Steponas wrote:... you cannot transplant sporting cultures simply by flying in European pro teams for two weeks. The European pro teams have voted with their feet , if it suits their commercial interests , predominantly European-based , then they will send teams to Asia , Arabia , Australia or Japan , if it doesn`t , they won`t , the politics and plans of the UCI notwithstanding
Step, I'm not sure if you mean what I think, but I would say that, having been to a few areas now where Euro Pro's have started racing in the US, that it absolutley and without a doubt helps the sport.
I've seen the reaction of people in the US with the California Tour and even places like Georgia, where narrow minded people with a bit of a lack of exposure to European culture and Cycling are not exactly hard to find (And I have family there and lived there for many years). I've seen the same people that wouldn't give you an inch on the road side while riding suddenly become cycling friendly. Litterally the same jackass friend that used to buzz cyclists changed the way he drove after I drug his ass to a stage and he got to watch what it was all about.
Even more cosmopolitan places like Philly where the USPro Championships used to be run with major Euro participation transform a bit.
Having seen cycling turn towns and people around and give them exposure to a sport that really is beautiful and far pore personal and upclose than virtually any other pro sport, I would say that the more direct exposure the sport gets, the better off we are.
In fact I would say that the more direct exposure and interaction that people, cyclists or not, get with each other, the better off the world is.