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  #12201  
Old 01-24-13, 19:46
Joachim Joachim is offline
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Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
but then he's a lot less important than Merckx, or Hinault, or Indurain, or Armstrong. Most of those failed tests. .
Whilst I agree with the main body of your post, certainly in the era or Merckx and Hinault (and Fignon) testing positive didn't seem to be taken as seriously as it is now.

Of course, we can hypothesize as to what might have happened if a Tour winner of that era subsequently tested positive (Did it ever happen?).
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  #12202  
Old 01-24-13, 20:28
Grandillusion Grandillusion is offline
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In the context of the wider world of sport, Bradley Wiggins is some guy. It wouldn't be GOOD for cycling if he popped positive, but it wouldn't destroy cycling, except possibly in the UK.

No one man is bigger than the sport. Armstrong came close, but he's fallen and races are still going on as we speak. Landis didn't kill the sport. Rasmussen didn't kill the sport, except in Germany. Hell, Denmark is MORE into cycling now than it was when Rasmussen was thrown out the TDF.

Also, Wiggins is the current TDF champion, sure, but the time frame for this hypothetical positive has to be considered as well. In the grand scheme of things, he's just another rider. Major riders testing positive happens in cycling. Pantani was the reigning Giro winner, Tour winner AND Giro leader when he was yanked from the race in '99, less than a year after Festina. What happened? Some new guy came along to emerge from the wreckage and rebuild the sport. It happens. It may suffer for a bit until a new success story can build it up again, but Bradley Wiggins is, in the grand scheme of the history of the sport, comparatively inconsequential. Sure, you could (and should) argue that he's more important than a bunch of my favourite all-time riders like Fuente or Herrera... but then he's a lot less important than Merckx, or Hinault, or Indurain, or Armstrong. Most of those failed tests. Maybe Ullrich's a good comparison. A single-time Tour winner with a big following and nationally-focused team who is central to his country's fandom for the sport.
Who was the new guy that came along after Pantani, emerging from the wreckage to rebuild the sport? The success story who built it up again? Oh yes, Lance Armstrong.

I don't think Wiggins is important at all -in fact I think he's a cowardly disgrace by not helping the sport he claims to love by supporting CCN et al at this critical time. But then again, how 'important' is the likes of Indurain when you think of the joke years he dominated? None of these people are remotely important athletes, that's the point. I just thought that following the armstrong debacle that another TDF winner disgrace would be a step too far for the wider public (who the sponsors target).

I suppose my point is that the sport in recent decades hasn't really been a sport at all has it? So something is going on as we speak, but it probably isn't a race, much as people want to get all excited about it. It might be a race, but nobody really knows.
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  #12203  
Old 01-24-13, 20:36
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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Who was the new guy that came along after Pantani, emerging from the wreckage to rebuild the sport? The success story who built it up again? Oh yes, Lance Armstrong.

I don't think Wiggins is important at all -in fact I think he's a cowardly disgrace by not helping the sport he claims to love by supporting CCN et al at this critical time. But then again, how 'important' is the likes of Indurain when you think of the joke years he dominated? None of these people are remotely important athletes, that's the point. I just thought that following the armstrong debacle that another TDF winner disgrace would be a step too far for the wider public (who the sponsors target).

I suppose my point is that the sport in recent decades hasn't really been a sport at all has it? So something is going on as we speak, but it probably isn't a race, much as people want to get all excited about it. It might be a race, but nobody really knows.
Said Armstrong did take 13 years to fall though, in which time the sport gained a lot of traction. At that point in time though, after Festina and Pantani, what would another positive REALLY have done? The public esteem for cycling couldn't have fallen much further, and it would have rebuilt around Ullrich instead, which would have led to the same period of tempest from 2006-7, just with a slightly different implication.

