Its not the cost, attitudes, speed, etc. - Americans don't want to play if they're not the best. Correlations between road license numbers and performance at the top level of the sport.
It is more often than not becoming the norm for bicycle races to cease paying out any race other than the top men's and women's races. For some (cough - masters racers - cough) this elimination of a payout has become too big of a pill to swallow.
For this episode we were sent a copy of an actual email that an actual "masters racer" sent to the promoters of a local race.