2020...2021 Olympic Women's Road Race, Tokyo, 137 KM

Page 26 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Didn't that rider who won already say that Van Vleuten was gracious to her? I think it's pretty normal that real cyclists would talk to her less than if another pro won it. The pro cyclists race, train and see each other throughout the year. So they know each other from varying degrees of a little to a lot. They might not know this rider that won at all so she's basically just some random stranger who happened to win a race. When I go to my local market, I talk the vendors and people I know but rarely talk to random ones I don't.
Lol, what a comparison.
 
Reactions: Andre and Sandisfan
I was stunned by that. I one point (after Cille came to chat with her) they showed the entire Dutch team standing not more than 3-4 meters away from Anna K. with their backs to her and completely ignoring her.
Sure the Dutch were dumbfounded and upset, but think about the dumbfounded and exhausted Roglic picking himself off the pavement at Planche des Belles Filles to go congratulate Podgacar on his win.
You have no idea what happened before or after those few seconds of tv coverage. I am pretty sure they did not have a camera trained on Kiesenhofer with instructions to the director to cut to that shot on every occasion that someone else interacted with her. I didn't see any non-Dutch rider commiserate with Van Vleuten on what must have been a devastating disappointment for her to discover that she hadn't won, but I bet it happened; I didn't see any other rider congratulate Pidcock or express sympathy to Cink or Van der Poel this morning, but I don't doubt for an instance that many did.

I am really unsure why so few people here are willing to assume that the bulk of riders failed to act decently just because it wasn't captured on live tv. Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.
 
Last edited:
Didn't that rider who won already say that Van Vleuten was gracious to her? I think it's pretty normal that real cyclists would talk to her less than if another pro won it. The pro cyclists race, train and see each other throughout the year. So they know each other from varying degrees of a little to a lot. They might not know this rider that won at all so she's basically just some random stranger who happened to win a race. When I go to my local market, I talk the vendors and people I know but rarely talk to random ones I don't.
To be fair, the interview that Annemiek did in the heat of the moment (and the one that Anna VDB did too) were anything but gracious. Now, it is also fair to note that Anna K points out that she was unaware of the confusion, because in the heat of the moment she was likely too busy sprawled out on the tarmac in a combination of fatigue and disbelief to register that, and when she was able to get up and about, everybody else was realising what went on and holding their post-mortems, so most likely there were riders other than Uttrup who went and congratulated her after the point at which we saw Cille do so. Lots of riders will have had their own media commitments - we know that Deignan was interviewed by the British press before she had found out what happened because she congratulated Annemiek on the victory during her interview, so she would clearly not have had opportunity to go and congratulate Kiesenhofer at that point. By the time it came to awarding medals etc., it would appear van Vleuten was a bit more reconciled to the situation and was clearly gracious and respectful enough with Anna in person.

The Dutch post-mortem will likely continue for some time. Tactical inflexibility, the inability and unwillingness to use either of their TT weapons in the chase, and the conflicting opinions and statements coming out of the team point to a camp in disarray. We've seen the Dutch mess up what should be sure things before (Baku springs to mind, when they had 2 in a group of 4, van der Breggen attacked dropping van Dijk, then she led out the whole final kilometre culminating in the Dutch getting 3rd and 4th), but this was perhaps the biggest implosion of them all, because of the extent of dominance expected, especially with the qualification criteria meaning a few of the major contenders like Cille and Lizzie being left without teammates early on, with Norsgaard and Shackley climbing off. The messages coming out might have been free of finger-pointing, but they've definitely been full of deflection. The "how can I underestimate a rider I don't know?" comment of van der Breggen smacks of hand-wringing, and blaming others for faulty scouting reports. Vos purporting to know about Kiesenhofer being up the road when van der Breggen and van Vleuten clearly weren't aware of it suggests a communication breakdown as even if Vos only realised what the situation was when she caught a glimpse of Anna K in the last few kilometres on the speedway, she was in the same small group as van der Breggen and could have communicated that either in the last few kilometres or at least just after the finish to stop van der Breggen from putting her foot in it in the post-race interview.

I just wonder if there was a bit of, this is the last Olympics for van der Breggen and she's the defending champion. It's probably the last Olympics for van Vleuten, and she has unfinished business after her crash in Rio. Vos will be 37 when the next Olympics come around so might see this as her final Olympics, at least final one as likely leader with Paris likely to be much flatter and the likes of Wiebes and Vollering likely to be in peak years at that point. Loes Gunnewijk is also a former teammate of Vos and van Vleuten so that loyalty may be a factor as well. It seemed like the team was too scared of being perceived to be slighting one of the veterans and making the wrong call, so in not committing to any one rider to avoid offending the others, they managed to sabotage all four, letting all of them call their own shots and leaving Vollering the only even moderately expendable rider, and even then that feels like it's more because hey, she'll get more chances in the future than because it would be the right call since she isn't a time trialist and it's a very sub-optimal way to use her skills. And Demi doesn't really engage with social media and doesn't have the general media profile of the other three so has mainly maintained a dignified silence thus far, would certainly pay a penny for her thoughts at this point in time.
 
