Digital Swiss 5

Indeed, great starting list! Each stage there will be three riders per team, so no GC (because most of the riders will only race 1-2 days). Maybe there will be a Team Classification, but I'm not sure. The 5 "stages" are pretty cool, inespecially the third which ends on the Nufenenpass.
Roglic vs. Evenepoel.
 
LS coming to tell us why it's better to have no races than this in 3... 2... 1...
Damn right. Velon are the worst thing to happen to the sport since EPO, and pretty much literally every idea they have is completely antithetical to what I want to see from the sport. It's all "make it shorter! Give it some hardcore branding! Cycling TO THE MAX! Cycling is RADICAL!"

Bunch of spoilt brats who want to be spoilt more, being indulged by a guy who did a management degree and panders to people who've got their heads so far up their asses they only understand management TLJ and know nothing about cycling, so are willing to buy his snake oil, and take up a contract to promote snake oil globally on his behalf.

And the main thing is, they're a bunch of snivelling opportunists profiteering off of a global tragedy. They know that they are a lobby group that have NOTHING to offer as against people like ASO, RCS, Unipublic and Flanders Classics, because the sum total of their achievements are wobbly camera footage and the Hammer Series. But given ASO, RCS, Unipublic and Flanders Classics can't organise races right now, those vultures at Velon are going to try to push for more one-hour sufferfest gimmickry ***, in the hope that this gives them a foundation to push more *** like this once actual CYCLING races begin again.

Are we really so pathetic that we're desperate enough to give them the opportunity to further push their agenda to take everything that we love about the sport and sell it up the river so that Jonathan Vaughters can indulge his Bernie Ecclestone fantasies by watching this?

At least you don't have to pay to attend the virtual races.
 
Van Avermaet
Pedersen
Roglic
Alaphilippe
S Bennett
Evenepoel
Bardet
Poels
Schachmann
Buchmann
Clarke
Kung
D Martin
Greipel
Wellens
Chavez,
Boasson Hagen
King
G Bennett
Ciccone
Kelderman

Damn right. Velon are the worst thing to happen to the sport since EPO, and pretty much literally every idea they have is completely antithetical to what I want to see from the sport. It's all "make it shorter! Give it some hardcore branding! Cycling TO THE MAX! Cycling is RADICAL!"

Bunch of spoilt brats who want to be spoilt more, being indulged by a guy who did a management degree and panders to people who've got their heads so far up their asses they only understand management TLJ and know nothing about cycling, so are willing to buy his snake oil, and take up a contract to promote snake oil globally on his behalf.

And the main thing is, they're a bunch of snivelling opportunists profiteering off of a global tragedy. They know that they are a lobby group that have NOTHING to offer as against people like ASO, RCS, Unipublic and Flanders Classics, because the sum total of their achievements are wobbly camera footage and the Hammer Series. But given ASO, RCS, Unipublic and Flanders Classics can't organise races right now, those vultures at Velon are going to try to push for more one-hour sufferfest gimmickry *, in the hope that this gives them a foundation to push more * like this once actual CYCLING races begin again.

Are we really so pathetic that we're desperate enough to give them the opportunity to further push their agenda to take everything that we love about the sport and sell it up the river so that Jonathan Vaughters can indulge his Bernie Ecclestone fantasies by watching this?

At least you don't have to pay to attend the virtual races.
:rolleyes:

Ok. Well, maybe what they're doing shouldn't be seen as the future of cycling, or what cycling should be replaced with, but rather an addition to cycling as we know it. The Hammer series can be quite entertaining, if only for an hour. Young guys get a chance to compete, guys still coming back from an injury can get some rhythm. Thing is that cycling is held in a headlock by a few big players who get to boss everyone around and dictate other organizations and decide where the money should go. If only for that reason, a new player that tries to ruffle some feathers, should be welcomed.
 
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But the Tour des Fjords had to be shortened by a stage because of the Hammer series. So it's obviously come to replace real road cycling forever. Isn't that how the argument uses to go?

