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I don't get the Gerrans hate

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Re:

22 Mar 2017 07:57

swuzzlebubble wrote:“Racing is licking your opponent’s plate clean before starting on your own…” - Tim Krabbé, The Rider


I love this quote. I steal it for signature. :D
User avatar SKSemtex
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22 Mar 2017 08:58

Many people: "What Gerrans and others do is legitimate but we don't have to like it as fans"
Other people: "OH YEAH? WELL WHAT GERRANS AND OTHERS DO IS LEGITIMATE!!!!"
User avatar hrotha
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22 Mar 2017 09:45

It's not so much that you don't like it, it's the fact that you still - after all these years - bring up MSR 2012 as an example of how he's riding negatively and being a "wheelsucker" all the time, it's the fact that there are so many other guys with a similar racing style who doesn't get nearly as much criticism. Almost as if there was some random draw which decided that Gerrans should be the number one non-clinicey related "hated" rider.
Aka The Ginger One.
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22 Mar 2017 12:36

MSR, and the WC, and LBL, and that Tour stage with Egoi Martínez, and...

Other riders with a similar racing style don't have his palmares.
User avatar hrotha
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Re: I don't get the Gerrans hate

22 Mar 2017 14:13

hrotha wrote:Many people: "What Gerrans and others do is legitimate but we don't have to like it as fans"
Other people: "OH YEAH? WELL WHAT GERRANS AND OTHERS DO IS LEGITIMATE!!!!"

Yep!
The difference and misunderstanding between romantics and pragmatists.
Pragmatists can appreciate Gerrans. Romantics can't. Each speak a completely different aesthetic language.
Some riders will be adored, some will be hated, and it's all part of the illogical crazy beauty of the sport.
Dan2016
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22 Mar 2017 14:24

I'd consider myself a romantic too. I just prefer using my energy to enjoy all the great racing, rather than continue complaining about a few year-old situations. :D
To me the crazy illogical beauty of the sport is that are so many different ways of doing it.
Aka The Ginger One.
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Re:

22 Mar 2017 14:31

RedheadDane wrote:I'd consider myself a romantic too. I just prefer using my energy to enjoy all the great racing, rather than continue complaining about a few year-old situations. :D

Yep, I'd call you a new-age romantic :D
Some other romantics, the hardcore traditional romantics, hold grudges. It's all part of the hero and villain thing innit.

(I don't know what I am or even what I'm talking about half the time...)
Dan2016
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23 Mar 2017 13:45

amazingly long thread..................there are riders i truly like.....and those i strongly dislike

divvunt like the look of gerra.......or his whining voice...most of all when he complains

about others referring,to him as gerra..............or riders not gifting him wins

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,then he had the cheek to win one of my fave races

Mark L
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Re: I don't get the Gerrans hate

23 Mar 2017 13:55

Dan2016 wrote:
hrotha wrote:Many people: "What Gerrans and others do is legitimate but we don't have to like it as fans"
Other people: "OH YEAH? WELL WHAT GERRANS AND OTHERS DO IS LEGITIMATE!!!!"

Yep!
The difference and misunderstanding between romantics and pragmatists.
Pragmatists can appreciate Gerrans. Romantics can't. Each speak a completely different aesthetic language.
Some riders will be adored, some will be hated, and it's all part of the illogical crazy beauty of the sport.

Good post. I think it could also be the difference between people who have ridden a bike - especially who have raced. And those that haven't. I doubt there are many people who have raced themselves that don't appreciate and respect Gerrans as a rider and his results. Armchair fans will always support the likes of Sagan and Contador, even though they are both tactically awful and just rely on their superior talent to syphon off results.
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Re: I don't get the Gerrans hate

23 Mar 2017 14:07

DFA123 wrote:Good post. I think it could also be the difference between people who have ridden a bike - especially who have raced. And those that haven't. I doubt there are many people who have raced themselves that don't appreciate and respect Gerrans as a rider and his results. Armchair fans will always support the likes of Sagan and Contador, even though they are both tactically awful and just rely on their superior talent to syphon off results.

perfectly put, couldn't agree more. for sure those who ride (race) themselves appreciate other riders' effort more.
dacooley
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Re: I don't get the Gerrans hate

23 Mar 2017 14:40

DFA123 wrote:
Dan2016 wrote:
hrotha wrote:Many people: "What Gerrans and others do is legitimate but we don't have to like it as fans"
Other people: "OH YEAH? WELL WHAT GERRANS AND OTHERS DO IS LEGITIMATE!!!!"

