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Last Post 06/04/2013 12:39 PM by Keith Jackson. 8 Replies.
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06/03/2013 11:12 AM
So I don't hijack the Chamber of Commerce thread from Jens I'll pull jrt's thought into a new thread. The top UCI teams are pro, the conti pro teams are farm teams/semi pro, most US domestic teams are not pro other than in name. To compare it to a pop American sport: UCI World teams are NFL, conti teams are D1college, and most US domestic teams are NAIA or JC (or even Texas HS). If a team has a 10 passenger van and all expenses paid that's FN good. I raced as a dirt pro in the mid '90s and my goal was to break even every year. Luckily I had great sponsors and winter jobs that made that possible. jrt, how many endurance guys/gals are making a great living (Tinker doesn't count)?


06/03/2013 11:30 AM
good question, but I am stuck with anecdotal evidence. Operations were small but well supported, you can pick and choose events and build a program around your preferences/abilities/budget. Lots of smaller sponsors that get super involved and no governing body composed of nefarious characters hell bent on strangling every dollar out of an event. probably still a second job lurking in the background for most. Equipment cost is probably in the same neighborhood but travel/lodging is probably cheaper. Stick a local cat 2 in a tent for a week and see how that works out

lots of potential for growth and everyone has a smile on their face, even if they are hours down. can't say I saw many smiles in Philly. like I said in the other thread, encouraged by the potential


06/03/2013 11:46 AM
Grapes to watermelons. You are comparing weekend warriors who are out for an adventure (once or twice a year) with a someone who is racing (every weekend) to win so that he/she can hopefully move to the next level of pro. If they would've had a citizens race at Philly you might have seen similar reactions.

Yes, endurance racing has grown and probably has a few more years before it crashes just like other formats before it.


06/03/2013 12:34 PM
saw plenty of Freds in Philly, too. They looked a lot happier than any "pro". My point was that the US domestic pro road scene looked burnt to a crisp and events like the Epic are a huge growth opportunity

there are lots of "pros" doing the endurance thing, but what does it even mean to be a pro in that arena? Granted, there are weekend warriors and the talent level is all over the map but the guys and gals at the sharp end of the grid do just fine and the enthusiasm for support is there. If you are smart, fit and resourceful you will do great

as far as cost and bang for the buck for sponsors and participants? It is a much better arena all around than the grind that is the domestic pro road scene in the US. you can pick and choose events that play to your strengths and race when you want and when you are ready. With Philly (or any big national road race for that matter) I would say that approx 50% of the men and 70% of the women have absolutely no business racing at that level. At that point, that end of the field are merely participants and weekend warriors. They would do better with an endurance MTB progam or working on their golf swing

I think the endurance thing will hold on longer than you think as there is absolutely no need for USAC and no sanctioning body to threaten with litigation. Many folks have simply had enough of USAC. The TSEpic and events like it are self supporting, source their own insurance and do their own PR/marketing. Cycling News and Dirt Rag have bought in big time and I think that only strengthens those events


06/03/2013 12:52 PM
The only way they'll make a "great" living is if it becomes a major fad, like tri's, and they get sponsorship deals. For that to happen you need to be on TV and have people crawling across the finish line, some hardship storylines and various other marketing gimmicks. Without all that stuff tri's would still be in the same boat as the current road racing scene.


06/03/2013 02:25 PM
jrt, you are still comparing two different things. The the guy who got dropped in Philly is an entirely different thing than the guy who only completes one lap at a 9 to 5 or takes 12 hours to complete a 40 mile event. Maybe you and I are looking at two different aspect here.

The endurance format won't live or die based on the sanctioning body, it will die because once people realize how hard it is they will move on to their next thing. Several years ago there were people telling us that 24 hour racing was going to save the world.

One thing that the endurance format has going for it that everyone can say they conquered the same race as the pro winner. That's one of the reason why tris/marathons/half marathons do so well.

C2K is correct.


06/03/2013 02:35 PM
Not quite as crazy as a 24 hour thing, but healthy. Domestic "pro" racing is not



06/04/2013 11:34 AM
If you are paid a salary you are a pro. That's my defition. So by default all pro-tour and pro continental riders are pros.

If you are only given free travel/equipment/clothing, then you are semi-pro. A whole lot of continental teams push the semi-pro limit as there is no minimum salary for continental teams. So a lot of the younger riders ride for no salary and are simply hoping to get a couple of big wins and get noticed.

Cat 1 amateurs have it even worse. Train almost as much as pros, but they rarely get travel paid for. Usually just equipment and clothing. So they live by race winnings. Not an easy life.
Keith Richards


06/04/2013 12:39 PM
To me it is:

pro=you make a living cycling.

semi-pro=have the chops to be a pro, but time and/or money don't allow it.

amateurs=everybody else.

----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
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