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Will LA's retirement cause a biking slump?

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Will LA's retirement cause a biking slump?

Old 05-03-05, 11:14 AM
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Will LA's retirement cause a biking slump?

I was thinking a while back how much bigger road biking has become with Lance's wins in the tour. Like him or not he seems to have brought cycling to a wider audience in the US in the last 5 years or so. The last such spike in biking came with the mountain bike, but kind of fell off after a while. Do you think once he retires bike sales and public interest will fall into another slump? Do we need another US star to keep it in the limelight? I fear if another slump comes we'll see a lot of bike shops closing up making it harder for those who have been riding for a while.
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Old 05-03-05, 11:24 AM
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I think for cycling to continue to boom (is it booming? I guess sort of) in the US then yes it would clearly help if we havd a star or two in the euopean peleton. Maybe Danielson and Zabriskie can pull US cycling After Armstrong.
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Old 05-03-05, 11:39 AM
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It probably will unfortunately. Even though there are 2 Americans in the top 10 UCI rankings, and neither are named Lance Armstrong. Maybe it will expand the US's awareness of the fact that there are other races besides Le Tour. Course that's probably just wishful thinking.
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Old 05-03-05, 12:41 PM
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given the precedent set with Lemond, I think we
will see a slump after this year.
If (and it's a big if) lance can wield his influence
maybe discovery channel, oln etc. will continue to
cover cycling.
I expect that sales of Trek bikes, Discovery Channel Team uniforms
etc. is going to fall off sharply.
I'm looking forward to all those yard sale bikes in a year or two.
Danielson, Zabriskie, Barry, Leiphiemer, Julich all rolled up
together won't add up to one Lance media machine. Sad
but true (will the lance machine pick up a new "cycling star"?
could be interesting).

Marty
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Old 05-03-05, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lotek
given the precedent set with Lemond, I think we
will see a slump after this year.
If (and it's a big if) lance can wield his influence
maybe discovery channel, oln etc. will continue to
cover cycling.
I expect that sales of Trek bikes, Discovery Channel Team uniforms
etc. is going to fall off sharply.
I'm looking forward to all those yard sale bikes in a year or two.
Danielson, Zabriskie, Barry, Leiphiemer, Julich all rolled up
together won't add up to one Lance media machine. Sad
but true (will the lance machine pick up a new "cycling star"?
could be interesting).

Marty
True. It isn't simply that Lance is an American dominating the Tour de France the fact that he is a cancer survivor to boot adds to his mistique and marketability.
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Old 05-03-05, 01:25 PM
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Tom Danielson has a sure chance because he's camera friendly. The other guys are too old; Julich repeated that line several times at the TdG press conference.

Lance alluded to his new role in cycling, but he will likely have his hands full with the LAF.

I talked to many non-cycling spectators in Georgia who said they were totally blown away by the sport. And they said they'd be back next year without Lance. So let's not write us off too quickly.
Many of them said that cycling is a lot like NASCAR in that you can't feel the excitement by watching it on TV.
I saw plain ol' Georgia folk who had never seen a bike race just going NUTS when Andrea Tafi soloed into Rome. It was infectuous.
Now, how do we parlay that to a national thing?
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Old 05-03-05, 05:42 PM
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I think LA's retirment will actually help the sport here. He will be able to focus more on other things and promote the sport through different chanels. I maybe overly optimistic, but he could become a personality like Schwartzenegger. Lance could be a great supporter of cycling in many ways.

Cheers
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Old 05-03-05, 07:31 PM
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i dont think there will be another American that will be as captivating to the masses as Lance. there are plenty of Americans in pro cycling right now but the general public could not care less about them. with Lance, he had the whole all american "Texan kicking frenchies ass in his own game..." thing, oh and surviving cancer didn't hurt his back story either - also the relationship with sheryl crowe. he had a lot going for him that the average American looked for.
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Old 05-03-05, 08:08 PM
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The Cheryl Crow issue didn't come into play until
lately (within the past year or so), I don't think it's
a huge factor.
The Cancer survivorship didn't help his story, it made
his story. There were Americans winning the Tour and
other races before Lance, and will be after Lance.
He made a machine out of his foundation, signed on
some big advertizers (nike for one) and that was that.
the media machine took over, book tours, Oprah appearances
etc. that is what will not be working for the next american
cycling superstar.
Beating the french at their own game is a good story
line but it didn't work before, won't work again without
all the other pieces.