You’re right we couldn’t see or know even the majority of what was happening. But we did have well more than a few seconds of TV coverage. Over the course of 3-4 minutes they cut back to Anna perhaps a half-dozen times, during which her her only interactions were with her team representative, Cille, and one other I can’t remember. Yeah, they don’t really know her—all the more reason I wanted to see more riders, coaches help her celebrate and provide audience/ witness to her achievement.

To your point of we can’t really know—of course we don’t really know!!! But 99% of the posts on this forum are about what we don’t really know, unless it’s LS or someone from the forum is actually there (at a race). So we make assumptions about what we CAN see, and we compare that to what we’ve seen previously in similar situations. Based on what I could see (supplemented by the defensive comments of a couple of Dutch riders) I think they could and should have acted better.
 
Last edited:
I certainly found it very strange how lonely she was there, I remember how she looked around, unsure what to do now, there was nobody around her, until someone showed her the way out of the zone. That was an awkward moment and although there might have been one or another who congratulated her when the tv didn't capture it, it was a stunning contrast to the usual moments even in Covid times, when there's a bunch of people congratulating. Then of course she didn't have any teammates there... but Carapaz only had one either and somehow he was immediately surrounded... so, I don't want to say "nobody but Cecilie congratulated her", but it was definitely weird and a bit sad. In addition to some post-race comments by other riders it sure looks slighting.
In the end it will probably not matter much to her, since she's not around them all year and seems to have other people whose opinion she cares about.
 
This quote might explain the confusion, fuelled by confirmation bias.

Apparently, they were given two time splits, both to the chasers and to the leading Kiesenhofer.

However, they apparently misinterpreted this as "inconsistent information", blaming the organizers, because they had the picture of one leading group in their heads.

The correct interpretation would have been two groups, two times.
that’s a good catch and an interesting theory. I don’t know how we would ever confirm it, but it fits the available evidence
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Where does it say she had “limited preparation”. She certainly had limited racing, but if you look at her self-analysis of body temp variations as she was preparing for Tokyo, I’d suggest you’re using a limited definition of preparation. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant?
No racing is limited preparation - Outside of the Ardeche in 2020 all she's raced since April 2017 is National Championship races.
 
Reactions: Sciatic
10 minutes wasn't necessarily too much in itself, but it was obviously always a bit of a gamble. if Van Vleuten hadn't had a mechanical or whatever it was and then the crash right after she had made it back to the peloton (it seemed she should have been able to avoid the crash at least), the Dutch probably would have won, because they could have started attacking slightly earlier, plus Van Vleuten herself would have been feeling better.

But it would obviously have been a better and safer tactic to have upped the pace from the beginning of the climb in order to reduce the gap before they launched any attacks. That way they would probably have won, too, cause they were always going to have at least two riders left to contest the final, whereas no other team could have been sure about having more than one rider there. But if they didn't know the correct gaps, then it was always going to be harder to bring Kiesenhofer back no matter which tactic they were relying on. And Kiesenhofer definitely didn't make it easyer for them either.

I can definitely understand Van Vleuten's feelings though, because she knew she was the strongest rider in the race, and no matter who's to blame for it, of course you're going to be angry and sad initially. Especially if you actually thought you had won at first.
The comments that made it seem like only the best riders were entitled to ride for the win in the big races, weren't very tactful though.

Anyway I'm sure they will be making changes to how they approach championship races in the future. In WC races it will be a lot easier for them, when they have more potential work horses in the squad. Now I'm not sure how the extra spots will be divided among the countries for the 2024 Olympics, but the Dutch might have a fith rider to make it easier for them to control the race there.
With 90 riders in 2024 compared with 130 (I think 132 were allowed) for the men this year, I would be surprised if teams have 5 riders, I certainly don't expect the men in 2024 to have 5 riders.

I also think it's an incredibly weak excuse for the Dutch with the small teams. They only needed one dedicated helper to contain the break, but they took no responsibility despite not just having the biggest pre-race favourite, but 4 out of 4.
 
With 90 riders in 2024 compared with 130 (I think 132 were allowed) for the men this year, I would be surprised if teams have 5 riders, I certainly don't expect the men in 2024 to have 5 riders.
You're probably right. Some countries will get three spot instead of two or two instead of one, but unless a lot of nations decline to take part the Dutch quota should remain the same.
 
