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Friday, June 15, 2007

CODE RED - Cascade gets cold feet

CHECK IT CHECK IT, folks ~

The Cascade Classic has cancelled the women's event this year because they're afraid they won't get enough women attending.

Please send some honey to the race organizer, Chad Sperry (chad at gorge.net), and let him know if you're willing to go if they reconsider.


Don't think there was any media push by the organizers to warn the women that they needed to pre-reg .. so, email him ASAP.


Let's hope they turn that ship around, yo!

(thanks for the pinch SarahL)

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

your link is not working

Velo Bella said...

I dunno.

If a promotor cancels and names that as the reason, but didn't put a call out first to see if women would respond...makes me think they wanted to cancel regardless.

The scheduling of Nationals couldn't have been new news to them...so I am confused that this has come up so suddently.

Anonymous said...

um there are only 7 pro men registered right now...

Courtenay said...

He actually did contact women's teams to see who was planning to send riders.

Everyone listed Nationals as a priority.

It's a bummer, but for next year they already have USA Cycling on board for not running nationals at the same time.

Courtenay said...

correction: almost everyone (because we were planning to go to cascade, same with Touchstone, and a small handful of other regional NRC teams)

but basically it was shaping up to be a field of about 30-40 women, and not the NRC caliber field that Cascade should draw.

Velo Bella said...

Oh.

Well no one contacted us. And we sent a full team last year.

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Now I feel guiltier than before about not being able to go...unfortunately two longish trips before my vacation rolls over in November aren't possible this year.

Damn.

Anonymous said...

It does not say anything about it on their web site... are you sure about this...?

Hooptie said...

Overlaps w/ Superweek as well.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

link fixed.

yeah, Sperry put an email out cancelling it and the reg is closed.


Media Blitz - there are a number of list serves Cascade could have hit up requesting pre-regs - not done.

there are a number of online velocations to announce risk of cancellation without more reg - not done.

just because you're not getting the highest quality of field, doesn't mean you should cancel the event ... but that's my opinion.


i like the idea that there might be a chance for up and comer's to take some podium spots.

maybe make the racing a bit more unpredictable, less formulaic.

with a media crush of just those two methods above, there would be an influx of riders reg'ing.

and ... there have been years at Cascade where the men's field was "weaker" than other years.


but, Cascade - along with all the Oregon stage race promoters - do a lot for the sport and for women in the sport.

can't knock 'em if they choose this year's women's event as unviable.

HOWEVER, i think a little due diligence before cancellation might have changed minds.

Let's hope that they get an influx of emails committing to attending the race if they do reconsider.
~m

Lyne said...

major bummer.
for the mens, navigators, toyota & bmc had already registered full squads - that is apart from the 7 individuals registered.

Anonymous said...

THis is what Chad emailed me:

Ryan,

Unfortunately we are canceling the womens' race. The press release will
be out tonight. We just can not find the interest or commitment from
the women's teams this year with nationals on the same weekend.
Nationals are the top priority for nearly every team. When we sat down
to make the decision this week we looked at the fact we only had 2
registered women total with less than three weeks to go. We have never
seen that few women signed up this late. We also continued to hear the
same story from a number of the teams we contacted that said they would
be back in PA that weekend not at Cascade. It was a very tough decision
that has been devastating to all of us in the organization.
Unfortunately running a women's race with 30-35 women total would be
both financially devastating and would lend very bad exposure to a high
level NRC race . We felt this was the best decision for the long term.
Please keep us in mind for 2008 as we are already in the works to take
the women's race to a whole new level. Plus USA Cycling has committed
to us that there will not be anymore scheduling conflicts again. Good
luck with rest of your season.

Sincerely,
Chad



Ryan

Anonymous said...

I am seriously so bummed out right now... I was planning on this one all year and that changes my entire vacation schedule!

Bah!
Ryry

Anonymous said...

oh and chad also said that he contacted team velo bella and proman...etc.

but I wont post this email from him..

