Well after a weekend to recover from the Interbike show, it’s time to recap some of the news and photos from the Vegas extravaganza, as already posted on PodiumCafe.com. The crowd attending the show was smaller, less exhuberant, less free stuff given out and the number of ‘star’ riders available to sign autographs was also smaller and mostly all Americans. The only European road cyclist was Mark Cavendish. Was this caused by Worlds being scheduled at the same time? The economy? The fact that many teams are switching sponsors?
We discussed this with a couple who own a bike shop and they confirmed our thoughts. The bike industry is taking a hit along with everyone else with the economy troubles facing us. A lot of owners are now faced with a big inventory and are not ordering 2009 wares from the vendors, or not in as high volume. And there were no major announcements to generate buzz. They went on to add that the area that is still growing and making money was in the customization, including custom jerseys.
The other differences were the two evening or night races, the CrossVegas on Wednesday night and the USA Crits Finals on Thursday night. CrossVegas was a blast, a great race that both the crowds and cyclists enjoyed, even if the presence of Lance Armstrong brought a scrum of media to the race. The USA Crit final was well a parking lot crit on a side lot of the Mandalay Bay – enough said.
A lot of pro riders, men and women, are still looking for contracts including the winners of the USA Crits Finals race, Hilton Clarke and Jen McRae. But we did learn that Dominique Rollin and Teddy King are joining the new Cervelo team, and that Rollin is going back to racing in Europe and should tackle some of the (semi?) Classics next year. CSC-Saxo Bank’s Bobby Julich, who announced his retirement earlier this season, refused the position of DS as he “can’t multitask” and is still in talks with Bjarne Riis about other positions in management with the team. And lastly, Rock Racing’s Rahsaan Bahati will go under the knife to fix his hip problem but will not get an operation for his lower back issues.