Talk me off the roof please! This last year was my second year attending the Tour of Cali. Friends and I have made it something of a traditions. Happily its mid-February date seems perfect to me. Early enough in the season that ProTour teams feel comfortable making the trip. I doesn't really interfere with any other races. Now they seem to be about the make the leap to May. If memory serves, there is this other little Italian race during that month. I think this is a really bad idea. In that CN article I think I disagree with nearly every statement made by the ToC organisers. Particluarly, "There was just no appetite to stay a February race."
50% of the aforementioned friends that join me on my trips to ToC are non-cyclist who are just getting interested over the last two years, not the opposite.
I have taken the liberty of including the top ten on the GC of two indicator races. One is the probably biggest domestic race during that time slot the Mt. Hood Classic.
1 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net/Maxis 11.25.22
2 Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Pro Cycling Team
3 Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team
4 Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team
5 Michael Creed (USA) Rock Racing
6 Bradley White (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Parkpre
7 Phil Zajicek (USA) Health Net/Maxis
8 Andrew Bajadali (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies/Medifast
9 Caleb Manion (Aus) Toyota-United
10 Michael Grabinger (USA) Successful Living.com P/B Parkpre
Not exactly the kind of name recognition that will bring the fans from near and far. Okay next up, is the Volta a Catalunya. This is a ProTour event that goes up against the Giro, and has the advantage of being on the same continent.
1 Gustavo Cesar Veloso (Spa) Karpin Galicia 24.29.22
2 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne 0.16
3 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Crédit Agricole 0.21
4 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott
5 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Astana 0.23
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0.28
7 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana 0.29
8 Pierrick Fédrigo (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.31
9 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team High Road 0.34
10 Gorka Verdugo Markotegi (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
This is getting a little better but still seems substantially depleted of star power. My vote (should it come to that
) is for the ToC to stay exactly where it is, a high profile, usually star-studded, early season tune up.