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Old 06-22-09, 09:24 AM   #1
Creakyknees
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Racing: an honorable sporting event, or a back-alley knife fight?

Events of the weekend have prompted discussion about the "right" way to view a race.

To wit: are there more honorable ways to win than others? Or is it simply, first wheel across the line and as long as you stay within the rules, a win is a win?

Example: is a rider who sits in and sprints, less of a deserving winner than one who attacks and attacks and bridges and chases then wins? Or is the concept of "deserving" entirely irrelevant?
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Old 06-22-09, 09:25 AM   #2
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Old 06-22-09, 09:26 AM   #3
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honorable isn't the word i would chose. elegant, courageous, daring, classy... are more apt.
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Old 06-22-09, 09:29 AM   #4
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I want to know what all this drama in the Cat4 race is all about (Andy's TXBRA) comments. What happened once I was shown the back door?
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Old 06-22-09, 09:39 AM   #5
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Or is the concept of "deserving" entirely irrelevant?
Its irrelevant in my option. I dont think anyone in the field really cares if a guy that pulls the whole race deserves to win. Yeah it would be nice to see him win cause he did a lot of the work up front, but he decided to do that, and its not going to stop anyone else in the field from chasing him on the final sprint. It was his decision to do the work and he should know theres someone right on his wheel along for the ride. Its a race, first one that cross's the lines within the rules wins.

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Old 06-22-09, 09:42 AM   #6
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honorable isn't the word i would chose. elegant, courageous, daring, classy... are more apt.
Cheeky.... you left out cheeky
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Old 06-22-09, 09:45 AM   #7
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Where I'm from if you pull the whole way and the lose you're called stupid.
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Old 06-22-09, 09:50 AM   #8
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Where I'm from if you pull the whole way and the lose you're called stupid.
some would say " stoopid" too.
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Old 06-22-09, 09:50 AM   #9
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Where I'm from if you pull the whole way and the lose you're called stupid.
or sled dog....Mush, Doggie!Mush!!!!
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Old 06-22-09, 09:51 AM   #10
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I want to know what all this drama in the Cat4 race is all about (Andy's TXBRA) comments. What happened once I was shown the back door?
yeah I dunno.. it seemed like a routine sprint to me. all I can think was, there was one guy who got chopped a bit, and I said a bad word after I got passed at the line.

the top 4 guys were pretty close, maybe he got excited about that.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:01 AM   #11
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Events of the weekend have prompted discussion about the "right" way to view a race.

To wit: are there more honorable ways to win than others? Or is it simply, first wheel across the line and as long as you stay within the rules, a win is a win?

Example: is a rider who sits in and sprints, less of a deserving winner than one who attacks and attacks and bridges and chases then wins? Or is the concept of "deserving" entirely irrelevant?
No, there are not more honorable ways to win, at least within major limits. I really don't like the idea because it's pretty much used to intentionally devalue the efforts and skills of certain kinds of riders. What makes cycling so great is that there are so many different ways to win a race - TT types who call sprinters and sprinting tactics dishonorable are, IMO, selfish and lacking in appreciation for the subtleties and nuance of the sport. If cycling were about brute strength, it would be boring and there would be a lot fewer competitors. Winning solo requires enormous strength, winning from a break requires strength and the savvy to recognize your strengths and how to use them against your breakaway companions, winning from a field sprint requires clever tactics, good positioning, a good turn of speed and near-perfect timing. These are all worthy ways to win.

By the way, this goes both ways - sprinters who think that breakaways and riders who have the strength to win solo shouldn't be allowed are jerks. But how often does this happen? Mostly, the anger seems to come from riders who think that having a bigger aerobic engine and working like a dog entitles them to a win or high placing. But cycling is beautiful because you are not entitled to anything. You win by crossing the line first. If you can't do that, then that's it. That's cycling. Hey, maybe I'm biased - I'm a criterium and circuit racer by disposition - but I recognize that bias.

And for what it's worth, that doesn't mean that I support boring races. Races won in field sprints or from breaks can both be incredibly boring, or they can be active and exciting, depending upon how they are raced, what tactics are used, etc. I would rather my races be exciting, but when you come right down to it, that's secondary. People want to win, and they're going to do whatever they think gives them the best chance of winning. They might guess wrong, especially if they are inexperienced, but that's how it goes.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:26 AM   #12
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bike racing does not care who took second
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Old 06-22-09, 10:31 AM   #13
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is it dishonorable to drop heavy guys on hills because they have a higher FTP?
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Old 06-22-09, 10:39 AM   #14
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bike racing is an interesting sport. while maybe no one cares who took 2nd, I can think of several examples of races where no one can remember (interpret to no one cares) who won, but everyone remembers who was off the front for a big % of the race or who "turned the screws" and animiated the race.
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Old 06-22-09, 10:42 AM   #15
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bike racing does not care who took second
I think it does for some.

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Old 06-22-09, 10:45 AM   #16
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is it dishonorable to drop heavy guys on hills because they have a higher FTP?
very dishonorable.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:14 AM   #17
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knife fight for me, unless its with teammates
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Old 06-22-09, 11:41 AM   #18
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I think it does for some.


Poulidor, the ultimate "first loser".
At least he won on occasion too.
Nice pic.
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Old 06-22-09, 01:38 PM   #19
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Old 06-22-09, 01:39 PM   #20
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yeah I dunno.. it seemed like a routine sprint to me. all I can think was, there was one guy who got chopped a bit, and I said a bad word after I got passed at the line.

the top 4 guys were pretty close, maybe he got excited about that.
I think it was more about the conditions and how they really fought it out till the end...at leat that's what I took away from Andy's comments...
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Old 06-22-09, 02:36 PM   #21
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Meh, it's just drama.

If you win without cheating, you won. One method is tactically superior, the other is brute strength.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:44 PM   #22
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whatever. while the following is more about mortals, such as ourselves, it pretty much covers my opinion about racers in general:

i will always have more respect for the racer who got away in a break and won.

i will never have respect for the anonymous racers, who you never see on the front until the final 200 meters.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:46 PM   #23
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whatever. while the following is more about mortals, such as ourselves, it pretty much covers my opinion about racers in general:

i will always have more respect for the racer who got away in a break and won.

i will never have respect for the anonymous racers, who you never see on the front until the final 200 meters.
Even if the guy who won, in the break, was never "on the front until the final 200 meters"?
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Old 06-22-09, 02:49 PM   #24
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Even if the guy who won, in the break, was never "on the front until the final 200 meters"?
yes.
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Old 06-22-09, 02:51 PM   #25
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i will never have respect for the anonymous racers, who you never see on the front until the final 200 meters.
Aaahhh, the ol' Botto/Cavendish uppercut.

I've got no issue with anyone that can win the field sprint, that sat in all day.
I've got issues with all those guys that follow incessantly hoping for a top10 in a field sprint.
It's like, who cares.
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