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Old 05-25-17, 11:31 AM   #1
Hermes 
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The Holy Grail of Bicycle Racing

There always seems to be a discussion about what constitutes "real" bicycle racing. Some believe it is only mass start and others have different opinions.

I thought it would be interesting to see what racers think is the holy grail of bike racing i.e. the ultimate achievement. This can be at the elite, masters or pro level.

Merckx was arguably one of the best bike racers of all time but what has always stood out for me was Merckx holding the hour record at the track that has stood the test of time until UCI changed the rules allowing aero equipment.

Along the same lines, is winning any championship 40K ITT.

So what do you think? Is winning a 4 corner industrial park criterium the holy grail or is it something else?
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Old 05-25-17, 04:06 PM   #2
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Well I don't think I have enough experience or perspective on bike racing as a whole to have the best-formulated opinion on this. But that won't stop me from commenting.


I like bike racing in general and think its all pretty great- anyone who is willing to say out loud, "Hey I'm gonna try to be better than the rest of my field on game day" is just doing something kind of ballsy and worth admiring IMO. I think different types of races test different things and personally I'm really really glad that there's all different types of racing. Some types are naturally easier for a given person, based on that person's starting physiology. So the more different types, the better. Its the way to attract people to the sport. Once they're in, they can explore different aspects of it and see if their horizons can be expanded. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But I can't imagine setting up one type of racing as the "ultimate" because they are all really useful and important to the health of the overall sport of bike racing I think.


I guess if I had to imagine what is "ultimate," I'd most admire someone who at various points excels are a variety of different types of racing- TTs, crits, road races, stage races, track sprinting, pursuit, short mountain bike racing, long mountain bike racing and maybe fondo-length endurance races. (Really long endurance races, in the 100+ mile range, or Ironman tri's, are a test of something different IMO, not really cycling so much as the ability to do something for a really long period of time, with the tradeoff being high-end performance, and for some reason this seems less like bike racing to me and more a test of someone's mettle. Still worth admiring, but something different than bike racing.) I don't think its physiologically possible for too many people to excel at so many different aspects of bike racing but I guess those people would seem more "ultimate" to me than someone who is good at only one type of achievement.


But really if you have the type of physiology that makes you only good at one type of racing, and you actually work on other types but never get too good at them, then the ultimate is whatever is the hardest in your discipline. Wherever the strongest competition is, I guess, for the toughest version of your event. The version that most normal people in your type of racing do and come away saying, "never again".

Last edited by Heathpack; 05-25-17 at 04:10 PM.
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