Anonymous said...

actually I will post it...

from chad:
I am saddened that you would think so little of the time and effort we
have put into this decision. To answer your question about the men you
only looked at those that signed up as individuals and not the team sign
up or the teams that mailed in registrations or the men's teams who have
already committed to coming (which the women's teams have said no). Yes
we have contacted Proman, Velo Bella, Metromint, Touchstone Climbing,
Webcor, Value Act and a heck of a lot more regional and national teams
before making this decision. It was not made lightly. Fortunately for
us nearly all of those teams have been much more understanding than you
of the situation and have committed to coming next year. We are also
feeling frustrated as when we put our dates and bid in for NRC selection
we had no idea USA Cycling would put nationals on the same weekend as
Cascade and did not find that info out this info until the end of
January. For the past two months we have been working to generate
interest and though we did not contact you personally we did contact a
large number of teams and gathered as much info as possible before
making the decision. You are way off on the financials for running an
NRC stage race as officials and lodging specifically here for the
women's race as well as prize money, insurance, surcharges, etc. is in
the tens of thousands outside of just running the "race". I have to
look at what is best for the long term of the race so that there will be
a women's race next year.

Sorry for your disappointment.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

did you send honey to Chad, or vinegar?


you get more with honey, ya know...

Anonymous said...

it started with honey but then turned into vinegar.. i tried..

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

ah well, it's not one email that will change minds.

it's if there's enough of them to make them reconsider.


but, even if they don't - we don't want to leave a bad taste in their mouths about it all.


stage race promotion, and at the NRC level, that's some draining stuff.


but, let's hope they get enough emails to maybe call it a go this year.

we can always hope - and there's enough time to back out of the decision.

actually ... it'd be a pretty good story to spin.

"cascade classic back on track after huge influx of entrants with cancellation threatened ... showing ground swell of support for this storied event ..." blah, blah, blah.


i could totally spin this in the right direction for them.


but ... i'm too busy blogging, yo.

Anonymous said...

hehe yeah... and I did apologize to him if my tone was negative and I did tell him that it was just a shock to me and I wished them much luck for next year (etc etc)

Ry

Velo Bella said...

I have no idea who in Velo Bella that they contacted...but it wasn't me or Brent (last year's contact)

And Touchstone, Metromint, Value Act all planned on going.

I dunno. I think the quality of field had more to do with it than the numbers...just my guess.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

or the 11.5K payout?

Anonymous said...

CRAP I should have just gone and done hood!

Ry

now what race am I gonna do...

Velo Bella said...

BC Superweek?

Anonymous said...

you guys doing the whole thing (I looked online and it seemed like 4 races..? )

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

BC Superweek and Tour de Delta ...

hmmm...

Velo Bella said...

If there is enough interest, yes. Kona headquarters and all...

Anonymous said...

I will email you :) sorry about the long thread here!

Anonymous said...

Serious bummer!!! My hubby and I sent a honey-licious email expressing both our disappointment and asking if there was anything we could do. I, like Ryan, had skipped Gila/Hood in favor of this race. Well - I guess there are always more bike races in the world!!! Natasha

Velo Bella said...

I put a post about it in the forums. But this is as good a place as any to discuss!

Brent said...

folks,
Jen and I are bummed how things turned out too.

We did get an email from them about Cascade, but it was just requesting folks to register about 2 or 3 months ago, which no one did.
Actually I was shocked myself to see only 2 ladies registered the other week considering they had to almost turn ladies away a few years back.

I just want to point out that Chad took this race over this year.
I met Chad last year and had personal talks with him about womens racing and he is HUGE proponent of womens racing, so don't hang him yet.
Keep in mind too that he pushed to add more stages and more events for womens field from feedback which now is moot because they have to cancel.

-brent

Anonymous said...

That is a bummer.

I guess that Elkhorn next week it too close to make plans. Elkhorn is a great race.

Is there any way they can combine the women with 1 of the mens races (3's or 4's) with a small field and pick women separately with prize money based on entries?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if you need to have a UCI license to do BC Superweek...totally bummed about Cascade, I love Bend and love the race.

veloandvino said...

