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End of institutionalized cheating

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End of institutionalized cheating

Old 04-23-23, 03:13 PM
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End of institutionalized cheating

USA Cycling - "Effective January 1, 2023, junior gearing is NO LONGER restricted for all cycling disciplines except track. This is based upon ruling changes enacted by UCI ..."

I no longer have a junior racer. I can say that this affected the course of his profession. Pilot now vs pro cyclist.
For generations USA and UCI cycling put a handicap one group of cyclists while allowing others to have advantages for no reason based on any facts.

Tour of Utah, Redlands would most likely have been won by a junior had this rule not been so unfairly applied.
In Redlands the adult wearing a "clean" tattoo was glad to accept the award beating the handicapped juniors while having an advantage greater than any drug I know of.

Anyway, about time!
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Old 04-23-23, 03:37 PM
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I always thought the Junior gear restriction was silly.
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Old 04-23-23, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by robobike316
I always thought the Junior gear restriction was silly.
It was silly, however as we see now (for whatever reason) some of the of the most youthful now are the most winning.
The test before 2023 was "how fast could they spin".
Guys like Phil Gaimon celebrated himself doing no drugs while he was glad to beat kids with a gearing handicap. I guess as he had a clean tattoo that was OK.

There are more than several who left this sport because they could not spin as USA cycling thought they should be able to spin.

Separate but related - Tadej recent uphill sprint moves his body all over while keeping the bike rather balanced - and winning.
USA cycling coaches would (did) say moving the body is bad. Maybe it is. I am not a USA Cycling coach.

IMO winning matters more than doing it right.
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Old 04-23-23, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge
Guys like Phil Gaimon celebrated himself doing no drugs while he was glad to beat kids with a gearing handicap. I guess as he had a clean tattoo that was OK.
Why did they let Gaimon in a junior race?

(Also, you might want to study up on the meaning of cheating. You should have called it mechanical doping, which it also wasn't.)

Last edited by asgelle; 04-23-23 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 04-25-23, 10:24 AM
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Junior gearing always seemed dumb, good change. That said, pilot as a career beats the hell out of pro cyclist all day long! lol
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Old 04-25-23, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle
Why did they let Gaimon in a junior race?

(Also, you might want to study up on the meaning of cheating. You should have called it mechanical doping, which it also wasn't.)
Legal it was. Cheating by this the first searched definition below - it also was.

That is why I called it institutionalized. I still do not know of any open class sports events where rules handicap some and not others (of the same sex).
By the unfair advantage (1st definition) that was cheating.
It was unfair to gain an advantage.

cheat
[CHēt]

VERB
cheating (present participle)
  1. act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage, especially in a game or examination:
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Old 04-25-23, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JLTD
Junior gearing always seemed dumb, good change. That said, pilot as a career beats the hell out of pro cyclist all day long! lol
Just can't post about it as much.
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Old 04-25-23, 10:25 PM
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Doge, I think you did a lot to support your son and junior cycling programs. Bravo. And I do not have a dog in this fight although I train with juniors and was with one tonight and and our group has one racing in Europe.

Junior gearing...fair unfair. All racers that made it to the pro level faced the junior gearing gauntlet. And I might add that another reason for JGs is to handicap the junior field so that juniors that grow faster would not have a gear advantage. Personally, I hate attempts to create a level playing field with rules such as that. And I include excluding TT bikes from stage races because it is too hard or too expensive to bring two bikes to a race. If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

And never, never never, underestimate UCI rule changes or inclusions to favor one country over another. What was up with UCI's TT bike and pursuit rules that essentially put all riders of different sizes on the same size bike and aerobar extension?

I say declare victory. Your son has a great profession, had a solid if not exemplary cycling experience and he is in one piece.

And I am not trying to argue or debate. These are some musings of a tired racer after a hard track session.

