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Giro descending competition

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/giro-ditalia-adds-new-descending-classification-with-segments-including-passo-dello-stelvio/

This year the Giro is to include a classification based on speeds over a number of major descents. This strikes me as a terrible idea, one that encourages extra risk taking above and beyond that inherent to descending in a race. More people will be incentivised to push their limits on more occasions. Cycling is a dangerous sport and high speed descending is a part of the sport. These are more or less unalterable facts. There seems to me to be little sense though in deliberately setting out to exacerbate those dangers.

The Giro has previously experimented with downhill ITTs, which was as I understand it very unpopular with the riders for exactly the same reason. When they included one in 1987, Stephen Roche won it but he also accused the organisers of trying to get more riders killed.
 
Apr 29, 2010
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Descending is a skill that some cyclists develop.
Timed sections seems like the obvious way to measure that ability.
Participation in this competition is not compulsory.
Danger is increased by the way that most cyclists follow the rider in front of them rather than weighing up the conditions, personal skill level, and level of risk they can tolerate.
 
Hopefully this will be a competition that's won by "chance".
Not by someone who is actively trying to win it - and possibly risking going beyond his abilities - but by the guy who just so happens to be the fastest descender, and would be so even without the competition.
 
So I guess come the latter stages, whomever is winning this might need to stalk his nearest competitor, and make sure he starts the descent behind the other guy then catch him on the way down, a bit like working through a pack on a strava segment
 
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Brullnux said:
The problem comes when someone near the back wants to get those 500 euros and starts descending like a madman coming through many riders and going faster than his skill set allows

That's why I said that hopefully nobody will try to descend faster than his skill sets allow.
There has always been a fastest descender, he just hasn't gotten a prize for it before.
 
Perhaps a better use of all the timing equipment would be to award this for the ascent of the penultimate climbs?
That way a few guys going for it might enliven the race
And/or the super-doms might get their own recognition
 
Apr 10, 2011
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Re:

Breh said:
As if Weylandts didnt die at all...

What's that got to do with anything?

Is it Giro's fault that a rider looks backwards when descending 100km/h? :confused:

And how is this competition more dangerous than points jersey where sprinters try to kill each other to get good position
 
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Gloin22 said:
Breh said:
As if Weylandts didnt die at all...

What's that got to do with anything?

Is it Giro's fault that a rider looks backwards when descending 100km/h? :confused:

It wasn't anybody's fault. It's was just a terrible accident.
Riders have probably been looking behind them in order to figure out the distance to riders coming up from behind for years, probably still do. How could Wouter, how could anybody, have known that in this one example it would end so terribly?

As for the competition: The way I see it, we simply have to trust the riders. Trust that they won't do anything stupid for a competition.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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It's a stupid competition, bu the riders don't loose time or a potential stage win if they don't take part n this competition.
Everyone should know his limit and not take stupid risks. Accidents can always happen but they are all adults and nobody is forced to take huge risks because of this stupid competition.
Still, it's stupid and it doesn't add anthing to the race.
 
Its up to the riders themselves. As a poster noted, its not more dangerous than giving points for sprinter stages or even awarding the stage win on a flat day in a bunch gallop. Some people go crazy, some stay away. Cycling is a dangerous sport.

These guys are professionals, they won't lose their career due to some meaningless competition. That said, I think its stupid, why not do it uphill instead? Would make a lot more sense. But I guess Pirelli sponsoring is a key factor here.
 
As Koen de Kort noted on twitter, to have a good chance to win, you'd have to start at the back of a large group and move up all the way to the front during the descent. That way you beat everyone in that group, at least. It's very dangerous, of course. Yes, riders themselves can decide whether they want to participate in this competition or not, but one rider taking stupid risks can put others at risk as well, especially when overtaking is involved. And anyway, taking extreme risks shouldn't be incentivized more than it already is. Some may be overrating their abilities and may lose their senses with this competition in mind, especially those on smaller teams.
I don't want to see a rider seriously hurt or dead again, and this competition increases the likelihood of that.

I like the idea of a descending competition, but it should be a TT that does not influence any GC, as De Kort suggested on twitter. That way, those who want to show off their skills can participate and perhaps even win, and those who don't want to take excessive risk can stay far away from it.
I also like the idea of a timed segments competition, but for the love of god, make it uphill.
 
Re:

Brullnux said:
The problem comes when someone near the back wants to get those 500 euros and starts descending like a madman coming through many riders and going faster than his skill set allows
I won't be surprised if someone from the gruppetto is going to win this, to avoid time limit they go all like madman in descents, i've heard multiple times riders said that the stronger descenders are those in the gruppetto. Also a master descender like Savoldelli claim that Cipollini was stronger than him.
 
I think Stef Clement put it very nicely:

Sometimes it's best to ignore when someone else comes up with a truely stupid idea and let it fade out in silence.

Simply don't contest it. Let it be one of those competitions that riders win purely by chance. (After all; how many riders actively contest the Fairplay competition?)

Though I'm still a bit confused about how it'll work. "On the day" prize for those stages which have a timed descend + an overall prize at the end?