Log in:  

Register

General News Thread

A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

Moderators: Irondan, Eshnar, Red Rick, Pricey_sky, Tonton, King Boonen, Valv.Piti

12 Apr 2018 19:10

I agree that if you're going to let team opt out of any race on the calendar there has to be a limit of how many they can opt out of. I think around 10 is a fair number. Although I'd give a pass for something crazy happening that forces a team to withdraw from a race after having said they are going.


That was what the 2.b rule is for.
Though, doesn't that rule technically already exist? If Astana had decided to pull out of L-B-L after Scarponi's death last year, they would've been allowed, right?

I think it's a decent idea, though I think opt outs should be split between stage races and one day races, maybe with no opting out of GTs and Monuments.


I'd much rather have a wild card team that wants to be there, than a WT team that has to be there.
Aka The Ginger One.
User avatar RedheadDane
Veteran
 
Posts: 8,649
Joined: 05 May 2010 13:47
Location: Viking Land! (Aros)

Re:

13 Apr 2018 04:38

RedheadDane wrote:
I agree that if you're going to let team opt out of any race on the calendar there has to be a limit of how many they can opt out of. I think around 10 is a fair number. Although I'd give a pass for something crazy happening that forces a team to withdraw from a race after having said they are going.


That was what the 2.b rule is for.
Though, doesn't that rule technically already exist? If Astana had decided to pull out of L-B-L after Scarponi's death last year, they would've been allowed, right?

I think it's a decent idea, though I think opt outs should be split between stage races and one day races, maybe with no opting out of GTs and Monuments.


I'd much rather have a wild card team that wants to be there, than a WT team that has to be there.



I think Astana could have under the extraordinary circumstances thing.

I agree that I'd rather have a Pro Conti/wild card team at a race that wants to be there vs a WT team that is there because they have to be. Obviously Movistar and the cobbled races is the example there as they aren't too keen on the idea of any of those races, and has been proven over the years with very few good results in those races.
User avatar Koronin
Member
 
Posts: 942
Joined: 14 Oct 2017 01:42
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re:

13 Apr 2018 07:39

I'd much rather have a wild card team that wants to be there, than a WT team that has to be there.[/quote]

I completely agree. It used to really annoy me when the old incarnation of Direct Energie had an automatic invite to La Vuelta as a top tier team. They rarely sent their top riders and never looked bothered about being there, often ending up with only a small part of the team by the end of the race. I was really pleased that their wildcard invite was refused when they had to apply! Give me a keen pro Conti team over a reluctant World Tour one any day.
User avatar mariposa
Junior Member
 
Posts: 232
Joined: 21 Aug 2011 21:42

Re: Re:

13 Apr 2018 20:20

mariposa wrote:I'd much rather have a wild card team that wants to be there, than a WT team that has to be there.


I completely agree. It used to really annoy me when the old incarnation of Direct Energie had an automatic invite to La Vuelta as a top tier team. They rarely sent their top riders and never looked bothered about being there, often ending up with only a small part of the team by the end of the race. I was really pleased that their wildcard invite was refused when they had to apply! Give me a keen pro Conti team over a reluctant World Tour one any day.[/quote]

It's always like that. A lot of WT teams are bringing to the giro their b teams without having any ambition every year for example, but in most of the WT races there are reluctant teams: does Movistar really need/want/deserve to be in all the cobbled classics (Omloop, Harelbeke, Dwars, Gent, RvV, P-R) with 0 ambitions ever for a top 5? Does Lotto Soudal need/want to be at the Tour of the Basque Coutry while the holy week is going on in Belgium? It's the WT system which is sick and illogic, only a few teams have the resources/capacity to be competitive during all the WT calendar, the Wildcards are a free decision of the organizers; it's their freedom to chose who they want considering that they are already obligated by the UCI to accept 18 teams. This brings us to a reflection on the sense of the "Professionals" category: their level is falling down year by year, all the big riders are in the WT.

A few years ago there were Professionals like:
- LPR: had riders like Di Luca (ok, it's controversial but he was a more than serious Giro D'Italia contender) and Petacchi at their disposal
-Androni had Scarponi who fought for the final victory in the 2010 Giro finishing 4th
-BMC at the begining was a Professional
-Same for Cervelo
-Aqua&Sapone had Garzelli, capable of winning a MTT, the best climber jersey and a top10 spot at the Giro

Which professional has today riders capable to fight for victory in the biggest races? Only Fortuneo (Barguil), maybe

The level of the professionals has dropped and is continuing dropping: The only healthy professionals are the french ones (not all the french professionals) which are sure to ride the TdF (the biggest race) and all the other ASO races without having to race all the WT calendar. But it means that only 4-5 professionals have a reason to exist, all the other are practically slightly better continentals, the UCI should ask itself if this category has still a reason to exist.