I'm not too keen on the Hammer myself, it has to be said. I do usually watch the climb event to assess riders' form but not the other two.
 
But the Tour des Fjords had to be shortened by a stage because of the Hammer series. So it's obviously come to replace real road cycling forever. Isn't that how the argument uses to go?

I'm not too keen on the Hammer myself, it has to be said. I do usually watch the climb event to assess riders' form but not the other two.
I thought the climb event where sprinter Sam Bennett kicked everyone to the curb, but also the sprint event where Evenepoel was the best sprinter were quite entertaining. The TTT chase is actually also interesting, but just like any other REAL road race, it will depend on the riders who make the race. Would i prefer it over a big race? Obviously not, but it's not meant to replace it, and i've seen plenty of regular races that were more boring than the last two or three Hammer series i watched.
 
Ok. Well, maybe what they're doing shouldn't be seen as the future of cycling, or what cycling should be replaced with, but rather an addition to cycling as we know it. The Hammer series can be quite entertaining, if only for an hour. Young guys get a chance to compete, guys still coming back from an injury can get some rhythm. Thing is that cycling is held in a headlock by a few big players who get to boss everyone around and dictate other organizations and decide where the money should go. If only for that reason, a new player that tries to ruffle some feathers, should be welcomed.
Soccer is held in a headlock by a few big players who bogart the money and continue to feed this top-heavy system. But if a new player came along and decided the solution was to make things all shorter and easier and turn football into fútsal, they would rightly gain no traction, because if you want to watch fútsal, watch fútsal. The comparison we made several times was to ski cross - a pathetic joke of a format introduced to attempt to liven up Alpine skiing, but where the person first out the gate wins 99 times out of 100, unless they crash. However, it worked to some extent simply because for the most part, ski cross bred its own brand of racer, and real Alpine skiers stuck to real Alpine skiing. If you want to watch the formats of the Hammer Series, watch track cycling. That way, during the Points and the Madison you can see what's going on, and you can get into it. If the Hammer Series starts to draw its own little specialised scene of crossover track/road guys plus a few specialists whose career is built around dog and pony show three ring circus sideshows, then fine. Real cyclists can continue doing real cycle racing, and then Velon's little one-hour clown shows can be the same sideshow attraction that Ski Cross is and live in its own little bubble where people pay to use festival toilets, buy a warm beer and get a less immersive experience than the velodrome and a more confusing - and expensive - experience than road cycling, but if that's what they want to do, then fine. We shouldn't welcome a new player entering the market if the only thing they have to offer is worse than the current situation. It's like the UCI's periodic attempts to reconfigure the calendar. Players like ASO are resistant to change because they're in a position of strength, and that means that they are unlikely to welcome change unless it benefits them. We know that. But that doesn't mean that all change proffered to challenge ASO's position is good, because they will be equally unwelcome to bad changes too. Just because the current situation is ideal doesn't mean that we should embrace any change. I mean, democracy isn't perfect as a means of running a country, but most of us live in democracies and most of us would not embrace another system just because we know that democracy has some clear and demonstrable flaws (I mean, Plato was pointing them out back in ancient Greece, and several haven't been resolved since).
 
