Are you frustrated with the fame sprinters have?

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Jul 15, 2010
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Echoes said:
1) Sercu could more than just sprinting
2) To hell with "would haves". These guys were not riding in this age, period. Stick to facts
3) This is no longer an age of specialization. We are no longer in the nineties, nor in the noughties
4) Maertens and Altig were not sprinters.
1) Really - I must be wrong then. He was pretty good at sprinting though wasn't he. He did win 7 national sprint titles on the track. But if you say he was an all-rounder....

2) Sorry I thought I could have an opinion but I might be wrong.

3) I disagree but I respect your opinion.

4) Is that a fact?
 
Aug 6, 2011
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Smug cycling fans in a nutshell:

Let's have a race, we draw a line and whoever crosses it first is the winner. Oh, darn, that guy is very good at it, he's first all the time and inferior fans love him for that, let's hate him.
 
Can't we just make the exact same thread with the title "Are you frustrated with the fame climbers have?"

Then proclaim we are sick and tired of guys who can only climb and can't sprint and only put out 550w max.
 
fatsprintking said:
1) Really - I must be wrong then. He was pretty good at sprinting though wasn't he. He did win 7 national sprint titles on the track. But if you say he was an all-rounder....

2) Sorry I thought I could have an opinion but I might be wrong.

3) I disagree but I respect your opinion.

4) Is that a fact?
1) Yes, Sercu was an incredible sprinter but he could also win short TT's and the Omnium on the track and was a very good classics rider as well.

2)Yes you can, Echoes can just be an insufferable cycling hipster at times. Don't take it personally, just listen and learn - he knows a lot.

3)Kittel, Pinot, Terpstra, Bardet, Cavendish and Van Marcke are just a few guys who seem pretty specialised to me

4)Maertens and Altig were not JUST sprinters, especially Maertens who could TT very well and climb ok

Echoes, mellow out a bit man! Are you on a personal mission to disprove the whole forum?
 
I don't know why you come to that conclusion. Just sharing my opinion on things that interest me. Remember that English is not my mother tongue either.

Anyway, I don't consider Terpstra a "specialist". Others, yes. But such riders already existed in the Maertens era. Or have always existed. Only there are now more and more all-round riders compared to the nineties and the noughties.
 
Jul 15, 2010
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42x16ss said:
1) Yes, Sercu was an incredible sprinter but he could also win short TT's and the Omnium on the track and was a very good classics rider as well.

2)Yes you can, Echoes can just be an insufferable cycling hipster at times. Don't take it personally, just listen and learn - he knows a lot.

3)Kittel, Pinot, Terpstra, Bardet, Cavendish and Van Marcke are just a few guys who seem pretty specialised to me

4)Maertens and Altig were not JUST sprinters, especially Maertens who could TT very well and climb ok

Echoes, mellow out a bit man! Are you on a personal mission to disprove the whole forum?
I have a great deal of respect for Echoes and his knowledge - I am very happy to defer to him on issues of knowledge. I always enjoy his contributions.

I am more frustrated that I was not able to articulate myself clearly in responding to Soloists post about great cyclists being almost exclusively climbers or all-rounders, which I did not agree with.

My comment about specialisation was more to do with developing cyclists. A boy I work with will lead the under 19 Australian team at the world championships. He is current national Madison, road and time trial champion as well as being Oceania road champion for u19. There is a lot of pressure for him to define himself as a climber or stage racer already, when I think historically he would have had the opportunity to be more broad in his outlook. He will for example stop racing on the track now. I feel one of the functions of much more limited racing programs for most riders is that there is an ability to target races that suit your strengths. As people do this the intensity of these races increases in a way that I do not believe happened pre 90's. While I understand that you can't compare eras I can't help wondering what type of riders some of the greats from the past would have been if they were developed as juniors in todays system.

Anyway that has little to do with the topic, but just to clarify that I have no issues with Echoes or his comments.
 
Echoes said:
I don't know why you come to that conclusion. Just sharing my opinion on things that interest me. Remember that English is not my mother tongue either.

Anyway, I don't consider Terpstra a "specialist". Others, yes. But such riders already existed in the Maertens era. Or have always existed. Only there are now more and more all-round riders compared to the nineties and the noughties.
Apologies, I forget just how many here aren't native english speakers, just thought you came across a little harsher than necessary. I do have to say that it's refreshing to have someone with knowledge of the history of cycling outside of GT's here and at Velorooms. Keep it up! Just remember to smile every so often ;)
 
Thank you for your compliments.

I wasn't in a bad mood when I replied to Fatsprintking. Actually, I was rather glad to see a poster hailing Sercu as a legend of the sport, since he's one of my favourite past greats.

I was laughed at on this forum when I considered him as one of the best sprinters of all time, even on the road. Now, I read the book of Michel Wuyts & Mart Smeets and read that Wuyts wasn't far from thinking the same.