Yep!
The difference and misunderstanding between romantics and pragmatists.
Pragmatists can appreciate Gerrans. Romantics can't. Each speak a completely different aesthetic language.
Some riders will be adored, some will be hated, and it's all part of the illogical crazy beauty of the sport.

Good post. I think it could also be the difference between people who have ridden a bike - especially who have raced. And those that haven't. I doubt there are many people who have raced themselves that don't appreciate and respect Gerrans as a rider and his results. Armchair fans will always support the likes of Sagan and Contador, even though they are both tactically awful and just rely on their superior talent to syphon off results.


I'm a pragmatic romanticist :) and don't think highly of Gerrans nor of how he's accumulated his results. I've raced, I still ride a bike and I appreciate riders like Sagan, Contador and Nibali. I can also appreciate and respect Valverde. Gerrans just rubs me the wrong way. To complain about riders not riding aggressively being the cause for his not being in the mix for a victory when his basic MO is to shamelessly benefit from the work of others is comically sad and explains why he is held in such low esteem in spite of his results.
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Re: Re:

23 Mar 2017 16:34

hrotha wrote:
szuro wrote:"The critique boils down to this: you're not a Sagan or Cancellera. Well, what a bloody stupid reason to hate someone!"

Spot on

This thread is packed full with reasons why people hate Gerrans, and that's not one of them. Read it?


The thread is full of opinions why people may dislike Gerrans style , but the Forum is full of "HATE" why a cyclist dare to win.
szuro
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Re: I don't get the Gerrans hate

23 Mar 2017 18:59

Angliru wrote:
DFA123 wrote:
Dan2016 wrote:
hrotha wrote:Many people: "What Gerrans and others do is legitimate but we don't have to like it as fans"
Other people: "OH YEAH? WELL WHAT GERRANS AND OTHERS DO IS LEGITIMATE!!!!"

Yep!
The difference and misunderstanding between romantics and pragmatists.
Pragmatists can appreciate Gerrans. Romantics can't. Each speak a completely different aesthetic language.
Some riders will be adored, some will be hated, and it's all part of the illogical crazy beauty of the sport.

Good post. I think it could also be the difference between people who have ridden a bike - especially who have raced. And those that haven't. I doubt there are many people who have raced themselves that don't appreciate and respect Gerrans as a rider and his results. Armchair fans will always support the likes of Sagan and Contador, even though they are both tactically awful and just rely on their superior talent to syphon off results.


I'm a pragmatic romanticist :) and don't think highly of Gerrans nor of how he's accumulated his results. I've raced, I still ride a bike and I appreciate riders like Sagan, Contador and Nibali. I can also appreciate and respect Valverde. Gerrans just rubs me the wrong way. To complain about riders not riding aggressively being the cause for his not being in the mix for a victory when his basic MO is to shamelessly benefit from the work of others is comically sad and explains why he is held in such low esteem in spite of his results.


You are of course entitled to your opinion but Sagan, Contador, Nibali and Valverde have skills Gerrans does not have. Gerrans does the best he can do with his limitations. That is to be admired not chastised. His win in MSR 2012 was a win of David and Goliath proportions. I think your opinion would be common with riders who can't sprint. If you have the strength to sprint after 300km of racing and put out 1200 watts on the Poggio to get into position I think you have earned it.

https://cyclingtips.com/2012/03/gerros-milan-san-remo-power-analysis/
Cookster15
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Re: I don't get the Gerrans hate

23 Mar 2017 19:16

Cookster15 wrote:
Angliru wrote:
DFA123 wrote:
Dan2016 wrote:
hrotha wrote:Many people: "What Gerrans and others do is legitimate but we don't have to like it as fans"
Other people: "OH YEAH? WELL WHAT GERRANS AND OTHERS DO IS LEGITIMATE!!!!"

