist Sports), creating a points-based "tour" out of all these tours could create competition between races. Threshold Sports had something going with the "Pro Cycling Tour", but after the NYC Cycling Championships fizzled, and San Francisco has gone to the wayside for this year (after financial problems), the current schedule (according to the PCT website) states that the three races that make up Wachovia Week will be part of the PCT. The only other race that is part of the PCT (at this point) is the inaugural New Jersey race series (4 crits over a week).
If all the race organizers teamed up with USA Cycling, created a points system for all races, and had an overall sponsor for tour prize money (theoretically, they wouldn't even need to sponsor the individual races), maybe some international interest could be created in the US system. This would allow races to fit within large races in the European calendar. It wouldn't be the traditional three-week stage race based on time, rather it would be a multi-week stage race series based on points. Even if financial difficulties hit one of the numerous stage races and they would have to fold, it wouldn't affect the whole series.
Velochimp also had a great point with getting other regions to have stage races. States could showcase their wonderful terrain for cyclists. The routes on the Tour de Georgia and Tour of California maps display their area for international cyclists to see. Even New Jersey is getting in on the action this year. Maybe a few regional races could make it easier for people around the US to get to races. Just think, right now there is the Tour of CA, Tour de GA, Tour de Toona (PA), and the New Jersey Series. Maybe states like NY, TX, FL, and others could create tours to be put on the domestic/international calendar. Think about it, stages could have point values assigned to n places, the overall winner of the stage race could get # amount of points. At the end of all the stage races, the overall leader gets the purse.
What are your opinions on this subject? Do you have an idea you think would work? Email me at [email protected] or comment and tell me what your idea is for a US tour. I'll respond to some of the ideas and even ask a famous US race organizer what he thinks about the ideas. Hope to hear your ideas soon.
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