2018 PRO thread

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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thePrince
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:09 am

by thePrince

Kurets wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:37 pm
This all sounds like the same old US-centric broken record about cycling not being sustainable, not being interesting for viewers, that american disciplines (crits, gravel, am style cx etc.) are better because of this and that.
In reality I think most everyone who follow cycling throughout the season knows that road racing does not need to change. One day races, big or small, tend to play out very different from year to year, riders change and tactics evolve. Grand tours do tend to get decided in the mountains and the TTs, but we always get great action from the lower contenders, during "breakaway days", and even in the hectic sprint finales.
I am convinced that cycling in Europe is, and will remain, sustainable. It just happens to be a niche sport in most countries, even in Europe.

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This all sounds like the same old Euro-centric broken record about cycling. You guys have it made. All the best races. It is sustainable in Europe and I don't think you can consider it a niche sport, particularly places like France, Italy, Spain, etc. If you walked into a bar in one of those countries on Paris-Roubaix Sunday, what percentage would be showing it? In the US, from experience, it is pretty close to 0%.

Road racing in the US (other places too) is dying. Pro-continental teams are folding. Race organizers are pulling the plug on classics that have been on for 20+ years. Junior participation is down. Hopefully the rise of other disciplines like crit, gravel, etc will offset the demise of road racing in the US - and I'm OK if a lower tier World Tour team is a part of the transformation.

PS - Couldn't agree more with Kwalker's comments on "hipsters". One of the most misused words.

AJS914
Posts: 2367
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Cycling has always been a niche sport but something is seriously wrong with the way the sport's marketing has developed over the years. Golf pros are winning a million bucks in just one tournament. The prize money in pro tennis is insane.

The US Open's prize money was $53M in 2018. The prize money for the Masters golf tournament is $11M with $2M going to the winner. And those is just two single events among many events during the calendar year in those sports.

Amex, Nike, Rolex, Mercedes Benz plus many other big name companies and tons of smaller equipment companies sponsor golf and tennis. Premium brands are falling all over themselves to be associated with tennis and golf.

Where is cycling's piece of this action? Is it still because of the fallout of the doping era? I have a feeling that it because the ASO controls too much of the sport and nobody at the UCI has any vision.

by Weenie


bilwit
Posts: 961
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:49 am
Location: Seattle, WA

by bilwit

thePrince wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:49 pm
Kurets wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:37 pm
This all sounds like the same old US-centric broken record about cycling not being sustainable, not being interesting for viewers, that american disciplines (crits, gravel, am style cx etc.) are better because of this and that.
In reality I think most everyone who follow cycling throughout the season knows that road racing does not need to change. One day races, big or small, tend to play out very different from year to year, riders change and tactics evolve. Grand tours do tend to get decided in the mountains and the TTs, but we always get great action from the lower contenders, during "breakaway days", and even in the hectic sprint finales.
I am convinced that cycling in Europe is, and will remain, sustainable. It just happens to be a niche sport in most countries, even in Europe.

Sent from my H4113 using Tapatalk
This all sounds like the same old Euro-centric broken record about cycling. You guys have it made. All the best races. It is sustainable in Europe and I don't think you can consider it a niche sport, particularly places like France, Italy, Spain, etc. If you walked into a bar in one of those countries on Paris-Roubaix Sunday, what percentage would be showing it? In the US, from experience, it is pretty close to 0%.

Road racing in the US (other places too) is dying. Pro-continental teams are folding. Race organizers are pulling the plug on classics that have been on for 20+ years. Junior participation is down. Hopefully the rise of other disciplines like crit, gravel, etc will offset the demise of road racing in the US - and I'm OK if a lower tier World Tour team is a part of the transformation.

PS - Couldn't agree more with Kwalker's comments on "hipsters". One of the most misused words.
Yep, seems to me that EF/Vaughters is doing everything they possibly can to pull in American support: target all existing american WT riders on the market, appeal to the "hipster" crowd, get their club out in american-centric events which are primarily non-road disciplines. No shame in this, though I think it's probably a lost cause. Dombrowski actually nailed it on the head:
"Cycling's fan base, particularly in America, is a participatory one. It's not the same as the traditional American sports in that sense. Professional road cycling can be quite insular and convoluted. With a participatory fan base, watching races is not what creates a feeling of engagement in the sport."
You take the biggest driving/car-centric nation in the world, then present a professional sport steeped in tradition that even its own fans are ashamed about and where the races themselves are 5 hours long and not much usually happens until the final 10k, it's no wonder why road cycling has gone by the wasteside here. Most people I know here can't even imagine why anyone above the age of 10 would ride a bike at all, let alone have the patience to learn about how road races in cycling work.. hell, we don't even have the patience for "soccer". Other than how teams/sponsonships work, cycling is not "broken," it's just fundamentally not American enough to appeal to the wider American public, and I don't think it ever will.

