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Biggest threat to professional cycling?

EchappeeEchappee Posts: 79
edited May 2007 in Pro race
No, not doping but the current poor state of French cycling. I think their best finisher in Paris-Roubaix was 22nd! If the focus of the world in general is going to be on the Tour De France then the French need to be really engaged for the race to retain the great spectacle that it is. Without the sniff of a contender, let alone, winner, will the French publics interest slowly diminish? I'm sure this Sunday at Paris - Roubaix the crowds did not seem to be as intense as they have been (the velodrome looked almost empty?) whilst there seemed to be a huge amount of Belgium supporters driving between the cobbled sectors. After all, they've got Tom Boonen to cheer!

Posts

  • jimmythecuckoojimmythecuckoo Posts: 4,424
    You could be right. The emerging nations are great, but a core of the historic nations achieving success is required for the sport to prosper.

    The news that La Redoute wont be sponsoring Paris-Roubaix anymore is a sign of the times. They have backed cycling for decades.

    http://fenlandclarioncc.wordpress.com/
  • OffTheBackAdamOffTheBackAdam Posts: 1,914
    Lack of interest is not just a French problem. Boonen said in an interview in Pro-Cycling recently,that there was a lack of young riders coming up through the system in Belgium.
    The great Gorgon of Football hangs over heads too. Easier to make millions by kicking a ball about than spending the hours needed, in all weathers, out training.

    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
  • Here is a thought...odd though it may seem, obviously it does not yet have the great tradition that europe has, and believe me,it never will, great strides are being made over here in america...even without lance and floyd up against the ropes, the sport here is growing like crazy. Group rides are offered almost every night in every major city and even smaller ones, yes even memphis, tn is seeing a huge interest in cycling.
    My basis for this was the us open pro championships, blowing wind, snow, and freezing temps, and there was still a great crowd, in richmond, VA of all places. As a fan of the sport, i would love to see it continue to grow, much like football (not american).

    Give me pave or give me death!
    Give me pave or give me death!
  • Stark.Stark. Posts: 108
    I totally agree about the state of French cycling. Just one rider emerging as a genuine Grand Tour contender would have a huge impact. Let's face it, Moreau and Dessel are probably not going to take the final step up to be genuine podium finishers.

    So what are the causes of the ongoing malaise in French top level cycling? Any theories?
  • funakifunaki Posts: 29
    I am not too worried about the French lack of success at TDF, it is all swings and roundabouts. So the French dont have a serious contender but they can still dream their dreams. Bastille day will have our Gallic friends hopping off down the road in search of glory for many years to come. There will crashes, controversy, heroes and villans. The TDF is an institution not an event, and there is more to this three week epic than the Maillot Jaune.

    Remember Voekler's spirited defence of his jersey, remember Tricky Dickie and his fistfull of polka dot bibs, remember the many triumphs and tragedy of Jaja in his prime.
  • rufvelorufvelo Posts: 8
    Don't care too much about French cycling or their lack of recent success. Cycling is going to die from doping with sponsors pulling out big time in embarassment a la Phonak. Luckily Basso quit Discovery before the 'I didn't inhale' confession. Not sure how much damage has been done. Discovery is on the way out, in hindsight, signing up an a Basso could spell the end since team memegement judgement and business development skills is key to survival. Soon we could end up with just a second division...and we still won't know if they're all clean.
  • esmit208esmit208 Posts: 41
    Ditto here along the SPACECOAST ABS. Not just the meandering sort os rides but down right thigh busting ride for those of you wanting to train. Check out Space Coast Velo Sport<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Autobus Straggler</i>

    Here is a thought...odd though it may seem, obviously it does not yet have the great tradition that europe has, and believe me,it never will, great strides are being made over here in america...even without lance and floyd up against the ropes, the sport here is growing like crazy. Group rides are offered almost every night in every major city and even smaller ones, yes even memphis, tn is seeing a huge interest in cycling.
    My basis for this was the us open pro championships, blowing wind, snow, and freezing temps, and there was still a great crowd, in richmond, VA of all places. As a fan of the sport, i would love to see it continue to grow, much like football (not american).

    Give me pave or give me death!
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

    Edward G. Smith
    Edward G. Smith
  • turboturbo Posts: 8
    Not really a new pheomonon is it guys. French cycling hasnt really thrown up a real contender for a number of years (i accept that some feel Virenque may be the exception), but if the UCI dosent clean house and stop pretending that its only a few bad eggs, then we wont have a professional sport worth discussing. As a fellow Irishman i was holding hope of McQuaid cracking a whip when he took the reins of the UCI, but im still waiting
  • EchappeeEchappee Posts: 79
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by turbo</i>

    Not really a new pheomonon is it guys.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

    Exactly. No French winner since 1985 and when was the last <i>true</i> French contender? It'll be so long since they've had a chance of a win in the race that even the heritage & tradition of the event will be lost on the French.

    Like it or not, the season still revolves around Le Tour and cycling needs a competitive French contingent at the heart of it.

    BTW, who was the last real French contender? In retrospect Virenque, Moreau etc were never going to win it were they?
  • OffTheBackAdamOffTheBackAdam Posts: 1,914
    Take Virenque's EPO syringe out of his arm and he wasn't a serious contender.
    Good question as to who was! Moreau seems to have the bad day on the worst day possible. Last true French contender? How about Fignon?

    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
    Remember that you are an Englishman and thus have won first prize in the lottery of life.
  • EchappeeEchappee Posts: 79
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Arial, Helvetica, Verdana" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by OffTheBackAdam</i>

    How about Fignon?

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></font id="quote"></blockquote id="quote">

    [:D]Yes, 1989, right up until the last 1km!
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