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Tour of Guangxi

kleinstrokerkleinstroker Posts: 2,130
edited December 2016 in Pro race
UCI have added another race to the calendar, and this time it could be a good move. The Tour of Guangxi is being funded by Wanda sports, the same guy who tried to buy the Giro d'Italia so in theory it should be well funded. Cycling is definitely in the up in the region, and the area also has some great terrain which could make for an excellent parcours.

Looking forward to see how it progresses

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/racing/uci-adds-chinese-race-2017-worldtour-calendar-298629
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  • The problem with some of these races in less obvious cycling locations is that lack of spectator involvement / presence diminishes the spectacle. Tour of Beijing suffered from this, Abu Dhabi does, the streets for the Worlds were shamefully empty... having this new race as the season closer will bring a few bigger names over though for the UCI gala. Bumping Abu Dhabi to February does make the opening months especially sandy though.
  • Crowds won't be like those in europe guaranteed, but should be better than any middle east race we get to see, plus terrain is far superior to anything middle east has to offer. Cycling is really getting going in Asia now, it just needs a race around which to build.
    Wanda Sports has the financial backing to pull in some decent teams I would have though, but we shall wait and see.
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    I'm happy to give it a chance. As long as it's not just flat stages, which is e main problem with the ME races and the existing Chinese races.
  • ZMC888ZMC888 Posts: 292
    Cycling as a participation sport is growing fast in China, but interest in cycling as a spectator sport is very low, and I doubt will see much improvement over the next few years. There are many cultural and socio-economic reasons for this. (I could go into more detail). Nonetheless if you could find a way of internet live streaming it into people's homes as with DH Mountain biking you could still have plenty of viewers.

    15 year resident in China.
  • ZMC888 wrote:
    Cycling as a participation sport is growing fast in China, but interest in cycling as a spectator sport is very low, and I doubt will see much improvement over the next few years. There are many cultural and socio-economic reasons for this. (I could go into more detail). Nonetheless if you could find a way of internet live streaming it into people's homes as with DH Mountain biking you could still have plenty of viewers.

    15 year resident in China.


    I'm interested in learning, if you're happy to do a post on it?
  • ZMC888 wrote:
    Cycling as a participation sport is growing fast in China, but interest in cycling as a spectator sport is very low, and I doubt will see much improvement over the next few years. There are many cultural and socio-economic reasons for this. (I could go into more detail). Nonetheless if you could find a way of internet live streaming it into people's homes as with DH Mountain biking you could still have plenty of viewers.

    15 year resident in China.


    I'm interested in learning, if you're happy to do a post on it?

    +1
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    + 2
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 9,281
    The thing with spectating is that we have a number of posters on here who watch the entire season on TV, but have no interest in watching at the roadside.

    As a kid when I first saw the tour at the roadside the most interesting thing was all the freebies from the publicity cars.

    Also, in many countries spectating live sport is just not as popular. England have just concluded a test match in India watched by almost no one in the stadium.
  • salsiccia1salsiccia1 Posts: 3,263
    For terrain and scenery like this, it's got to be worth a go :shock:

    6ac3a9887bb8ce417702eea480a0f11c.jpg
    It's only a bit of sport, Mun. Relax and enjoy the racing.
  • TheBigBean wrote:
    The thing with spectating is that we have a number of posters on here who watch the entire season on TV, but have no interest in watching at the roadside.

    As a kid when I first saw the tour at the roadside the most interesting thing was all the freebies from the publicity cars.

    Also, in many countries spectating live sport is just not as popular. England have just concluded a test match in India watched by almost no one in the stadium.

    I'm very rarely roadside, even for the Tour of Denmark, which finishes only a few miles away from me. It would be different if there was a decent hill they rode up. I like to see the racing, and unless someone sets up a big screen then watching roadside is usually more of a case of watching people ride past on bikes, very quickly.

    As for England playing in India.... I think it's probably different when Pakistan come to visit, but price may be an issue - which isn't usually an issue for cycling.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 4,724
    Hmmmm... interesting question.

    One factor is that in a lot of these countries going an sitting by the roadside is a hot, dusty and fairly unpleasant experience. For all the complaining about lack of viewers in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, frankly even if I lived there I wouldn't want to go spent 6 hours hanging out by the road in 30-40 degree heat. Some of the biggest roadside crowds in cycling come in climates where it isn't nearly as hot, nor as dusty.
  • dish_dash wrote:
    Hmmmm... interesting question.

    One factor is that in a lot of these countries going an sitting by the roadside is a hot, dusty and fairly unpleasant experience. For all the complaining about lack of viewers in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, frankly even if I lived there I wouldn't want to go spent 6 hours hanging out by the road in 30-40 degree heat. Some of the biggest roadside crowds in cycling come in climates where it isn't nearly as hot, nor as dusty.

