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Question Re: Giro D'Italia (Full Contact Cycling)(9 posts)

Question Re: Giro D'Italia (Full Contact Cycling)cjwill
May 20, 2003 12:49 PM
I really thought cycling was/is a sport of who is the best rider or has the best strategy. NOT! a sport of who can beat the S#!T out of the other guy?
I was watching Giro D'Italia last night (Stage 9, I think)and I saw a fight between two rider. between 2 riders tying to get the back wheel of Mario Cipollini? Looked more like a rugby match.

(1) Is this something that happens often? If so I should have been riding instead of playing football. LoL

(2) What happens to cyclist that partake in such actions at the pro level?

(3) The bang around in the peloton? Is this a common occurrence near the final sprint to the finish?

(4) If you can't touch other riders, when is it ok to do so? (exmpl. Putting a hand out to keep a rider from hitting your front wheel)

C.J.- Orange County, CA.
re: Question Re: Giro D'Italia (Full Contact Cycling)purplepaul
May 20, 2003 1:04 PM
I tape the Giro and watch it around midnight (after I get home from work), so I can't answer your question with regards to what happened to the riders yesterday. But I was fascinated to see them behave like that. Really bad sportsmanship, yet I can also understand how adrenaline can contribute to extremely aggressive behavior.

They should probably both be thrown out of the Giro, though that would be an especially bitter pill for Pettachi (sp). I can't remember the other guy's name, but he really was egregious in how he hit.

There seems to be someone thrown out of the Giro ever year for hitting, so you could say it happens often. I only see the bigger races that OLN televises, so I'm not at all an authority on these things, but I don't recall other instances of cyclists hitting each other in the TDF or the Vuelta (but I could be wrong).

What's amazing is how common the shoving is leading up to a sprint finish. I'd just get knocked over if I were there, and I really don't know how they make it through. But they do.

It seems to be okay to touch other riders as long as it's not to help them with forward motion, interrupt their forward motion, or in anger. There was a great shot of a rider hugging Pantani the other day while they were speeding down the road. Don't try that at home!
re: Question Re: Giro D'Italia (Full Contact Cycling)noveread
May 20, 2003 1:16 PM
1) Yes, the final sprints to flat stages/races do exhibit some rough play, but no, punching is not common at all. The competition for the most desired wheel is fierce.

2) DQ'd (Petacchi is very lucky he didn't get thrown out too IMO).

3) See #1

4) Cycling is NOT a "no-contact" sport. The rule that would apply to such cases simply says that a rider may not take his hands off his handlebar during a sprint. Or something like that...

re: Question Re: Giro D'Italia (Full Contact Cycling)B2
May 20, 2003 1:56 PM
"2) DQ'd (Petacchi is very lucky he didn't get thrown out too IMO)."

"thrown out too" - Did I miss something? Did the CCC Polsat rider get DQ'd? Wouldn't surprise me.

Man, I ordered a CCC Polsat jersey last week because I wanted something highly visible. Geesh - After seeing one of their team members ride like that I'm wondering if I should have.

Andris Nauduzs was DQ'd; Petacchi was...........Ligon
May 20, 2003 2:31 PM
Penalized 25 points in the sprinters jersey competition.

Here is the link:

Petacchi is Italianlongfellow68
May 21, 2003 3:01 AM
The only reason I can see him still being there.
He should have been thrown out also. Biased judges.
re: Question Re: Giro D'Italia (Full Contact Cycling)russw19
May 20, 2003 2:03 PM
CJ, I posted a thread about this exact sprint yesterday. The fact that the arial camera caught all this just shows how good those TV guys are. This subject about "how physical is a sprint?" comes up now and again. This type of jockeying for position is normal. The punches thrown was not. The CCC rider (orange jersey) was tossed from the race. Petacchi (Cyclamina jersey) was not, even though he also threw a punch. I think what got the CCC rider tossed was his actions prior to and after throwing the punch, and the fact that he made dangerous contact with more than one rider. It was argued by the Giro organizers that Petacchi held his line and only reacted to the confrontation.

There is always fierce competition to be in the right spot in a sprint, but usually riders use more tactics than brute force to get the wheel they want. The CCC rider (in my opinion) had no business being in that sprint leadout. He was taking on Petacchi, McEwen, and Svorada for Cippo's wheel. He later crashed in the corner proving he had no business in that sprint windup. He took down Petacchi and Simoni in the crash. The reason the fight was so fierce that you saw was because the CCC rider, Naudusz, is not looked upon as a top sprinter... top sprinters know who is dangerous in the paceline and try to flick them out of position for their own good. Naudusz even tried to force Cippo off of Lombardi's wheel. He didn't show anyone any respect in that sprint and was forced out of it. I honestly would be completely surprized if I ever hear that guy's name again. I think he just killed his own sprinting career by his actions yesterday.

By the way, as a result of the punches thrown, Naudusz was disqualified and Petacchi was penalized a minute to his overall time.

As for your question about if you can or can not make contact with another rider, the answer is yes, you can. You can as long as you don't push them into the barriers and you keep both hands on the bars. There is a lot of pushing with the elbows and leaning into other riders to move them off of their line. That part, the physical but usually clean side of sprinting is common place. The throwing of punches isn't as common.

Yesterday's coverage showed just how much effort top sprinters expend just to be in the right place to start your sprint from. That is what makes sprinting so hard. Climbing is not as bad.. just be near the front when the road gets steeper, and if you aren't there yet, just wait a second and you will be near the front. Sprinting is a different story. It's a mad world, and it explains the personalities of some of those guys when you know just what it is that they do on a day to day basis.

But that sure was a fun finish, huh?

it sure was...reklar
May 20, 2003 4:01 PM
As you mentioned in the previous thread, the video coverage of it was superb. Totally agree with the above....

I'm surprised Petacchi didn't go after him after the stage...I guess that is more of a NASCAR thing ;)
explosive temperswielerpret
May 21, 2003 4:13 AM
Sprinters are a hot blooded race of cyclists and the final couple of kilometres of a flat stage are always nerve wracking. For pro sprinting one needs to be fearless and have tremendous riding skills. Pushing the competition from their line with shoulders and elbows is normal. Jamoulhedine Abdushaparov was one of the most notorious sprinters of all time. In true kamikaze style he threw himself among the wriggling riders during the '80s. Very impressive but once in the TdF he hit the boarding and made one of the most spectacular falls ever. One would think he was never going to rise again. He had to spend much time recovering and lost a bit of his edge after that. The peloton feared the guy's recklessness.
A flemish expression is a loaned one: 'drumming'. Jenz Heppner and Bart Voskamp (Tour of '97) were disqualified after they leaned against eachother for many metres. A very funny picture. Just two riders with the entire road clear before them, but both desperate to ride on the same trail.
Tom Steels, in that same Tour, threw a bidon at someone in full final at 60 kms an hr. Miraculously he stayed upright but was also disqualified. He now enjoys the nickname Tom Bidon. I prefer mountain stages both to watch and to ride. Cheers. Luke. Amsterdam. (click: 'mijn fietsen' =my bikes)