What's with the "space race is over, now it's time for the space exploration race"? We've been exploration space for decades, people. 'Exploration' does not SPECIFICALLY mean going out into space and physically exploring it with our bodies. Exploration is gaining a better understanding of something through scientific means (such as space probes, cameras, satellites, and robots), which is something that is not at all new.
The race that will be starting would be more of a "who can land a dude on another planet first" kind of race. Granted, it's still exploration - just not the only kind.