A poignant exposé on a cyclist's popularity

What makes a cyclist popular? I consider it ridiculous to root for a cyclist just because he's your countryman. I cheer for cyclists based on
  1. Riding style and how graceful they are on the bike. Some riders just look good freewheeling while others look awkward.
  2. Charisma
  3. Attacking nature and improvisation
I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the myriad of responses.
 
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Number 3 by a long shot and if you don't agree I don't understand why you like cycling.
#2 also counts but #1 I couldn't care about really and sometimes I actually find it endearing to see a rider who is crap on a bike (Cavenga, Martin)

I do often cheer for Irish riders though and you have to understand in Ireland we tend to cheer for any successful athlete as we tend to win nothing in any sport ever
 
Number 3 by a long shot and if you don't agree I don't understand why you like cycling.
#2 also counts but #1 I couldn't care about really and sometimes I actually find it endearing to see a rider who is crap on a bike (Cavenga, Martin)

I do often cheer for Irish riders though and you have to understand in Ireland we tend to cheer for any successful athlete as we tend to win nothing in any sport ever
You have Connemara-ponies. You cannot have everything.
 
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What makes a cyclist popular? I consider it ridiculous to root for a cyclist just because he's your countryman. I cheer for cyclists based on
  1. Riding style and how graceful they are on the bike. Some riders just look good freewheeling while others look awkward.
  2. Charisma
  3. Attacking nature and improvisation
I'm on tenterhooks waiting for the myriad of responses.
What I think makes them popular in general:
  • they win, winners always have fans
  • even better: they seem to rule the world, just sweep over their rivals
  • they win from an underdog status or after suffering lots of bad luck
  • they attack
  • male: they appear virile, like "a real man, a picture of a man", female: they appear female
  • they are funny or entertainers
  • they have a noticeable (in a positive sense) style on the bike
In 80% of all cases they fit either the category "always nice, composed and graceful" or the category "dare-devil, emotional, doesn't care what other people think, does his own thing".

What makes me like a rider:
  • they are nice, as in: sweet, not arrogant, not bitter, generous, no super-ego, best: humble
  • there's something specific about them
  • I like their interviews (they are intelligent, generous, funny, original, thoughtful, and most of all: they show some esprit, wit or an emotional side, I can't get over phlegmatic interviews)
  • they aren't wheelsuckers all the time (totally okay to do it now and then, but if it becomes a pattern it annoys me very much)
  • they ride to win, not for placings (hyper sensitive there)
  • they do something unexected in races
  • they attack
  • they have an elegant riding style
  • they have good bike handling skills (sometimes I make exceptions, but usually that's a really important factor for me)
 
Number 3 by a long shot and if you don't agree I don't understand why you like cycling.
#2 also counts but #1 I couldn't care about really and sometimes I actually find it endearing to see a rider who is crap on a bike (Cavenga, Martin)

I do often cheer for Irish riders though and you have to understand in Ireland we tend to cheer for any successful athlete as we tend to win nothing in any sport ever
The fact that we're crap at sport adds to our greatness as a country. We couldn't be bothered.
 
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I just can't stand boring bland personalities. Sense of humour, degree of intelligence on and off the bike, daring to be great when it's easy to be good. I guess you can call it charisma. I also tend to support more experienced riders rather than neo pros.
 
I really hate to admit this -- I'm not some nationalistic knob-head in a political sense -- but a rider's nationality is the most prominent factor in determining my level of interest.
Canada is a huge country, so locale plays a role as well -- i.e. I used to race against Michael Barry, who is from Toronto. So yeah, there's that quote connection. But I was happy to see Hesjedal win the Giro, even though he's three time zones away. The guy looked terrible on a bike; he always looked like a spectator handed him their undersized bike after he crashed. He looked like a Preying Mantis, for gawd sake.
So that just goes to show the pull that nationality has on who I decide to pay attention to.
Nibali looks sublime on a bike; as do many other riders. But I don't care. Guy comes from some godforsaken hell-hole, so screw him (I'm just kidding, I swear. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever laid eyes on. But you get my point).
 
I really hate to admit this -- I'm not some nationalistic knob-head in a political sense -- but a rider's nationality is the most prominent factor in determining my level of interest.
Canada is a huge country, so locale plays a role as well -- i.e. I used to race against Michael Barry, who is from Toronto. So yeah, there's that quote connection. But I was happy to see Hesjedal win the Giro, even though he's three time zones away. The guy looked terrible on a bike; he always looked like a spectator handed him their undersized bike after he crashed. He looked like a Preying Mantis, for gawd sake.
So that just goes to show the pull that nationality has on who I decide to pay attention to.
Nibali looks sublime on a bike; as do many other riders. But I don't care. Guy comes from some godforsaken hell-hole, so screw him (I'm just kidding, I swear. Italy is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever laid eyes on. But you get my point).
No wonder you like Carlton Kirby
 
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Well, I guess not many like a cyclist just based on that, but I don't doubt it's an aspect in attracting fans.
I actually like a rider who is different from the general mold. I thought it was awesome to see Lambrecht on a bike, because he was about the polar opposite of what a "male athlete" would look like. Also a lot of climbers would not fit your description if that were true. Guys like Purito or Alaphilippe are/were very popular but don't exactly scream "stud".
 
