Tour of California Paused

The Tour of California won’t happen in 2020 with the organisers AEG declaring a “hiatus” for the race and with the women’s race too. The reasons aren’t given directly but further comments to Velonews cited the business model, presumably code for saying the race ran out of money rather than being stopped for other reasons. It’s bad news for US cycling but doesn’t come in isolation.

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California Clash

It’s a calendar clash with the Giro, many star riders are in the Giro or on Teide, it’s got World Tour status without really having the World Tour obligations and more. It all works well.

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Did Ag2r Avoid Breaking Saunier Duval’s Losing Record?

A double win yesterday for French squad Ag2r La Mondiale. First they won in the Circuit de Lorraine Professionel, a 2.1 stage race on France’s eastern borders thanks to S√©bastien Hinault. Then Sylvain Georges doubled-up with a fine solo stage win in the Tour of California.

Until now they had yet to win a race this year and were a day away from “beating” the longest losing streak set by Saunier Duval who didn’t win a race until 19 May back in 2005. This time Ag2r won their two stages on 18 May, a day ahead. But 2012 is a leap year meaning the French squad might have won earlier in May but we’ve had an extra day in the year.

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Tour of California: invitations and exclusions

16 teams will take part in the Amgen Tour of California, from 13-20 May. The race organisers announced the invitations yesterday and the full list is available, for example on cyclingnews.com.

As usual, without a pedal being turned there’s satisfaction for some squads but disappointment and frustration for others. I won’t analyse every team’s chances but the invitation of Bontrager-Livestrong and the non-invitation of Team Type 1 are worth evaluating. Here’s a look.

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American anti-doping controls watered down by UCI

Tour of California

There’s a worrying story over on cyclingnews.com about the lack of anti-doping testing in the Tour of California, and also in the Tour of Utah or USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado too. Specifically there were no blood tests and the story says this was because the UCI pulled out of a deal at the last minute with the US authorities, thwarting their plans for comprehensive testing. Read the piece first to make sense of the following.

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California snowing

California snow

For Europeans, California brings up all sorts of images. From Hollywood to the goldrush, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, not to mention eccentric people and many creative industries.¬† Even the countryside, from the parks to the coastlines, are known. But snow isn’t one of the more obvious associations.

Yesterday’s opening stage of the Tour of California was cancelled, the weather had been bad all week and the day saw new flurries of snow. During the day the stage was on… then it was off… then it was back off. Plus the stage had been shortened to 80km. In the end the riders collectively said “no”.

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On the Tour of California

I feel for any race organiser trying to put an event on at the same time as the Giro d’Italia. How you you compete? The answer is you don’t. Instead of wild climbs and off-road riding the Tour of California is a more classic kind of race. Many riders are wary of doing the Giro … Read more

California Accounting

Writing about the financial health of something can be a tricky subject. Even a hint can cause a self-fulfilling event. For example on Friday morning there was a rumour of long queues of people standing outside branches of the Spanish bank BBVA. But this wasn’t a bank run… it was a run sponsored by the … Read more

Airmiles

Thomas Voeckler’s got over 15,000km of racing in his legs this year. But other riders have more miles… air miles. 2010 has seen the sport start with the Tour Down Under, then go to the middle-east, travelling to California and last weekend saw two races in Canada. That’s before the Worlds in Australia. And don’t … Read more

Cav’s New Shoes

Here’s a photo from the podium in the Tour of California, courtesy of Steephill.tv. Whilst Dave Zabriskie gets interviewed, Mark Cavendish is striking a somewhat camp pose. The sprinter is showing off his shoes to Team Type 1’s Dutch rider Thomas Rabou. What’s so special about the shoes? Well look closely and you’ll see they … Read more