Last edited by Hermes; 04-26-23 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 04-26-23, 05:43 AM
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I was gonna keep quiet but I'll chirp. Personally the big aggrieved energy is palpable here, and you seem more upset your son didn't make it to the big time than anything else. I've always kind of questioned your parenting vis a vis pushing your kid in cycling. When I started on this forum my kid was 2ish/3 and he's about to turn 12, so I've gotten some years of parenting under my belt. My son is not interesting in cycling at all (much to my chagrin, I'd love to ride together, but pushing my interests is a fruitless endeavor), and not interested in competitive sports period (although he does participate in a swim team prep program). You seem to treat sports as a means to get some other life advantages (pro contract/scholarships/whatever), and frankly, I wish we'd do away with athletic scholarships as a thing. I see sports as a way to encourage kids to adopt healthy habits, learn some life lessons on trying their best and losing with grace, and forming friendships. Maybe that's the case for you too, but it's never seemed that way. Hopefully your son has found a way to keep cycling in his life and is enjoying it in a non-competitive fashion.
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Old 04-26-23, 06:41 AM
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Holding on to anger, outrage or other consuming thoughts is like drinking poison, hoping someone else will die. Be glad your son has his health, a job/career and the life experience of doing something to the best of his ability; which will pay dividends when he faces tough times. There are people here who have children facing harsh lives because of health problems, addiction, depression ect. Be happy you got one out of the nest successfully, instead being mad about something that doesn't matter anymore. Somewhere, this very day, someone's kid didn't get a clinical drug trial that could save their life.

Now THAT'S unfair.
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Old 04-27-23, 10:36 PM
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To me the issue has been that USACycling sees cycling as an adult sport and they want to keep it for grown ups and not kids.
Basketball, Soccer, Football etc., are not adult or kid sports.
They are sports and when you compete at any level all those on your team and who you compete against use the same stuff.
To a large degree UCI had the same view. A white jersey for the under 25. Just that the under 25 are the top in the world right now. Some just 1-2 years out of being junior.
There was never any evidence kids had issues pushing harder. Kids typically can jump from heights multiple times higher than they are and land on their feet - without busting knees.
So why way the gear restriction there. I believe because no one looked at any non-evidence of it making a difference, the belief that there was a better way to pedal and this was pretty much an adult sport.
I'm told the kid that just won the Redland stage was 16, although he is listed as 18.
2023 Men - Stage 2 Results - Redlands Bicycle Classic - Redlands, CA (redlandsclassic.com)
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Old 04-27-23, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist
I was gonna keep quiet but I'll chirp. Personally the big aggrieved energy is palpable here, and you seem more upset your son didn't make it to the big time than anything else. I've always kind of questioned your parenting vis a vis pushing your kid in cycling. When I started on this forum my kid was 2ish/3 and he's about to turn 12, so I've gotten some years of parenting under my belt. My son is not interesting in cycling at all (much to my chagrin, I'd love to ride together, but pushing my interests is a fruitless endeavor), and not interested in competitive sports period (although he does participate in a swim team prep program). You seem to treat sports as a means to get some other life advantages (pro contract/scholarships/whatever), and frankly, I wish we'd do away with athletic scholarships as a thing. I see sports as a way to encourage kids to adopt healthy habits, learn some life lessons on trying their best and losing with grace, and forming friendships. Maybe that's the case for you too, but it's never seemed that way. Hopefully your son has found a way to keep cycling in his life and is enjoying it in a non-competitive fashion.
Not really. Junior came back to town this week to grab some KOMs back. This has been his thing all along.
As a very long cycling fan, I would have liked to see what he could have done, but that is not much different than all choices we make, or see others make.

As my other post indicated, the culture has not been around fairly competing. We all go nuts over drugs or motors, but take something like a gear that would really make a difference and we are all fine giving the advantage to the big people. And the big people are fine taking it. I am glad the restrictions are over (soon) world-wide. We will see more cycling as a sport and fewer class restrictions.

