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Old 03-28-09, 05:53 PM   #1
zeo_max
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What determines who is the "World Champion" ?

So I have been seeing several commercials with Paolo Bettini claiming that he is the "World Champion". I was wondering what makes him that. He didn't win the '08 TDF, so it ain't that.

Is it winning the Oympics ? Or something else ?

Do they even have a "TDF style" race at the Olympics ?
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Old 03-28-09, 06:54 PM   #2
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The world championships is run as a one day race, normally in late September or early October. It is held at a different location each year. The reigning World Champion is the Italian Alessandro Ballan. He won his title in Varese last year.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2008...ults/worlds086
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Old 03-28-09, 10:46 PM   #3
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So I have been seeing several commercials with Paolo Bettini claiming that he is the "World Champion". I was wondering what makes him that. He didn't win the '08 TDF, so it ain't that.

Is it winning the Oympics ? Or something else ?

Do they even have a "TDF style" race at the Olympics ?
In professional International bike racing to win the world championship race is a great honor but does not mean you are the best rider in the world. It only means that you were the best rider that day in that race. Or got a lucky break in the finishing sprint. It does give you the right to be called the world champion and it most likely means you are maybe in the top 100 riders in the world that year. But often there are 20-30 riders who would be considered far better overall bike racers.

The best riders in the world are those who win many races or stages in multi-day races during the course of the year. And over the course of their career. Or who win one of the grand tours which require super human effort and ability. Bike racing is too taxing on the body to be always at your peak. And the varying terrain over long races will favor different body types. Hence very few riders in the history of cycling will even attempt to win every race they enter.

In the whole history of bike racing there are probably less than a dozen riders capable of winning any kind of race that they entered. In fact, there are probably only 3-4 racers who could lay claim to this ability.

Usually, the team managers decide which member of the team will go for the race win based on who they think has the greatest chance of winning. All the other team members are assigned specific roles to help the leader win the race.

Last edited by Hezz; 03-28-09 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 03-28-09, 11:34 PM   #4
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Usually, the team managers decide which member of the team will go for the race win based on who they think has the greatest chance of winning. All the other team members are assigned specific roles to help the leader win the race.
Oh I see. Good to know. I always wondered about that. I was always like "wait, why do they make teams if only one can win the race".

So I take it that the other team members help their ace by letting him take their slipstream, and by preventing their ace from being blocked by other teams right ?
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Old 03-29-09, 07:45 AM   #5
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So I take it that the other team members help their ace by letting him take their slipstream, and by preventing their ace from being blocked by other teams right ?
The Worlds usually works like a regular race, standard tactics apply. The teams are organized by country, rather than pre-set commercial teams like other (non-Olympic) races.

As far as I can tell the main benefit of winning the world's is that when you get pipped in another race, the winner gets to feel good about beating the World Champ.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:31 AM   #6
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Past world champions will also often been seen with the rainbow on the bottom edge of their jerseys.

Like Mr. Boonen here:

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Old 03-29-09, 09:57 AM   #7
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Also, ever so often guys become world champion purely on the misfortune of others. Maurizio Fondriest won the 1988 WC because the first 2 finishers were disqualified in a disputed sprint finnish. Steve Bauer collided with Claude Criquilion causing a crash that resulted in both riders being disqualified. Fondriest did not contest for the win. Steve Bauer is one of those riders who's true potential doe's show as it should in the record books. Bauer also lost the 1990 Paris-Roubaix race by millimeters to Eddy Planckaert who later admitted to being doped for the race. If you have seen the video footage of this race, it is obvious.
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Old 03-29-09, 04:37 PM   #8
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Embankment: What was your opinion on that one? I always felt that Criq got ripped off. In my eyes Bauer obviously moved over onto Criq pushing him into the barrier. He even stuck out his elbow for good measure.

Criq should have been given the silver.
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Old 03-29-09, 05:03 PM   #9
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Also, ever so often guys become world champion purely on the misfortune of others. Maurizio Fondriest won the 1988 WC because the first 2 finishers were disqualified in a disputed sprint finnish. Steve Bauer collided with Claude Criquilion causing a crash that resulted in both riders being disqualified. Fondriest did not contest for the win. Steve Bauer is one of those riders who's true potential doe's show as it should in the record books. Bauer also lost the 1990 Paris-Roubaix race by millimeters to Eddy Planckaert who later admitted to being doped for the race. If you have seen the video footage of this race, it is obvious.
Fondriest was still in it and would probably still have won anyway, crash or no crash. Watch it on youtube.

Criquelion collided with Bauer and was a dickhead for trying to pass on the barrier side IMO.
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Old 03-29-09, 06:51 PM   #10
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Embankment: What was your opinion on that one? I always felt that Criq got ripped off. In my eyes Bauer obviously moved over onto Criq pushing him into the barrier. He even stuck out his elbow for good measure.

