July 24, 2006
Landis extends with Phonak-iShares
CyclingNews reports that all 9 riders from Phonak's Tour squad have extended. Axel Merckx signed for an additional year during the Tour, while Floyd Landis has extended for 1 year, and Bert Grabsch, Robbie Hunter, Nicolas Jalabert, Koos Moerenhout, Alexandre Moos, Victor Hugo Peña, and Miguel Angel Perdiguero all re-upped for 2 years.
CN.com also notes that Phonak was the big winner for Tour prize money (all totals in euros):
1) Phonak 496,280
2) Caisse d'Epargne 236,330
3) T-Mobile 219,660
4) CSC 160,580
5) Rabobank 141,870
6) Davitamon-Lotto 137,820
7) Lampre 76,850
8) AG2R 75,800
9) Saunier Duval 71,170
10) Gerolsteiner 66,830
11) Crédit Agricole 52,240
12) Bouygues Telecom 41,750
13) Milram 41,030
14) Cofidis 37,160
15) Discovery Channel 34,130
16) Liquigas 33,130
17) Française des Jeux 31,710
18) Quick-Step 30,970
19) Euskaltel 28,590
20) Agritubel 15,200
Note Discovery Channel in 15th.
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The prize money really shows that cycling is a relatively minor pro sport. In comparison, the French Open (Tennis) has a prize of 940,000 euros for each of the men's and women's singles champions. I can't find the prize money for the rest of the bracket with a quick search, but I think even the players who go out in the second round get more than Agritubel did.
Posted by: Sam at Jul 24, 2006 12:02:13 PM
That's one way to look at it. Another way is that the race is one giant advertisement in which prize money is only of peripheral interest to the team sponsors. (It's obviously of greater interest to the riders themselves.) Compensation for the team sponsors comes in the form of publicity first and then prize money.
Posted by: Kurzleg at Jul 24, 2006 12:44:58 PM
Those millions of fans on the streets of France and the millions more on worldwide tv wouldn't think it's a minor sport. The economics are entirely different. Credit goes to Lemond and later Lance for continuing to raise the standards of the sport. That's what the pro-tour was supposed to do as well, but didn't do very well.
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 24, 2006 12:51:49 PM
An idea: If Ullrich is not suspended, then Discovery Channel signs him, Lance teaches him how to train in the off-season (less 7% German beer, more mountains) and he wins the next 2 TDfs in a row with the support of a strong team.
Nixon went to China, right?
Posted by: Jason O'Connell at Jul 24, 2006 2:38:23 PM
Here's a fun exercise: Go to http://www.newseum.org, and check out today's front pages.
How many feature Landis on the front page? How many give him better placement than Tiger Woods?
Posted by: Jow at Jul 24, 2006 4:35:12 PM
I was thinking along the same lines this morning when I heard Landis and Woods' acheivements lumped together.
I'm sure it's tricky to win a golf tournament, what with all the strolling, and hitting a ball every twenty minutes or so, not to mention shopping for the ugly pants.
But Landis' achievement was epic. Homer couldn't have written it any better. That quality of the tour might only come across for the fan who lives and breathes it day to day, and has struggled around at least a crit course or two.
I finally got OLN, and I gorged myself on the tour coverage feast. I tried to get family and friends to watch; they have a vague appreciation of the effort involved, but I think bicycle racing is confusing for the uninitiated.
Are there sports bars that showed the tour? Probably none in cleveland here...
Posted by: Kevin at Jul 24, 2006 6:32:19 PM
I recall this happened with Lance as well and it was about 50/50. Landis was on the front page of the Seattle Times, but Tiger was on the front page of the sports section.
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 24, 2006 8:43:05 PM
Having had a parent die of cancer, I can appreciate the noteworthiness of the emotional outburst, but really, Tiger wins a golf tournament, what else is new? Alas, there were people following every club stroke there like we were following every pedal stroke in France, what are ya goin' to do? Including, apparently, Jake Gyllenhaal and whoever else was in Lance's room in Paris, they made him switch the TV from the Tour to Tiger.
It's a shame more people don't get it, but it's their loss. I'm sure Floyd is just fine with the Tiger coincidence, he's not one to crave the spotlight.
On the subject of media coverage, I just ripped PBS a new one for their coverage on the NewsHour this evening, and I invite everyone to join me. I don't care if you saw it or not, just tell them it was an ignorant, irresponsible disservice to the sport and to Floyd Landis - the more the merrier. Alright, I suppose I have to explain that at least a little - their expert commentator called Floyd "Norris" at least four times, at different points in the piece, and as much as said let the drug accusations begin. Now are ya with me?
Posted by: Julie at Jul 25, 2006 12:28:02 AM
Julie, I had a different impression of the newspaper front pages -- I thought Landis had equal or better billing in a large chunk of them, which is incredibly impressive considering Tiger is perhaps the most recognized athelete in the country. Go TdF!
Posted by: Dave at Jul 25, 2006 10:40:12 AM
Regarding American press coverage of the British Open vs. coverage of the Tour de France, there was an excellent article written on this exact subject many years ago in Sports Illustrated.
It is still on-line here:
Posted by: Wayne at Jul 25, 2006 10:43:23 PM