What remains is to allow the juniors in Europe to race with adults based on ability, but they have no shortage of junior fields, so I don't see that as an issue.
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Old 04-27-23, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
...
Junior gearing...fair unfair. All racers that made it to the pro level faced the junior gearing gauntlet. .
Kids in soccer and other sports they got to compete at the pro level under 18. There was no gauntlet. There was the sport and ability was used to judge, not age.
The gauntlet is gone now and it did lead some kids to quit (taking races from them they could have won). Look back to 2nd in pro Redlands and Pro Tour of Utah ~2015 and search. That may have won both of those pro races without having a handicap. We can argue the potential results, but he was in facts Handicapped, did get 2nd in both and decided to take a break later.
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Old 05-04-23, 05:44 AM
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To be clear, my understanding of the reason for the gearing wasn't specifically to handicap juniors, it was a fear that pushing bigger gears would jack up their still developing knees.
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Old 05-04-23, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes
Junior gearing...fair unfair. All racers that made it to the pro level faced the junior gearing gauntlet. And I might add that another reason for JGs is to handicap the junior field so that juniors that grow faster would not have a gear advantage. Personally, I hate attempts to create a level playing field with rules such as that. And I include excluding TT bikes from stage races because it is too hard or too expensive to bring two bikes to a race. If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
In the first point you make a good assessment, the only issue I saw with Jr gearing was that the brands weren't making any effort to support it. With 1x12 for my daughter jr. gearing was easy to achieve, 40t ring with 11-34 cassette on a 19mm internal rim width and 25c conti 5000s results in a perfect rollout. As of January she's running a 48/11-34 being more of a power rider than a spinner. But in Jr. races I think there's some legitimacy to having limits on the level of the equipment that shows up on the field. Living in the NYC area there are people who think nothing of slapping down thousands on the finest equipment for their kids while you have inner city kids on borrowed bikes that mostly fit. These kids will be disadvantaged on the road bikes they're on but TT bikes are in a totally different price class from what they're often getting and our sport is too elitist as it is. At the end of the day a set of aero bars and aero wheels, a proper helmet and a skin suit will make up most of the advantage, no need to restrict those.

OP, I didn't think there was a gear limit if they're not racing as a Jr and just enter the adult category. My kid just turned 12 so this hasn't been an issue to me. And, as someone else pointed out, this wasn't about leveling the playing field for Jrs, the desire was to limit the harm they would cause themselves. It'll be interesting to see some of the impact this has since most parents know nothing about crank length and you can see it in the younger kids trying to turn larger crank arms. But again, that's down to this sport being elitist and not giving a crap about Jrs, just try finding decent cranks for the kids to ride, they are few and far between.
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Old 05-09-23, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Yep
To be clear, my understanding of the reason for the gearing wasn't specifically to handicap juniors, it was a fear that pushing bigger gears would jack up their still developing knees.
Nah, its to keep Doge's kid from being a pro. #cheating

Kidding aside, why are kids racing with adults? Why do we care if a high schooler has the legs to go pro? If he's good, why can't he just keep improving as a junior and then race with grownups when he's an actual grownup? As hubcyclist mentioned, sports are not for kids to gain fame and riches, they're meant for kids to learn how to work hard, cooperate with others to achieve a common goal, and to get exercise so they don't go bonkers in their non-athletic pursuits.
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Old 05-17-23, 08:52 AM
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What a silly thing to be bitter about.
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Old 05-17-23, 01:05 PM
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The first American to win the Tour de France might have been a (former) kid named Brian Smith, instead of Greg LeMond, had things gone differently. After a year of racing with seniors as an intermediate, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while hitching and vanning across the country, placing in senior races that included national team members, Brian was not allowed to race as a senior in the new Vuelta de Bisbee stage race the next spring, because of a new USCF rule that forbade 1st and 2nd-year juniors from riding senior, allowing only 3rd-year juniors that option. He was so looking forward to riding against the phenomenal and already-famous Greg Lemond that he could taste it. Last I heard he had quit the sport and was living with a French girl and singing in a punk-rock band. Brian's contemporaries and buddies included a young Alexi Grewal, fwiw, and who knows what might have been. I think I know how the OP might feel.
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Old 05-22-23, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Yep
To be clear, my understanding of the reason for the gearing wasn't specifically to handicap juniors, it was a fear that pushing bigger gears would jack up their still developing knees.
That is often rumored, but was not the line from USA Cycling. It was a coaching move and copied from the UCI. Juniors in general have less knee issues than adults if you exclude ACL which comes from the twisting sports.
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Old 05-22-23, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth
In the first point you make a good assessment, the only issue I saw with Jr gearing was that the brands weren't making any effort to support it. With 1x12 for my daughter jr. gearing was easy to achieve, 40t ring with 11-34 cassette on a 19mm internal rim width and 25c conti 5000s results in a perfect rollout. As of January she's running a 48/11-34 being more of a power rider than a spinner. But in Jr. races I think there's some legitimacy to having limits on the level of the equipment that shows up on the field. Living in the NYC area there are people who think nothing of slapping down thousands on the finest equipment for their kids while you have inner city kids on borrowed bikes that mostly fit. These kids will be disadvantaged on the road bikes they're on but TT bikes are in a totally different price class from what they're often getting and our sport is too elitist as it is. At the end of the day a set of aero bars and aero wheels, a proper helmet and a skin suit will make up most of the advantage, no need to restrict those.

