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So called one trick ponies - My rant(19 posts)

So called one trick ponies - My rantPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 15, 2002 9:33 AM
Why do people look down on so called one trick ponies? Below a comment was made about long drive golfers in relation to 1 hour record holders and that they can only do one thing well.

Then the same can and has been said for Cipo since he is "only a sprinter". But how is Lance any different? He's a one trick pony in the endurance world (albeit with an amazing comeback) who's trick is riding hard for a long time which can be done up Mount Ventoux, a Tour time trial or in a break. The only difference is his trick takes longer than the others.

Just because Cipo is only a sprinter doesn't mean he doesn't work as hard as Lance. Just like a long drive champion only drives the ball as far as he can doesn't it make Lance a better athlete. I've been lucky enough to see Jason Zuback (former world long drive champion) training in the weight room to drive the ball farther than anyone else. How is this different from Lance other than his amazing comeback story?

It's what we value...TJeanloz
Nov 15, 2002 9:40 AM
Being great at anything requires a well-rounded breadth of skills. And it is much easier to focus on one skill than develop all of them. Does Cipo' work just as hard as Armstrong? Probably. Does this make him as good an all-around cyclist? No. Does it make him a better sprinter? Yes. The amazing difference lies in the ability to beat many "one-trick ponies" at their own trick. To beat Marco Pantani in a mountain climb, and beat Sergei Gontchar in a time trial the next day. Everybody is good at something; only those who are good at more than one thing can become great.
It's what we value...netso
Nov 15, 2002 10:09 AM
In my world, there were people with great arms, great abs, great legs etc. But when they put it all together, they were not as good as the guy that maybe had so-so arms, so-so legs and managed to make them all look good. He was the best! Therefore, your saying you have to be good at more than one thing is apt.
There is no event for sprinters that matches the tour.dzrider
Nov 15, 2002 10:16 AM
The tour is regarded as the world's premier cycling event by almost everybody. People can't help but conclude that the winner of cycling's #1 event four year's in a row is the #1 cyclist in the world. The problem is not that Cipo is a one trick pony, it's that his trick isn't as big as Lance's.
Has someone looked you in the face and said...biknben
Nov 15, 2002 10:41 AM
...but you're only a SPRINTER.

You regularly get bent when someone questions the credability of a sprinter. In this case it wasn't even mentioned and you got bent.

Relax. Do what you do...well!!! You're too young to sound like such a bitter old man.
sprinters' defensivenesstrekkie1
Nov 15, 2002 11:00 AM
Sprinters are typically defensive of being "only" a sprinter. I think it's because they don't suffer as long, and in road races, suck wheel until the last moment and then rely upon pure genetics to inch by the guy who may have pulled for the last 10 miles. At least that's the perception.
True enough... but Lance gets too much credibilityPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 15, 2002 11:05 AM
I just think too much credibility is given to Lance when other people deserve it as well. Don't get me wrong he's an amazing athlete with an amazing track record and one of the greatest comeback stories of all time. But for example Michelle Bellanger had an even greater reign on the sprint world from around 1995 to 2000 when she retired. Arnaud Tournaut won 3 world championships last year. Their reign on their disciplines of the sport is huge. But how many times have they ever been mentioned on this board? Then we get into world long drive champions who are body builder in size and "all they do" is hit the ball as far as they can.

sprinters just can't comparetrekkie1
Nov 15, 2002 11:27 AM
I think when you look at what a (running) sprinter does compared to someone like Frank Shorter (showing my age), I think you have to conclude that 2+ hours of running under 5 minutes per mile is far more amazing than beating someone in a 10 second run by hundreths of a second. Maybe this is because nearly all of us can run for 10 seconds, but darn few of us can run 26 miles, or even run 1 mile under 5 minutes. I think lots of this is analogous to cycling, too. Sprinting just doesn't hurt as much, so it's hard to respect it as much.
10 secs 100 m running not an incredible feat?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 15, 2002 10:03 PM
I have infinite respect for 100 m runners. The running mechanics they have to work on and the strength and power is nothing short of amazing to me. Same with speed skating. Both look effortless but are anything but. They make even cycling pale in comparison but what cycling doesn't need in shear technical skill is made up easily in tactics.

it just doesn't look incredibleweiwentg
Nov 16, 2002 11:09 AM
consider this. I can probably run 100m in ~13 seconds (I have a reasonable amount of fast twitch). people like Carl Lewis 'only' beat me by 4 seconds. if I trained for a marathon, Khalid Khannouchi would still beat me by nearly an hour. if I went to run one now, probably 2-3 hours. Lance would beat me in the tour by a few days, most likely.
so, without taking anything away from sprinters of any sort, their margins of victory simply 'look' less impressive, especially to endurance athletes.
I know you won't agree...VertAddict
Nov 16, 2002 12:15 PM
We've locked horns on this before, so I'll save you some time and acknowledge that you'll vehemently disagree. Nevertheless, for me it's the amount of work that goes into the accomplishment as well. I am in no way saying that these sort of sprinting achievements are not impressive, they are. For me it's just more impressive (focusing on the running) knowing the vastly greater amount of work an elite marathon runner puts in both in training and on the day of the race than a sprinter does. His achievement requires alot more work, and in my mind therefore demands more respect.

