Seattle (Fat CyclistFake News Service) - PorkoVelo Enterprises, LLC, a heretofore-unheard-of USA biking race promoter, announced today in a hastily-called press conference that it would be offering a proposal for a United States-based Grand Tour, competing with the just-announced Tour of America. The race, according to PorkoVelo CEO Rick Sunderlage, will be called "Ride Around the US a Lot of Times" (RATUSALOT).
According to Sunderlage, "We've been thinking, lately, that what the world really needs is another Grand Tour. Except one that's not so easy. And it should be somewhere where road biking isn't as popular as it is in the rest of the world. And it should happen right after the biggest, most succesful top-tier US-based racing team ever disbanded, due to lack of sponsor interest."
"I swear," continued Sunderlage, "We were, like, 75 percent finished with our plan when those jerks at Aqu Inc. came out and announced their race, which I guess kind of forced our hand. So we kind of had to rush to get our proposal out the door, which means it's kind of half-baked, unlike the Aqu idea."
"Man," said Sunderlage, a trace of frustration showing on his face, "Those guys have their plan totally nailed. You can tell they've thought everything through."
"Anyway," concluded the PorkoVelo CEO, "I think most people will find our idea for an American Grand Tour has everything the Tour of America has, but more of it. And more's better, right?"
According to RATUSALOT Logistics Director Rob Sunderlage, "The problem with the Tour of America is that it's just too darned short. I mean, only 27 stages? Just 4000 miles? Geez, guys, these are professional cyclists. Don't you think it's time we tested them a little?"
Sunderlage (Rob, not Rick) then said, "So I guess now's as good a time to show off our route for RATUSALOT:
"There are still a few kinks for us to work out," said Sunderlage (Rob, not Rick), but I think you can see that this sucker's a real bike race."
According to Race Logistics Director Rachele Urqhart-Sunderlage, "RATUSALOT -- unlike the Tour of America, which only goes touches 22 states -- goes through each and every state of the Union, often multiple times."
Then, correcting herself, Urqhart-Sunderlage said, "Well, actually I'm not sure we go through some of those North-Eastern states. Those things are tiny."
"Oh," continued Urqhart-Sunderlage, "We also don't go through Hawaii or Alaska, because it'd be a pain to have to charter all those planes."
"And I guess it's obvious that we had to go around Texas," said Urqhart-Sunderlage. "They wouldn't let us in. They're standing all along the border, saying things like, 'Ain't no spandex-wearing, pedal-pushing, leg-shaving pansy-boys coming into Texas! This is oil country!' So we thought we should just let them be."
Urqhart-Sunderlage pointed out several interesting aspects of the race, including:
- Distance: "At this point, we're not exactly sure how many miles the race is. For one thing, it's got a lot of curves, and so it's hard to figure out the distances. For another thing, we're having a rough time converting the miles into kilograms. But we guess it's roughly 16,000 miles."
- Race Timing / Number of Stages: "The RATUSALOT will have 120 stages, beginning the first day of May and running through the end of August. We understand that this may mean some racers may have to miss other races, but we're sure they'll understand."
- Stage Breakdown: "The RATUSALOT will have 25 Time Trials, 5 Team Time Trials, and 60 climbing stages. Unlike Aqu Inc., we're not afraid to go into the mountains."
- Longest Stage: "We're thinking that with all the miles we've got to cover, we're going to need to have some pretty long stages. That said, we don't think it's wise to have 250-mile stages; that's just too much to ask of a racer -- even a pro racer. However, we don't think it's a problem to have a 140-mile stage in the morning, followed by a two-hour break, and then a 160-mile stage in the afternoon. Some of the riders might want to have light systems mounted on their bikes, just to be safe."
- Prize Purse: "In order to draw the best cycling teams in the world to the RATUSALOT, we have put together one of the most incredible prize purses in the history of cycling. In addition to $12 million in cash to be awarded to contestants, we'll be giving every contestant a gift bag containing an assortment of candy bars, lip balm, cheeses, coupons, a crisp new $20 bill, and all the Coca Cola products they can drink, including Gatorade. Not to mention an event T-shirt and bumper sticker."
- Sponsors: "It's not our policy to announce potential sponsors until we've got a signed contract and money in the bank. But we're open to suggestions. If you're a company and you've got a few million marketing dollars laying around, please, please, please give me a call. Please."
Date set, somewhat
PorkoVelo CEO Rick Sunderlage notes that the inaugural RATUSALOT will begin less than one year from now, on May 1, 2008. "That date's not set in stone, however," notes Sunderlage. "There are still a few details we need to nail down. For example, we've still got to figure out whether there are roads in some of the places where we drew the course."