2020 World Championships - now confirmed for Imola, Italy.

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Van Aert's chance was to attack from the group. He was not only the best sprinter in the group, but also - especially with Roglic struggling - the fastest "time trialist". Either he did it wrong, or he did not have the power. In the end, though, they were not even close to catching the Frenchman.
To be fair it was Van Aert's first race with a bullseye on his back, he should adapt in the classics. Wouldn't be surprised if he pulls a Sagan PR 2018 at some point in the near future
 
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And he indeed isn't! Riding for your country should be the highest possible honor in the career of a sportsman.
Why? What is a country? Well, I don't mean to get political here, but I don't care about countries. Well, I'm German. "For the honour of the fatherland" does not have a great sound here. National states have been modern when they stood for the possibility to earn your place by intelligence and work instead of nepotism. Today they feel like an anachronism to me.
 
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It's a job.
You could say that "work for me because of who signs your paychecks" is just replacing one dubious morality system for another.


Or you could say that the entire thing is silly and since this isn't the 1980s anymore, we generally expect riders to balance the obligations of national/trade teams, and if Jumbo has an issue with it, they can have Roglic fired.
 
You could say that "work for me because of who signs your paychecks" is just replacing one dubious morality system for another.


Or you could say that the entire thing is silly and since this isn't the 1980s anymore, we generally expect riders to balance the obligations of national/trade teams, and if Jumbo has an issue with it, they can have Roglic fired.
I haven't mentioned Roglič and Van Aert anywhere.
Just patriotism.
 
Difference being that van Aert was the strongest in the group and best able to reel in Ala. He was the Mendrisio Cancellara with a better sprint. The only option is to go full gas over the top of the climb without hesitation, and only after a monster pull hope the others will contribute.
This. Everyone saw what van Aert did in the Tour and then in the ITT. Who in their right mind, teammate or not, is going to help tow him to the line? That's the price you pay for being the best. Just ask Sagan.
 
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I haven't mentioned Roglič and Van Aert anywhere.
Just patriotism.
OK.


I don't think someone feeling honored to be selected for their national team is epitomizing borderline fascist levels of toxic nationalism any more than a rider being proud of being signed to Quick-Step is epitomizing the most vicious excesses of capitalist decadence.
 
OK.


I don't think someone feeling honored to be selected for their national team is epitomizing borderline fascist levels of toxic nationalism any more than a rider being proud of being signed to Quick-Step is epitomizing the most vicious excesses of capitalist decadence.
No one is proud of riding for Quick Step, as in the brand. People can be proud of riding for Quick Step, as in the professional cycling team, but no one cares if the sponsor changes. Someone can feel proud of being signed to Quick Step because of what that says about their achievements, not because they're participating in capitalism or because they're defending just the best floor makers.
 
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OK.


I don't think someone feeling honored to be selected for their national team is epitomizing borderline fascist levels of toxic nationalism any more than a rider being proud of being signed to Quick-Step is epitomizing the most vicious excesses of capitalist decadence.
My impression is that Devenyns' decision was made on a personal basis.
 
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No one is proud of riding for Quick Step, as in the brand. People can be proud of riding for Quick Step, as in the professional cycling team, but no one cares if the sponsor changes. Someone can feel proud of being signed to Quick Step because of what that says about their achievements, not because they're participating in capitalism or because they're defending just the best floor makers.
and a rider is probably proud to be on their national team because it's really, really hard, especially in a country with a lot of great cyclists to choose from


and sure, patriotism is probably a part of it, but I feel like there's some sort of extremely large middle-ground between screaming "motherland" and refusing a selection because "countries and borders are fake, actually"
 
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Why? What is a country? Well, I don't mean to get political here, but I don't care about countries. Well, I'm German. "For the honour of the fatherland" does not have a great sound here. National states have been modern when they stood for the possibility to earn your place by intelligence and work instead of nepotism. Today they feel like an anachronism to me.
I know that many Germans agree with you. Still, the world consists of units, and if you don't like the unit you belong to - or think that the others are just as good -, then you might not feel at home anywhere. Is it better to be hired by a supermarket or a lottery company and be loyal to them? I don't think so. The nations have a history, companies come and go.
 
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I know that many Germans agree with you. Still, the world consists of units, and if you don't like the unit you belong to - or think that the others are just as good -, then you might not feel at home. Is it better to be hired by a supermarket or a lottery company and be loyal to them? I don't think so. The nations have a history, companies come and go.
There are companies longer-standing than some nations.
 
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Conflicts between allegiance to team and allegiance to the country are nothing new, and it's a complex issue. I don't like blind nationalism, i.e. riders from a country ganging up to prevent a "foreigner" to win a home race. But I understand friendships, i.e. Alaf' repaying Pinot for playing his card in Innsbruck.

Having said that, it's a huge honor to represent your country and if called upon, to do so to the best of your ability. And show some dignity, i.e. no head-butt, red card in a World Cup final when one billion people, many of them kids are watching. If you wear the jersey, respect it.

Unless you're in a situation such as being a political dissident in '36 Germany, refusing a cap is a big pill for me to swallow. Devenyns was candid and some fans will not appreciate his stance. Some underestimate the bonds that exist in a cycling team, the friendships that are forged on the road.

That's my $0.02.
 
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Maybe so, depending on the definition of "nation". ;) Which?
Some Balkan nations, certainly.
Ethnic groups in the former USSR.

Some national identities were established on a religious basis or due to political reasons. It doesn't make them less valuable or real, just shows that a collective identity can be engineered.
Blood and soil is just the most obvious and widest accepted concept of homogenization.
 
Why do those conflicts between allegiances to your club and country never come up in football for example or in other sports? I just don't get it. It's ONE race in the whole freaking year, the teams are mixed up, you ride in the same team with the riders you usually ride against and against your usual teammates, but that's pretty exciting if you ask me. It's one race in the year where you get something different. But I guess some will start crying or get a panic attack if they need to ride against their "mates" or sth
 
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