Criq should have been given the silver.
Yeh, I have to agree.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:14 PM   #11
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Actually after watching the video again, Going between the barriers & Bauer was not the smartest move
Criq could have made. He probably felt boxed in by Fondi on the left so he chose the right. Criq should have put pressure on a movable Bauer & not the barrier. With all that being said Bauer made the mistake of throwing out the elbow blowing any chance of a fair sprint. Both were at fault & i guess the officials ruled the same. I am just no fan of Fond.
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Old 03-29-09, 07:26 PM   #12
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Criq though had the "right" to take that line. Bauer though then ran him into the barriers. The elbow flick being the most damning evidence.
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Old 03-29-09, 08:44 PM   #13
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Criq though had the "right" to take that line. Bauer though then ran him into the barriers. The elbow flick being the most damning evidence.

Criquelion made a fundamental error. You don't go down the barrier when your opponent can 'shut the door' on you. I'm not even 100% sure Bauer hit him. Criq hit the barrier footing with his foot or pedal and a sign denoting how far to go with his head. Bauer's wobble was probably because he was knackered after just having raced across the gap IMO. Still....compelling viewing. Ronse always has a controversy. It was the scene of the Behyet/Van Looy controversy in 1963
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Old 04-03-09, 05:43 AM   #14
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It only means that you were the best rider that day in that race. Or got a lucky break in the finishing sprint. It does give you the right to be called the world champion and it most likely means you are maybe in the top 100 riders in the world that year. But often there are 20-30 riders who would be considered far better overall bike racers.
In theory you're right, but just look at the names of the riders who became World Champ. There's hardly a little fish to be seen. Over the past 35 years only Dhaenens , Brochard and Vainšteins were relatively lesser champs.
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Old 04-03-09, 11:01 AM   #15
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I've read that many World Champions have a bad season after they win -- the curse of the rainbow jersey. Seems to be the case with Ballan this year.
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Old 04-03-09, 03:49 PM   #16
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Indeed, the rainbow jersey almost has the same effect as starting with number 13.
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Old 04-03-09, 04:39 PM   #17
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Yeh, I have to agree.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNoCSlN_UIc
I would also agree after watching it several times. It was not the best tactics for criq but he should not have been desqualified, he held his line, Bauer didn't. Fondi would not have won if there was no crash IMO.
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Old 04-03-09, 05:38 PM   #18
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I too don't understand why Criq was DQ'd. Bauer just kept drifting over and that elbow was pretty flagrant. I guess when you chase that hard to catch back on in the last kilometer, you'll do about anything to try and win!
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Old 04-03-09, 05:43 PM   #19
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I too don't understand why Criq was DQ'd. Bauer just kept drifting over and that elbow was pretty flagrant. I guess when you chase that hard to catch back on in the last kilometer, you'll do about anything to try and win!
Criquelion wasn't DQ'd. Only Bauer was DQ'd.
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Old 04-03-09, 06:04 PM   #20
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Criquelion wasn't DQ'd. Only Bauer was DQ'd.
Well, where did he finish? It wasn't top 3. Was he relegated because he walked his bike over the line?
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Old 04-03-09, 06:24 PM   #21
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Criquelion wasn't DQ'd. Only Bauer was DQ'd.
Ah, OK, I thought because they had not automatically placed him 2nd that he was DQ'd along with Bauer! He deserved at least the 2nd place...there was no one else on the stretch during the crash.
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Old 04-03-09, 06:31 PM   #22
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Well, where did he finish? It wasn't top 3. Was he relegated because he walked his bike over the line?
Its a one day race, not a stage race. There is no rule for crashes in the last 1km or 3km like there is in a stage race. He was placed in what ever position he crossed the line (you have to be carrying your bike), which was 11th IIRC.
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Old 04-03-09, 06:46 PM   #23
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Its a one day race, not a stage race. There is no rule for crashes in the last 1km or 3km like there is in a stage race. He was placed in what ever position he crossed the line (you have to be carrying your bike), which was 11th IIRC.
Gotcha. I didn't recall his position, of course whose going to talk about 11th.
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Old 04-09-09, 02:52 PM   #24
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In theory you're right, but just look at the names of the riders who became World Champ. There's hardly a little fish to be seen. Over the past 35 years only Dhaenens , Brochard and Vainšteins were relatively lesser champs.
I was exaggerating a little for emphasis. But often the world champ seems to be a great rider maybe in the top 30-50 riders in the world that year for that kind of race and then does little else during the season. At least this has been the general trend with a few exceptions for the past few years that I have been following cycling.

In my opinion, if the world champ cannot finish in the top ten in one of the grand tours or podium in another one of the major 5-6 day stage races during the season He really has no right to be called the world champ.
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Old 04-09-09, 05:50 PM   #25
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I was exaggerating a little for emphasis. But often the world champ seems to be a great rider maybe in the top 30-50 riders in the world that year for that kind of race and then does little else during the season. At least this has been the general trend with a few exceptions for the past few years that I have been following cycling.

In my opinion, if the world champ cannot finish in the top ten in one of the grand tours or podium in another one of the major 5-6 day stage races during the season He really has no right to be called the world champ.
What do you count as other major 5-6 day races?
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