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Second Place winner, October 2012 XT Photo Contest
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Is the "Tour of California" which is going on right now in (guess) California any kind of big deal in the cycling world. To read a newspaper in the City here one would think that its just a matter of time before this race overtakes some of the European classics and snuggles in as number two to the Tour de France. Is this just local boosterism? Thus is what I figure but what the hell do I know? Is it even getting any notice outside of the Golden State? Will it be just another Tour de Trump?*

Incidentally, Floyd Landis is in first place last I checked with five days left.

*Which was won a couple of times by Djamaldine Abdujaparov, I think. :thumbsup:
 

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Honorable Mention, February 2013 XT Photo Contest
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Most early season or preparatory races are "big" only the communities where they are raced. For example, the tour of algarve is big in the algarve region or the tour down under is "big" in Australia etc. The hard core cycling fans will follow them either through the cycling news rags or, in recent years, through the internet. I had been looking forward to see how the americans do in this race and they all seem to be doing fine. Landis, Hincapie, Lepheimer and company have been at the front through most of the stages.

I am disspointed that this is not on TV, I would have thought that OLN in the USA would have covered it, but there are daily updates on velonews.com and other web sites.

As for the future of the race, being so early in the season, it is very hard, if not impossible, to see the race overtake any of the spring classics. For a cyclist it is very difficult to peak at variuos times through the year. Especially in this era of periodization training, where they build a base, then build their intervals and anaerobic abilities and then peak for races. But if the money flows like it has for its inagural year, it will only help in increasing its visibility.

The tour de trump, later known as the tour dupont, never was won by Abdujaparov, I think he only won stages but not the whole thing (I could be wrong). Riders like Raul Alcala from Mexico and a very young Lance Armstrong won the race. Can't remember other winners.
 

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I don't know how it is for the Southern European countries, but here the only race that matters (and that is only for the money involved) is the Tour of Quatar. The fact that Eddy Merckx is one of the organisers probably has something to do with it. Others have followed in those footsteps, because a week or two ago, Eddy opened the first Tour of Cuba offering Fidel Castro a bike (and along with the bike a substantial amount of money for medical facilities). However apart from some cool photo's I doubt we'll hear more of that in the futur.

Meanwhile the season has tradionallly been opened yesterday with 'de Omloop het Volk'. The race, that was won by an impressive Philippe Gilbert, isn't a pro-tour race, but a semi-classic with a lot of publicity value. As a result you only have top riders on the list of winners.
 
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