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@cyclocross @suebutler I would love it to have the following it does in Europe. One can dream, right? But, no. I think the goal should be for it to be mainstream enough that riders can make a living, not PAY for races, but get paid to race. I think due to proximity, it would most likely have more of a couch following (TV) than a real live following. Racing in Belgium is like nothing else. Well, maybe like racing a Cross Crusade, but seriously, it is a niche sport. Cycling has a totally different heritage in Europe, but the countries are also the size of our states. I would love to see it grow, but honestly, it IS probably as big as it is in Belgium, but our crowds are soooo spread out that they can't go to the races. And even though most of our fans are cyclists themselves, the numbers are there. I can't see the demographic of folks who are cx fans in Belgium being fans here. It's just different. Cycling has sort of become somewhat elite-est, b/c you can't really race unless you can afford it. It's a hobby. A choice. We have soooo many other sports in our schools, etc. Our whole culture is very different with sports. Even at a young age. There aren't tons of school related sports teams to choose from in Europe, if any (at least as far as I know from my travels and being an exchange student.) Most sports are clubs outside of school or at the local Sportsclub. Cycling being a big one. And since it is cultural, there is more interest from a young age, etc. etc. etc. This could be a good thesis for someone. But No, honestly, I don't see it becoming mainstream. Most people still have NO clue what it is. Even good friends of mine. But if it was part of the local or even national news every night, heck, maybe you would have heard about it. OK, I've gotta go to bed. My brain hurts now. :)
10 months ago on It’s Just Money: Stybar Turns Down €800,000 for a Cyclocross Season — An Op-Ed by Steve Tilford
@scotj14 Agreed. But the fact is that they are still mostly athletes. (Well,
maybe not for red bull stuff), but in Belgium, they are non-cyclists.
Middle class, cycling loving fans who are loyal to one rider or another
from their area of the country. I think proximity has more to do with
this than anything. They can drive to every race within 2-3 hours. Or
less. It is a social club. There are bars in their little towns that
riders are from that they 'belong' to. They belong to the clubs. Buy the
jackets. Travel together. Here, it is the athletes and their families.
We have to fly. I hate to be negative, but I doubt we will ever be even
close to the Belgium model. Crashed Ice events have a certain one time
appeal. It's novel. CX is amazing, but honestly to have 50,000 people
fly around weekend after weekend to watch races during the season. As
much as I would like to see it... The only reason CX Vegas works is b/c
of Interbike. You take industry folks away, who would come? Party or no
party, it is very cultural. My two cents. As I have thought about this a
lot over the years, having raced there and here. Not sure there is an
Until we can charge $20-30 per person to spectate and draw the crowds that they do in Europe we won't be able to pay our athletes real money and sponsors won't pay to advertise, etc etc etc. CX is to Belgium what NASCAR is to 'merica. Sorry. But it's true.