Yep!
The difference and misunderstanding between romantics and pragmatists.
Pragmatists can appreciate Gerrans. Romantics can't. Each speak a completely different aesthetic language.
Some riders will be adored, some will be hated, and it's all part of the illogical crazy beauty of the sport.

Good post. I think it could also be the difference between people who have ridden a bike - especially who have raced. And those that haven't. I doubt there are many people who have raced themselves that don't appreciate and respect Gerrans as a rider and his results. Armchair fans will always support the likes of Sagan and Contador, even though they are both tactically awful and just rely on their superior talent to syphon off results.


I'm a pragmatic romanticist :) and don't think highly of Gerrans nor of how he's accumulated his results. I've raced, I still ride a bike and I appreciate riders like Sagan, Contador and Nibali. I can also appreciate and respect Valverde. Gerrans just rubs me the wrong way. To complain about riders not riding aggressively being the cause for his not being in the mix for a victory when his basic MO is to shamelessly benefit from the work of others is comically sad and explains why he is held in such low esteem in spite of his results.


You are of course entitled to your opinion but Sagan, Contador, Nibali and Valverde have skills Gerrans does not have. Gerrans does the best he can do with his limitations. That is to be admired not chastised. His win in MSR 2012 was a win of David and Goliath proportions. I think your opinion would be common with riders who can't sprint. If you have the strength to sprint after 300km of racing and put out 1200 watts on the Poggio to get into position I think you have earned it.

https://cyclingtips.com/2012/03/gerros-milan-san-remo-power-analysis/


Another generalization. I'm a pretty good sprinter actually so that theory doesn't fly. My point is that Gerrans often does not contribute to the success of any break that he latches onto. No one is saying that he doesn't have talent. That is quite obvious. It seems to me that you are creating shortcomings for Gerrans to excuse his behavior. He's strong enough to respond to attacks, recognize the right ones to respond to, but simply has this innate ability to block out how his not contributing to the success of the break actually lessens his own chances for success. He's strong enough on the climbs of the Ardennes classics to make it to the line in a position to win so what exactly is his weakness in the events in which he has had success? If he has such a killer sprint, which he does, then his working a similar amount as his break mates would still likely give him the advantage should they reach the final km, unless there is someone he recognizes as having a sprint superior to his own.

Edit: The implication previously made that Gerrans is some type of tactical genius is....just wow! To summarize
he's a rider of limited ability that makes most of his opportunities, a tactical mastermind while two riders in particular of the other riders mentioned are succeeding on their strength alone with little mental aptitude for the sport. I would think that in the cases of the 2 riders mentioned, it would have to take a combination of natural talent and aptitude to succeed. One is the favorite of most races that he targets and yet still succeeds and the other is in the twilight of his career, still considered a threat though, but has shown a mental capacity to snatch victory from defeat, using old school methods.

Cookster, I don't think, gives Gerrans credit enough for his overall talent but over rates his tactical sense while the others short change Sagan and Contador.
Last edited by Angliru on 23 Mar 2017 19:36, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar Angliru
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23 Mar 2017 19:26

The guy is basically a leech. No class, no panache. I don't hate him, but really there are way classier riders than him to defend.
The poster formerly known as yespatterns.
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23 Mar 2017 19:42

I don't hate him either.
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Re:

23 Mar 2017 21:36

GraftPunk wrote:The guy is basically a leech. No class, no panache. I don't hate him, but really there are way classier riders than him to defend.


The history of the sport is full of so called leaches who were successful and never had the amount of criticism Gerrans has had. Bernard Hinault actually use to call Jan Raas (the leach). Interesting that three of the most criticized riders on this forum over recent years namely Porte, Evans and Gerrans are all Australian. Rogers also came in for special treatment. The only other rider I would put in that category since Lance would be Wiggins. Food for thought.
movingtarget
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Re: Re:

23 Mar 2017 22:58

movingtarget wrote:
GraftPunk wrote:The guy is basically a leech. No class, no panache. I don't hate him, but really there are way classier riders than him to defend.


