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Thoughts on the Vuelta/TdF etc..not a spoiler...(15 posts)

Thoughts on the Vuelta/TdF etc..not a spoiler...ClydeTri
Sep 11, 2003 6:06 AM
After seriously watching the TdF the least few years and the Giro and Vuelta the last two here are the thoughts of a triathlete, not a bicycle racer.

I admire the guys who compete for the overall GC. They have to be well rounded riders, able to climb and time trial. They have teams working for them but on the mountains they end up doing most of it themselves and completely themselves on the time trials.

The little pure climbers are to watch them.

However, one group of people I have grown to not like, with a few exceptions are the pampered sprinters, in particular Cipo and Pettachi (sp?). They use their team to protect them all day then they grab the glory be sprinting the last couple hundred yards. Then the race hits the mountains and they bail out. IMHO stage victories of riders who have no intent to finish the race are very tainted. Exceptions are to those sprinters such as Zabel, Robbie McEwen who ride the whole tours...

I just find sprinters to be sorta like a leech....they have one small thing they can do very well, but in reality are not well rounded racers, but, yet they seem to grab all the glory...
Maybe the more I think about it, maybe I am just turned off by the ego maniacal Cipo and his new counterpart Pettachi...
re: Thoughts on the Vuelta/TdF etc..not a spoiler...Spoiler
Sep 11, 2003 8:19 AM
"I just find sprinters to be sorta like a leech....they have one small thing they can do very well, but in reality are not well rounded racers, but, yet they seem to grab all the glory"

Why don't you view climbers any different?
Sep 11, 2003 9:11 AM
Because climbers do a large amount of work by themselves quite often..extended climbing over many kilometers..rathering than tucking behind their teammates then sprinting 200 meters and going crazy as they cross the finish line....thats why...
Sep 11, 2003 11:07 AM
You must really hate criteriums.
try sprinting your selfjradford
Sep 11, 2003 9:27 AM
Yes these guys sit on their team's wheels the whole race but have you ever tried sprinting. Sprinting is 80% position and 20% power. If you have ever been in a bunch sprint for the line you will know that competing for the right wheel is almost and art form and you have to be good at finding the right wheel at the right time to become a good sprinter. It takes nerves of steal to push your way throw a hungry pack fling towards the finish line. Once in a blue moon people can get lucky and get the right wheel at the right time and win a bunch sprint, but the guys like cipo and pettachi seam to find the right wheel every race and are always in the top 5 in the end.

Go out and race a few lower cat races and see how hard it is to sprint and then let us know what you think of sprinters.
Just did my first CAT5 race and...shrEd
Sep 11, 2003 10:18 AM I have even more respect for sprinters! The work to be up front and the ability to get there are only outdone by their power and balls to sprint full speed in a bunch...It's really crazy stuff...

And that's a Cat5 race, I could only imagine what a Pro sprint is like!

Sprinters are amazing atheletes IMHO!

Couldn't agree moreSoftrider
Sep 11, 2003 9:42 AM
That is why I always root for the breakaways to succeed.

Like in this years TDF when Tyler Hamilton got away and rode something like 85km on his own. That has to be one of the greatest TDF stages I have ever seen.
2 things...russw19
Sep 11, 2003 10:03 AM
First, Lance Armstrong, a former triathlete, came into the sport as a sprinter. He was blown away by the speed of the race and could barely hold onto the tail of the pack his first season in Europe. Even the slowest domestique is faster than most of us can imagine. And don't get me wrong, I am not dogging triathletes, but the average american athlete can't comprehend just what type of effort it takes to do what top sprinters do.

Second, saying that Sprinters are like leetches is a load of crap. There are very few sports in the US that the star athlete plays the whole game. As good as he was, Joe Montana didn't play defense! Randy Johnson doesn't throw every game, nor 9 innings every game either. Jordan didn't play 48 minutes a game, Gretzky didn't play more than about 30 minutes a game... he didn't play every shift. Would you call Warren Sapp a leetch because he plays on one side of the field (his catch this week was an exception)

Climbers do no more work than sprinters do. On a flat day, they hide at the tail of the pack and often get spit out the back if the pace is high enough, just like a sprinter when the road goes uphill. Often sprinters work very hard early in the day on a mountain stage to get their guy up to the front to attack early. And on the flat days, the amount of effort it takes to get to the front, stay there, and still have a decent run at the finish line is more work than you think. Staying out of trouble, pushing the pace, and still attacking the sprint finish... and yet somehow in your mind climbers are a more glorious type of rider... I just don't see it. Cycling is a team sport... each rider picked for the team plays a role. For some it's protecting others from the wind and shuttling water bottles back and forth, for others it's winning a stage, and for a very select few, it's to win a Grand Tour.

