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  1. #1
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    San Francisco off the back...

    The 2008 Tour of California will start in Palo Alto for the prologue, then jump to Sausalito for the first stage...

    Good news for those of you in the South Bay, bad news for SF's Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, who made such a strong bid to retain the event -- insert irony here -- that it didn't even know it had been dropped until a reporter revealed the news. Story here.

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    I thought this was interesting:
    “Each year, we’ll have a collection of mainstays but also experiment and bring in new cities, to showcase more of the state and make the route fresh"

    I'm all for the south bay start since I live in the south bay, but if you had to pick just one California city as a mainstay - wouldn't it be SF? It seems perfectly suited to a cycling race with the large hills and the ability to attract large crowds because it's a densely populated urban area.

  3. #3
    one good leg jinws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sj_roadie View Post
    I thought this was interesting:
    “Each year, we’ll have a collection of mainstays but also experiment and bring in new cities, to showcase more of the state and make the route fresh"

    I'm all for the south bay start since I live in the south bay, but if you had to pick just one California city as a mainstay - wouldn't it be SF? It seems perfectly suited to a cycling race with the large hills and the ability to attract large crowds because it's a densely populated urban area.
    politics my friend, politics. who knows why SF wasn't picked, maybe our mayor screwed the wrong person's wife.

    Although I live in SJ, I still consider myself a San Franciscan. Just a thought, maybe we can have some sort of BF meet up at certain locations.

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    Guess SF thought the same thing I did, that it's place in the tour was assured. So they didn't bother to roll out the red-carpet and are paying the price. Now they're doing damage control to make sure they can get some Tour de Cali love in future years.

  5. #5
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Wonder where in PA the course will go to? At least this time, it will be more local for us not in Frisco.
    I'm in it to finish it.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member 7rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sj_roadie View Post
    I'm all for the south bay start since I live in the south bay, but if you had to pick just one California city as a mainstay - wouldn't it be SF? It seems perfectly suited to a cycling race with the large hills and the ability to attract large crowds because it's a densely populated urban area.
    Since SF is one of the most famous cities in the world, it makes sense that it would be a mainstay, but I'm sure there's a backstory involving politics and costs on why the prologue's moving to Palo Alto. Like Spingineer, I'm really interested in what the route will be for the prologue and also what teams will be participating considering some big ones have been imploding lately. A route down Palm Drive would be great for the cameras, but I don't know if Stanford wants to deal with headaches of the event.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7rider View Post
    Since SF is one of the most famous cities in the world, it makes sense that it would be a mainstay, but I'm sure there's a backstory involving politics and costs on why the prologue's moving to Palo Alto. Like Spingineer, I'm really interested in what the route will be for the prologue and also what teams will be participating considering some big ones have been imploding lately. A route down Palm Drive would be great for the cameras, but I don't know if Stanford wants to deal with headaches of the event.
    From the Examiner article: "[Palo Alto] submitted a great bid. Palo Alto had a local organizing committee that included the mayor, local leadership and Stanford University,” Hunter said.

    So it sounds like Stanford will likely be involved. I think it's good to change up the route, though the climb up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower made for a prologue that will be hard to beat in terms of atmosphere and challenge to the riders.

    But it sounds like Palo Alto really wanted it. Meanwhile, SF didn't seem to make any pitch for it at all. Which isn't surprising -- in 2006, the SF Grand Prix (the race that used to go up Fillmore) got cancelled in part because its organizers wanted the city to pay for some of the event's expenses. and the city was reluctant to do so, especially when the Tour of California organizers came along and said they would cover all the expenses for their event.

    Now that the Tour of California is getting attractive enough that cities seem willing to pay to host it, it may be a while before it ever comes to SF again...

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    SF lost the Tour of California for the same reason they lost the SF Grand Prix: money. The city was demanding more money from the race organizers than they could afford. Pro bike racing in the US is run on a shoestring budget (remember how the Tour of Georgia almost folded last year). The costs in San Francisco may be justified: closing down major streets and providing police traffic control is more expensive in a big and crowded city than in the suburbs. Palo Alto was probably willing to subsidize this somewhat in return for the publicity.