Fitchburg..http://www.longsjo.com/

Brent said...

I think its too late to save things for Cascade, but I am waiting to hear back from Chad to see if there is something that can be done, such as a bare minimum 3 day race, crit, tt, circuit or double crits for anyone committed to coming already.


I believe BC super required a UCI license to attend.

Nome Agusta said...

Perhaps the underlying message here is "You snooze, you loose".

If you planned on going you should have stepped up to the plate and gotten your ducks in a row. Procrastination seems to be the worst enemy in this case.

Anonymous said...

Great racing today in Folsom!

Anonymous said...

Chad Sperry is one of the best race promoters in the country; and he is a huge supporter of women's racing. He didn't make this decision on a whim; he put a lot of time and effort into making a great women's race; but with the possibility of only 30 women attending an NRC race, it wouldn't work. And it wouldn't look good for the future of women's racing. Personally, I'm devastated by this news, as the ValueAct Capital Team was committed to doing the race. But please don't be mean to Chad. Why doesn't everyone write USA Cycling and tell them that they're a bunch of bozo's for making Nationals conflict with Cascade.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

Chad WAS a huge proponent of women's cycling...he no longer is. All he wanted was pro teams...not regional elite teams. For shame...for shame... He DID NOT contact people who did the race in the past only a select few.

Why is everyone a Chad apologist? He screwed over a lot of people with this decision.

Brent said...

"Chad WAS a huge proponent of women's cycling...he no longer is. All he wanted was pro teams...not regional elite teams."

I have to disagree. Chad as well as others have explained the reasoning to me and while it sucks its part of the reality of our cycling organization.
NRC events require a lot of planning and money. (similar to Crank Bro cross series that Velo Bella promoted in the past which almost broke us).

Consider this as well, before Chad womens prize payout: $4,500
After Chad took Cascade on pay out was slated to be: $11,500.
You think that would of enticed some folks to register.
If he didn't want women racing he would of left it at $4K.

I suggest anyone who is upset contact USAC and ask them why they selected the same week as an NRC race to hold nationals?

Also ask yourself why you didn't register instead of waiting til last minute.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

well, Brent.

i would hardly say almost 4 weeks before an event as "last minute."


again, i just believe that a media push before the decision to cancel would have loaded the registration. There was no announcements to regional listserves, no press release to VNews or CyclingNews calling out for pre-reg's because they needed riders to, etc.

Those things would have been free, easy things to do to increase pre-reg. There are a LOT of women racers not on the small number of teams Chad contacted who might have seen it as an opportunity to head up and attend their race if a portion of the regular Pro hammerheads would have been at Nationals.

Conflicts in schedules happen ... that's the bottom line. But, a little work can often make lemonade out of it.

I think Cascade missed an opportunity to get a bunch of NEW racers to their event.

down in NRC prestige without the regular PRO teams? I don't think so.

a chance for new faces to be seen.


I think it could have been handled differently.
m

Velo Bella said...

We sent a full team there last year and no one contacted us about the situation. Neither directly by email, or indirectly through list serves etc. This announcement is the first we had heard. I think thats the part that people are having trouble with. They were never given a chance to say they would show. Once people heard about it, the decision had already been made.

And the promotor sets the reg closing date. If they need reg info sooner, they should close it sooner (and announce the early close). I call bullshit to everyone that says "you snooze you lose" Snoozing would be waiting until AFTER the promotor's chosen deadline.

But I do sympathize with their frustration over USA Cyling's scheduling. All that work to become an NRC race, and then the organization that organizes the NRC schedules a conflicting event at the same time. Ouch.

Brent said...

I don't disagree that it could of been handled better and there could be some room for something else.
I don't know what went on behind closed doors.
I just don't think it would be good for folks to link this to the same events as Cats Hill and deem Chad a non-pro-women hater. I have not seen that in his character.
I am sure NRC took their bid money knowing full well the expected dates and laid Nationals right over them.

I know he is not feeling good about his decision and is concerned with the outcome.

Linette said...

You write very well.