Some teams dedicate their entire season to winning a single stage at the Tour or the Giro. To do so means they had a successful season. For riders like Pettachi, he had an amazing season taking stages in all 3 Grand Tours. Some teams build a season around trying to win one Spring Classic... usually that guy is somewhat of a sprinter. If that sprinter is good at what they do, why can't you leave it at that? Do you expect an NFL Center to do more than snap and block? Do they need to kick PAT's too? Do they need to run back punts and kickoff's? Do you think that Barry Bonds needs to pitch every 4th day too?

Athletes are paid to do a job... just because that athlete may have different roles to play than others on his team doesn't mean they are a leetch. Some of the others are right, you should try to do what they do before you point the finger and claim that what they do isn't enough.

I guess it ....ClydeTri
Sep 11, 2003 10:49 AM
I guess it goes back to my lack of respect for those that quit in the stage races...such as Cipo..notice in my original post I excluded the Zabels and McEwens of the world. I just have this little belief that everybody who starts the TdF or the Giro or the Vuelta should be starting with the intent to finish the WHOLE race and not bag it when the going gets rough...I understand injuries/accidents happen, but Cipo has a made a career of being a QUITTER in the TdF.
I guess it ....Spoiler
Sep 11, 2003 11:15 AM
You're right here. When a racer like a sprinter becomes so specialized he can't even complete a stage race, even when he's healthy, he doesn't belong in the race.

Cipo is screwing with the "spirit" of the stage race. He's taking advantage of it's structure. He's also paying for it. I really hope Petacchi finishes the whole race. That will be the nail in Cipo's coffin.
I guess it ....divve
Sep 11, 2003 11:18 AM
Personally, I like watching a long drawn out sprint and set-up of the DV team a lot. I agree with you however when a rider doesn't even have the intent to finish a tour type of event it takes a lot away from his wins.
I noticed that about not including Zabelrussw19
Sep 11, 2003 11:27 AM
But for Cipo and Pettachi and others like that... when the job at a Grand Tour is done, they need to move on to another "obtainable" objective.

Try to see this point.... you and I both know that Cipo is NEVER EVER going to win a mountain stage, even if he got an hour breakaway, right? So why waste his legs trying? The team really should pull him from the tour and save him for some other race he CAN win.

I will try one more analogy to baseball... if Greg Maddox could pitch 14 innings in a World Series, and you were down 15 to 2 in the 8th of Game One, knowing he could only throw 14 innings would you leave him in to try to catch back up in Game One, or would you pull him and have him throw again in Game Five?

I know what you are saying about them bailing out... and I wish it were more like the older days when you would have to see a rider in tears at the thought of not finishing the Tour, but when you can no longer help your team in that race, a mature athlete needs to know when to pull out and move on to another objective that can help the team.

One last point... I think it is so far very unfair to put Pettachi in with Cipo on this discussion. Pettachi was eliminated from the Giro when he had all but won the points competition, and when he climbed off in the Tour, it looked very suspect, but then again the entire Fassa Bortolo team was ill from something they all ate. And it was only this that made him have fresh enough legs to ride the Vuelta and he has said he plans to try to make it Madrid. So for now at least, I think he is one of the sport's hard men and deserves to be given that respect until he proves otherwise. As for Cipo, well all I can say about that guy is that he knows what his strengths are and is one of the most successful riders of his generation. He chooses his battles well, and I think I can live with the fact that he crashed out of the Giro this year. He may not have finished, but I think for once he was going to try harder to than ever before.

Anyways, I am just offering up my point of view on this... take it only as that.

A triathlon analogy....ClydeTri
Sep 11, 2003 12:00 PM
Take the Ironman Hawaii. Its considered the world championship, the premier race, the Tour de France of its sport. It has the swim, then the bike, then the run. They give "prems" which is cash prizes for the fastest times in each segment of the race. Also, the first few people out of the water get alot of press and tv coverage since they are first out and first on the bike. Now, would it somewhat take away from the sport if you went out and got an Olympic long distance gold medalist swimmer to be first out of the water, collect the prem, get the tv time for his sponsor, then him just walk off and not even get on a bicycle? Yes it would. That is what Cipo is doing, his quitting a stage race is an insult to the stage race. He should just do one day classics or other races he has an intent to finish....with regards to Pettachi, maybe you are right, lets watch the Vuelta and see. You notice that Phil, Paul and Bob even discuss if Pettachi is going to bag the race....guessing he is hearing about the bad press and hopefully he will attempt to finish the whole thing.
Not McEwen, he has intentially...Dwayne Barry
Sep 11, 2003 12:39 PM
dropped out a Grand Tour(s?) before.
I think sprinters have their place in a stage race, but...TFerguson
Sep 11, 2003 10:22 AM
when a pure sprinter can be World Road Racing Champion, there is something wrong with the course chosen for the event.
Just my thought,