Would it work ?

by Littlesox   December 4, 2012  

Track and road races are very different animals.

On the track, you get to see your heroes whiz round and round, time again, and a full view of the race.

Having been to watch various tours over the years, I know that you wait all day for a breif glimpse, then it's over and done with.

Would a hybrid of the two work, and capitalise on Olympic Legacy and a general upsurge in cycling sport interest, if the road boys and girsl took to the track ?

There are a variety of decent car racing tracks in this country (Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Silverstone etc) with wide smooth road surfaces, corners and (not very steep I grant you) inclines, full facilities and easy spectator access.

Would anybody buy tickets to see a 100 mile race contested by professional teams on a car race track?

You would get to see them at least more than once, you see the start and the finish, and most of the seats at the big tracks come with commentary and big-screen footage for the total picture.

Could be covered for TV as well.

By jove, we could even call it a cycling Grand Prix.

What do you think ?

11 user comments

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You already have things like that and its boring as hell. Teams going round and round a fixed course....

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9289 posts]
4th December 2012 - 0:41


As Bernard Breslaw famously said, " I only asked".

posted by Littlesox [89 posts]
4th December 2012 - 0:48


On the tele in the pub last night: darts tournament from a packed studio with disco lights and emphatic announcer.

(Sorry. Twitter moment there.)

AndrewRH's picture

posted by AndrewRH [54 posts]
4th December 2012 - 1:05


I've seen the Tour de France live three times including once on the Alpe du Huez and it is boring as all hell, unless you are luck enough to see a small boy being hit in the face by a wheel of cheese. A track circuit would stop break aways and you still wouldn't know what was going on. Some sports are just made for the telly. Road racing and grand prix are two of those so mixing them up would not be an improvement.
Oh, yeah and no mountains either.

I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1674 posts]
4th December 2012 - 3:27


There's stuff already out there. Mainly the crits which falls into what your suggesting. I'm fortunate enough to live where the Scottish National Crits are hosted. It's a great day out. You get to see the kids race right up to the elite cat. The organisers have managed to come up with a pretty technical course. And it's free. There's also the Halfords Tour series.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1136 posts]
4th December 2012 - 8:14


I'm not sure it would work too well in a single stage but rallying is an interesting comparison. Watching a rally stage is similar to watching a TT but Rally GB for example ends up with a stage inside the millennium stadium. A velodrome scratch race as a stage would be a brilliant addition.

The London Revolution is a sportive so nowhere near the same level of audience but it's route does include a lap of Herne Hill velodrome.

CraigS's picture

posted by CraigS [135 posts]
4th December 2012 - 10:07


Obviously on a track there are issues with knowing who's in front, who's lapped who etc. Maybe they need a display integrated into the jersey/shorts that uses colours etc to illustrate this?

(All the purists have just booked my assasination in with the local hitman...)

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3682 posts]
4th December 2012 - 11:27


Talking of new races, Olympic stage races would be cool.

Teams of 5, based only on general classification, and you get massive bonuses for stage wins and primes, anything up to 5 minutes.

There would be a TT in the stage race, but it wouldn't count toward the GC, it would be a separate medal event but everyone would have to ride it to within the time limit.

Whaddya think?

I also think a new grand tour, probably of Russia or America would be pretty good.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
4th December 2012 - 11:57


The main reasons people watch motorsport are the exhilarating speeds and the chance of a good crash ('good' in that no-one gets hurt of course). The main reason people watch cycling is to watch a high speed tactical game of chess on wheels and to appreciate the riders' physical feats. I guess it would be the worst of both worlds, as it wouldn't be fast enough but would be too confused to appreciate the tactics. I do like the idea of illuminated clothing that changes colour if you are lapped though....


posted by arrieredupeleton [586 posts]
4th December 2012 - 14:06


I've been to a few criteriums and found the whole event entertaining. And you can get even closer to the bikes than you can at a track

posted by Dunluce [84 posts]
4th December 2012 - 14:43


As has been mentioned, it all depends on how its sold / the marketing of it.

As for the comments on halfords Tour Series. Been to a few and enjoyed them but you get more there viewing as they are local / passing, rather than say, a ticket only, event.

It's quite funny when members of the public have asked me if I know Bradley Wiggins or Chris Hoy purely as I knew one or two riders at the Tour Series!

posted by Super Domestique [1680 posts]
4th December 2012 - 14:53