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American Tour, Cont'd

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Just a follow on to the earlier post.  The hypothesis in Cycle Sport is that the Tour of Germany was a huge success because it connected the Pro Tour to a country with a lot of enthusiasm for cycling, and the racers loved it because they had a great route with reasonable distances and only a two-week schedule.

Contrast that with the Vuelta, which the non-Spanish riders apparently dread.  Too long, kinda dull, very fast... did I mention that it's too long?  This hasn't always been the case, and it seems like only three years ago when the Vuelta was the most entertaining grand tour.  But scandal and better competition from the Giro have taken big bites out of the Vuelta's profile lately.

Should it continue as a Grand Tour?  Johan Bruyneel, the person most responsible for generating American interest in pro cycling, thinks we need a Pro Cycling Tour event stateside.  No argument here.  And CS runs through the calendar and determines the only way to make room for a trip across the Pond for a week or two is by shortening the Vuelta to two weeks.

This makes sense -- how many sponsors need three full weeks' exposure in Spain?  How many riders would love to lop off a week's duty in September?  Maybe this love of the Deutschland Rundfahrt is a brief fad... or maybe the future of Cycling is two grand tours, and a handful of two-week tours that bring the sport to the rest of the Cycling world.