A mixed bag of cycling news
So much news, so little time. It's the end of the season, but that doesn't mean that the news stops.
Before you write in correcting me - yes - I know there's still road racing going on around the world. In China we have the 2012 Tour of Beijing, a five day stage race starting in the infamous Tiananmen Square this Tuesday and ending Sunday in the Ping Gu Centenary Square. This is just one among a few different stories that piqued my interest this week. But let's start with the Tour of Beijing.
Tour of Beijing
Other than the obvious - a bike race in China, a country not known as a cycling hotbed - there are a few concerns regarding this race. The first is ownership of the event. The event management company promoting the Tour of Beijing is Global Cycling Promotions SA (GCP), which is owned by the UCI. The problem with this association is the conflict of interest. In my opinion the UCI is supposed to govern the sport, not create money-making opportunities.
Beyond the increase in the size of the UCI coffers, promoting and governing the same event gives the Tour of Beijing an unfair advantage. Will the race get preferential treatment? You bet it will. From getting a World Tour ranking to Pat McQuaid warning the sponsors of teams that were considering skipping the race, Tour of Beijing in its short history has already built a legacy of drama.
The tweet which got many people's attention was from BMC Racing Team's Taylor Phinney who posted the air quality of Beijing. Registering deep in the red zone with a score of 388 placed Beijing in the “Hazardous” category. As the blogger Inrng pointed out on Twitter, even the Chinese government tells its residents to stay indoors when the pollution level gets this high. Yet there are over hundred professional road cycling racers who will be racing in these conditions this Tuesday.
Another Beijing faux pas is their social media. As expected the race has a Twitter account and unfortunately chose @ToB2012 as their handle. First off - ToB? ToB could be Tour of Britain. And then I never understood why an event ends their account with the year. We know it's the current year. No one has ever wondered, “Hey that tweet I just read, was that for something in 2011?” And then when the race has concluded that account has to change the name to the next year. It just doesn't make sense. Just pick a name for the account and stick with it. That way you can build a base of followers and build the brand with that Twitter account.
If you’re located in the U.S. you can watch video highlights from all stages of this year’s Tour of Beijing in the videos section right here on Roadcycling.com starting Tuesday. Spread the word.
To my surprise there is a TV channel called the World Fishing Network. It's a station devoted to 24 hours a day, seven days a week of fishing and all things devoted to this hobby. From my time writing for Versus.com I was told that while cycling was popular on