So you just get a fall in the number of big global companies and a rise in the number of smaller, local companies. FDJ, or Lotto, or Cofidis, or Euskaltel, or Lampre, are hardly big multinationals. They get exposure in their home market and support from home fans, and that's all they need to make it worth it. Why should FDJ or Euskaltel care if Bradley Wiggins tests positive, as long as the French and Spanish TV channels are still showing it? The sport's too ingrained in their home market to die out entirely, so they'll be fine. Cofidis have stuck with it through thick and thin. Hell, what will it take for LA Aluminios to give up on the sport? Cycling offers comparatively cheap sponsorship, and at a much greater level than in other sports for the most part (jerseys emblazoned with your logo, commentators mentioning the trade team names every five seconds), and if the sport's stock falls, that will only make it cheaper.

The races are more of a worry than the teams, but frankly the main problem for the races is the economy rather than sponsor willinghood to fork out for a sport known for doping. Liberty Seguros might not sponsor a team anymore, but they do sponsor the Portuguese national squad and pretty much every extant race in Portugal gets some sponsorship money from them. Cycling at all but the top level is reliant on fans in businesses and similar, and that won't change, just might invade the top level a bit more than usual.

It's teams without a focused identity like HTC, or teams that are directly embroiled in the scandal, like Rabobank, that are vulnerable.
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  #12204  
Old 01-24-13, 20:54
Grandillusion Grandillusion is offline
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You've worn me down with irrefutable facts O.K. the world is an imperfect place and I'm probably being childishly optimistic that there would be a revolt if Wiggins was stripped tomorrow.

Very depressing really, but as Joachim said, it's not Syria.

UCIIC meeting tomorrow - wonder what'll go down there?

Thanks for the detailed replies.
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  #12205  
Old 01-24-13, 22:40
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JimmyFingers JimmyFingers is offline
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Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
Said Armstrong did take 13 years to fall though, in which time the sport gained a lot of traction. At that point in time though, after Festina and Pantani, what would another positive REALLY have done? The public esteem for cycling couldn't have fallen much further, and it would have rebuilt around Ullrich instead, which would have led to the same period of tempest from 2006-7, just with a slightly different implication.

So you just get a fall in the number of big global companies and a rise in the number of smaller, local companies. FDJ, or Lotto, or Cofidis, or Euskaltel, or Lampre, are hardly big multinationals. They get exposure in their home market and support from home fans, and that's all they need to make it worth it. Why should FDJ or Euskaltel care if Bradley Wiggins tests positive, as long as the French and Spanish TV channels are still showing it? The sport's too ingrained in their home market to die out entirely, so they'll be fine. Cofidis have stuck with it through thick and thin. Hell, what will it take for LA Aluminios to give up on the sport? Cycling offers comparatively cheap sponsorship, and at a much greater level than in other sports for the most part (jerseys emblazoned with your logo, commentators mentioning the trade team names every five seconds), and if the sport's stock falls, that will only make it cheaper.

The races are more of a worry than the teams, but frankly the main problem for the races is the economy rather than sponsor willinghood to fork out for a sport known for doping. Liberty Seguros might not sponsor a team anymore, but they do sponsor the Portuguese national squad and pretty much every extant race in Portugal gets some sponsorship money from them. Cycling at all but the top level is reliant on fans in businesses and similar, and that won't change, just might invade the top level a bit more than usual.

It's teams without a focused identity like HTC, or teams that are directly embroiled in the scandal, like Rabobank, that are vulnerable.
To be honest I think you are being optimistic, While cycling might just maintain itself as it rocks from scandal to scandal, it is also failing to reach the levels it could without all the dirt, even in its heartlands. However its not within the pro-ranks the effects are felt most keenly anyway. The women's side, the juniors, these really on the trickle down from the marquee events.

Your version may perpetuate the sport, it doesn't make it grow. Just decline, slowly.
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  #12206  
Old 01-24-13, 22:51
Joachim Joachim is offline
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I think you might find lots of people love a scandal. That's why the Clinic is stuffed to the brim. Obviously there is all the disingenuous rhetoric here along the lines of 'we woz cheated'.
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  #12207  
Old 01-24-13, 22:59
pmcg76 pmcg76 is offline
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Originally Posted by JimmyFingers View Post
To be honest I think you are being optimistic, While cycling might just maintain itself as it rocks from scandal to scandal, it is also failing to reach the levels it could without all the dirt, even in its heartlands. However its not within the pro-ranks the effects are felt most keenly anyway. The women's side, the juniors, these really on the trickle down from the marquee events.

