Having fun yet? After three unexciting stages I think thhis isn’t much of a time to reflect on racing, so here’s my topic of the day: the Giro should come to America.
With the precedent of Israel, I think it will. If you put politics aside (is that even a thing?) the Israel start was a success. The fans turned up (they’ve been watching the Tour live for years), there was much to see along the way, and the race went perfectly fine for an opening set of stages. Starting outside Europe is no longer a non-starter for at least the Giro.
Now picture this: New York and Philadelphia are two of the world’s most Italian-influenced cities, maybe # 1 and 2 outside Europe. They are 100 miles apart. At both ends and in between are something like a million or more Italian—Americans, and nobody is more enthusiastic about Italianness than... um, people who kind of lost their true identity but cling to Italy. It’s complicated. But I guarantee you they will flip out for the Giro every place along the way.
You know RCS is dying to monetize, I mean tell that story. The immigrants’ story is poignant, and in terms of value New York and Ans, Belgium are nothing alike, yet we hear about the Italians of the Ardennes every year. Ellis Island, New York harbor, all the sights of NYC and Philly, this would be amazing.
And it can work. Start in Philly on Thursday, end in a sprint in NYC on Saturday (the only day when traffic can handle the disruption), and jet out of NY Saturday night, landing at Fiumicino Sunday morning. Then no racing until Tuesday and keep it light for a few days before going all Giro-ish on the peloton. People will bitch about it, but it can be done.
I really think it will too. It would be so exciting and memorable. I don’t know the economics but apart from being hugely expensive it would also be incredible exposure. Sponsors in the US exist, I am sure. Hell, the espresso makers and salumerias alone could probably kick in 5 mil.
What say ye? And don’t just tell me I’m crazy. I know by conventional wisdom this is beyond the pale. But I bet you this is going to happen in the next decade or so. And if it does, I will be there every step of the way.