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Old 05-24-08, 10:51 PM   #1
phoshizzo
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Sprinter, climber, or TT'er?

If you were to be a top level pro cyclist, which would you rather be......a sprinter, a climber, or a TT'er? and why?

It seems like the climbers have the edge in the grand tours, the TT'ers get individual glory, but the sprinters have the opportunities to win in the tours, the classics, and most everything in between. For me, I'd like to be a top level sprinter.

Sprinters have more wins, and that means they get on the podium more often which = more kisses from those hot podium girls oh, and they don't look like walking skeletons with their shirts off.

And if a sprinter drops out of a grand tour its not a big deal, but if a GC guy drops out, he's considered a failure/disappointment.
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Old 05-24-08, 10:56 PM   #2
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Sprinters have it easy, they get to sit in until the final 5k before they have to do anything and then only for about 15 seconds. I would probably say a climber because that is what I'm decent at now although being able to TT would be nice too.
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Old 05-24-08, 11:01 PM   #3
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Sprinters have it easy, they get to sit in until the final 5k before they have to do anything and then only for about 15 seconds. I would probably say a climber because that is what I'm decent at now although being able to TT would be nice too.
Exactly! Easy money
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Old 05-24-08, 11:15 PM   #4
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1 word - Cancellara
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Old 05-25-08, 12:25 AM   #5
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i wouldn't really wanna be a climber cause they're too thin. but i'd say i would most rather be a sprinter/tt'er. they're usually fairly well buit, and are the ones who usually win the classics, which are my favorite races anyways.
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Old 05-25-08, 02:00 AM   #6
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Domestique.
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Old 05-25-08, 02:05 AM   #7
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Well the contemporary GC victor is both a climber and TT'er -- have to excel in both. Of course, back in Merckx day, you had to do all 3 if you wanted to make big dough. I guess to me a sprint seems almost like a parlour trick. I find bunch finishes a waste of time. 200km for a mere 150 meters of racing?

Valverde is, in my mind, the best all-around rider.
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Old 05-25-08, 06:00 AM   #8
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Domestique.
+1

I admire big George a lot and would love to be in a position to provide that much help to my team.

+1 for Rolleur, I'd be one of thems too.



-L.... off to the races!
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Old 05-25-08, 06:09 AM   #9
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If you were to be a top level pro cyclist, which would you rather be......a sprinter, a climber, or a TT'er? and why?

It seems like the climbers have the edge in the grand tours, the TT'ers get individual glory, but the sprinters have the opportunities to win in the tours, the classics, and most everything in between. For me, I'd like to be a top level sprinter.

Sprinters have more wins, and that means they get on the podium more often which = more kisses from those hot podium girls oh, and they don't look like walking skeletons with their shirts off.

And if a sprinter drops out of a grand tour its not a big deal, but if a GC guy drops out, he's considered a failure/disappointment.
No if's about it. I'm not.
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Old 05-25-08, 06:10 AM   #10
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A strong TT rider who can also sprint, sort of a Boonen/Cancellra hybrid.

I'm sort of like that, just seem to be missing a few hundred watts here and there
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Old 05-25-08, 07:03 AM   #11
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What does Rolleur mean?
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Old 05-25-08, 07:10 AM   #12
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I'd be able to hold 1300 watts for 2.7 hours. I would excel at all disciplines. And my bike would be made of cotton candy. Yum!
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Old 05-25-08, 07:23 AM   #13
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A strong TT rider who can also sprint, sort of a Boonen/Cancellra hybrid.
Don't forget being able to climb like Rasmussen (with cow blood).
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Old 05-25-08, 07:28 AM   #14
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"Just sitting in"

Makes it sound like the sprinter isn't working at all. Maybe at a top level, in certain types of races, that might be the case, but then you look at races where the top favorites were cooked before they got to the sprint - Milan San Remo in particular, but even others. The 1996 Ghent Wevelgem had a huge chase for Abdujaporov and he didn't even count in the final sprint. I've experienced this many times, where simply getting to the finish used up everything I had. Sure I had position, sure I did everything right, but I had no legs, nothing, when it came to the finish.

I see a lot of non-sprinter type folk talking about sustaining high heart rates while they solo to a win. A sprinter does the same kind of work - just to sit on a wheel. They suffer immensely merely to be pack fodder. The reason why they come off so quickly in a road race is that hills and severe winds expose their weaknesses, just like they allow the strong racers to reveal their strengths. Sure sprinters can sprint for 200 meters, but ask them to do a more sustained effort and the results will be pretty disappointing.