OP, I didn't think there was a gear limit if they're not racing as a Jr and just enter the adult category. My kid just turned 12 so this hasn't been an issue to me. And, as someone else pointed out, this wasn't about leveling the playing field for Jrs, the desire was to limit the harm they would cause themselves. It'll be interesting to see some of the impact this has since most parents know nothing about crank length and you can see it in the younger kids trying to turn larger crank arms. But again, that's down to this sport being elitist and not giving a crap about Jrs, just try finding decent cranks for the kids to ride, they are few and far between.
You bring up a few different points.
One is limiting equipment for all competitors in the same event. I am not a fan, but that is fine, all have the same advantage. You just changed the sport a bit. Smaller fields, smaller rackets, lower nets...all get the same stuff.

The unfair part is in the same event. Some were allowed different equipment than others - in the same event.

This issue does not come up until you have a rider capable of using bigger than a 52x14. Obviously, many adults think they need that. Many classes of riders don't. But if you have two Cat 1s sprinting for the line at 44mph and one only gets a 52x14 and the other has no limit, there is an unfair advantage there.
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Old 05-22-23, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Phatman
Nah, its to keep Doge's kid from being a pro. #cheating

Kidding aside, why are kids racing with adults? Why do we care if a high schooler has the legs to go pro? If he's good, why can't he just keep improving as a junior and then race with grownups when he's an actual grownup? As hubcyclist mentioned, sports are not for kids to gain fame and riches, they're meant for kids to learn how to work hard, cooperate with others to achieve a common goal, and to get exercise so they don't go bonkers in their non-athletic pursuits.
In Europe (Belgium) - no reason to race with adults. Junior fields can be 100+ all the time.
Kids are racing adults (in the USA) because like all sports, kids develop at different levels and there just is not much competition outside the big events. The say 30 or so top kids would end up just doing TTs in local events. Nationals and selection races are different, but showing up at junior races and lapping the field is not fun and not educational and not really appreciated. So in the USA, where junior filed might have 10-15 riders and on is a Cat 1 - why not have the Cat 1 race with the Cat 1s on the same stuff? That was the recent rule change.
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Old 05-22-23, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
The first American to win the Tour de France might have been a (former) kid named Brian Smith, instead of Greg LeMond, had things gone differently. After a year of racing with seniors as an intermediate, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while hitching and vanning across the country, placing in senior races that included national team members, Brian was not allowed to race as a senior in the new Vuelta de Bisbee stage race the next spring, because of a new USCF rule that forbade 1st and 2nd-year juniors from riding senior, allowing only 3rd-year juniors that option. He was so looking forward to riding against the phenomenal and already-famous Greg Lemond that he could taste it. Last I heard he had quit the sport and was living with a French girl and singing in a punk-rock band. Brian's contemporaries and buddies included a young Alexi Grewal, fwiw, and who knows what might have been. I think I know how the OP might feel.
Never know that. Or best USA hope - 2nd in Redlands and Tour of Utah as a junior against the pros also pulled out and took a break.
But the kids are not stupid. They see that the adults had no problem giving one group an unfair advantage (cheating def) - while at the same time preaching fairness (around drugs).
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Old 05-22-23, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by OBoile
What a silly thing to be bitter about.
Unless you are competitive. But not so bitter as pointing out what has been going on for some time.
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Old 05-28-23, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge
That is often rumored, but was not the line from USA Cycling. It was a coaching move and copied from the UCI. Juniors in general have less knee issues than adults if you exclude ACL which comes from the twisting sports.
Right. I was just pointing out that was the rationale for the rule. It wasn't to handicap junior racers.
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Old 05-29-23, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Yep
Right. I was just pointing out that was the rationale for the rule. It wasn't to handicap junior racers.
Cycling is sport where many start racing for the first time as adults. Having spent a whole bunch of time around both competitive soccer and competitive cycling there is a difference between these two on how the kids are treated and respected.
Bike Forums Junior Racing forum "Entry level and/or 23 and younger here's where yo can mix and learn." is such an example. This group has the fastest riders in the USA, lumped in with Entry level.

I believe that there is a group in USA Cycling and some cyclists that see cycling as an adult sport, vs a sport. There are posts in this thread questioning why juniors need to race adults. So, I do think there was a desire to handicap them.
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