31 August 2012

For a times they are a changing

Changes in the sport of cycling
Some people have stopped complaining and are trying to tip us off that the future holds changes for cycling. What ever you think of the recent headlines about Lance Armstrong (and the truth is our opinions really won't change the past), the in-fighting that his case created could result in changes in the organization of the sport of cycling. And this is where our opinions and actions do matter. 

One thing is for sure, more information will be released over the next two years to shed light on the Armstrong subject, but the sport of cycling cannot wait that long. We need to get a solid handle on who is in charge of regulating doping in the sport internationally. We need to improve organization, and we need to improve rider salaries, but most importantly we need to make sure Sponsors don't walk out the door disgusted. I don't know if Lance Armstrong is guilty, I do know he declined to continue the fight for his innocence, but Armstrong's reputation is not worth taking down the sport of cycling.

When I hear that race organizers spare no expense to expand their events, I want them to expand the wallets of the true stars of this show - the riders. When I wrote in my post from yesterday (Podium Girls 2012 USA Pro Challenge) that the fans were interested in the prize money for the recent USA Pro Challenge, I was almost embarrassed for the fans to discover how little the winners make. I overheard a Mother at the race answer her son's question, "Do they make a lot of money?" "Yes," she told her son. No, I refrained from correcting them, they do not. 

Lance Armstrong made a lot of money, many of the riders who have had ProTour contracts for years make hundreds of thousands of dollars year after year, but most of the hard-training hard-racing cyclists at the USA Pro Challenge do not make a lot of money. They do it because they are bike racers. I wish we could get 50 of the generous VIP pass paying fans to pool their money and sponsor a Continental team rider to help him train for another year. There has to be a way of making it in this sport without doping being the means to making it into the big leagues and making the big bucks.

Changes are coming 
Read Texas Fold ‘Em Lance Armstrong gives up, but his saga is likely still not over, By Joe Lindsey; and also Commentary: Building a cycling union, straight from Miller’s mouth, By VeloNews. Perhaps George Mitchell could do for cycling what he did for American Baseball in his Mitchell Report to the Commissioner in 2007.

I realized I still have a framed photo of Lance Armstrong on my bookshelf. I make all these comments fully appreciative of what Lance Armstrong accomplished for the fight against cancer. And having a brother who this very day sat in a chair to receive chemo treatment, I mean that, but it is time to separate the man and his cause from the sport. Maybe we should accept this as a real outcome; we have a lot more work ahead of us and many more excellent young athletes to focus our attention upon. It is time to move on.

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let's give a cheer for the Pro Conti and Continental teams that competed at the USA Pro Challenge
©Photos by Karen of PedalDancer.com
Team Bontrager-Livestrong in Montrose last week  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Joe Dombrowski the overall Best Young Rider rides for a Continental Team
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Team Exergy signing autographs for fans in Aspen last week  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
3 time U.S. National Road Champion Freddy Rodriguez rides for a Continental Team  
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
On Independence Pass  Photo by deNavaille Photographique
Big climbs, hard stages    Photo by deNavaille Photographique
Rory Sutherland rides for the Professional Continental team United Healthcare   
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
The Bissell team in Beaver Creek
Bontrager-Livestrong in Breckenridge    ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Starting stage 5 in Breckenridge   Photo by deNavaille Photographique
The Russian Russ Velo riders in Breckenridge   Photo by deNavaille Photographique
Fans and riders relating in Golden   ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
EPM-Une riders rolling through to the start line in Golden
Spidertech team heading to sign-in in Golden
Team Exergy   ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Team EPM-Une (Columbia)  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
United Healthcare and Team Type I-Sonofi riders
Ready to race every morning
EPM-Une, Champion Systems, Team Type I-Sanofi, Bissell out on the road racing ©Photo by Laurie Valaer
Rory Sutherland won Stage 6 on Flagstaff  Photo by deNavaille Photographique
Russ Velo on the start ramp on Denver ITT  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Exergy ready for the individual time trial   ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Optum/Kelly Benefit Strategies racing through the streets of Denver   
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Exergy racing  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Bontrager-Livestrong crossing the line in the ITT in Denver
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
EPM-Une rider on the last corner ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
Champion Systems crosses the finish line  ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
The Continental teams are a big part of the races in America
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
They gave us a great mix of 16 teams
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
A blend of riders
©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
I hope they'll be back again next year to make the race even better
They'll be back   ©Photo by Karen at PedalDancer.com
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