Marty
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Old 05-03-05, 08:39 PM
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I think cycling will go through a slump. Lance leaving may do the sport some good in that people can focus on other great cyclists and other up-and-coming cyclists, but I think overall, people are so fixated on Lance that when he leaves, people will just lose the interest. What I hope Lance does is push awareness of other cyclists in the spotlight, stay focussed on promoting the sport, and perhaps even mentor some promosing young gun with lots of potential.

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Old 05-03-05, 08:44 PM
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I agree, Lance's retirement will shift focus to some other really good cyclists, but really only in cycling circles. Most people that don't care about cycling won't really care about these guys. It'll be just another sport. The great thing about Lance is that he transcends the cycling niche and has great mass appeal. It's a given that his retirement will cause a slump. But it'll be up before it goes down.
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Old 05-03-05, 10:11 PM
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No other riders have the media savvy or profile of Armstrong. Will be impossible to replace as cycling's "figurehead' to the lay person.

But the sport itself won't suffer. In Australia, cyclists are seen as drugged up kids who are expected to win a swag of gold medals at every major champs and then disappear in the interim. None have a media profile.
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Old 05-03-05, 10:55 PM
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I expect there might be fewer bikes sold. I doubt seriously that the numbers actually riding regularly will vary by much. There will likely just be space in the garage for other stuff where people thought they had to have a bike because of lance's cachet.
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Old 05-04-05, 06:03 AM
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According to the numbers I have seen from B.R.A.I.N. only road bikes have increased in sales over the past three years. Everything else has slipped off. What kills bike sales is big box and Mart stores, and internet mass marketing. Also the current industry prices on upper end frames and components does not help.
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Old 05-04-05, 06:40 AM
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There will be a slump, but only temporary. When all of the young guys that Lance has inpired mature into the next Danielsons, Zabriskies, Barrys, Leiphiemers, Julichs, Landis, and maybe even Lances, cycling in the U.S.A. will peak even higher.
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Old 05-04-05, 06:55 AM
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here's a can of worms...

lance armstrong became a us cycling/media icon not just because he won all those tours, but because his name is "lance armstrong."

he is perfect american media product. he has a hero's name: "lance armstrong." he is not identifiably ethnic in anyway [zabriskie? leipheimer?]. he is moderately attractive, but not in an effeminate or threatening way [like tom cruise]. he is the perfect embodiment of white, anglo-saxon, apple-pie americanism from his fair hair to his perfect, easily-pronounced, marketable name. and he won the big one.

individually, these are all powerful assets. taken together and you have an icon.
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Old 05-04-05, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Hunter
According to the numbers I have seen from B.R.A.I.N. only road bikes have increased in sales over the past three years. Everything else has slipped off. What kills bike sales is big box and Mart stores, and internet mass marketing. Also the current industry prices on upper end frames and components does not help.
Wow. I see lots of hybrids out there... have they mentioned which road bikes sales increased?

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Old 05-04-05, 08:43 AM
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There will be a slump in America, but nowhere else. There are plenty of young guys out there ready to kick some butt (I think Boonen's at the top of that list). The fans of the sport will remain fans. The fans of Lance will go away.

It took a guy coming back from cancer and winning multiple times to get Americans to care about cycling in the first place. And that "caring" isn't very deep to begin with. Danielson can win a few races, but nobody will care because he didn't beat cancer and he doesn't sell bracelets. Even though he's American, he's just another cyclist to everyone else.
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Old 05-04-05, 09:34 AM
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Maybe with Chris Horner riding in Europe, he can bring a new enthusiasm to folks and keep the interest in cycling going. OLN would be wise to get something going with Horner.

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Old 05-04-05, 09:44 AM
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A slump - not in my riding, but probably his. Oh you mean in general in the USA maybe, but I think it will be temporary and the level will still be higher than a few years ago. In other words the trend line will continue to increase it will have a buldge around the Lance years.

Joe
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Old 05-04-05, 10:01 AM
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I'd like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from cycling. I just can't go on without Lance.
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Old 05-04-05, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gcasillo
I'd like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from cycling. I just can't go on without Lance.
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Old 05-04-05, 04:46 PM
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Yes! No more Postal pelotons on the local shared-use trails!
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Old 05-04-05, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gcasillo
I'd like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from cycling. I just can't go on without Lance.
So much for the HHI ride.
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Old 05-04-05, 05:09 PM
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IF another American can step up and win the Tour de France, a slump may be avoided. Maybe Tom Danielson? Chris Horner? Who knows. Hopefully the Tour de Georgia will stay around with Pro Tour teams in it, and other races get bigger.
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