Indurain said it well:

"I'm fascinated by the sprinters. They suffer so much during the race just to get to the finish, they hang on for dear life in the climbs, but then in the final kilometers they are transformed and do amazing things. It's not their force per se that impresses me, but rather the renaissance they experience. Seeing them suffer throughout the race only to be reborn in the final is something for fascination."

(bold is mine)

Fine, I have a jump and not much else. But given the choice between doing competing suffer fests going uphill or along a TT, I'd much, much, much rather be doing 25k of super tactical, elbow to elbow racing. Darting in and out of holes, saving or expending, instant decisions, looking ahead (in some crits) for a lap or two, making calculations, all while riding at a somewhat low threshold.

What kills me is that practically everyone I race with question my FTP numbers because they're "low". Yet, for whatever reason, if I can make it to the finish, I'm the one in the top 10, I'm the one deciding when to jump, I'm the one in contention for the win.

I have a jump but that is for the sprint. Getting to 200 meters to go? That's FTP.

This is what frustrates me. If 30% more people in the 3s understood tactics better, I'd never place or win, ever. I feel like I'm living on borrowed time, just waiting for everyone to figure it out. Instead, from what I can see, it's getting worse and worse. Less tactics, more brute strength. I'm horrible at brute strength so I often lose, but it's disappointing to see someone win who actually has no concept of tactics. At some point brute strength no longer works, and now that rider is there and is as experienced as a Cat 5 as far as tactics go. The emphasis regarding rider development should be just as much on tactics as it is on power, but unfortunately there are no gizmos that measure tactical astuteness. So power it is.

I find it much more stimulating to think about tactics rather than just trying to go really hard. I guess that's why I don't like running or triathlons or similar - to go hard doesn't appeal to me as much as to be able to match wits in a safe, controlled, and somewhat respectful atmosphere.

I am a sprinter, mind and body.

cdr
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Old 05-25-08, 08:04 AM   #15
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Sprinters have it easy, they get to sit in until the final 5k before they have to do anything and then only for about 15 seconds. I would probably say a climber because that is what I'm decent at now although being able to TT would be nice too.
anyone who makes a statement like this is either doing it tongue in cheek or has no knowledge of bike racing.
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Old 05-25-08, 08:18 AM   #16
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Don't forget being able to climb like Rasmussen (with cow blood).
That'd be Eddy Merckx. The one and only who could pull off all three. Cancellara's sprint is strong, and Boonen TTs well - neither climb worth a sh*t.
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Old 05-25-08, 08:22 AM   #17
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That'd be Eddy Merckx. The one and only who could pull off all three. Cancellara's sprint is strong, and Boonen TTs well - neither climb worth a sh*t.
incorrect.
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Old 05-25-08, 08:32 AM   #18
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You know what I mean

At 80kg he's probably approaching 6w/kg FTP, so he's no slouch up a hill. Not enough to keep up with the GC boys though, let alone the jockeys of the bike world.
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Old 05-25-08, 08:41 AM   #19
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tt or climber. but i think tt'er would be my favorite. nothing but you and the clock. "the race of truth" as my club leader calls it. just having to absorb all the wind and keep pushing with everything you have. then explode with a sprint at the end. it feels pure to me when im doing it. very peacefull almost.


zen'ish.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:23 AM   #20
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it feels pure to me when im doing it. very peacefull almost.


zen'ish.

Go faster.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:35 AM   #21
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Lance
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Old 05-25-08, 09:44 AM   #22
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To be honest, I'd prefer *not* dating my mother.
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Old 05-25-08, 10:23 AM   #23
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"the race of truth" as my club leader calls it.
He's got a real way with words, your club leader.
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Old 05-25-08, 11:24 AM   #24
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I'm like a cross between Brad Wiggins and Wile E. Coyote, so I'd have to say TT.
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Old 05-25-08, 11:33 AM   #25
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"I'm fascinated by the sprinters. They suffer so much during the race just to get to the finish, they hang on for dear life in the climbs, but then in the final kilometers they are transformed and do amazing things. It's not their force per se that impresses me, but rather the renaissance they experience. Seeing them suffer throughout the race only to be reborn in the final is something for fascination."
+1 In the Tuesday Nighter this week, my team's other sprinter (Aaron) and I looked out for each other as much as possible for the first 3 laps, and we both nearly popped off the back twice. On the last lap, I dug deep to stay in the front. In the final mile, I looked over my shoulder to see if I could lead him out, and there he was with a big grin, sitting on my wheel.

Now it was our show. I opened up a leadout from 500-600m, strung the pack out completely, and just held us at 35mph until he exploded around me.

There's something that happens to sprinters in that last mile. That same stretch of road was miserable on the first three laps, and I was sucking air. On the fourth lap, different story.
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