Friday, December 12, 2008

Race Reduced, Women Anything But Forgotten?


A few days ago, the President of AEG, Andrew Messick, provided what some believed to be a rather generic and “meaningless” quote following the news that the 2009 Amgen Tour of California Women’s race had been effectively reduced from three days down to one.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Roth, Vice President of Communications for AEG, regarding the situation. Although it had been widely reported that the cities of Sacramento and San Jose pulled out of hosting the women’s race, this was not necessarily the case.

“Each city is aware of the historic implications tied to hosting a women’s race,” Mr. Roth stated.

The decision not to expand the women’s race this year was solely the organizers’.

Logistical considerations due to the Amgen Tour of California’s expansion, which will include increased live television coverage, made a more substantial women’s agenda impractical.

“It would not have been worthwhile for the riders, and at the same time we didn’t have a comfort level with the way it was setting up.”

Also partly to blame for the uproar of what seemed to an abruptly and unjustly shortening of the women’s race were the expectations that were put on the AEG to produce a three-day women’s race.

In their due diligence, AEG contacted all the pertinent cycling federations and reserved the dates on the racing calendar. The implication that the women’s race would be expanded because of the reservation was premature and unfounded in the eyes of AEG.

However, the announcement and marketing of the "$25,000 Amgen Tour of California Women’s Stage Race, Feb. 14-16. Expanded from a single-day criterium in 2008, the three-day event provides women with a major opportunity to showcase their talents as the race is held in conjunction with the men’s Tour of California," had already occurred.

Though it may be of little consolation to the hard racing women who seem to have fallen victim of a “bait and switch,” AEG will be using the information gathered from the 2009 edition of the Tour of California to build on the women’s race in the future.

When asked about the possibility of expanding the women’s race to include a racing format other than a Criterium, such as a road race, Mr Roth responded, “Certainly, we are not ruling out any scenario.”

“Last time I checked, women made up more than half the population. The women’s race continues to draw fans, and [an expansion] will help expose these role models to their fans.”

Photo: Leonard Basobas (Inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women's Criterium podium)

6 comments:

Flandria said...

if it ain't happening now, it may not happen in the future...I won't rule that scenario out

it makes no sense

Granny's 30 said...

I can't help but agree...should have the women's sufferage movement ended already?

let them ride

Kk said...

That just blows. Sorry, but I can't hold that one back. I listened to the 3 days for women being trumpeted by organizers. Nobody misunderstood anyone. All that expanded tv coverage can't include women? Pure crap.

Granny's 30 said...

Yes, it sucks...can't argue that. They shouldn't have touted an expanded race, then pulled back.

They definitely seem to be putting their efforts into the "cash cow" once again pushing the women to the wayside.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for women's racing team sponsors. They receive hardly any publicity.

Granny's 30 said...

Anon,
We're trying to fill that gap...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Race Reduced, Women Anything But Forgotten?


A few days ago, the President of AEG, Andrew Messick, provided what some believed to be a rather generic and “meaningless” quote following the news that the 2009 Amgen Tour of California Women’s race had been effectively reduced from three days down to one.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Roth, Vice President of Communications for AEG, regarding the situation. Although it had been widely reported that the cities of Sacramento and San Jose pulled out of hosting the women’s race, this was not necessarily the case.

“Each city is aware of the historic implications tied to hosting a women’s race,” Mr. Roth stated.

The decision not to expand the women’s race this year was solely the organizers’.

Logistical considerations due to the Amgen Tour of California’s expansion, which will include increased live television coverage, made a more substantial women’s agenda impractical.

“It would not have been worthwhile for the riders, and at the same time we didn’t have a comfort level with the way it was setting up.”

Also partly to blame for the uproar of what seemed to an abruptly and unjustly shortening of the women’s race were the expectations that were put on the AEG to produce a three-day women’s race.

In their due diligence, AEG contacted all the pertinent cycling federations and reserved the dates on the racing calendar. The implication that the women’s race would be expanded because of the reservation was premature and unfounded in the eyes of AEG.

However, the announcement and marketing of the "$25,000 Amgen Tour of California Women’s Stage Race, Feb. 14-16. Expanded from a single-day criterium in 2008, the three-day event provides women with a major opportunity to showcase their talents as the race is held in conjunction with the men’s Tour of California," had already occurred.

Though it may be of little consolation to the hard racing women who seem to have fallen victim of a “bait and switch,” AEG will be using the information gathered from the 2009 edition of the Tour of California to build on the women’s race in the future.

When asked about the possibility of expanding the women’s race to include a racing format other than a Criterium, such as a road race, Mr Roth responded, “Certainly, we are not ruling out any scenario.”

“Last time I checked, women made up more than half the population. The women’s race continues to draw fans, and [an expansion] will help expose these role models to their fans.”

Photo: Leonard Basobas (Inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women's Criterium podium)

6 comments:

Flandria said...

if it ain't happening now, it may not happen in the future...I won't rule that scenario out

it makes no sense

Granny's 30 said...

I can't help but agree...should have the women's sufferage movement ended already?

let them ride

Kk said...

That just blows. Sorry, but I can't hold that one back. I listened to the 3 days for women being trumpeted by organizers. Nobody misunderstood anyone. All that expanded tv coverage can't include women? Pure crap.

Granny's 30 said...

Yes, it sucks...can't argue that. They shouldn't have touted an expanded race, then pulled back.

They definitely seem to be putting their efforts into the "cash cow" once again pushing the women to the wayside.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for women's racing team sponsors. They receive hardly any publicity.

Granny's 30 said...

Anon,
We're trying to fill that gap...