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Active Expert: Bruce Hildenbrand

2 Posts tagged with the bmc-professional-cycling-team tag

Black is Blue

Posted by Bruce Hildenbrand Feb 8, 2008

I don't think anybody will ever consider me a walking fashion statement on

either side of the spectrum(maybe that's the silver lining!).  In fact, my

fashion sense is somewhere between sweat pants and blue jeans, but hey, I

don't care.  However, for those of you who religiously watch shows like "What

Not to Wear," "Project Runway" and "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style", here is a blog

just for you.

 

The third annual Amgen Tour of California kicks off in about a week and based

on my recent visits to some of the pro team camps, we just might have an

honest-to-god fashion emergency.  I remember a few years back when powder blue

was the 'in' color so much so that a number of pro teams changed their jerseys

to include the azur shade.  Well, it looks like black is the new blue.  No less

than three pro teams, BMC, Rock Racing and High Road Sports are wearing

predominately black racing kit.

 

Call me a colorcist, but I am having a hard time distinguishing between the

three different squads.  Add to the fact that the riders will be going upwards

of 30 mph as they rocket down the beautiful California coastline and any subtle

differences such as sponsors logos might just become a blur.

 

Rumour has it that High Road Sports may be rolling out a new team kit with

a predominately white theme.  But, wait, it looks like the BMC boys are riding

white jerseys as well.  Oh man, what is a cycling fan to do?  Obviously, there

are subtleties between the jersey designs, but I am not a subtle guy.

 

OK.  Maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but I am always on the

verge of getting arrested by the Fashion Police so maybe this is my pitiful

attempt at obtaining a get-out-of-jail-free card.  Regardless of what any of

the jerseys look like for the 17 teams participating in the AToC, I am certain

that the riders filling said jerseys are some of the best racers in the world. And,

c'mon that's what it is all about anyway, isn't it?

 

Bruce

1,224 Views 3 Comments Permalink Tags: bruce-hildenbrand, bruce_hildenbrand, tour-of-california, rock-racing, bmc-professional-cycling-team, high-road-sports, amgen-tour-of-california

The Way Things Work

Posted by Bruce E Hildenbrand Jan 27, 2008

Congratulations to the Slipstream/Chipotle team for its second place finish in

the first stage of the Tour of Quatar.  Jonathan Vaughter's boys were a scant

two seconds back of Tom Boonen's Quick Step squad in the opening stage, a

6km Team Time Trial(TTT). You might all be wondering, what's the big deal about

second place in an early season race in a country most of us couldn't even

point out on a globe!

 

Well, unlike the NFL which owns all the events it sanctions, in cycling,

individual race organizers and corporations such as ASO own and promote the

races while the NFL-equivalent, the UCI, just exists as the sanctioning body.

OK, the UCI, with its Pro Tour, tried to become more than just the sanctioning

body, but we have all seen how that has worked out.  It is best to leave race

promotion to the professionals.

 

So, if you are a team, and you want to get into a race, you have to catch the

eye of the race promoter.  Winning big races is one way to catch the eye, but

if you can't get into the big races unless you prove yourself, then you have

a Catch-22.  Enter races such as the Tour of Quatar.  These early season,

predominately low-key, events are the perfect platform for up and coming teams

to show race organizers that they can play with the big boys.

 

And, it doesn't hurt that the Tour of Quatar is owned by ASO, the same company

which organizes the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix and a whole host of the top

professional races.  So, if you are a team like Slipstream/Chipotle presented

by H30(say that fast three times) then the pressure is on in Quatar and they

delivered.

 

Also participating in Quatar is the BMC Professional Cycling Team which, while

not hoping for a slot in the Tour in 2008, is hoping for a wild-card invite to

some of the one day races, such as Paris-Roubaix, owned by ASO.  The boys in

black finished 12th just 12 seconds behind the winners and 10 clicks behind

their American counterparts.

 

Hopefully, ASO and other race promoters are taking notice and we will see more

American teams and US riders in the biggest and best races on the professional

cycling calendar.  Yeah, Paolo Bettini and Tom Boonen are exceptional racers,

but I want to be cheering for a homie when the season gets into full swing.

 

Bruce

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