KWalker
Posts: 5904
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

The most well known personality in cycling right now is Sagan, a Euro rider riding for a Euro team that has cross discipline appeal and let's be honest, behaves like an American football or basketball player with his antics. And it works. And as much as I dislike Phinney, the ROI on him is pretty damn good. Not many other occasional top 10 domestiques/pack fodder get that much visibility and coverage for the dollar. I also dislike Vaughters, but he pulled a pretty big win with getting EF on board almost based sheerly on the idea that his team could engage fans differently.

As the owner of UHC pointed out in his editorial cycling is one the cheapest ways to get brand exposure, yet few big name brands actually stay in the sport. Compare this to any of the number of stadiums or brands that exist in European football, American football, Rugby, or even Nascar. Brands don't typically drop out of those sports at this cost and rate of exposure, but it's also because even the more niche sports (globally speaking) draw consistent fans over the year and the athletes engage with the fans. All cycling can hope for is that a rider might sign some posters before a stage or say hi before disappearing into a trailer.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

MichaelK
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:50 pm

by MichaelK

Rondje wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:28 pm
That perception is wrong. You got Specialized Rocket Espresso yes, it's a big team with maybe the biggest exposure, but they don't dominate the sport. Most teams are independent teams sponsored by smaller brands like 8bar, Cinelli, Aventon, etc.
There is occasionally a pro rider riding it, but most guys aren't pros. Some are guys who came just a bit short to make it as a pro or try to make a comeback, some are youngsters still trying to break through, others made their specialty out of fixed gear crits.
Anybody that wants to use RHC to make a shot at it or comeback needs their head examining. Can't believe how poorly managed it is in regards to media and reach. Big companies pulling out, no live stream, cancelled 50% of their events this season etc. etc. etc. When the pros do show up they utterly dominate but the risks involved seem a bit too much for the little payoff.

EF-Rapha need another target IMHO.

Orbital
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:52 am
Location: Pitt Meadows, BC

by Orbital

AJS914 wrote:Cycling has always been a niche sport but something is seriously wrong with the way the sport's marketing has developed over the years. Golf pros are winning a million bucks in just one tournament. The prize money in pro tennis is insane.

The US Open's prize money was $53M in 2018. The prize money for the Masters golf tournament is $11M with $2M going to the winner. And those is just two single events among many events during the calendar year in those sports.

Amex, Nike, Rolex, Mercedes Benz plus many other big name companies and tons of smaller equipment companies sponsor golf and tennis. Premium brands are falling all over themselves to be associated with tennis and golf.

Where is cycling's piece of this action? Is it still because of the fallout of the doping era? I have a feeling that it because the ASO controls too much of the sport and nobody at the UCI has any vision.
Golf and tennis are still very much country club sports. They’re still associated with the rich and very privileged. It’s no wonder elite brands want to be on board.

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tymon_tm
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:35 pm

by tymon_tm

football isn't yet it draws sponsors like crazy too. and arguably cycling's a lot 'loftier' than any team sport will ever be
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

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Miller
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:54 pm
Location: Reading, UK

by Miller

themidge wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:38 am
As for Rapha, I'm sure they make good stuff, but they're branding reeks to me of needless pretentiousness. Just look at some of they're adverts, guys with unpleasant tattoos riding through dank misty forests with no helmets on, all because they think it looks cool*.
To be fair to Rapha, the riders in their adverts usually do wear helmets although I wouldn't care if they didn't. And the WW crowd doesn't completely lack tattoos.

I've bought a few bits of Rapha kit in their sales and they're generally a pleasure to wear.

Wookski
Posts: 851
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:51 am

by Wookski

Since when has Waffa been considered hipster? It’s mainstream aspirational at best and not even expensive considering it’s perpetually > 50% off. They make some good items and hats off to Mottram for taking a gamble, entering a market that’s extremely tough, building an international brand and getting paid.

You guys are a tough crowd, smashing Sky for being too robotic and ruining the sport then when a team announces it will be the antithesis of Sky you smash them for being too unfocused and “hipster”.

thePrince
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:09 am

by thePrince

Exactly...I don't get the hate towards the EF/Rapha vision of making all disciplines of cycling "cool" unless you just find JV to be such a twat you can' t look past him (it's close for me).

The confusion for me peaks with the Wellens/De Gendt six day ride home following Il Lombardia. I haven't seen a single complaint here calling them "wankily hipsterish". Two dudes riding their bikes, having bromance dinners, documenting it, posting it on social media, and bringing attention to their team. But when Morton and Phinney did this 2 years ago, they were crucified here for doing the same thing. Sure they like wearing Frogskins on their adventure rides, but really? Or is it only a problem when the two dudes are using the ride to recover from severe mental burnout/devasting crash vs recovering from a long season.

