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What Next For American Cycling? | The Cycling Race News Show

What Next For American Cycling? | The Cycling Race News Show

Welcome to the GCN Racing News Show – this
week, CX stars do take over the road world at the Arctic Tour of Norway, domestic riders
dominate the Colorado Classic, we’ve also got the Binckbank Tour, the Ladies Tour of
Norway, the Euroeyes Cyclassics in Hamburg, and the Tour de Hongrie. First up though, we’re asking, What Next
For American Racing? We had the privilege of doing live coverage
of the Colorado Classic over the last four days, a fantastic event with two thoroughly
deserving winners. Katie Hall and Gavin Manion both set up their
victories with wins at the classic Vail Time Trial on stage 2. Their respective teammates at UnitedHealthCare
did a sterling job to defend their leads to the finish, and on the men’s side, they
also finished 2nd overall with Serghei Tvetcov, and took the final stage with Travis McCabe. That’s the good news, the bad news is that
the team looks set to fold at the end of the season. It’s a big blow to the US scene – United
Health Care have sponsored the team since the end of 2009, and the team has been around
since 2003. No doubt Manion and McCabe will find jobs
elsewhere, and Hall has already reportedly signed with Boels Dolmans, but for the rest
of the riders and staff it’s a horrible situation to be in. And, in exactly the same situation are the
riders and staff of the Jelly Belly powered by Maxxis team, as they, too, are set to end
their sponsorship at the end of this year. Jelly Belly have sponsored that team for 19
years, and so you can only say a big thank you for the support they have given cycling
in the US – but, that jersey and that name will be dearly missed, and it means promising
youngsters such as Keegan Swirbul are going to need to find a new home to further their
careers. Thank goodness for EF Education First – had
they not stepped in at the last minute last year, America would have lost it’s only
WorldTour team. Ride Argyle is now something of a focal point
for American bike racing fans, and although they’d have hoped to have won the Colorado
Classic, they are at least safe in the knowledge that their funding is secure for a few years
at least. Unfortunately, currently, there don’t seem
to be any new sponsors looking to step into the shoes of Jelly Belly or United Health
Care, though, and that is going to be a big blow for the domestic scene. It’s a real shame, because the future looks
bright – Gage Hecht displayed strength beyond his years to win stage one, Swirbul himself
was climbing with the best on stage 3, both under 22 years of age. We loved bringing you coverage of the Colorado
Classic, but without a base of American squads to compete, the event could begin to suffer. So what’s the answer? Is it a coincidence that two long term sponsors
are pulling their funding? Something to be worried or concerned about,
a trend, or just a minor blip? We’d like to hear your thoughts on the subject
– get involved in the discussion in the comments section below. Cyclocross stars have continued to show road
riders a clean pair of wheels this week at the Arctic Race of Norway. Corendon Circus managed to nab three of the
four stages – Mathieu Van Der Poel displaying next level accelerations on the climbs to
the finish on days one and four……………..whilst his teammate Adam Toupalik reigned supreme
on stage 3, winning from the early breakaway with Van Der Poel just behind him in 2nd place. It might not have been the highest quality
field in the world, but nevertheless with 4 WorldTour teams taking part, it was an impressive
haul for the Belgian team. The overall honours did go to a WorldTour
team, Sergei Chernetski moved into the lead on stage 2 and finished in the top 8 on every
stage. Special mention must go to the winner of stage
2, the toughest of the race – 24 year old Colin Joyce timed his sprint to the line to
perfection to take the biggest win of his career. He would eventually finish in 3rd place overall,
whilst his teammate Robin Carpenter came close to victory on stage 3. Performances his team, Rally Cycling, must
