Tour of Sufferlandria 2016 - Platform announcement
For 2016, the Tour of Sufferlandria (ToS) will take place from the 6th to the 14th of February. Unlike past years, however, we won’t run the tour in conjunction with Trainer Road (TR). This simply means that TR won’t be promoting the ToS or using the ToS branding, etc. Does it change much? Not really - our workouts, which are amongst the most popular on TR, will still be there and you can use them to ride the videos for each stage. In fact, you can still do all your Sufferfest rides on Trainer Road.
So, why this decision?
- Rider confusion: If you’ve ridden the ToS for a couple years on TR, you probably understood how the ToS works and that TR is simply a platform to do rides. However, for the past couple of years, we have received thousands of emails, tweets and Facebook posts from new riders (and even past riders) who didn’t understand the role of TR. A disturbingly large number think that TR actually runs the ToS, rather than us. Others thought you HAD to complete rides on TR to be eligible for prizes. It is very, very important to us that the ToS is an honour system - you donate, you ride however you want, and that's it. Too many people were staying away because they thought they were going to be judged. We didn’t want that anymore.
- Our own new platform: We have a new app coming out that will have many of the features of Trainer Road and other training platforms. The ToS is our biggest event of the year, we put a ton of resources into it. The same goes for our app, which we’ve put more into than anything we’ve ever done before. It’s natural that these two things should come together and we want to promote the app as a great option to do your ToS ride. Do you have to use it? Absolutely not.
- Other platforms: The training software landscape has grown over the past few years. TR was one of the very first, but we now have partnerships with Kinetic, Cyclops, PerfPro and many others. By partnering exclusively with TR, we alienated these other great companies. We want to make it clear that you don’t HAVE to do the ToS on any one platform - use whatever you like to do your rides. Heck, you don’t even need to use training software at all.
Over the past few years, Sufferlandrians have raised more than $175,000 for the Davis Phinney Foundation, used the ToS as both a goal and a springboard for their fitness and been part of an incredible community. We’ll unveil the route of the ToS 2016 on Jan 6th. It’s killer. Our website, and the ToS Facebook group, will have all the information, some cool new stuff and be the race village (yes, we’ll have a countdown clock there soon). I look forward to seeing you out on the course - no matter what platform you’re using. :)