About his all-round abilities, I found on Wielerarchieven a comment given to the poster by an anonymous rider of the 1976 Tour of Italy who recalled that Sercu accompanied the best climbers on the climb to Lago Laceno until about 2km from the top. That rider was amazed at how talented Sercu was.

I also have a picture of his attacking on the Koppenberg en route to winning Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

The Lago Laceno has this profile: http://www.climbbybike.com/profile/Valico_Lago_Laceno_Montella,_ponte_fiume_Calore_profile.gif


I hear FSK's argument about specialization but I still believe that even in the 70's and the 60's most riders needed to specialize. Roger Rosiers and Marc Demeyer were almost strictly cobble riders. Van Impe and Fuente were strictly climbers, Rik Van Linden was hardly anything more than a sprinter etc.

There were of course all rounders but they were top talents, just the elite.

However these days, I see more and more GT riders racing classics, be they just the Ardennes, at least raced them. Or one-week stage races. There aren't many riders with a 50- days calendar, bar Contador and a few others. 10 years ago, it was quite different.
 
Jul 7, 2014
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Sprinters serve an honorable purpose, to prevent the weak undeserving riders to get some stages.
When you see how hard and glorious it is for a climber to win a mountain stage, why should the other stages be given to a break away of 2 or 3 random unknown guys. You want a stage you have to fight for it and to be strong, to get some allies and a strategy. Not just ask mercy to the bunch.

If flat stages are boring that has nothing to do with sprinters but with the few guys riding 3 min before the bunch to have some TV time, pretending they have a chance to win. You can call that attacking if you want but that's pointless and deadly boring.
The sprint is the only exciting part of those stages.

And finally i still believe that the fight between top class sprinters is an important part of what make the hype of le tour over giro and vuelta. And that it is a big mistake to make them run away.
 
So you'd rather watch 150km of the péloton without that breakaway? And it's the breakaway's fault if the péloton keeps them on too tight a leash for there to be any tension? Also, the strength of the sprint teams at the Tour is part of why the break is kept on a much tighter leash at the Tour than at the Giro or Vuelta.

Or, in other words, you think it was Jack Bauer's fault stage 15 only got interesting for the last few kilometres?
 
Jan 11, 2013
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This is the stupidest thread ever. Who wants to watch riders who look like malnourished dwarves, stick insects and AIDS patients win stages? Champions should look like SUPERHEREOS.

I mean who do you want to be? Big handsome God like super Mario Cippolini, Marcel Kittel Alessandro Petacchi or Peter Sagan? Some ugly midget crooked stick like climber that wins stuff all and would be working as a chimney sweep if they weren't cycling, like Peipoli or Fernando Escartin? Or a tall streak of skeletal gangly pelican crap who scares women in nightclubs, like Froome or Mariano Martinez from the olden days? Christ those blokes look rubbish on a bike. I rest my case
 
classic1 said:
This is the stupidest thread ever. Who wants to watch riders who look like malnourished dwarves, stick insects and AIDS patients win stages? Champions should look like SUPERHEREOS.

I mean who do you want to be? Big handsome God like super Mario Cippolini, Marcel Kittel Alessandro Petacchi or Peter Sagan? Some ugly midget crooked stick like climber that wins stuff all and would be working as a chimney sweep if they weren't cycling, like Peipoli or Fernando Escartin? Or a tall streak of skeletal gangly pelican crap who scares women in nightclubs, like Froome or Mariano Martinez from the olden days? Christ those blokes look rubbish on a bike. I rest my case
:eek:

Kloden looked like a demi God on a bike!

And I wonder how LaFlorecita would react if the above suggestion was interpretated as relating to Contador?! :D
 
difdauf said:
Sprinters serve an honorable purpose, to prevent the weak undeserving riders to get some stages.
When you see how hard and glorious it is for a climber to win a mountain stage, why should the other stages be given to a break away of 2 or 3 random unknown guys. You want a stage you have to fight for it and to be strong, to get some allies and a strategy. Not just ask mercy to the bunch.

If flat stages are boring that has nothing to do with sprinters but with the few guys riding 3 min before the bunch to have some TV time, pretending they have a chance to win. You can call that attacking if you want but that's pointless and deadly boring.
The sprint is the only exciting part of those stages.

And finally i still believe that the fight between top class sprinters is an important part of what make the hype of le tour over giro and vuelta. And that it is a big mistake to make them run away.
Some very good riders established themselves by frequently getting in the right breaks in their early career - Voigt, Gerrans, Voeckler, Flecha just to name a few more recent ones. Being able to find a way to win without being the best climber or sprinter is an admirable skill, especially when you risk everything by riding off the front.

Seeing somebody hold off the sprint in the finishing straight is one of the most beautiful things in this sport, watching Gallopin and Rogers win alone by a handful of seconds was far more exciting than any sprint and seeing Tony Martin in last year's Vuelta and Bauer get swept up on the line was almost heartbreaking.

Breaks >>>>>>>>>>> sprints every day of the year
 
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