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Note to all racers re: Laguna Beach Grand Prix(6 posts)

Note to all racers re: Laguna Beach Grand PrixNo_sprint
Aug 12, 2002 10:17 AM
To all women riders and racers, and all who support them:

This is a new race in Orange County, allegedly to honor Nicole Reinhardt. That said, they do not offer even ONE women's race! I emailed them a few months ago about this, and they did not bother to respond. Email them and let them know the error of their ways.

And get this! The Race Director is a woman!

We have all been asked to spread the word and consider boycotting this race.
Organize and show-up.kaiser
Aug 12, 2002 12:43 PM
Boycotting...all that will do is get you even less races.

The promoters are just responding to an unfortunate trend in that when they do hold a woman's event, so few even show up, it's barely worth it to even bother. 15 rider fields don't warrant an event anymore. Never did.

Why not be proactive and get on the phone with the other women riders in your area and generate enough interest in the race to persuade the promoter to change her mind? Womens racing is (and has been) at risk in America, and I often wonder why the riders don't do more to organize themselves and show up to the races that do get offered.

We're (our club) not at the stage where we 've dropped our Women's events, but this past year we did eliminate categorization. The newbies will just have to suck it up and get faster.
Thanks for the ideasNo_sprint
Aug 12, 2002 2:29 PM
I'm not a fem, but I might pass on your idea.

Women Pro/1/2 field last Sunday was about 70. Women 4 were about 40.

They ran the smallest cats on the course at the same time as another race.

It doesn't seem to me a problem to add at least one women's race..... It would cut down the backlash they're receiving. Furthermore, when they just ignore email questions, it sends a bad tone.

All in all, they're not doing things very well according to most.
was chatting with M. Nields about this yesterdaylonefrontranger
Aug 12, 2002 2:44 PM
He was curious about our POV as well.

The trouble is (as both a woman racer AND promoter), it's one of those "chicken and egg" challenges.

Women's categories are, and always have been, a PITA to hold and promote. I've seen promoters put as much as $5K into a first-year women's event and then not fill the prize list because it wasn't widely promoted (an ad in VeloNews doesn't count, by the way because women racers aren't subscribers for the most part) and thus hadn't "trickled-down" into the racers' conciousness.

A lot of race promotion is done via the "grapevine"; if you hold a good event year after year, the riders will show up and it will grow every year. It's a good idea to create a "5-year-plan" for your event, whether or not you plan to draw women/juniors/whatever, so that you can start it as a "D" class event and work your way up to "B" or even "A" class.

Even in the U.S., most racers plan their seasons in March around events they knew about the year before. Therefore, you either have to *really* publicize your first year event, or else be prepared to wait for a couple seasons for your event to grow.

The absolute "kiss of death" if you're looking for big women's fields is to schedule in conflict with a big money race on the National Calendar; i.e. Tour de 'Toona and Grandview. These events both draw enormous women's fields because they've been going with a large cash prize list for over a decade, hence all the gals know they'll be in Columbus or Altoona over those corresponding weekends.
Thanks for the ideaskaiser
Aug 13, 2002 5:03 AM
I guess it may be a regional thing, as I personally have not seen a 70 rider womens field at a local event since about 1987. Somerville? Sure. Tour of Denville? No chance. Might be lucky to get 20, and I live in a densely populated area with no shortage of a racing population (The mid-atlantic area around NYC). Apparently, your experience might be different. For all I know, you might be a Cat 1 and used to riding only events that tend to attract large fields. For the bulk of women racers in America, the typical race they show up to is about 20 riders max.

So the next suggestion would be for the women to force the promoter's hand. Register for the men's race. If enough of you pre-reg, the promoter would look like an even bigger jack-ass for not letting you have a sepeate category...But you'll have to spread the grass roots on your own.
OK, I looked at the event websitekaiser
Aug 13, 2002 5:16 AM
Seems terribly dumb to have seperate events for U23/Espoirs AND Pro 1/2....All the decent U23's will register for both events anyway. That time could have been well spent on having a Women's event.

Drop an email to Tom Schuler at Saturn and ask them to lean on the promoter a bit...If Saturn said "Our sponsors want media exposure for both our mens and women's teams that day", the promoter might make some changes. That is, if they planned on showing at all. When a promoter is trying to make their race a "premier event" they fully rely on having at least a few good trade teams show up.