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Cycling Nationalism (on CN forum)

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Mar 18, 2009
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Having read these comments, it's interesting to see that people do actually like a varied bunch of riders. Yes, there is some parochialism from certain sectors...but is it so bad?

Anyway, I wen't to South Africa not long after they won the rugby world cup....you could imagine the ribbing I took...but to behonest, I don't really care, I continue to cheer for my team.

Someone also the brought up the point of the Olympics, whilist I thought it would be great if Mick Rogers won, I was cheering for Cancellara in the time trial!

I have a short list of riders, that I would be more than happy to win this tour.....yep there is an Australian in there of course.
 
I think that, over the years, I've developed a decidedly anti-home team bias. Maybe it owes to VS. terrible US-centric coverage of cycling (where Armstrong or Hincapie are on camera/the announcer's lips every 10 seconds). I don't know.

I could go on and explore this further, but--having just deleted several paragraphs of text unrelated to cycling--I think I'll just stop here. Great thread, though; I've enjoyed browsing it.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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I think that we belgians (like most other nationalities) support our riders when in an international forum like this, but within belgium, we do are very critical for our fellow belgians.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Well, this American living in Holland is delighted about today's win by the Russian, Ivanov. ;)

The way he just went further away on his own at the end was, to use a blatant Americanism, awesome.;)
 
Jul 8, 2009
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As an Australian I would live to say that I hate Cadel. He's such a whinging little baby. Always complains about his team, even though he was the one that re-signed with them. Whinges when nobody helps chase Contador or Sastre up a mountain too. A poor leader and frankly I'm mystified why so many people here like him.

As for cheering my own country men, unless it's the Olympics I don't really care what country they represent, just whether or not I like the rider or if I have any money on them! FTR, my favourite two riders would probably be Contador and Ciolek, but given how much the latter has cost me, and the fact that Pellizotti is a strong chance of taking KOM, that may just change in a weeks time :p
 
May 15, 2009
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Parrot23 said:
Anyone notice this? German fans seem to defend German/Austrian riders at all cost; Australians defend Australians; and Dutch defend Dutch, etc. One's fellow nationals, it seems, can do no wrong. Or enthusiasm is response to performances of one's fellow countrymen mainly.

I thought cycling was a thoroughly internationalized sport now. Why do the merits/demerits of riders often depend on the nationality of the poster(s)?

Is it just a case of familiarity, atavist knee-jerkism, genuine enthusiam, blinkered narrowness, etc.?

Is this enlightened/rational--or not? :rolleyes:

At least noone tries to mess with the Russians:D
 
Mar 18, 2009
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I root and support any damn rider I please...I could care less where they are from. Who cares if nationalism is prevalent in cycling anyway? Why have a world championships otherwise? My favorite riders are (in no order) Ben King (USA), Kenny van Hummel (NL), Tom Boonen (Bel), Cancellara (Swi), and Gesink (NL). Im sure there are more..but does it make a difference if all the riders I liked were from the Netherlands or USA? I don't get it.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Buffalo Soldier said:
I think that we belgians (like most other nationalities) support our riders when in an international forum like this, but within belgium, we do are very critical for our fellow belgians.

same in holland.
visit a dutch cycling forum and you'll start to believe rabo is the worst team in the world.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
In Holland, even before he got caught on dynepo, most people disliked Thomas Dekker because he is the exact opposite of the average Dutchman. More of a showman, italian style...
If Thomas Dekker ever got something from Italy, it was certainly not 'style'.
 
Aug 19, 2009
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German people actually do not support german riders. They really trashed Jan for being runner-up to Lance. Kloeden they don't seem to like, for whatever reason, and after Schuhmacher got caught and Gerdemann hasn't lived up to what they thought he promised to be, Tony Martin will have a hard job to convince german people to watch the sport again.
As for me, I'm from Luxembourg, and as cycling is the only sport we're any good at, of course I support the Schlecks and Kirchen. But I also have other favourite riders... Jens, of course, Canc, Voeckler, every other guy who kills himself in breaks, and I really liked Basso when he was riding for CSC.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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yeah i always support dutch riders, but i think i do it in a rational matter, I'm not affraid to critisize them when deserved (or rabobank for that matter). But taht being said, I will always stick up for them (and rabo)
 
Mar 31, 2009
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I'm more a fan of a cycling team or rider.Theres loads of British cycling fans slag Cav.off at every opportunity they get.I'ts like that with most sports people who get to the top here.:rolleyes:
 
Jul 13, 2009
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"flahute" said:
I'm more a fan of a cycling team or rider.Theres loads of British cycling fans slag Cav.off at every opportunity they get.I'ts like that with most sports people who get to the top here.:rolleyes:
But Cav makes it more easy than most, doesn't he?
 
