Let me start by saying I did not go to the race this weekend. The Cyclist took off with a teammate and a buddy and I opted to stay home and be our housekeeper for the day. When you work full time and are gone nearly every weekend, things like chores tend to fall by the wayside. It's interesting what things thrill you as an adult....like a free day to stay home and take care of your house.
Anyway, The Cyclist raced the Suisun Harbor Criterium yesterday. As I said, I was not there. The opinions and thoughts I'm about to put out here are mine alone and are only intended to encourage discussion. I'm not taking up a cause or even one side or the other, I just think this situation is a quandary that is interesting to discuss.
So, in case you are wondering, Suisun is a little tiny town between Sacramento and San Francisco. I've often described it as "the spot on the freeway with all the fast food restaurants". The Suisun Harbor Criterium has been going on for years and is a small little race. The company that promotes this event typically do not hand out huge prizes. The Cyclist won this race as a CAT 3 (I think) and got a t-shirt and like ten bucks (whatever it was, it wasn't enough to reimburse him for his race entry fee). All of this is neither here nor there, other than to demonstrate that this is a super small event. Nothing close to Tour De Nez or even Safeway Fast & Furious. In fact, not only is it a small event, but the course is so short I can literally watch the peloton go by, then walk across the middle of the course and get to the other side before they pass again.
Yesterday, 2 pro cyclists who shall remain unnamed showed up to race. Of course, one of the two won the race...the other one I assume placed high (no results up yet). So my question to you is, should guys like this be participating in events like these?
As a spectator I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it's kind of cool to see riders of that caliber up close. But on the other hand, when your guys have a decent chance of placing well or winning and then some pro guy shows up, it's kind of like "wha-whaa...so much for this race". I wonder if the "regular" cyclists in the race feel the same way?
Having pro guys like these definitely makes the race more challenging for the other riders, but I wonder, what do they get out of it? I mean, really. They must know going in that they're probably going to win. Clearly they aren't there for the money. (Or at least, hopefully they're not there for the money.) I suppose that the pro guys may just really want to get a race in....you can't mimic the race action by taking a ride with your buddy, so maybe their appearance should be a compliment to the rest of the field? I don't know.
But all of this just makes me curious....why? What do the pro guys get out of it? What does everyone else think? It would be awesome to get a response from an actual pro-guy, but I don't know any personally, so if somebody wants to forward my little ole' blog post to some cycling-famous person, please do.
Coming up this week - Moscow Mules, Training Update, Mystery Garden and more!