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Soccer is held in a headlock by a few big players who bogart the money and continue to feed this top-heavy system. But if a new player came along and decided the solution was to make things all shorter and easier and turn football into fútsal, they would rightly gain no traction, because if you want to watch fútsal, watch fútsal. The comparison we made several times was to ski cross - a pathetic joke of a format introduced to attempt to liven up Alpine skiing, but where the person first out the gate wins 99 times out of 100, unless they crash. However, it worked to some extent simply because for the most part, ski cross bred its own brand of racer, and real Alpine skiers stuck to real Alpine skiing. If you want to watch the formats of the Hammer Series, watch track cycling. That way, during the Points and the Madison you can see what's going on, and you can get into it. If the Hammer Series starts to draw its own little specialised scene of crossover track/road guys plus a few specialists whose career is built around dog and pony show three ring circus sideshows, then fine. Real cyclists can continue doing real cycle racing, and then Velon's little one-hour clown shows can be the same sideshow attraction that Ski Cross is and live in its own little bubble where people pay to use festival toilets, buy a warm beer and get a less immersive experience than the velodrome and a more confusing - and expensive - experience than road cycling, but if that's what they want to do, then fine. We shouldn't welcome a new player entering the market if the only thing they have to offer is worse than the current situation. It's like the UCI's periodic attempts to reconfigure the calendar. Players like ASO are resistant to change because they're in a position of strength, and that means that they are unlikely to welcome change unless it benefits them. We know that. But that doesn't mean that all change proffered to challenge ASO's position is good, because they will be equally unwelcome to bad changes too. Just because the current situation is ideal doesn't mean that we should embrace any change. I mean, democracy isn't perfect as a means of running a country, but most of us live in democracies and most of us would not embrace another system just because we know that democracy has some clear and demonstrable flaws (I mean, Plato was pointing them out back in ancient Greece, and several haven't been resolved since).
Your analogy is so flawed, i don't know where to begin.

Football/soccer is played on a field of the same or similar dimensions, with two sides on each pitch and two goals opposite of each other. This is the case in Barcelona, where the best players in the world play, this is also the case in the amateur leagues of the Ukraine, where fat guys of 45 years old face each other. There is no "hilly" pitch, there is no crosswind pitch. The biggest difference you will find, are different weather conditions which might possibly make the soil of one pitch lumpier and another one smoother and faster. On the highest level of the sport, basically all pitches are pristine and pretty much equal. Every game lasts 90 minutes. This is the case in Manchester, this is the case in Wakkerzeel. The very essence of cycling, is that all races are different, since all races are held on a very specific and unique course. Some races are short, some races are long. Some will last 4 hours, others will last 6 hours. Some will be flat, others will be hilly or mountainous. Some are easier, some are harder. Some are even completed solo and last only 20 minutes (ITT). Football in essence is much more technical and tactical. Messi for instance is a lousy athlete, but he's still the best player on the planet. Making things shorter and easier is completely irrelevant in soccer. Or for the most part.

Even if there were games being held that were easier and shorter, as long as they weren't part of the regular championships or leagues, what the f* would it even matter? There are even games like that, they are called "friendlies". The hammer series aren't that much different from friendlies in many ways. Teams will put young guys out, or guys that are recovering from an injury, much like in friendly matches of football. Just like in a friendly, they can field different players for one part of the trial, compared to the other part of the trial. People know results don't really matter, but it can be interesting as preparation for a main event.

The fact of the matter is, and it's a pretty big deal you are completely overlooking, is that it might give teams some much needed extra budget and exposure. Extra budget means extra independance, some independance they might welcome in order to stand up against what is now borderline dictatorship. The entire financial structure of cycling isn't healthy. Even many of the biggest WT teams are working with a smaller budget than a 2nd division club in the lowly Belgian league. So you may want to see Velon as some big bad player, based on personal hysteria, the fact of the matter is, even if Velon is nothing more but a bunch of hypocritical vultures, they still offer a bargaining chip to the teams, that they can bring to the table. It might be enough to act as a catalyst to force ASO, UCI a.o. to start changing. So yes, any change at the moment is a good change. Nobody is saying Velon should become the new king, get the keys to the castle, the scepter and the throne. It's not because a political party has no place being in the driver's seat, that it can't be useful in pressuring the established parties toward some much needed change. I find your comments childish, ill conceived and foolish.
 
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When they intend to have ten of those dog and pony shows, taking up valuable calendar space to sell to the highest bidder and indulge their F1 fantasies, then plenty is wrong with it. That was their stated aim. If you don't like the fútsal analogy then fine, we'll use your less apocalyptic one: how would it be viewed across most major leagues if they took a quarter of the football season and replaced it with 50-minute friendlies? I mean, I know some teams play weakened teams in some cup competitions they see as less important, but if they outright replaced those competitions with abridged friendlies, fans would be dead set against it.