be delighted with – they’ve stepped up their international presence this season and have
been impressive throughout, a much needed positive for American cycling right now. A little further South we had the ladies Tour
of Norway, and it was great to see Marianne Vos back to being the boss. She won stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3 and
of course with it the general and points classifications too. And it wasn’t as if it was a weak field
– many of the World’s best riders were there, so this is very much Vos proving that she
is back to her best, and as such, she is this week’s GCN Rider of the Week. 2nd and 3rd overall went to Emilia Fahlin
and Coryn Rivera respectively. The WorldTour will continue this coming weekend
with the GP Plouay. Hot or not? – this is Matteo Trentin sporting
his brand new European Championship colours out training, white top, classic black shorts. Give us your take on it by taking the poll
on the screen right now. Trentin wore it to a 5th place at the Euroeyes
Cyclassics Hamburg on Sunday – the traditional sprinters classic ended up with a reduced
bunch sprint this time around due to a crash in the finale, Pascal Ackermann touching wheels
and taking down Mark Renshaw with him. Up front, unscathed and as fast as ever was
Elia Viviani – the Italian Champion repeated his win from last year, but this has been
his best road season by far. He easily got the better of Arnaud Demare
and Alexander Kristoff, which marked Viviani’s 15th win of the season so far, and the 55th
for Quickstep, 29 of which have come in WorldTour races – amazing really that they are currently
struggling to find a headline sponsor for the coming years. Like Trentin, Viviani will be competing at
the upcoming Vuelta a Espana, and this seems like a good time to remind you that we will
have daily highlights of that race on our Facebook page, and our big preview will be
up on the channel on Wednesday, where we’ll talk about all the riders and stages to watch. Over to the Binckbank Tour now – this 7 day
race was formerly known as the Eneco Tour, which this year once again saw some very aggressive
racing throughout. In fact, so aggressive was it, that there
was only on bunch sprint. That came on the first day of racing where
Fabio Jakobsen took the honours in front of Marcel Kittel. That was as good as it got for Kittel, though,
who pulled out on stage 6 – it’s been a torrid season so far for the 30 year old,
who will no doubt be hoping to turn things around at the upcoming Deutschland Tour, which
you will also be able to watch live on our Facebook page if you’re in the USA, Canada
or Latin America. Stefan Kung obliterated the field to win the
stage 2 time trial, but it was on stage 3 that the GC would be decided – an unlikely
scenario given the profile of the stage, but the peloton misjudged it’s chase and the
strength of the breakaway, Taco Van Der Hoorn taking the stage and the leader’s jersey
going to Matej Mohoric. And try as they might, nobody was able to
take it off him – Mohoric must have nullified over a hundred attacks over the final four
days, and in the end, the closest to him was Michael Matthews, who took the final stage
and closed to with 5s. That’s the 5th win of the season for Mohoric,
who has also won his national championships and a stage of the Giro d’Italia this year. We’ll finish with the Tour de Hongrie – a
race won overall by the Italian Manuel Belletti – 3rd place in the prologue and a stage win
the following day saw him in the race lead, which he would never lose. German Nikodemus Holler won the final two
stages, the first wins in the 27 year old’s career. Right, that’s all for this week – we’ll
be back same time same place next week with the GP Plouay, the first two stages of the
Vuelta – incidentally get your Spanish themed t-shirts from
– plus the Deutschland Tour which features the likes of Kittel, Greipel, Bardet, Dumoulin,
and also Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas. It’s sure to be a good one, so we’ll see
you then. Talking of climbers vs sprinters – Emma and
Chris went up against each other at the recent Maratona Dles Dolomites, so if you haven’t
seen that video, make sure you check it out by clicking down here.