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I actually like a rider who is different from the general mold. I thought it was awesome to see Lambrecht on a bike, because he was about the polar opposite of what a "male athlete" would look like. Also a lot of climbers would not fit your description if that were true. Guys like Purito or Alaphilippe are/were very popular but don't exactly scream "stud".
That was just a collection of some aspects, sometimes it's even enough if the person has one of these traits to attract a huge fanbase I think... And sometimes they won't have any of these.
I'm also not into the "male" stuff, but reading how some people write about van der Poel for instance, or what they used to see in Boonen - no question these are successful and skilled riders and you can have enough other reasons to be a fan - but I think whether famous people are liked always has a lot to do with projection, and not seldom is the reason for fandom that one has the desire to be like that person - or what that person represents for them.
Of course other aspects are also very important and not every man wants to be a "classic male".
 
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I think often it comes down to what can broadly be categorised as 'personality' - for instance, with Thibaut Pinot I feel there is something very affective about him, it is very easy to feel the victories and the losses along with him in a way that I can't with a rider like Chris Froome.
Surely one of the reasons people feel close to Pinot is that he is so willing to show and share his emotion.
It's often more difficult for introverted or restrained characters to find fans, but then on the other hand I think especially cycling fans often also have thing for a bit brittle characters.
 
I just watch the performances unfold in the races depending on the form and tactics. Not a fan of any particular cyclist/team/nation. Though i may dislike some riders based on excessive train/wheelsucking/over the top performances/bulls****ing
 
I think often it comes down to what can broadly be categorised as 'personality' - for instance, with Thibaut Pinot I feel there is something very affective about him, it is very easy to feel the victories and the losses along with him in a way that I can't with a rider like Chris Froome.
Chris Froome is an extreme example. As we're talking about likeability, Froome is a psychopath. I mean that.

Loads of people here probably already know this but I'll repost anyway, i.e. as a kid he raided rabbit hutches from a kindergarten & fed them to his pet snakes: Chris Froome: Rider on the storm | The Independent | The Independent

I don't know what planet he's from but in my little world that's classified as insane behavior with a borderline criminal mental disorder which requires treatment (what a little sh*thead). So from the offset (including based on stuff he wrote in his own autobiography), I couldn't stand the guy. Then there's stuff like holding onto a motorbike in the 2010 Giro on the Mortirolo which really just confirmed the fact he's totally dishonest (& he's still dishonest even now with his "form" updates in his new team).

Surely one of the reasons people feel close to Pinot is that he is so willing to show and share his emotion.
It's often more difficult for introverted or restrained characters to find fans, but then on the other hand I think especially cycling fans often also have thing for a bit brittle characters.
Indeed.

Personally speaking I find Pinot's "emoting" over the top. Like last year when his teammates were patting him on the back (hugging, almost) when he was dropped in the Pyrenees after his day 1 injury. And then on top of that excessive display of drama there's his statements in interviews where he basically accuses riders who use cortisone injections for injuries of doping (& he even "liked" Romain Bardet's Tweet about Roglic being "moto-GP" in Emilia).

I think Thibaut Pinot is a very self-centred, self absorbed stubborn individual with a very narrow outlook regarding what he wants bike racing to be based on what he enjoys in it. But that's just me. Obviously I'd choose to support him over someone like Froome every single race without any hesitation whatsoever.

As for my own preferences, I enjoy the bike racing & when there's someone who stands out on either a human or sporting level within the peloton during any particular race I watch, I'll pay attention & see where he goes from there.
 
Chris Froome is an extreme example. As we're talking about likeability, Froome is a psychopath. I mean that.

Loads of people here probably already know this but I'll repost anyway, i.e. as a kid he raided rabbit hutches from a kindergarten & fed them to his pet snakes: Chris Froome: Rider on the storm | The Independent | The Independent

I don't know what planet he's from but in my little world that's classified as insane behavior with a borderline criminal mental disorder which requires treatment (what a little sh*thead). So from the offset (including based on stuff he wrote in his own autobiography), I couldn't stand the guy. Then there's stuff like holding onto a motorbike in the 2010 Giro on the Mortirolo which really just confirmed the fact he's totally dishonest (& he's still dishonest even now with his "form" updates in his new team).



Indeed
Personally speaking I find Pinot's "emoting" over the top. Like last year when his teammates were patting him on the back (hugging, almost) when he was dropped in the Pyrenees after his day 1 injury. And then on top of that excessive display of drama there's his statements in interviews where he basically accuses riders who use cortisone injections for injuries of doping (& he even "liked" Romain Bardet's Tweet about Roglic being "moto-GP" in Emilia).

I think Thibaut Pinot is a very self-centred, self absorbed stubborn individual with a very narrow outlook regarding what he wants bike racing to be based on what he enjoys in it. But that's just me. Obviously I'd choose to support him over someone like Froome every single race without any hesitation whatsoever.

As for my own preferences, I enjoy the bike racing & when there's someone who stands out on either a human or sporting level within the peloton during any particular race I watch, I'll pay attention & see where he goes from there.

if you blame froome for hanging onto a motorbike, you have to do it for others who have done the same but with cars like Nibali or Bardet, otherwise you are a hypocrite. maybe you should read the definition of psychophate.
 
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