Professional Cycling For the Fans - "Awkward"
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04-20-10, 02:45 AM
"If I would've been dropped by him I would accept that but now it's a bit awkward."
It was over a week ago, but: Is it me or does Boonen seem a bit nonplussed by Cancellara's move at P-R? On the one hand, he says he wouldn't hesistate to use the same tactics, but on the other he seems to be implying that Cancellara should have gone mano a mano.
Now obviously Boonen wanted the race tactics on his terms, and my text above might not be an accurate representation, but my question is: in the annals of unwritten rules of cycling, is getting word from your car to attack while your main rival is back having a snack in any way pushing the limits of cycling sportsmanship?
If Boonen had crashed then the answer would be: Yes, that would be unseemly. But if Boonen was eating or drinking the answer is: No, the race is on; if Boonen wants to have a slice of pizza no-one will be waiting for him to finish. Boonen knows this and any attempt to suggest otherwise is disingenuous.
04-20-10, 05:58 AM
You don't attack in a feed zone, you don't attack when guys stop to pee, and you don't attack when there's a crash. You do attack with ~50km to go in one of the biggest races of the year. That's money time.
That's what Cancellara does. He attacks from a relatively far distance and TTs to wins. Boonen never should have taken his eyes off of him. All he had to do was stay on Fabian's wheel until the velodrome, where he could easily outsprint him. Easier said than done, I know.
04-20-10, 10:44 AM
"i wouldn't hesitate to use the same tactics." - tom boonen
i don't think he was upset at cancellara for attacking when boonen was in the back, he was upset that he wasn't up front when it happened.
04-20-10, 11:49 AM
I think that simply reading the headline of the article you linked to puts it all into perspective. The fact that other riders were able to move up the road on Tom, makes it pretty clear that, even if he had stayed with Fabian then, it was only a matter of time.
I like that Tom isn't one to make excuses. A few years ago, when Cancellara won his first P-R, he was advanced from 5th to 2nd after three riders were disqualified. After the race, he was clearly not happy with himself, and said that, in his mind, he finished 5th (I'm paraphrasing). Hopefully, he's got his act together a bit better than he did last year, and he'll be more in the mix. I'm not a huge fan of his, but despite his flaws, he's a hugely talented rider, and not a bad guy.
04-20-10, 01:08 PM
It's not fair unless you tell your main rival that you are about to go on the offensive and that he should be prepared to be latched onto your wheel because at any moment you will try and take off to win the race, but you want to make sure he has a fair chance to suck on your wheel, and so when Fabian carries Boonen to the velodrome just the two of them, Boonen must be polite and let Fabian have an ample gap in the final 500m to make up for his sprinting deficiency... if all goes well and each rider behaves like a gentleman, the race should be practically a tie, with an electron microscope required to determine who crossed the line first.
Attacking 50km from the finish, while your main rival moves to the very back of the group to stare at some riders ass that doesn't even factor into the race, should be a bannable offense...
but seriously, I think Boonen knew he couldn't win, and wanted to give up the race without looking like he was weak. He knew exactly what would happen when he left Fabian up front and went to the back to eat, even I was yelling at the grainy video feed when I saw him back there eating, "attack fabu attack!" That, or like Boonen said, he just wasn't thinking clearly... but that was a bone head move, in interviews he even said, "you can't give cancellara a meter or he's gone" He knows how to mark people, he just gave up.
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