The history of the sport is full of so called leaches who were successful and never had the amount of criticism Gerrans has had. Bernard Hinault actually use to call Jan Raas (the leach). Interesting that three of the most criticized riders on this forum over recent years namely Porte, Evans and Gerrans are all Australian. Rogers also came in for special treatment. The only other rider I would put in that category since Lance would be Wiggins. Food for thought.

A lot of the Anglo thing has to do with the fact that many of those riders have been raised into the sport via the track program, so it often produces riders who are specialists in time trialling and sprinting. The fact that until fairly late in the day Classics racing had little currency in non-traditional nations compared to the GTs, and specifically the Tour, means that targeting these races came with much higher value to those with interests in the audience share in these countries. And even those riders who don't come from the track background often share certain characteristics as stage racers - those who hang on in the mountains and make their gains against the clock, and as a result are perceived as adding little to the race. You can add the likes of van Garderen and Rogers to your laundry list as well, if you like, although there are many reasons to dislike Rogers beyond that (only some of which can be discussed in this part of the forum). And the new, moneyed teams from those countries are often the most associated with stifling techniques - HTC-Columbia's race-strangling sprint train, using people like Martin and Grabsch to prevent the break ever getting more than 3 minutes away, and setting the maillot jaune to work in the leadout, Sky's mountain train in the vein of US Postal, and BMC having a GC hydra-head led by two of those riders renowned for following and not leading. Orica have a less negative stigma than that, and it's more for the less mountainous one-day races that they are criticised (where the likes of Gerrans and Matthews are their targets, not the likes of Yates and Chaves).

In this respect it's not a deliberate setting out of an anti-Anglo thing, but it has worked out that way because of the nature of many of those riders and/or the characteristics of those teams. And with some riders, it's to do with that individual, specific rider (hello Mick!). You certainly haven't been paying attention if you haven't seen a similarly negative reaction to all things Valverde over the past few years. And the forum's most notorious explosion of rage over the success of negative racing was not an Aussie, although it was admittedly another Anglo rider, Levi.

Another factor with the Australians is that for many years this forum had a number of myopic "Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!" fans of varying degrees. The vast majority of cycling fans would agree that while Evans had a negative stigma for not contributing or making the race for much of his career, after his Mendrisio win he was a man reborn and he seemed determined to make up for lost time and fill in the palmarès that his talent deserved. At the same time, Evans actually ceasing to be the "eternal nearly man" meant that we no longer had to endure so many increasingly desperate excuses from his fans, nor were they being relentlessly needled so much, so people could just get on with watching the man race.

The problem is, Evans raced in quite a negative way, and it hurt his palmarès. It hamstrung his achievements, and made him unpopular. When he got over that mindset, he reaped the rewards both in respect of results and popularity. Gerrans used to be a moderately interesting stagehunter (although as hrotha notes, that Tour stage with Egoí Martínez showed an early form of the template he has used to achieve his greatest successes), but he became too threatening to allow up the road. He then went through a period where his greatest strength was the ability to finish somewhere between 7th and 15th on most puncheur finishes, before entering his mid-30s he developed his sprint to the point where it was enough of a weapon that he could employ the technique that he has now reached infamy for.

Calling Gerrans a tactically smart rider negates a very clear point: those tactics only work because he is usually the strongest sprinter left at the point when it works, and they only work if at least one of the following two things happen:
1) other racers race timidly
2) other racers act as if lobotomized when attacks happen, and chase them down without weakening the best sprinter in the group allowing that sprinter to then sprint against them.
If other racers ask Gerrans to contribute, he freewheels or half-asses his turns if he even bothers doing that, and expects others to pull him to the leading group. Now sure, if they're stupid enough to do that, then fair enough, but it's not much fun to watch, which is why he becomes unpopular. And when he then whines afterwards about not winning the race because he had the legs for it, it becomes doubly frustrating because the big thing is, if you're the best sprinter in the group, you've got great legs for the day, what have you got to lose by contributing to the chase?