I just don’t think that this sort of coverage is embarrassing for women’s cycling: https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/26/sport/anna-kiesenhofer-olympic-gold-tokyo-2020-spt-intl/index.html
Media coverage is very positive imo, maybe even excessively positive from the pov of a cycling fan. But most "casuals", which is of course a huge majority of the people following the Olympics don't know anything about cycling tactics anyway, or could even identify what was a good race and what wasn't.

They care about the story, and Kiesenhofer's story is fantastic. When I talked to my parents about it, they were massively impressed for example that she rode off alone for 40km, which yeah, is great, but how it happened nobody cares outside of forums like this one (and maybe the Dutch).
 
I just don’t think that this sort of coverage is embarrassing for women’s cycling: https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/26/sport/anna-kiesenhofer-olympic-gold-tokyo-2020-spt-intl/index.html
You're looking at this with the point of view of someone who follows cycling. Normal people don't read cycling news and the Olympics will be the only women's race they will watch. And they saw an event in which no one knew what was happening. So, of course, that's embarrassing. It would be like watching a basketball game in which scores randomly increased and decreased throughout the game. Sure, it would be entertaining but in a clownish way, ranking somewhere below those Olympic fringe sports. Like that one where people shoot arrows at targets while being pulled on skis through a hayfield. What that one called? Skarchery? At least the targets don't constant disappear and reappear (I think, never actually watched it).
 
You're looking at this with the point of view of someone who follows cycling. Normal people don't read cycling news and the Olympics will be the only women's race they will watch. And they saw an event in which no one knew what was happening. So, of course, that's embarrassing. It would be like watching a basketball game in which scores randomly increased and decreased throughout the game. Sure, it would be entertaining but in a clownish way, ranking somewhere below those Olympic fringe sports. Like that one where people shoot arrows at targets while being pulled on skis through a hayfield. What that one called? Skarchery? At least the targets don't constant disappear and reappear (I think, never actually watched it).
Agreed, I think the majority of marginal viewers for women's cycling (outside of OGRR) already watches some of men's cycling or other women's endurance sports, mostly the former.
 
Oct 7, 2019
103
48
880
It's the Olympics in Paris, so it's almost certainly going to be the Champs Elysees loop from the Tour several times to finish...
I found this very old article

https://www.europe1.fr/sport/jo-2024-decouvrez-le-trace-de-lepreuve-cycliste-propose-au-cio-3434843

that would suggest probably more something like in London. Start in the city then Versailles and some (rounds) in the hills and then back to the city. Most likely not to difficult, but with small teams maybe difficult enough to have some good racing. But I can't find any detailed information.
 
Sure, it would be entertaining but in a clownish way, ranking somewhere below those Olympic fringe sports. Like that one where people shoot arrows at targets while being pulled on skis through a hayfield. What that one called? Skarchery? At least the targets don't constant disappear and reappear (I think, never actually watched it).
Are you talking about biathlon, lol? That's a very popular spectator sport in some countries.

And you're actually the one looking at it from the POV of a cycling fan. Normies think: "Wow, 140km, that's a long distance, and look how fast they are going!"
 
You're looking at this with the point of view of someone who follows cycling. Normal people don't read cycling news and the Olympics will be the only women's race they will watch. And they saw an event in which no one knew what was happening. So, of course, that's embarrassing. It would be like watching a basketball game in which scores randomly increased and decreased throughout the game. Sure, it would be entertaining but in a clownish way, ranking somewhere below those Olympic fringe sports. Like that one where people shoot arrows at targets while being pulled on skis through a hayfield. What that one called? Skarchery? At least the targets don't constant disappear and reappear (I think, never actually watched it).
But the time gaps weren't even wrong (like, for instance, they often are at the Giro, and it doesn't seem to bother people that much). The riders just didn't all know about them all the time. It's not like in other sports athletes don't make any such mistakes. Coaches in ball sports make stupid decisions all the time.
And looking at it in a bit broader perspective it has to be said that even the constant rule changes, the personal influence of referees, the often wrong decisions by even video referees in football annoy people, but don't stop them watching. It's all about the excitement.
What it will do, however, is confirm the views of those who are already against women's cycling and ridicule it without any interest in improving the conditions. They are just looking for something like that, but that will always be the case, it's a fight you cannot win by being perfect.
 
I found this very old article

https://www.europe1.fr/sport/jo-2024-decouvrez-le-trace-de-lepreuve-cycliste-propose-au-cio-3434843

that would suggest probably more something like in London. Start in the city then Versailles and some (rounds) in the hills and then back to the city. Most likely not to difficult, but with small teams maybe difficult enough to have some good racing. But I can't find any detailed information.
I’ve got no sources for mine, it’s just a massive assumption from me, but I still think it’s likely. I would guess that it’ll be something like you suggest, and I don’t know enough about the surrounding area to know if it can be selective enough to limit the sprint, but unless they only want one lap in Paris they’ll probably want it to stay fairly close together.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY