Archive for July 24, 2010

A Senior Pro Cycling Tour?   3 comments

I was feeling kind of sad the last few days hearing Lance Armstrong talk about his last mountain stage and the last time trial he would do in his life – and it got me thinking…

Now I’m probably not the first person  to have thought about this, and maybe it even has been tried, but wouldn’t it be neat if there was a senior pro cycling tour? I’m thinking of something along the lines of the Professional golf senior tour. There would be a minimum qualifying age – I’m thinking a cut-off of 40 years old. I’m guessing that fitness levels/capabilities would level off somewhat above this age so that it wouldn’t be unreasonable to  have riders 20 years apart being competitive with each other. Wouldn’t it be great to see many of the past greats compete against each other – time having healed some old rivalries while other rivalries may have been maintained and even escalated. Perhaps some new rivalries would develop from those who never crossed paths in their primes?  Can you imagine seeing the tour greats of different eras (say a 30 year span) riding together. I think it would be a blast.  I’d love to see Lance go head-to-head with Lemond. I think it would be a great draw for spectators and what draws spectators would draw sponsors.

I would expect the events to be scaled back from the regular pro tour – with just a  three month summer season based in Europe but it would be great for the sport if they had some events in North America and possibly other continents. I’m guessing the 3 week grand tour format would be out with maybe just single day events and a few 3 to 5 day stage races. I don’t see why they couldn’t include mountain, flat (sprinter) and time trial stages

Another idea, specifically for the Tour de France: how about a senior  event that would be open to all past TdF podium finishers (of perhaps anyone who had finished in the GC top-10 or perhaps anyone that had ever won a stage?) I’m imagining a one-day event on the day of the prologue? Wouldn’t that be exciting and a great way to pay homage to the Tour’s great history and characters?

What do you think – could this work? Would the old riders be interested in coming back to race? Would it be commercially viable? Do you think the riders would compete individually or can you imagine them being on sponsored teams?

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Posted July 24, 2010 by Randy Talbot in Cycle Racing, Tour de France

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