As a counter-example:
Remember the women's Olympic road race? Mara Abbott is off the front, after van Vleuten's horror crash. She's not a known time trialist and she's being chased by a trio of van der Breggen, Longo Borghini and Johansson. But the gap is quite big and might hold. Anna VDB and ELB are strong time triallists, Emma J is not, but Emma J is by FAR the best sprinter in the group. Now, Emma J worked her backside off contributing to that chase so that they caught Mara close to the line... but because she had gone so much deeper than the other two in the chase, because TTing isn't her thing, she didn't have the strength to use her sprint and lost out. So it's a gallant near miss, she went for gold and came up short. Now, if Emma was Simon Gerrans, she would just sit on the back of the group or do minimal turns, knowing that she has a better sprint and just blindly hoping that Anna and Emma can pull Mara back to give her the chance to win. If Emma raced like that, she'd probably still have got a silver medal, because she'd have outsprinted the other two at the end. But she wouldn't have had the chance to win the gold, because it was only because all three of them were contributing equally that they managed to catch Abbott. If Emma gets a silver medal like that, and then, in an additional nod to Simon Gerrans, complains to the media that Anna and Elisa didn't give her the chance to win gold, the fans are going to look at her silver medal differently. No?

At the end of the day, we fans do not owe the riders, or the teams, our support. We choose who we like and dislike based on a variety of things. My negative view of Gerrans is rooted entirely in his racing, for example, and not a reflection on him as a person, whereas my negative views of Sagan, or Albasini, are rooted entirely in them as a person and not to do with their racing.

Cycling is not professional wrestling, and for the riders out there, it is their career, and their job is to do their bit to help the team win bike races, either themselves or in the job they do for the team. The aim is to win, not to be entertaining (though the latter can help in the case of sponsor visibility of course, and be a part of a rider's job too). But the thing is, most of us are fans, and we watch the sport as entertainment, as enjoyment. It's not our job. As a result, it's only natural that when races and tactics identified with a particular rider or team don't entertain us, that we react negatively to those tactics and the riders or teams employing them.
User avatar Libertine Seguros
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Re: Re:

24 Mar 2017 01:48

Libertine Seguros wrote:
movingtarget wrote:
GraftPunk wrote:The guy is basically a leech. No class, no panache. I don't hate him, but really there are way classier riders than him to defend.


The history of the sport is full of so called leaches who were successful and never had the amount of criticism Gerrans has had. Bernard Hinault actually use to call Jan Raas (the leach). Interesting that three of the most criticized riders on this forum over recent years namely Porte, Evans and Gerrans are all Australian. Rogers also came in for special treatment. The only other rider I would put in that category since Lance would be Wiggins. Food for thought.

A lot of the Anglo thing has to do with the fact that many of those riders have been raised into the sport via the track program, so it often produces riders who are specialists in time trialling and sprinting. The fact that until fairly late in the day Classics racing had little currency in non-traditional nations compared to the GTs, and specifically the Tour, means that targeting these races came with much higher value to those with interests in the audience share in these countries. And even those riders who don't come from the track background often share certain characteristics as stage racers - those who hang on in the mountains and make their gains against the clock, and as a result are perceived as adding little to the race. You can add the likes of van Garderen and Rogers to your laundry list as well, if you like, although there are many reasons to dislike Rogers beyond that (only some of which can be discussed in this part of the forum). And the new, moneyed teams from those countries are often the most associated with stifling techniques - HTC-Columbia's race-strangling sprint train, using people like Martin and Grabsch to prevent the break ever getting more than 3 minutes away, and setting the maillot jaune to work in the leadout, Sky's mountain train in the vein of US Postal, and BMC having a GC hydra-head led by two of those riders renowned for following and not leading. Orica have a less negative stigma than that, and it's more for the less mountainous one-day races that they are criticised (where the likes of Gerrans and Matthews are their targets, not the likes of Yates and Chaves).

