I liked the previous editions of the race, maybe it was their slot in the season, this was an early chance to see some of the big names in action and I’d stay up late to catch the action. But now I’m looking at a small race up against the Giro. I’ve already written that the calendar clash was dumb but the US race just isn’t exciting me.
Don’t get me wrong, I really want the Tour of California to succeed. The US should have a big stage race and California is a great place, given its abundant population, varied geography and stunning scenery.
But I think they could consider four things to make the race work better:
- Move the race: stop it clashing with the Giro, the world’s second biggest bike race. This would bring more riders and teams.
- Include a proper mountain stage. What better way to showcase the fine terrain of the west coast? Mountain summit finishes are where big stage races should be decided. What’s good for the Dauphiné or Romandie should be good for Cali.
- Tweak the finishing time: many fans in Europe can’t stay up until 1.00am. I don’t know how this works for US schedules but TV coverage in Europe would tempt more Euro teams to make the journey.
- Be patient. The ingredients may need fine-tuning but if this race is given time to grow it should become a permanent fixture on the sporting calendar.