Your version may perpetuate the sport, it doesn't make it grow. Just decline, slowly.
Yes, but if it goes back to the level it was at 20 years. So what!! I loved cycling back then as well and it was just as interesting even if I didn't get to see many of the race's thanks to not having Eurosport.

Whilst it's great to see the sport expand and sad to see it decline, especially for the women, it will always continue. We don't love the sport because it's big or popular. We just love the sport because of what it is.

I actually preferred when there were all these tiny Italian and Spanish teams riding in their home Tour's. Made it more quaint than seeing the same team's in all the races. Like Libertine has pointed out, the ProTour has ensured that small to mid-size companies cannot afford to sponsor team's like they did before and it is hard to attract the big sponsors due to the doping problems.

Maybe the way the sport is now designed is as much a problem as the doping.
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  #12208  
Old 01-24-13, 23:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
In the context of the wider world of sport, Bradley Wiggins is some guy. It wouldn't be GOOD for cycling if he popped positive, but it wouldn't destroy cycling, except possibly in the UK.

No one man is bigger than the sport. Armstrong came close, but he's fallen and races are still going on as we speak. Landis didn't kill the sport. Rasmussen didn't kill the sport, except in Germany. Hell, Denmark is MORE into cycling now than it was when Rasmussen was thrown out the TDF.

Also, Wiggins is the current TDF champion, sure, but the time frame for this hypothetical positive has to be considered as well. In the grand scheme of things, he's just another rider. Major riders testing positive happens in cycling. Pantani was the reigning Giro winner, Tour winner AND Giro leader when he was yanked from the race in '99, less than a year after Festina. What happened? Some new guy came along to emerge from the wreckage and rebuild the sport. It happens. It may suffer for a bit until a new success story can build it up again, but Bradley Wiggins is, in the grand scheme of the history of the sport, comparatively inconsequential. Sure, you could (and should) argue that he's more important than a bunch of my favourite all-time riders like Fuente or Herrera... but then he's a lot less important than Merckx, or Hinault, or Indurain, or Armstrong. Most of those failed tests. Maybe Ullrich's a good comparison. A single-time Tour winner with a big following and nationally-focused team who is central to his country's fandom for the sport.
just want to say that between your posts here and those in the real road section, you have my unabashed admiration!
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  #12209  
Old 01-24-13, 23:06
Dazed and Confused Dazed and Confused is offline
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Originally Posted by JimmyFingers View Post
To be honest I think you are being optimistic, While cycling might just maintain itself as it rocks from scandal to scandal, it is also failing to reach the levels it could without all the dirt, even in its heartlands. However its not within the pro-ranks the effects are felt most keenly anyway. The women's side, the juniors, these really on the trickle down from the marquee events.

Your version may perpetuate the sport, it doesn't make it grow. Just decline, slowly.
So how do you measure growth?
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  #12210  
Old 01-25-13, 13:27
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Northern rider Northern rider is offline
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Originally Posted by JimmyFingers View Post
To be honest I think you are being optimistic, While cycling might just maintain itself as it rocks from scandal to scandal, it is also failing to reach the levels it could without all the dirt, even in its heartlands. However its not within the pro-ranks the effects are felt most keenly anyway. The women's side, the juniors, these really on the trickle down from the marquee events.

Your version may perpetuate the sport, it doesn't make it grow. Just decline, slowly.
I don't think the dirt, as you put it, is what is preventing womens or juniors cycling to reach a higher level. That's down to the UCI being obsessed with "growth" and the whole mondialisation tack they took some time ago. They spent far too much time, effort and money on starting races in China, Oman and Qatar, that would have been better spent developing womens and grass roots cycling in the heartlands. The UCI wanted to try to be a cycling version of F1 and failed.
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