And what about Sagan? Nobody called him a hipster for choosing to compete MTB in 2016 Olympics. Sure question his decision (GVA won RR and he would have likely beat him), but I didn't hear people complaining he liked to race other disciplines. Where were the wankily hipster comments.

KWalker
Posts: 5904
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

Orbital wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:13 pm
AJS914 wrote:Cycling has always been a niche sport but something is seriously wrong with the way the sport's marketing has developed over the years. Golf pros are winning a million bucks in just one tournament. The prize money in pro tennis is insane.

The US Open's prize money was $53M in 2018. The prize money for the Masters golf tournament is $11M with $2M going to the winner. And those is just two single events among many events during the calendar year in those sports.

Amex, Nike, Rolex, Mercedes Benz plus many other big name companies and tons of smaller equipment companies sponsor golf and tennis. Premium brands are falling all over themselves to be associated with tennis and golf.

Where is cycling's piece of this action? Is it still because of the fallout of the doping era? I have a feeling that it because the ASO controls too much of the sport and nobody at the UCI has any vision.
Golf and tennis are still very much country club sports. They’re still associated with the rich and very privileged. It’s no wonder elite brands want to be on board.
Newsflash so is road cycling which is why it has been called "the new golf". There are almost no ethnic miniorities in cycling and very few non-white, non-European males at the pro level. And very few resources trying to develop riders from the rest of the world. Combined with all the petty drama and wannabe machismo there might not be a more quintessential yuppie male form of activity. Even Crossfit can't compare.

Meanwhile kids can buy a fixie and compete in tons of alleycats or crits. Alongside pros. Justin Williams is basically employed because he reaches this audience through social media. Non-rich people that love bikes are the same for gravel and niche elements. At least pro MTB'ers aren't complaining about their diets and waxing poetic about being anorexic although the sport is definitely less versatile to get into for many.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

Orbital
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:52 am
Location: Pitt Meadows, BC

by Orbital

KWalker wrote:
Orbital wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:13 pm
AJS914 wrote:Cycling has always been a niche sport but something is seriously wrong with the way the sport's marketing has developed over the years. Golf pros are winning a million bucks in just one tournament. The prize money in pro tennis is insane.

The US Open's prize money was $53M in 2018. The prize money for the Masters golf tournament is $11M with $2M going to the winner. And those is just two single events among many events during the calendar year in those sports.

Amex, Nike, Rolex, Mercedes Benz plus many other big name companies and tons of smaller equipment companies sponsor golf and tennis. Premium brands are falling all over themselves to be associated with tennis and golf.

Where is cycling's piece of this action? Is it still because of the fallout of the doping era? I have a feeling that it because the ASO controls too much of the sport and nobody at the UCI has any vision.
Golf and tennis are still very much country club sports. They’re still associated with the rich and very privileged. It’s no wonder elite brands want to be on board.
Newsflash so is road cycling which is why it has been called "the new golf".
BRB, scrolling through my tv channels looking for the Cycling Network...

Rondje
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Netherlands

by Rondje

thePrince wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:23 am

The confusion for me peaks with the Wellens/De Gendt six day ride home following Il Lombardia. I haven't seen a single complaint here calling them "wankily hipsterish". Two dudes riding their bikes, having bromance dinners, documenting it, posting it on social media, and bringing attention to their team. But when Morton and Phinney did this 2 years ago, they were crucified here for doing the same thing. Sure they like wearing Frogskins on their adventure rides, but really? Or is it only a problem when the two dudes are using the ride to recover from severe mental burnout/devasting crash vs recovering from a long season.
There is a big difference between Wellens & De Gendt and Morton and Phinney, the later made a film out of it, had a support car and everything and you had to pay to watch the movie if I remember correctly. Wellens and De Gent just ride home on their own, no support etc, no extra story to tell. Just 2 guys trying to keep the fun in their profession.

I applaud both really. Last week I was listening to Laurens ten Dam his podcast with Tankink as a retirement guest on the show and they both talked about how cyclists might have shorter careers now than before. They thought this because riders these days have very strict training programs and some even diet's. Everything is monitored while back when they started they could just do what they wanted and have fun in between. I think these adventures are just the fun riders need to keep their profession interesting and enjoyable.

seaneT1
Posts: 272
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:08 am
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

by seaneT1

More details for next years Giro route emerged...seems like it's gonna be another epic Grand tour, just as it was this year, which was aswell what I believe to be the best of the three for 2018. Could not be more excited for the new season to come!!! :D

by Weenie


IchDien
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:23 am
Location: Veneto

by IchDien

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