Aqua Blue is already racing a lot in the World Tour, more than the vast majority of the other professionals, so their manager has probably not understood how the system works outside the WT if he pretend to be invited in the biggest races thanks to Denifl and Werbasse.
Their results this year have been very mediocre, if they want to go to the Tour/Vuelta/Giro they should hire a rider that the organizers would like to see.
EroicaStradeBianche
Junior Member
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 01 Oct 2016 20:20

13 Apr 2018 20:48

Let's be fair, the strength of the ProContis has been hit in recent years by a couple of factors. Firstly, the UCI's points rule changes, because the problem they had was that the ProConti licences were a lot cheaper than a ProTour (as it was then) one, and so a team like Cervélo had the funding of a ProTour team, took a ProConti licence, spent the balance on riders, had a roster as strong as most ProTour teams, and had at least one genuine GT contender (Sastre, the reigning Tour winner at the time) and one genuine cobbled classics contender (Hushovd). They were able to get an invite to any ProTour race they wanted, not only locking off one of the wildcards but getting all the benefits of ProTour with none of the drawbacks (not having to do races they didn't want to, so saving money on flyaway races and choosing a calendar based on how competitive they could be). This made a mockery of the idea of the ProTour (that it would have all of the world's best), and the UCI wanted to prevent that happening again, so changed the rules to make it less attractive to come in as a ProConti team since at the time there were vanity projects like Leopard starting up as well.

BMC were going down the Fortuneo route and just happened to be at the right time - they had a big moneyed backer, and a pretty weak ProConti roster, but they got a big injection of cash just as a big name who had burnt a lot of bridges became available - Cuddles would have been a big draw anyway, but in the rainbow jersey it was even bigger. The thing with Cuddles was, because he'd been around for many years previously, because he'd got the reputation for being hard to work with, and because most of the best top-down teams had clear and obvious leaders at that point (Valverde, Contador, Armstrong, Basso) and it wasn't clear where Evans was going to land until his price went up, he was just about the only such rider that was going to be able to be picked up in that manner - it's not often you find a genuine GT contender in the rainbow jersey available in the market.

The other elephant in the room is much simpler: doping. Until Basso and Vino (thanks in the former case to the argument that he only 'intended to' dope, and in the latter case to his connections with team brass, there was the informal agreement among ProTour teams that returning dopers would serve a period of quarantine before they were able to come back to the top tier and so with Oil For Drugs, the Sella revelations, Operación Puerto and the 2008 CERA busts, there was a pretty steady stream of riders who weren't welcome at the top tier but were able to, when riding a somewhat reduced calendar as ProConti riders, be competitive, and because of the damage their reputations had suffered, would come comparatively cheap. Their riders may not have been the tip top names, but when they built their whole season around the one wildcard race - the Giro, the Tour, the Vuelta - they were capable of being highly competitive.

The combination of the end of the informal gentleman's agreement meaning people like Contador and Valverde step straight back to a WT team rather than fronting a modern day equivalent of Relax-GAM for a couple of years, and the length of time since a really big expansive drugs bust means that this source of name riders has been cut off to the ProConti ranks too.
User avatar Libertine Seguros
Veteran
 
Posts: 19,199
Joined: 20 Feb 2010 11:54
Location: Land of Saíz

Yesterday 19:06

It's official

The finish of LBL moves back to Liege in 2019. Where exactly still unknown.

Ans is out

I repeat

Ans is out
Kwibus wrote:So much questions they have. Answers they will never get.
So why questions? If no answers?
-Kwibus, one of the great philosophers of the 21st century
User avatar Red Rick
Administrator
 
Posts: 12,754
Joined: 20 Feb 2012 18:15
Location: Nijmegen

Re:

Yesterday 21:04

Red Rick wrote:It's official

The finish of LBL moves back to Liege in 2019. Where exactly still unknown.

Ans is out

I repeat

Ans is out

Amazing. And with the way the Ardennes have been raced so far, we might actually have a week of great racing again!
User avatar Valv.Piti
Moderator
 
Posts: 8,107
Joined: 03 Aug 2015 00:00
Location: Dinamarca, Aalborg

Yesterday 21:12

Nice!
User avatar tobydawq
Member
 
Posts: 945
Joined: 16 Nov 2013 18:45
Location: Denmark

Yesterday 21:27

Kwibus wrote:So much questions they have. Answers they will never get.
So why questions? If no answers?
-Kwibus, one of the great philosophers of the 21st century
User avatar Red Rick
Administrator
 
Posts: 12,754
Joined: 20 Feb 2012 18:15
Location: Nijmegen

Re:

Yesterday 21:31

Red Rick wrote:It's official

The finish of LBL moves back to Liege in 2019. Where exactly still unknown.

Ans is out

I repeat

Ans is out


Honest question from someone who hasn't followed classics racing for *that* long - why is this such a good thing? I know Ans is just a bit of a suburb of Liège and that there have been at least two different finishes there recently. Thinking of the one-off cobbled street finish and the current uphill drag in Ans.
User avatar MikeTichondrius
Member
 
Posts: 620
Joined: 21 Jun 2014 23:12
Location: Lisbon

Re: Re:

Today 04:04

MikeTichondrius wrote:
Red Rick wrote:It's official

The finish of LBL moves back to Liege in 2019. Where exactly still unknown.

Ans is out

I repeat

Ans is out


Honest question from someone who hasn't followed classics racing for *that* long - why is this such a good thing? I know Ans is just a bit of a suburb of Liège and that there have been at least two different finishes there recently. Thinking of the one-off cobbled street finish and the current uphill drag in Ans.


It has been the same finish for many, many years, also in 2016 when they included the cobbled climb a couple of kilometres out.

Uphill finishes kill races because the puncheurs don't have to attack before the finish because they can rely on their skills in the finale. With a flat finish they have to force the selection earlier, which makes races more aggressive and entertaining.
User avatar tobydawq
Member
 
Posts: 945
Joined: 16 Nov 2013 18:45
Location: Denmark

Previous

Return to Professional road racing

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bushman, Climbing, Gigs_98, loge1884, SafeBet, WheelofGear and 49 guests

Back to top