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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready to have somebody click the shutter. - Ansel Adams

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Team INEOS boss Dave Brailsford: Cycling needs to end reliance on Tour de France

Eurosport posted this:

Team Ineos principal Sir Dave Brailsford says the Tour de France needs to be less relied upon and that cycling should modernise its business model.

The 2020 Tour has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now set to commence on August 29.

Cycling is heavily dependent on sponsorship with the Tour de France bringing the greatest level of exposure to the sport.

And despite the International Cycling Union (UCI)'s plans to stage all major races this season after the Tour, Brailsford believes cycling needs to explore new ways of making revenue so that it is less reliant on one competition.

"If one event should happen this year, we would all choose for it to be the Tour," Brailsford told BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

"One of the challenges cycling has is that revenue is totally dependent on sponsors and different sponsors are in different businesses and some are more effective than others in the current climate.

"Everyone would see the benefits of having a more robust structure," he said.

"It would allow people to plan for the medium-to-long term, rather than planning short-term and, just for some, survival on a short-term basis - that would be a very big game changer."

You can read the entire story here.

Longsjo Classic Bicycle Race Bows Out After 60 Years

Here's the organizer's press release. What a shame.

Fitchburg, MA. Board members of the Art Longsjo Foundation today announced the end of the Longsjo Classic bicycle race, first held in 1960. The event served as a memorial to past Fitchburg resident Arthur M. Longsjo, Jr, who in 1956 became the first American to compete in both Summer Olympics (cycling) and Winter Olympics (speedskating) in the same year. In 1958, at the height of his career, Longsjo perished in a car crash while driving home after winning the 180 mile long Quebec-to-Montreal race.

Most of the event’s budget has come from cash sponsorships by local Fitchburg businesses, such as recent title sponsors Rollstone Bank & Trust, and Research Results. “There are many worthy causes, civic groups, and events working to enhance quality of life in Fitchburg,” said Reese Brown, Event Director of the Longsjo Foundation. “After 60 years, the Foundation Board made the decision for the Longsjo race to retire, in-part so that the finite local dollars required to support the race can flow to other good causes.”

Also cited was the steep nationwide decline in road-style bicycle racing in the last 5-10 years, with countless races shuttering. In 2010, the race had 1000 entries across all categories. In 2019, that number had dwindled to 262. From 2016 – 2019, entries fell by 38%. “Road cycling is in a freefall, and even USA Cycling (the sport’s national governing body) projects continued losses of race entries,” said Brown.

“We mark the Longsjo Foundation’s decision to end the race not with sadness, but with deep appreciation,” said Fitchburg mayor Steve DiNatale. “For 60 years, the race brought international-caliber sports to Fitchburg’s downtown streets, and vitality to the city,” said DiNatale. “The race may be bowing out, but it will forever be a part of Fitchburg.” Art Longsjo’s legacy endures in the city, both thru the Longsjo Middle School, and a memorial on the Upper Common. The final Longsjo races, in July of 2019, were won by the brother-sister duo of Curtis and Emma White of Delanson, NY – the latter of whom is slated to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

The non-profit Longsjo Foundation will distributing its remaining funds to Fitchburg charities and civic organizations. A final news release will be issued regarding these donations.

A few stats about the race over the years:

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