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Tour of America Falling Flat

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CyclingNews does a thorough rundown of the current proposed $11 million Tour of America as dissected at the inaugural press conference yesterday in Las Vegas... and it's beginning to sound like a hoax. The organizer, Dr. Frank Arokiasamy, is a corporate consultant with apparently no experience with cycling. He has no money secured (though he throws around figures like $20 million as if it were nothing). In short, his shtick appears to be "I've got this crazy dream!" and we're supposed to get excited while it all magically falls into place.

The truth is, I would love to see a Tour of America, one with a parcours on the level with the Giro (there can only be one Tour), and which manages to take advantage of America's potentially phenomenal backdrops and topography. One that secures a spot on the Pro Tour (or whatever) calendar so that the world's greatest racers will at least consider attending. One worthy of the front pages of the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, etc. as the peloton passes through our cities, and which stops the public in its tracks to watch the incredible spectacle of the sport.

All of this is well within the realm of the possible, when the time is right. But launching it prematurely as an apparent hoax, drawing the guffaws of the Cycling media, is a pretty poor way of advancing the concept. Unless Dr. Arokiasamy and his team get real, hire some people who've sponsored races and actually know the sport, and stop mocking the concept with 130km time trials, the idea is in danger of being consigned to the realm of the pipe dream.