In this respect it's not a deliberate setting out of an anti-Anglo thing, but it has worked out that way because of the nature of many of those riders and/or the characteristics of those teams. And with some riders, it's to do with that individual, specific rider (hello Mick!). You certainly haven't been paying attention if you haven't seen a similarly negative reaction to all things Valverde over the past few years. And the forum's most notorious explosion of rage over the success of negative racing was not an Aussie, although it was admittedly another Anglo rider, Levi.

Another factor with the Australians is that for many years this forum had a number of myopic "Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!" fans of varying degrees. The vast majority of cycling fans would agree that while Evans had a negative stigma for not contributing or making the race for much of his career, after his Mendrisio win he was a man reborn and he seemed determined to make up for lost time and fill in the palmarès that his talent deserved. At the same time, Evans actually ceasing to be the "eternal nearly man" meant that we no longer had to endure so many increasingly desperate excuses from his fans, nor were they being relentlessly needled so much, so people could just get on with watching the man race.

The problem is, Evans raced in quite a negative way, and it hurt his palmarès. It hamstrung his achievements, and made him unpopular. When he got over that mindset, he reaped the rewards both in respect of results and popularity. Gerrans used to be a moderately interesting stagehunter (although as hrotha notes, that Tour stage with Egoí Martínez showed an early form of the template he has used to achieve his greatest successes), but he became too threatening to allow up the road. He then went through a period where his greatest strength was the ability to finish somewhere between 7th and 15th on most puncheur finishes, before entering his mid-30s he developed his sprint to the point where it was enough of a weapon that he could employ the technique that he has now reached infamy for.

Calling Gerrans a tactically smart rider negates a very clear point: those tactics only work because he is usually the strongest sprinter left at the point when it works, and they only work if at least one of the following two things happen:
1) other racers race timidly
2) other racers act as if lobotomized when attacks happen, and chase them down without weakening the best sprinter in the group allowing that sprinter to then sprint against them.
If other racers ask Gerrans to contribute, he freewheels or half-asses his turns if he even bothers doing that, and expects others to pull him to the leading group. Now sure, if they're stupid enough to do that, then fair enough, but it's not much fun to watch, which is why he becomes unpopular. And when he then whines afterwards about not winning the race because he had the legs for it, it becomes doubly frustrating because the big thing is, if you're the best sprinter in the group, you've got great legs for the day, what have you got to lose by contributing to the chase?

As a counter-example:
Remember the women's Olympic road race? Mara Abbott is off the front, after van Vleuten's horror crash. She's not a known time trialist and she's being chased by a trio of van der Breggen, Longo Borghini and Johansson. But the gap is quite big and might hold. Anna VDB and ELB are strong time triallists, Emma J is not, but Emma J is by FAR the best sprinter in the group. Now, Emma J worked her backside off contributing to that chase so that they caught Mara close to the line... but because she had gone so much deeper than the other two in the chase, because TTing isn't her thing, she didn't have the strength to use her sprint and lost out. So it's a gallant near miss, she went for gold and came up short. Now, if Emma was Simon Gerrans, she would just sit on the back of the group or do minimal turns, knowing that she has a better sprint and just blindly hoping that Anna and Emma can pull Mara back to give her the chance to win. If Emma raced like that, she'd probably still have got a silver medal, because she'd have outsprinted the other two at the end. But she wouldn't have had the chance to win the gold, because it was only because all three of them were contributing equally that they managed to catch Abbott. If Emma gets a silver medal like that, and then, in an additional nod to Simon Gerrans, complains to the media that Anna and Elisa didn't give her the chance to win gold, the fans are going to look at her silver medal differently. No?

At the end of the day, we fans do not owe the riders, or the teams, our support. We choose who we like and dislike based on a variety of things. My negative view of Gerrans is rooted entirely in his racing, for example, and not a reflection on him as a person, whereas my negative views of Sagan, or Albasini, are rooted entirely in them as a person and not to do with their racing.

Cycling is not professional wrestling, and for the riders out there, it is their career, and their job is to do their bit to help the team win bike races, either themselves or in the job they do for the team. The aim is to win, not to be entertaining (though the latter can help in the case of sponsor visibility of course, and be a part of a rider's job too). But the thing is, most of us are fans, and we watch the sport as entertainment, as enjoyment. It's not our job. As a result, it's only natural that when races and tactics identified with a particular rider or team don't entertain us, that we react negatively to those tactics and the riders or teams employing them.


