Return Of Tour De Trump - New TV Bike Race With Balls?

Come Wednesday -- no matter what happens -- Donald Trump needs to go on a long bike ride. And then start thinking about some new humbling TV associations.

The ride needs to be somewhere nice, perhaps where Trump owns a few acres. It should help to get rid of those 20 extra pounds he complained about on the daily syndicated show “Dr. Oz.”

And then while on ride, he should reflect all about TV -- not about running a renegade TV news network. That’s too obvious. He should think about investing -- whatever money his tax return allows -- in some sort of TV sport franchise.

He should consider professional road cycling. You might say: What does Trump know about cycling? Actually, he has experience.

Ever hear of the Tour de Trump?

Yes, that was a real weeklong professional bike race, on the East Coast, from 1989 to 1990. It's one former Tour de France winner Greg Lemond rode in. (And you though everything was about ascending to be an “Apprentice.”)



As for the TV connection? The race was aired on NBC, the same network that aired “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice.” At the time, here is what Trump told NBC at the inaugural 1989 Tour de Trump: “This is an event that can be tremendous in the future, and it can really, very much rival the Tour de France.

After two years of the Tour de Trump, Trump abandoned the event and a major East Coast-based company took over for another five years and called it the Tour duPont. Former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (since stripped of those titles) won two of those Tour duPont races in 1995 and 1996. Lemond won in 1992.

Trump claims to be a business genius. It’s time he goes back to work some of that into more humbling real estate investments and big events attached to his name -- like cycling.

Here’s another reason: Professional cyclists are a part of the working class, making a fraction of what bigger NFL and NBA athletes make. Trump wants to help workers, right?

One of the chief issues pro cycling teams have in maintaining the viability comes only from selling team name sponsorship. But big U.S.-based professional sports teams -- football, basketball, and baseball -- get much more, revenues from stadium/arena ticket sales, and, more importantly, TV revenue. Big pro cycling teams get neither.

Trump could help get here -- with his tremendous business savvy -- and perhaps a bit of ego. Way back when, when Trump was in a private New York upstate school, he claimed to be the best athlete, no matter what sport he did.

Trump on a bike -- or running a bike race? Maybe Mark Burnett -- “Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice” TV producer -- can help.

Right now, this is only a modest pay day on TV.

For example, on NBCSN, the biggest U.S. road bike race -- the 2016 Amgen Tour of California pulled in $2.2 million in national TV advertising for eight days of racing, according to By comparison, the 2016 Tour de France -- for 22 days of racing -- pulled in $6 million.

A growth sport? You have to start somewhere. Trump criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for getting into a cycling accident. “I will never enter a bicycling race -- during a major negotiation,” Trump exclaimed in 2015.

Ah, hah! Only during a “negotiation.” No matter. Trump needs a new spin on things. But go slow. He should avoid -- in cycling terms -- hitting a wall.

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