51 comments on “What Next For American Cycling? | The Cycling Race News Show

  1. This seems to a problem within the structure of pro cycling that long-term brands just disappear and often fan bases along with them. There's a lot of Sky haters but when they leave so will a shed load of their fans. With football you have clubs which always continue exist and so their fans know where to look.

  2. Sadly American cycling gets poor exposure. As an American, I know football fans, NASCAR fans, baseball fans,basketball fans,soccer fans, hockey fans ……but not many cycling fans. If I had a kid, I wouldn’t even know how to get him into cycling. It’s a hard sport to watch in the states. NBCGold has made it more attainable and affordable and covers more races then in the past. Flo Cycling is making a good effort but is expensive. FUBO TV is even more expensive. We need another GC superstar (minus the doping). Lance was good and then bad for the sport in the US. Sponsors do it out of love for the sport. Not because there is financial gain.

  3. People here in America think the Tour de France is the only race that matters. Go figure. In my opinion , a European champion is just redundant. Enjoyed the show

  4. Maybe let a certain American back into the fold as a team director or something… America is a huge market and not using their cycling GOAT is bound to contribute to the fall is US cycling. Hes still hugely popular as per his fantastic podcast and has insight that no other person has on the world of cycling.

  5. I don't think road racing in the US will ever become a big deal because the roads aren't great for riding. In Europe, you have 1000's of km's of paved mountain roads and the general higher population density in the rural areas also result in 1000's of km's of quite, twisty, tarmac roads (lower pop. density in US means equivalent roads remain unpaved.) You don't have that in the US. Very few mountain roads are paved, and the ones that are are so heavily used by recreation traffic it's pure stress to ride them. Outside of the cities, suburbs were built with cars as the primary concern and the roads are extremely engineered – wide and flat, the worse kind of cycling roads. Without world class roads in awe inspiring terrain, I don't think it's reasonable to expect world class cycling. I think this is largely why you have seen gravel road riding come to such prominence in the US – with so few reasonably safe or enjoyable tarmac roads to ride, gravel becomes the next best option if you want to ride challenging and inspiring terrain.

  6. We have so many very rich companies in the US I don't know why Facebook or YouTube doesn't step up to the plate and take over the United Healthcare sponsorship 😉

  7. We have so many very rich companies in the US I don't know why Facebook or YouTube doesn't step up to the plate and take over the United Healthcare sponsorship 😉

  8. Are you going to cover the new inaugural ‘race across France’ that is on at the moment? Fantastic looking event along the lines of raam 😊

  9. Does anyone really care for america? Cycling is an European sport and I couldn't care less for united states. On the other hand I have noticed that you (brits) still love americans for whatever reason and you are often pushing them on the channel while ignoring other fabulous riders… Ridiculous! I wonder if you would do similar episode if this was some French or Italian squad.

  10. While its a shame the existing UHC team may fold, let's be clear: UnitedHealthcare still has a team in Rally Cycling. United is NOT pulling out of cycling! Rally is ALSO a UHC/UHG team. They are simply concentrating efforts with Rally which IMHO fits their goals better. With Rally's step up to ProConti and aspirations to continue growing, I think United is actually stepping up their sponsorship in Rally.

  11. Cycling in parts of the US is slowly getting more popular. In Los Angeles you can see people in Lycra all over the place and cycling specific coffee shops are becoming more common. The US is so big though that its hard to make a blanket statement about the whole country. Peoples attitudes towards cyclists in LA and SF will be a lot different then somewhere in the middle of the country. We just need more coverage on TV. Its next to impossible to watch any cycling other then the main Grand tours. Even with NBC Sports gold. So much of the race news is from this channel and the UCI Youtube channel. Cycling in the states will probably be a lot like football (Soccer). Its gonna take time for most people to notice it. But I do feel its on the up.

  12. US companies will not sponsor cycling teams because cycling does not get the air time on TV therefore advertising. The stage events run for hours with little or no action and are boring to watch. We have short attention spans in the US so sports like a football, hockey, or nascar will keep the viewers viewing ads longer. NBC Sports gold use to be what I considered a good value and brought me most of the races I wanted to watch but has raised their fee by a lot so I dropped that. Pretty much cycle races are just not something to focus on anymore. And on a more harsh note, we here in the US have a growing number of fat people who aren't interested in riding bikes or any other exercise other than lifting a beverage or food up to their mouths. What would make anybody think they would be interested in riding a bike and the benefits that would come from that?

  13. The reason the US teams are folding is due to the tour of California going world tour. The continental teams are no longer getting exposure for their sponsers. It is a bummer since the tour of California has the same level of riders, just no continental teams.

  14. Why doesn't cycling move to the format almost all other sports use, where teams are based in certain cities? Think about having teams based in Girona, Nice, Boulder, Andorra, and other popular cycling towns. Then, sponsors can buy advertisements on the team jerseys, but the jerseys stay mostly the same from year to year. This would add continuity to the sport and build fan bases common in football and other international sports. To me, this is a simple solution to keeping an American team in the pro peloton, and it could add diversity as teams could be based in Columbia, Rwanda, China, and other countries where cycling is starting to grow in popularity.

  15. As a participatory sport cycling's biggest boost, in all countries, will come from advancing technology that lowers the price of good bikes and increases the quality of inexpensive bikes. As the sport grows as a hobby, interest in racing will grow as well.

    Cycling competes with our major professional sports (American football, baseball, basketball, and hockey) only as a spectator sport; as far as the talent pool goes, cycling is so much different from the big four that being unable to complete in the major leagues has little bearing on being a competitive cyclist.