    I guess where I come from on this is that the event seems more alive with an atmosphere roadside - I felt this was interestingly highlighted on two occasions in Europe - the Giro when it last seriously went into France and the Tour de Pologne the year it went into Italy. Both races featured stages that would have been well attended had it been that country's own national tour, but the French did not come out in great numbers for the Giro and the tifosi gave the Polish race a miss. The race is affected by this.

    The worst by far in terms of televised and atmosphere-less races is the Tour of Almaty - a dull up and down of a dualcarriageway. The ToB suffered from the Chinese authorities wanting to show off the latest new road and was there not a discouragement of roadside fans or was that a Kirbyism? The Tour of Hainan had some of the dullest stages of the season unless you liked a one-sided sprintfest.
  • dish_dash wrote:
    Hmmmm... interesting question.

    One factor is that in a lot of these countries going an sitting by the roadside is a hot, dusty and fairly unpleasant experience. For all the complaining about lack of viewers in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, frankly even if I lived there I wouldn't want to go spent 6 hours hanging out by the road in 30-40 degree heat. Some of the biggest roadside crowds in cycling come in climates where it isn't nearly as hot, nor as dusty.

    That is true, but having been to SW China in October, it is like the UK in Spring, and most roads are pretty good. The fact that Guangxi is close to Vietnam and Thailand will also make it very interesting to go IMO.
  • TheBigBean wrote:
    The thing with spectating is that we have a number of posters on here who watch the entire season on TV, but have no interest in watching at the roadside.

    As a kid when I first saw the tour at the roadside the most interesting thing was all the freebies from the publicity cars.

    Also, in many countries spectating live sport is just not as popular. England have just concluded a test match in India watched by almost no one in the stadium.
    Not comparable imo. Demonetisation would've had a far greater impact. England, a bit unexpectedly on paper, also put up a proper contest (the first for a touring team in a couple of years. Australia are next, they're censored in the subcontinent). This may have an aid in ticket sales for the next tests, but most won't buy them without cash.
  • ProssPross Posts: 22,145
    I assume when people talk about the Middle East races they're omitting the Tour of Oman which has some amazing scenery and decent terrain. It's usually a decent race too.
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 4,724
    Looks like both scenery and crowds available for races in Rwanda. Not the greatest of regimes though...
  • dish_dash wrote:
    Looks like both scenery and crowds available for races in Rwanda. Not the greatest of regimes though...


    Yeah, well we'll soon be saying the same of US races
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The thing with spectating is that we have a number of posters on here who watch the entire season on TV, but have no interest in watching at the roadside.

    If you watch cycling from the roadside, you're there for the spectacle, not the sport. As a sport, it's infinitely better on TV IMO.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72 wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    The thing with spectating is that we have a number of posters on here who watch the entire season on TV, but have no interest in watching at the roadside.

    If you watch cycling from the roadside, you're there for the spectacle, not the sport. As a sport, it's infinitely better on TV IMO.



    As someone who's roadside for a lot of races, there is some truth in that. But also being roadside is a more visceral experience. I tend to head for climbs, and I enjoy the atmosphere building as the race approaches.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774


    As someone who's roadside for a lot of races, there is some truth in that. But also being roadside is a more visceral experience. I tend to head for climbs, and I enjoy the atmosphere building as the race approaches.

    It's good to experience it live, as you never really appreciate the speed, effort, closeness etc until you actually see it.

    I remember I saw the ToB London stage when Boonen was world champ. It was a short circuit and that was good to watch. Back then I was on the barriers with no one behind me. You'd now get 12 people deep crowds I suspect.

    I don't know anything about it, but I suspect track is a superior experience live.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    dish_dash wrote:
    Looks like both scenery and crowds available for races in Rwanda. Not the greatest of regimes though...
    It doesn't have sufficiently good infrastructure to manage either. TV/Communications, hotels, etc..

    The regime these days is reasonably OK by African standards. (At least according to my cousin who used to work there)
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    iainf72 wrote:
    I remember I saw the ToB London stage when Boonen was world champ.
    I was there for that. I bought a WC jersey and then just walked up to Boonen and got him to sign it.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,709 Lives Here
    RichN95 wrote:
    iainf72 wrote:
    I remember I saw the ToB London stage when Boonen was world champ.
    I was there for that. I bought a WC jersey and then just walked up to Boonen and got him to sign it.

    I had to miss it. :(
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,774
    RichN95 wrote:
    iainf72 wrote:
    I remember I saw the ToB London stage when Boonen was world champ.
    I was there for that. I bought a WC jersey and then just walked up to Boonen and got him to sign it.