Aug 1, 2009
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I dont think nationalism is that big a problem in cycling in general. It might create a bias though, when the local media coverage focus solely on one certain team, but i don't think this has to do with nationalism as much as the fact, that you simply get to know these riders better.

For example: Being from Denmark, we hear a lot about Saxo - it seems that no Saxo rider is allowed to enter the bus or hotel without talking to Danish TV2. If this wasn't the case, I might never have realised how funny Zabriskie is or how genuinely nice Sastre is. And this opinion doesn't change when they leave the team, so I still get happy when I see them doing well, regardless of nationality.

On the other hand, if any rider from any team does something brave or hard or clever or honourable, I can't help rooting for them the next time I see them in a race.
 
it seems natural to support your home town rider and i do. but anyone who
suffers on a bike gets my respect. it's not all lance here in my town, even though most riders like him. jens, canc,boonen,cav,chavenal,ac,cadel, all those guys are popular in socal.:cool:
 
Jul 13, 2009
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I generally feel more sympathy towards athletes who speak Dutch, probably because I can relate to them better. So I always liked Zülle, for example. Or, in another sport, Anni Friesinger, because she's got such a beautiful...accent.

And yes, I am a Rabobank fan too, although I never trusted Thomas Dekker. Thorwald Veneberg went to the same school as I did, but he stopped riding. But no matter how much sympathy you feel for Rabobank, it's kind of hard to be a Menchov fan. Cheering for Menchov is like saying industrialist design is full of emotion, that Schönberg's music is beautiful or that Rem Koolhaas designs buildings that make you feel happy. It just doesn't seem to fit.
 
A

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Well, with the way the US is heading, it seems pretty clear that Sarah Palin will be president in 3.5 years. In that instance, I really will leave this country. Any suggestions on where to move? I need to get working on the language since I only speak English and enough Spanish to get water and find a book store.

Please note, I understand that your country may not be keen to allow a snarky American with tattoos and a bad attitude in, but I do cook a mean red sauce...
 
May 26, 2009
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Patriotism is a natural part of sport and I think that's one of the main reasons nations support their athletes so much. Beating a fellow nation in sports not only raises you "above" them it also strenghtens and unites your own people. People don't see sports like that but when you analyze world cup matches or the likes you can clearly see patriotism there. Just look at all the flags when a country meets another in football.

So that's why it's natural that below the surface most of the cycling fans here are patriotic too. Maybe most of us don't realize it when we talk about race winners (or do you focus on the fact that a spanish rider won the Tour this year and a russian won the Giro?) but when it comes to doping the nationalism and patriotism rears its head. Maybe that's because doping is mainly about believing things without water-proof evidence - a little bit like believing your country is better than your neighboring country.
 
Jul 13, 2009
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RdBiker said:
...but when it comes to doping the nationalism and patriotism rears its head. Maybe that's because doping is mainly about believing things without water-proof evidence - a little bit like believing your country is better than your neighboring country.
Many believe that nationality and morality are somehow connected. Not cheating is seen as a victory of the nation's 'cultural mentality'.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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why you like who you like

Its always interesting when you can think of why you like a rider or team you like. I started barracking for indurain watching a time trial in the TDF the road tilted slightly upwards but he didn't break rythmn, didn't change gears just pushed harder, for me that was so impressive I couldn't stop liking the guy. I'm a sucker for one good performance and then I continue to barrack for them. Ullrich climbing the Alpe in a huge gear, seated, again something I liked watching and always wanted him to beat armstrong. Interestingly, win too often too easily and I turn off a rider, Contador falls into this category. Don't dislike him, but I still want to see someone beat him.