To use an anology from another sport I love, baseball. Look at Sandy Koufax, who was one of the hardest hurlers in the history of the game. That he could throw as fast as he could was impressive. That he (eventually) learned to throw that hard with pin-point precision was really something. But neither of those specific feats is considered anything compared to his perfect game, throwing hard, with perfect precision for 9 innings, 27 batters. It's the consistency, yes, but it's also just about being able to last that long. Other pitchers have thrown as hard as Sandy did for a few innings, like many of your typical modern-day closers, but they could never approach a perfect game. (And yes, I know there have been other perfect games besides Sandy's, I'm just illustrating the point).

Again, that doesn't make the achievements of other hard-throwing pitchers unimpressive, but I can't get away from Sandy's achievement of power coupled with endurance being more impressive. Likewise, I am personally much more impressed with 26 miles at a sub-5 pace than I am at a quick 10 second explosion of speed, not that the speed explosion isn't spectacular in its own right.
But how do you compare time to intensity?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 16, 2002 2:13 PM
I respect where your coming from. A marathon runner or a cyclist like Lance Armstrong does a great deal of training. But the thing is most of his training is at a low intensity. Compare that to a sprinter who may work out half the time in a week but at least 75% of it being very intense weights/sprints/technical stuff/etc. . If a sprinter could train as much as a marathoner trust me they would. But the intensity throws off the volume that they are able to do.

sometimes it's hard..merckx56
Nov 15, 2002 12:14 PM
to really take what you say all that seriously. Granted the sprinters you mentioned are all great at what they do, but do you really believe that Tournaut could hold any Euro-pro's wheel when the road turned up, even slightly? I think that the equation of size to a body builder is one that will quickly bite you in the ass. I mean, did you see the size of the Aussie that won the World sprint title this year? He's a freakin' linebacker for God's sake! His nickname is "The Yeti!" Ask Marty Nothstein how turning to the road is working out for him. Saw him get shelled out the back more than once over the past couple seasons.
The possibilty of someone like Hincapie or Zabel beating a track sprinter, on the track, is far greater than the trackie beating a euro-dog in Flanders or San Remo! BTW-Lance has won more than his far share of field sprints for wins.
A road sprinter beating a track sprinter on the track? hahaPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Nov 15, 2002 3:00 PM
I doubt it. Road sprinters don't give nearly enough credit to track sprinters in what it takes to get up to their top speed. On the road whether you have a team in front of you or not you have the pack pulling you up to speed. On the track its sometimes 0-70 km/h. I'd like to see a roadie do that.

As for the size of Sean Eadie of course he's a big guy. Thats what the sprint world is about. And Tournaut is a sprinter. He's proven himself time in and time out. Why does he have to prove himself on the road climbing a hill? Is that all cycling is about? Climbing??? If its any consulation I find your comments just as hard to take seriously. Anyway I think he could hold his own at least for a little ways.

sprinters are lame...shouldnt call themselves cyclists etc etccollinsc
Nov 15, 2002 12:27 PM

You seem to do one of these posts every other week. I dont hear nearly as many people bashing trackies and sprinters as I hear trackies and sprinters defending themselves from this unheard bashing. whats the deal with that?

Looky! Look at me! Im a good bike rider too!


no one seems to care except the sprinters.
One Trick Pony Man........PEDDLEFOOT
Nov 15, 2002 12:42 PM
I'm the one who posted the reply on the one hour record being challenged and used the term "One trick pony".When I used it I was wondering how many people would misinterperate what I meant.I wasnn't trying to dis the people who are great at only one thing.I was trying to answer the posts question on why more big name stars don't try to challenge the record.I think it's because they may not be as great at one individual thing as a guy who excels in only one discipline of a sport.I'm not saying that LA or someone else couldn't do it or the guy's who are sprinters aren't good at other events.
A few thoughts...outofthesaddle
Nov 15, 2002 12:54 PM
I think it all comes down to who wins the event. The negative implication of "one trick" is a relative lack of skill or proficiency in the other aspects of the competition. For example, Tiger Woods, while a very long hitter also plays the other aspects of the game very well and consequently wins often. John Daley, who also hit the ball a long way off the tee, wasn't anywhere near as good as Tiger in other areas of the game and didn't win very often.

Some competitions involve only a single aspect of a sport. In the cycling context, some of the track events focus only on sprinting ability. Pure sprinters win those events. For stage racing, assuming that being the best at "riding hard for a really long time" is one trick, the difference between Lance's trick and Cippo's is that Lance's one tirck enables him to win the most prestigous bike in world year after year.
Remember when...teoteoteo
Nov 15, 2002 2:30 PM
Bob Roll went on a rant about sprinters being tough. When you see guys like McEwen and Zabel going up Mont Ventoux and going pretty well you can't call them one trick ponies.

Everyone in a three week tour is an all rounder or else they wouldn't be there. Just like Roll said if Cipo shows up to your local training ride he'd kick some ass going up hill....
rather be well rounded than strong in one area only (NM)stik__boy
Nov 15, 2002 4:05 PM