I don't disagree with a lot of what you said. The fan perspective of course is much different to the team's perspective re Gerrans and getting the win at any cost. I think the difference with the Australian riders and the Americans is a little different though. Many of the Americans were tainted by their association with Armstrong but it's true that Leipheimer and TJVG did rely on their TT of course but I also say that Leipheimer suffered from the same problems as Evans in that he could climb but wasn't one of the best so attacking on climbs just didn't happen most of the time. If the 2007 Tour final TT was a km or two longer Leipheimer would have won the Tour and the American and Australian riders and now the British riders do usually come from a strong TT background. But Evans came from mountain bikes, Porte from Triathlons, Wiggins from track same with O'Grady and Rogers

Sure Valverde was hammered but he has won now for so long that people have mostly stopped criticizing him and even though he won a GT he was always more of a classics rider like Vino who also won a GT. TJVG stills gets criticized and he should then you get a rider like Betancur and there is nothing left to say ! Apart from Froome most of the more successful Anglo riders have not been elite climbers which of course means they conserve more in the mountains. You probably have to go back as far as Robert Millar to find the previous talented British pure climber and even Froome isn't a typical pure climber, he's more a of a power climber but with a high cadence. He has nothing in common with Quintana or Contador style wise.

I guess fans will always have their favorite riders and some will even like Gerrans over other riders. Let's just say that next time Gerrans wins a good race if it ever happens again, I won't bother logging onto the forum. I will just assume the site has crashed ! No pun intended.
movingtarget
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Re: Re:

24 Mar 2017 02:45

Libertine Seguros wrote:
movingtarget wrote:
GraftPunk wrote:The guy is basically a leech. No class, no panache. I don't hate him, but really there are way classier riders than him to defend.


The history of the sport is full of so called leaches who were successful and never had the amount of criticism Gerrans has had. Bernard Hinault actually use to call Jan Raas (the leach). Interesting that three of the most criticized riders on this forum over recent years namely Porte, Evans and Gerrans are all Australian. Rogers also came in for special treatment. The only other rider I would put in that category since Lance would be Wiggins. Food for thought.

A lot of the Anglo thing has to do with the fact that many of those riders have been raised into the sport via the track program, so it often produces riders who are specialists in time trialling and sprinting. The fact that until fairly late in the day Classics racing had little currency in non-traditional nations compared to the GTs, and specifically the Tour, means that targeting these races came with much higher value to those with interests in the audience share in these countries. And even those riders who don't come from the track background often share certain characteristics as stage racers - those who hang on in the mountains and make their gains against the clock, and as a result are perceived as adding little to the race. You can add the likes of van Garderen and Rogers to your laundry list as well, if you like, although there are many reasons to dislike Rogers beyond that (only some of which can be discussed in this part of the forum). And the new, moneyed teams from those countries are often the most associated with stifling techniques - HTC-Columbia's race-strangling sprint train, using people like Martin and Grabsch to prevent the break ever getting more than 3 minutes away, and setting the maillot jaune to work in the leadout, Sky's mountain train in the vein of US Postal, and BMC having a GC hydra-head led by two of those riders renowned for following and not leading. Orica have a less negative stigma than that, and it's more for the less mountainous one-day races that they are criticised (where the likes of Gerrans and Matthews are their targets, not the likes of Yates and Chaves).

In this respect it's not a deliberate setting out of an anti-Anglo thing, but it has worked out that way because of the nature of many of those riders and/or the characteristics of those teams. And with some riders, it's to do with that individual, specific rider (hello Mick!). You certainly haven't been paying attention if you haven't seen a similarly negative reaction to all things Valverde over the past few years. And the forum's most notorious explosion of rage over the success of negative racing was not an Aussie, although it was admittedly another Anglo rider, Levi.