Ski cross is the argument we've typically used, but I think it was Mayomaniac who made a good point last time around, or it might have been Gigs - one of the Alpine skiing fans we have on the board, anyway - Velon's events are like the parallel slalom event they've brought in in Alpine skiing. It's superficially like proper Alpine, and it's a short, few second long crash-bang-wallop, but it's to all intents and purposes replaced the Combined from the calendar, which has understandably alienated a lot of purists. The move in Nordic skiing to introduce more sprints and even more so the execrable Team Sprint has seen less opposition than expected largely because of a poor field of competition and conservative racing since they concurrently moved a lot of the distance races to mass start instead of individual (i.e. they bastardised the existing calendar so that the new format didn't stand out like a sore thumb as much). Now sprints account for almost half the calendar, real distance racing is dying, and XC skiing as a sport in general is dwindling massively as people haemorrhage over to biathlon.

Actually, you know what this is to me? This is the road cycling equivalent of when they took the kilo TT out of the Olympics and replaced it with the BMX. The Olympic BMX makes the lottery of short-track speed-skating look like the purest of all athletic endeavours. It is a dumb format built around the appeal of crashes, going back and forth across a bunch of artificial berms that was just borne out of them wanting to sell the sport as extreme, but without including any of the stunts, tricks and so on of X-Games BMX that was a large part of its appeal at the time, and getting rid of a time-honoured, historic format to make room for it. At least the Olympics only happens once every four years (or more, this being a unique outlier).

It's not the e-race that I have the problem with, yaco. It's using it to impose ridiculous team-over-rider formats to use a worldwide tragedy as an opportunity to push their agenda, because Velon believe the biggest problem with the sport is that we support riders rather than teams, and Vaughters trying to get his franchise idea, which he only came up with to protect his position and prevent anybody else from growing teams organically - just as he did - in case it was at his expense, in through the back door. Cycling is not perfect and there's plenty wrong with its management model as things stand, but this revolution is one we should want no part of.
 
Can you name one change in all history of sport you haven't moaned about?

It's getting so utterly predictable that every time Velon is mentioned we have to see a wall of text including fancy words such as execrable, anaemic and haemorrhage because it makes you sound clever, but just because a lot of posters find you to be quite the oracle, it doesn't really make any sense.

You continue to be stuck in the "THEY WANTED TEN!!!" paradigm. Everybody and their dog knows that's never going to happen but apparently because they had that idea once, they must never be forgiven. And no, there are not only 120 race days on the pro calendar, so your football analogy still sucks.

And why would it be so bad if the teams could actually establish themselves so much as to create a fanbase? I just don't see a problem with that, but if someone dares make a suggestion like Vaughters, "it's only because he wants to save his own ass". Maybe it is. Maybe it's not.
 
Well, I can understand parts of your argumentation, Libertine. Indeed road cycling's appeal comes largely from that "epic" aspect, from the length of the races and the individuals that make the stories. And I don't like people who want to make sports "easier" and "shorter" to draw spectators, thereby killing the fascination of the sport. But I don't think Velon is close to having that influence. In my opinion cycling as a pro sport is a fragile and messed up thing all around. Velon is just one of the players. And while almost every sport has to deal with "let's make things shorter and more spectacular for the random viewer" (athletics are already hit way harder by this I think), there is a growing focus on the single athlete with his personal fans anyway, just like it is all around, with personal starcult becoming bigger and bigger, so I don't really fear that the teams will become so much more relevant, no matter how much Vaughters or anyone tries. Does it not more often happen that when certain sports(wo)men retire, the fans "retire" from the sport with them?
 
