Yesterday in the race briefing the ITU reamed us out for acting like goofballs on the bike in London and not creating enough buzz with the media.
First of all, I think the ITU has come a long way, and is doing an excellent job. I’m glad to see the athletes are really starting to engage themselves with the age group athletes, etc. Now that I got that out of the way, here’s what I’m really going to write about.
You want real trash talk, just put a microphone in the middle of the bike pack…you’ll have to bleep out half the words for TV though…
The ITU and media want exciting races. Big City, Big Crowds. BC. All the WCS races seem like they’re modeling after the final day of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées. The first half of the race is all smiles and waves, the last 20Km is all out racing. There’s the beautiful scenery of Paris, but it’s designed for the sprinters. Only a handful of guys have a legit shot at the win. Breakaways rarely succeed that day.
With the courses we’re racing on, it reminds of exactly that. Accept we get yelled at for waving at the camera and crowds. Big City, Big Crowds? It ends up being Boring, Crappy racing. You don’t need incredible background scenery to come up with an epic race. It’s the same thing every time. The same guys in the top 10. If the viewers want to watch something with beautiful background scenery, don’t you think they’d watch the Discovery Channel instead?
Sure, let’s have the races like Hamburg and London, but how about a killer race course like the Escape from Alcatraz? Only the strongest, most well round triathletes will shine. Maybe the same guys who place in the Top 10 will still all be in the top 10. We can only speculate for now.
As of right now the athletes representing the rest of us are also some of the most successful guys in the sport. Not only that, but you guys work your ass off, and I fully commend you on that. Thanks for all your hard work and what you do. They’re badasses, but the guys are sort of like the sprinters racing on the Champs-Élysées. Now, if we race on one or two impossibly hard courses a year, you might have to take a pay cut if you can’t hang and not get your usual top 10 finish, or just skip that one in the series. And no, I don’t feel like running for a committee anytime soon.
Tomorrow we’re racing in the beautiful town of Kitzbuehel…in a valley surrounded by alps and epic climbs. There won’t be any of that in our race though. You’ll see it in the background, but we won’t be there. I’m not suggesting we race on more dangerous courses, but if the racing is going to be more exciting, we’re going to have to race challenging courses.
Ok, tomorrow will be tough, especially if it rains like last year. Cold, wet, windy, rainy….miserable. (Man, that was hard! I didn’t even make the main pack! )What the television viewers really want to see are ocean swims with giant surf, long steep climbs, technical bike courses (quit it with the 180 degree turns already), and hilly runs. Challenging courses that will rip the race to shreds because they’re hard, not because it’s dangerous and guys are crashing.
Oh, not all the athletes will like a hard race? Then stay home you sissy.
Now, back to preparing for tomorrow's race...