  16. Tennis has four Grand Slam. Golf has four Major. But Cycling only has Three Grand Tour???? I Think Tour of California maybe nice to become The Fourth Grand Tour……

  17. US cycling lacks the exposure to be sponsored by general-audience products like grocery chains, state lotteries, and shampoo. Healthcare companies back the biggest US teams because cycling here is still widely considered an amateur recreational activity, not taken seriously as a sport- an enthusiast cyclist is someone trying to be healthy, not someone striving for competitive athletic achievement. Our biggest bike events are charity rides. Cycling here is something you do in a gym and not your means of transportation. If US teams are to pick up big sponsors they'll need to spin themselves (ha) to marketers as being aspirational for the fitness audience; running and tri have already made that pivot as sports with a similar "that's for amateurs" hurdle to clear (ha again.)

  18. When I watch Dan smash the Racing News Show every week it makes it all the harder to believe the rumours that he is a selfish lover.

  19. Now that you have a specific programme for Race News it would be great if you cover Adelaide Pedal Prix and Other velomobile/HPV races.

  20. Several people have already mentioned it, but a Sponsor with the gravitas that the Big Tech companies have, would go a long way to visibly elevating Cycling in the US. If Google, YouTube, or Apple were to sponsor a team, the Press would report it. And that free marketing would be great for Cycling in general. If Sky's budget is considered substantial at 30-40 Million Pounds, just think about how much any of these behemoth companies could afford without missing a beat. $100 Million Dollars doesn't even show up on the radar for these companies, and the opportunity to do something to promote an environmentally beneficial sport would be well worth it. Not to mention the health benefits to the individuals. So, the fact that GNC is highlighting this may be the impetus to get something done for the Entire sport. After all, more American viewership will benefit the European Teams as well.

  21. Cycling is considered highly elitist in the US. Combine that with Americans' natural aversion to bicycles, and then throw in Lance Armstrong, and you've permanently cemented cyclists' reputation as elitist douchebags. Look for cycling to get more popular in non-WASP dominated areas like LA or Miami. Otherwise, be prepared to get run over by a fat American in an SUV.

  22. Bike racing in America is a “oh by the way” sport, sad. There are many local level races that are wonderful. The Longsjo Classic in Fitchburg Massachusetts for example. It is the second oldest race in the states after the Tour of Sommerville in New Jersey.

  23. Not just America- what next for cycling globally? The winningest team around, Quick-Step, in sponsorship jeopardy. BMC with Gold medalist Van Avermaet losing sponsorship and having to downsize into CCC. No WorldTour teams for Italy, one for Spain, two for France, all cycling hotbed countries with large populations of consumers. Cycling's business model is very brittle. Without revenue sharing from TV/Web, teams and races will continue to disappear…

  24. US Cycling: As with all cycling, including World Tour level — sponsorship of a team is a very hard thing to measure in terms of ROI for the sponsor. And most major companies with the budget necessary have gone so deep into Digital Marketing with immediate measures of ROI – that a cycling team sponsorship is very hard to justify. If a company bites the bullet to sponsor a team it is most likely because the person(s) in charge are avid fans of cycling. That lasts for a few years – but soon the pressure to deliver ROI eventually wins out. (Crazy to think that BMC, Quickstep, UnitedHealthcare, and JellyBelly are all bailing at same time — but that turnover seems to always be happening)

    New models with television revenue sharing; sponsors that span all teams; or other creative ideas will be needed to change the dynamics. Maybe even crowdfunding of some sort.

  25. Hincapie (Holowesko Citadel) is also looking for sponsors. Media viewership and game attendance for the NFL are both declining, so they're also looking for answers. I've spent a number of years as a marketing executive in technology companies and our sponsorship choices were about forging relationships with senior client executives. We found that baseball, football and basketball weren't attractive to them and tickets to those events often went unused. Our most successful sponsorships in getting senior executive attention were in open wheel auto racing, and I think cycling shares many characteristics with that sport. Senior client executives would fly cross country to attend a race, visit our tent, meet our driver and crew, and participate in our events. Companies don't want to be associated with violence or drugs, and US professional sports struggles with both of those. American cycling needs more stories like Craddock and Lizzy Deignan to recover from its doping nightmare and attract corporate sponsors.

  26. I wish that there was an American version of TdF. I think it would bring more awareness to cycling and help develop a strong American program.

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