    I had to miss it. :(

    GCSE revision?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,709 Lives Here
    iainf72 wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    iainf72 wrote:
    I remember I saw the ToB London stage when Boonen was world champ.
    I was there for that. I bought a WC jersey and then just walked up to Boonen and got him to sign it.

    I had to miss it. :(

    GCSE revision?

    Not quite, A levels :P

    Was away IIRC.
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 4,724
    RichN95 wrote:
    dish_dash wrote:
    Looks like both scenery and crowds available for races in Rwanda. Not the greatest of regimes though...
    It doesn't have sufficiently good infrastructure to manage either. TV/Communications, hotels, etc..

    The regime these days is reasonably OK by African standards. (At least according to my cousin who used to work there)

    So we won't take the race to the places where we get crowds because they can't pay, but complain when they go to the places that can pay and don't have crowds.

    Kagame is a bit of a western darling and he's managed to keep the peace, but its been done with an iron fist and has come at a price for anyone who disagrees with him. Respecting human rights isn't his forte. Not to mention a tendency to ferment wars in neighbouring countries. As ever judgement depends on what you prioritise...
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    dish_dash wrote:
    So we won't take the race to the places where we get crowds because they can't pay, but complain when they go to the places that can pay and don't have crowds.
    It's not that they can't pay (although the UCI do need to make money), it's that they haven't got the facilities necessary to host the race. Crowds are very nice, but not much use if you can't get the race to a TV audience.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 4,724
    RichN95 wrote:
    dish_dash wrote:
    So we won't take the race to the places where we get crowds because they can't pay, but complain when they go to the places that can pay and don't have crowds.
    It's not that they can't pay (although the UCI do need to make money), it's that they haven't got the facilities necessary to host the race. Crowds are very nice, but not much use if you can't get the race to a TV audience.

    So 5 out of the 7 stages of the Tour de Rwanda start or finish in the capital, Kigali. So let's assume we use that as a base.

    Kigali has been investing in hotel/conference centre capacity such that it can host 3,000 delegates for the WEF Africa, 2,000 delegates for the African Union Summit. So that out to cover hotel room requirements. There are a number of 5* hotels. Public buses have free 4G wifi and there is a nationwide fibre-optic network linked into the East Africa sub-sea cables.

    Yeah, it wouldn't be Qatar or Richmond, and it would cost someone a chunk of money but I don't see why it oughtn't be possible.

    Various posters have been busy telling us that crowds are key to the spectacle! Looking at the Tour de Rwanda pics you'd get quite the spectacle...
  • ZMC888ZMC888 Posts: 292
    ZMC888 wrote:
    Cycling as a participation sport is growing fast in China, but interest in cycling as a spectator sport is very low, and I doubt will see much improvement over the next few years. There are many cultural and socio-economic reasons for this. (I could go into more detail). Nonetheless if you could find a way of internet live streaming it into people's homes as with DH Mountain biking you could still have plenty of viewers.

    15 year resident in China.


    I'm interested in learning, if you're happy to do a post on it?

    OK, for those that are interested:

    Some background: I've lived in China for 15 years and speak fluent Chinese. Also I'm married to a local. The following is correct according to my knowledge and my local area.

    1. As you probably guessed nearly everyone used to cycle in China. These days cars are seen as very high status, as in the west people are willing to sink entire life savings into a car. This is seen as modern and desirable, but bicycles are seen as retro and not cutting edge. People will drive very short distances rather than cycle for 'face' (to be seen as wealthy or high status). Cycling tends to be for a tiny minority of younger riders and for a sizeable chunk of older retired riders, usually low to medium economic status.

    2. Cycle clubs are used as a tool to network with friends in the summer. There are many cycle clubs in China, but these are primarily a way for people to face to face network and gain 'guanxi' (social favours and connections). Often little is known about pro cycling or seen on TV.

    3. Proportionally there are very few top pros that are Chinese. China being a very nationalist country there is a need to be a dominant force in any chosen sport or at least have a household name top athlete, otherwise that sport garners very minimal interest.

    4. Cycle fans are probably a tiny percentage of the total population, but that can obviously add up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, but don't forget that China is a vast country. The distances involved and difficulty in taking time off work is prohibitive to allow many to travel to watch cycling especially in such a far flung place as Guanxi Province. However many people these days have very fast local internet connections and there must be ample opportunities to live stream to the local population and make some good advertising revenue as with red bull TV for DH mountain biking.

    However China is a very dynamic place, and what is true today can suddenly change extremely quickly, which is why it's always worth trying these things to see if they stick.
  • I think point 3 is key, and hopefully TJ Sports being a sponsor of a WT team might help things along in that respect.
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