Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cycling

Jens Voight interview .
Voight is Ivan Basso's teammate on CSC. Ivan of course is my favorite to win the Tour de France. Voight represents riders in the Pro Tour governing body. He has some interesting insights into the Pro Tour, shortening Grand Tour races (Giro and Vuelta mostly) and new markets for cycling races.

I enjoy the Pro Tour idea, it makes things slightly more comprehensible for newcomers like me. Unfortunately for me, the US has no Pro Tour races and only one team (Discovery) among the 20 teams represented in the Pro Tour. (Although I maintain CSC should get more US coverage because it is an American company- the team calls itself Danish-why I dont know). More disasters for fans and potential fans is the lack of coverage by MSM. I plead with WP regularly to report on cycling news particularly Grand Tour events besides Tour de France. I know there is a market for this news having witnessed the mass of racers in the mid-atlantic racing circuit.

Happily the Tour of Georgia has been upgraded to Hors Classe.
"The Tour de Georgia cycling race is now the only Hors Classe rated race in North America, thanks to an upgrade in classification from the world governing body for the sport. The Union Cycliste International (UCI) has approved April 18 - 23 as the dates for the 2006 Tour de Georgia and elevated the event rating from a 2.1 to its top Hors Classe (2.HC) rating, the highest outside of Europe. "In just three years the Tour de Georgia has set the standard as one of the top professional races in North America," said Gerard Bisceglia, CEO of USA Cycling. "USA Cycling is pleased that the UCI has elevated the status so that it receives special attention internationally. The rating is significant to continue the recognition the event deserves from athletes, media and spectators with a global focus,"
I hope some channel covers the racing season next year.

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