ElleSquared wrote:Hi, lovers.
I've been lurking and reading these forums (fora? fori?) for a very long time now, but a few weeks ago I finally manned up and actually registered an account. Then I spent some more time lurking (you are all a rather intimidating lot!), but now I've bit the bullet and am making my FIRST EVER POST! Hooray.
Here's the deal:
I'm new-ish to cycling: I've been riding recreationally for quite a few years, but only started following the pro tour just last season in any sort of serious way (I've been watching Le Tour every year with my Dad for years, but only a few years ago caught on to the idea that awesome bike races happen in months other than July ), but am rapidly becoming criminally obsessed with this sport. However, because of my late start, I'm lacking a lot of the encyclopedic knowledge that seems to be a requirement for posting on these boards. I'd like to gain some of that knowledge, and am wondering what the best way to go about it is...I watch as much cycling as I can, and follow the race commentary that goes on in these threads, but I still feel a little lost when it comes to discussions of the finer points of strategy and tactics, especially since I live in the cycling wasteland of North America, and am therefore watching most races via a crappy feed on my crappier laptop, and usually in a language that I don't understand (though my French is getting better and better!). I feel like a dolt posting newbish questions in the official race threads (where I would surely be ridiculed into oblivion), but figured this area of the forum might be a more genteel spot to pose queries in, and might prove useful to other Shiny New People who stumble across it.
So, to that end, is anyone willing to combat the cycling community's reputation of being horribly elitist and pretentious and help a gal out by occasionally answering questions that might pop up and shedding some light on the more mysterious (to outsiders) aspects of bike racing and cycling culture in general? I can guarantee that many (most) of my questions will be idiotic, but I'd really appreciate any insight you could provide. I'll post here whenever something comes up that I don't understand/would like more info on, and you beautiful people can shower me with knowledge (and shame for being so ignorant).
To start this off, I might as well go ahead with perhaps my most idiotic question:
Given that it's Cobble Time, please enlighten me as to what makes a given rider better suited to cobbled races than another rider, and why. Is it a strength/power thing? A bike-handling thing? Something else? Why are some guys specialists on cobbles? Just personal/rider preference?
On a slightly tangential note, what would you consider "must reads" for someone trying to expand their knowledge of cycling history? What's your favourite bike book?
Thanks, everyone. You're all dolls.
ElleSquared wrote:Given that it's Cobble Time, please enlighten me as to what makes a given rider better suited to cobbled races than another rider, and why.
Ryo Hazuki wrote:horrible. boonen just the same guy as years before and this course is too hard for him. that's why he rode like a coward there were at least 3 guys stronger than boonen today and none of them won: sagan, ballan, pozzato
The Hitch wrote:Goss will woop boonens candy a[color="Black"]ss[/color] in a sprint he cares about, any day of the week
The Father of Clean Cycling, Christophe Bassons wrote:When I look at cycling today, I get the impression that history is repeating itself: riders who are supposed to be rouleurs are climbing passes at the front of the race, and those who are supposed to be climbers are riding time trials at more than 50 kilometres per hour.
The story is beginning again, just as it did 14 years ago
ElleSquared wrote:Not Contador.
ElleSquared wrote:Hi again, muffins. I've been neglecting my resolution to become an active forum member, and for that I apologize. I promise I'll do better!
New dumb question time: I'm all geared up for the Giro, and am trying to find some way to be excited about tomorrow's stage (which looks flat and boring as rice), and I've seen peeps in other threads yammering on about "crosswinds" being something that might animate the stage a little......so, CyclingNews experts, talk to me about crosswinds. How do they shape races? What do people mean (apart from the obvious) when they say that crosswinds will be a factor? How do teams use crosswinds as a part of their tactics??
ElleSquared wrote:New (stupid) question (actually many questions, but all sort of connected):
How does the selection process for specific races work within teams? I mean, obviously if you're OPQS and blessed with a guy like Boonen who historically dominates the cobbled Classics, he's going to lead the team for those races and everyone else will suck it up and work for him....but what happens when you have several guys with potential to win a given race? Who decides that Boonen is going to be leader for PR and not Chavanel or Terpstra? Do the riders themselves have input, or is the hierarchy handed down from the DS? What about dudes like Ryder Hesjdal (who I have a soft spot for, since we share a home town ), who have tremendous potential to do well, but are on super-strong teams, and therefore spend most of their time hauling *** for someone else, or are sent to lead 2nd-tier squads at less important races? Do riders ever choose to sign with a less talented/stacked team in order to have a better chance at being team leader? Do rider contracts for the "stars" contain clauses which specify that they get the opportunity to lead x number of races??
In short, tell me how the domestiques handle being domestiques. What hope do they have of ever becoming stars? What compels them to sacrifice their bodies for someone else's glory?
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