    I understand that the route will start at Palo Alto city hall (corner of Bryant and Hamilton), then take University Ave. into Stanford for the finish. It is a prologue stage and very short (a few miles). The main purpose of the prologue is to introduce the riders to the fans one at a time.

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    Based on the TOC website we (Sonoma County) get a finish and a start again!! Woohooo, of course I am sure it doesn't hurt that Levi lives in S.R.
    There have been huge crowds up here both years so I am sure that helps as well. Can't wait.

  10. #10
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    Wasn't I hearing rumors after the race this year that they wanted to make it longer next year to increase the prestige and exposure?
    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
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  11. #11
    Veni, Vidi, Vomiti SteveE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7rider View Post
    ... I don't know if Stanford wants to deal with headaches of the event.
    Well, Prof. Joe Manning (and A/V member) of Stanford is one of the folks behind this. So, I would guess that he has gotten some support from the University. It was my understanding that the route would start at city hall and end somewhere on campus.
    "Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ...'holy *****...what a ride!'"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE View Post
    Well, Prof. Joe Manning (and A/V member) of Stanford is one of the folks behind this. So, I would guess that he has gotten some support from the University. It was my understanding that the route would start at city hall and end somewhere on campus.
    The prologue is on a Sunday (Feb 17) when the campus is pretty quite anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimples View Post
    Wasn't I hearing rumors after the race this year that they wanted to make it longer next year to increase the prestige and exposure?
    They may want to lengthen it sometime, but that kind of thing will take years of planning.

  14. #14
    Avenir Equipped BlankCrows's Avatar
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    Smart to change things around. The TdF starts in different places every year, so SF shouldn't feel they are entitled. Better for the organizers to have cities wanting to pay some of the costs. An awful lot of visitors for the event will be staying and spending tourist dollars in SF anyways.

    I spoke with one of the Mavic motorcycle riding mechanics after the 2007 Santa Rosa/Sacramento finish. He was especially impressed by the crowds in Davis. I mentioned it was a rather bike friendly community and the police cars there have penny-farthing logos on them. He thought that was cool.

  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimples View Post
    Wasn't I hearing rumors after the race this year that they wanted to make it longer next year to increase the prestige and exposure?
    They could be riding around Campus Dr. That would provide the distance for a lot of fans to cheer and support the riders.

  16. #16
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    They should start the prologue at the Stanford end of Foothill (which would be Junipero Serra, I guess), and run it all the way down to Homestead, and back to the S/F. Haha, that would be a hoot of a prologue.

  17. #17
    Shameless Fred Ty.S's Avatar
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    I'm totally pumped about the south bay start for this thing.. I get a chance to be a schloog!! Get some BF folks together and we can ham it up... anybody wanna volunteer to do the Borat bikini??

    There was probably a lot of politics involved in the decision, but my thought was of just simple congestion. I know SF is pretty much famous for being willing to shut down entire lengths of street, but maybe there is only so many times they can do that before they roll off into the red zone. The Palo Alto route is so common for cyclist it almost makes perfect sense to me. Would be nice to see how the pros blast through the areas that give me a hard time, should provide some motivation.
    The nicer the bike.. the more demanding your life becomes off it..

  18. #18
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    The Palo Alto prologue is closer for me too. I imagine the teams won't mind the change because finishing on top of Telegraph Hill seemed like a logistical nightmare — what do you do with the bikes, riders and team cars at the end! But it did give me a chance to "press the flesh" (quite literally and liberally) with the riders as they had to wade through the spectators where I was standing near the finish line to get back to the team trailers.

  19. #19
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ty.S View Post
    .. anybody wanna volunteer to do the Borat bikini??
    Gotta admit when I saw the guy doing that on the TdF, I cracked up big time. It was so gross that it was hilarious.

  20. #20
    Spinning like a gerbel spingineer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Gotta admit when I saw the guy doing that on the TdF, I cracked up big time. It was so gross that it was hilarious.
    You mean this????

    I'm in it to finish it.

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  21. #21
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Aww, Ron, we really didn't need to see that...

    Ty, curse you for planting the suggestion in Ron's head!

  22. #22
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    I'm cracking up all over again!

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