Another factor with the Australians is that for many years this forum had a number of myopic "Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!" fans of varying degrees. The vast majority of cycling fans would agree that while Evans had a negative stigma for not contributing or making the race for much of his career, after his Mendrisio win he was a man reborn and he seemed determined to make up for lost time and fill in the palmarès that his talent deserved. At the same time, Evans actually ceasing to be the "eternal nearly man" meant that we no longer had to endure so many increasingly desperate excuses from his fans, nor were they being relentlessly needled so much, so people could just get on with watching the man race.

The problem is, Evans raced in quite a negative way, and it hurt his palmarès. It hamstrung his achievements, and made him unpopular. When he got over that mindset, he reaped the rewards both in respect of results and popularity. Gerrans used to be a moderately interesting stagehunter (although as hrotha notes, that Tour stage with Egoí Martínez showed an early form of the template he has used to achieve his greatest successes), but he became too threatening to allow up the road. He then went through a period where his greatest strength was the ability to finish somewhere between 7th and 15th on most puncheur finishes, before entering his mid-30s he developed his sprint to the point where it was enough of a weapon that he could employ the technique that he has now reached infamy for.

Calling Gerrans a tactically smart rider negates a very clear point: those tactics only work because he is usually the strongest sprinter left at the point when it works, and they only work if at least one of the following two things happen:
1) other racers race timidly
2) other racers act as if lobotomized when attacks happen, and chase them down without weakening the best sprinter in the group allowing that sprinter to then sprint against them.
If other racers ask Gerrans to contribute, he freewheels or half-asses his turns if he even bothers doing that, and expects others to pull him to the leading group. Now sure, if they're stupid enough to do that, then fair enough, but it's not much fun to watch, which is why he becomes unpopular. And when he then whines afterwards about not winning the race because he had the legs for it, it becomes doubly frustrating because the big thing is, if you're the best sprinter in the group, you've got great legs for the day, what have you got to lose by contributing to the chase?

As a counter-example:
Remember the women's Olympic road race? Mara Abbott is off the front, after van Vleuten's horror crash. She's not a known time trialist and she's being chased by a trio of van der Breggen, Longo Borghini and Johansson. But the gap is quite big and might hold. Anna VDB and ELB are strong time triallists, Emma J is not, but Emma J is by FAR the best sprinter in the group. Now, Emma J worked her backside off contributing to that chase so that they caught Mara close to the line... but because she had gone so much deeper than the other two in the chase, because TTing isn't her thing, she didn't have the strength to use her sprint and lost out. So it's a gallant near miss, she went for gold and came up short. Now, if Emma was Simon Gerrans, she would just sit on the back of the group or do minimal turns, knowing that she has a better sprint and just blindly hoping that Anna and Emma can pull Mara back to give her the chance to win. If Emma raced like that, she'd probably still have got a silver medal, because she'd have outsprinted the other two at the end. But she wouldn't have had the chance to win the gold, because it was only because all three of them were contributing equally that they managed to catch Abbott. If Emma gets a silver medal like that, and then, in an additional nod to Simon Gerrans, complains to the media that Anna and Elisa didn't give her the chance to win gold, the fans are going to look at her silver medal differently. No?

At the end of the day, we fans do not owe the riders, or the teams, our support. We choose who we like and dislike based on a variety of things. My negative view of Gerrans is rooted entirely in his racing, for example, and not a reflection on him as a person, whereas my negative views of Sagan, or Albasini, are rooted entirely in them as a person and not to do with their racing.

Cycling is not professional wrestling, and for the riders out there, it is their career, and their job is to do their bit to help the team win bike races, either themselves or in the job they do for the team. The aim is to win, not to be entertaining (though the latter can help in the case of sponsor visibility of course, and be a part of a rider's job too). But the thing is, most of us are fans, and we watch the sport as entertainment, as enjoyment. It's not our job. As a result, it's only natural that when races and tactics identified with a particular rider or team don't entertain us, that we react negatively to those tactics and the riders or teams employing them.


Another well thought out post.

Ironically I am an Australian who's favourite rider is (was?) Andreas Kloden. So I thought I'd highlight that little section :D
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