I don't really care about the politics. I just want to watch cycling! If we can't have the proper races right now due to exceptional circumstances, I applaud any initiative to bring at least some sort of cycling competition to my screen and thus I am actually very much looking forward to the virtual races. :)

Obviously when things can get back to normal I don't want to see any proper road race being replaced by a virtual alternative but for now it'll do for me.
 
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You continue to be stuck in the "THEY WANTED TEN!!!" paradigm. Everybody and their dog knows that's never going to happen but apparently because they had that idea once, they must never be forgiven. And no, there are not only 120 race days on the pro calendar, so your football analogy still sucks.

And why would it be so bad if the teams could actually establish themselves so much as to create a fanbase? I just don't see a problem with that, but if someone dares make a suggestion like Vaughters, "it's only because he wants to save his own ass". Maybe it is. Maybe it's not.
Whether they would get it or not is irrelevant: it was their target. Also, friendlies are largely pre-season in football. If that was its role, I'd fire back at it less. And it's not like teams don't have fanbases either - just look at Sky/Ineos and Quick Step. Vaughters just hasn't been able to tap into the same vein as them so he has to sell the teams on a model that wants a bit more tribalism so he can sell his branding, not the sponsor's. They're every bit as self-centred as ASO and UCI, but with less to offer, and sometimes it's better the devil you know. Certainly when the devil you don't know is trying to rip up the fabric of the sport by removing the endurance aspect from a sport almost entirely built around endurance.
 
Anyway, Laura Weislo has written a thought-provoking piece on the TDF occurring in September - She suggests teams should be making use of the E Platform to connect with fans and give reward to sponsors - Could make for an interesting debate with LS.
 
I don't really care about the politics. I just want to watch cycling! If we can't have the proper races right now due to exceptional circumstances, I applaud any initiative to bring at least some sort of cycling competition to my screen and thus I am actually very much looking forward to the virtual races. :)

Obviously when things can get back to normal I don't want to see any proper road race being replaced by a virtual alternative but for now it'll do for me.
Thank you, exactly my thoughts!
 
Anyway, Laura Weislo has written a thought-provoking piece on the TDF occurring in September - She suggests teams should be making use of the E Platform to connect with fans and give reward to sponsors - Could make for an interesting debate with LS.
This goes without saying. As stupid as the virtual Ronde van Vlaanderen was, with only 13 participants, it was watched worldwide by millions of people. Can you imagine? Can you also imagine how happy sponsors of the teams participating were, that they got some exposure at least?
 
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Anyway, Laura Weislo has written a thought-provoking piece on the TDF occurring in September - She suggests teams should be making use of the E Platform to connect with fans and give reward to sponsors - Could make for an interesting debate with LS.
The e-platform is not the problem so to speak. Silly reinventing-the-wheel short-format racing with substitutes and no GC and the like is the problem. Re-reading the article, though, I'm assuming this is basically like the Challenge Mallorca. I'm hoping so, anyway. If it's just 5 independent races on consecutive days, it's not as bad as if they're running a 5-day race with no GC and basically a Team-based either GC or, more likely, points prize, which is what I was interpreting when I first read it, which would basically be in line with Velon's stated aims of removing the loyalty to the rider to replace it with loyalty to the team, and in line with what I am most dead-set against with Velon - changing the way the sport has functioned for over a century in order to push their agenda. The point with road cycling has always been to complete the course in the shortest time, and so a stage race you can win without being the fastest over the course (with or without time bonuses) or even actually completing the course at all just seemed farcical. Like I've said before - the Hammer Series' points system is basically based around a track cycling points race or madison but without the benefits of being able to see the whole course and with the issue that because the points go to the team, not the rider, and several riders from each team are active at one time, tracking points and understanding who lies where in the standings at any given time is a much more complex undertaking, especially if there are multiple breakaways because you aren't going to have the whole "gaining a lap" thing that they have in the velodrome.

Five individual races which stand alone and an individual rider wins by being the first rider to cross the finish line, let's leave it at that. You can switch on the stream and instantly know who's in the running, how the race is going, and understand what everybody is trying to do.
 
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