Is the Rainbow Jersey Curse a myth?
A conversation with Tom Boonen
March 30, 2006
TB:The rainbow curse is something that doesn't exist. If you're able to win the world championships, you can win other races as well. What comes with the rainbow jersey is pressure, and if you're good with pressure, you can deal with the rainbow jersey.
On the other hand ...
World Champion Bettini crashes again
By Gregor Brown
... "It was not a good week for the World Champion, Paolo Bettini. The 32 year-old rider from La California (Livorno) crashed a week ago in Milano-Torino, and then on Friday,"...
BRUSSELS (AFP) ...A medical exam in Parma on Thursday revealed that the Quick Step rider had broken a rib and torn his pectoral muscle at the Tirreno-Adriatico ...
World Champion Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step) had an unlucky Milano-Sanremo, as he was caught behind a crash before the Cipressa with 30km to go and had to chase hard to get back in the race.
And the last one ...
I always find the World Champion or National Champion for the Road race to be over-rated. I admit - Boonen is one hell of a 1 day rider, on a flat course. But they should crown the World Champion based on either a much tougher test (i.e. - a full-on 1 to 2 week course with some serious mountain stages) or they need to include a WC for the hill climbers. Aer Boonen or Bettini better than Rasmussan? Who can say - as it depends on the type of race. That is why the Grand Tours are the true test - as it tests all types of riding styles, as well as topography.
My first thought was are you mad, but then I thought well he's got a good point there, not one I totally agree with, but a good one.
Originally Posted by VT Biker
I think riders, sponsors and fans like the rainbow jersey. But you're right about horses for courses, the worlds are normally won by the rider best suited to that type of course. Is that fair, well maybe, maybe not.
But as the sport runs from Feb to Sept I think the season long world cup is a good place to start, riders awarded points for all the relevant races.
But I'm also a traditionalist I love seeing the rainbow jersey. I think it's great that I can point to someone and say they're the world champ. I've never understood why other sports don't do something similar.
I grew up as a kid idolising those hero's in the Tour de France, Indurain and everyone like that. It was almost a childhood dream to ride the Tour de France. The last 2 years my childhood dream which became a reality has been pissed all over by certain members of the peloton. - Bradley Wiggins 27th July 2007.
My Blog. http://onthebanking.blogspot.com/
The World Championship road race is better than a season long comp IMO. Season long comps are boring. I like it the way it is - one big throw of the dice - with the title on the line. My only complaint is that the worlds are too late in the year and that it should be moved back to late August.
If you look back at the list of World Road Champs there aren't many 'unworthy' champions. Only two or three maybe who weren't great riders.
Back to the OP's point - THE CURSE. Originally the French Champions jersey was supposed to be cursed. Then in the 80's and into the 90's World Champions supposedly had bad years whilst wearing the rainbow jersey. Argentin, Roche, Fondriest, Bugno, Leblanc, Museeuw..... Personally I reckon in most instances its BS. It stands to reason that the year after you win a rainbow jersey is going to struggle to compare to your world championship year.
See wiki for the list of champions.
Originally Posted by classic1
i think it's safe to say that Rudy Dhaenens suffered from the curse.
Rudy suffered from the curse of the roadside telephone pole.
Originally Posted by botto