Wasn't the main guy helping Contador on Fuente De the Italian Tiralongo and he did it because they were friends and used to ride for the same team?Just reading through this thread - very slowly - now, so this point of discussion may have been bought up, but anyway, what are your thoughts on cyclists working for others, arguably because they are from the same nationality, when they are not on the same trade team?
Something like Fuente De 2012 Vuelta, a Spaniard working with Contador who was on a different team? Not saying it's right or wrong, but I think it's an interesting area of discussion. Maybe in that instance he thought Contador might help him win the stage (even if only a slim chance)?
Anyway, if it was a regular thing that countrymen would help each other I would probably complain about that as well, but I don't think it is. Even if Contador was helped by a Spaniard in 2012, it can hardly be because of Nationalism as the guy Contador had attacked was from Spain as well (as was the third placed rider). When it comes to individuals helping other individuals from different teams because they are friends outside of cycling or that sort of stuff (anything but both liking Rugby, really) I will probably still complain when the collaborate against one of my favorites, but generally I accept it. The big difference between that and trade-teammates helping each other in the worlds is that there is no system behind it.
It's never gonna pay off to be such a nice guy that the whole peloton wants to help you. But if you are in the strongest team throughout the season that could then suddenly pay off in the worlds as well. What message would it send if Roglic empties himself to the extent of not even being capable of following the group to the finish? What if that sort of behavior becomes the norm? There are no rules prohibiting it and it's pretty much impossible to make any. That's the danger. That in a few years, on a flat parcours we think, "oh man Gaviria doesn't really have too many Colombian teammates to control it on the flat, but it's not too bad, he has enough teammates from different countries who should be able to do the job", and what some Belgians expected from Roglic would have been the first step in that direction.
Iirc it was in the 2012 Olympics when Bernhard Eisel told the media pre race that he was gonna work for Cavendish, which basically just made me think "why the f#ck did the Austrians waste one of their few spots with Eisel" but also "why the f#ck does a guy who would actually have an outside chance to get a medal just throw it away". Eisel was by far Austrias best shot in that race.
That sort of stuff just shouldn't happen and I'm glad it didn't happen with Roglic yesterday.