Riders and management at Valenciana divided on growing issue of dirt roads in road racing
Seems as good a time as any to see where the balance lies on here.
I'm not sure I agree that gravel means that there'll be no tactics. I'll say there can be lots of tactics, and team involvement:I am not that interested in the strongest rider anyway, I like the big role that tactics and teams play in road cycling.
Does it, though? Pogacar is nearly invincible in a conventional stage race these days. However, remember that he lost to Bernal in Strade Bianche, before destroying him (and everyone else) in the Tirreno just a week after. That suggests Pogacar may be more vulnerable in a GT if it features a hard sterrato stage, thereby making it less likely that the strongest rider wins/dominates.I think the best argument against too much gravel in road cycling, for me, is that it usually makes the strongest rider win. That might seem "fair", but since there is so much doping around I am not that interested in the strongest rider anyway, I like the big role that tactics and teams play in road cycling.
Completely agree with that. Gravel (or cobbled) sections are ok, if they add something to the race. Finestre does, last years sterrato stage did, that section in Valencia didn't.I'm perfectly fine with gravel stages, as long as a) the rocks aren't too big/sharp (a certain Giro Rosa stage comes to mind) and b) the gravel isn't there mostly or exclusively for gimmick purposes. SPdBF is definitely the worst offender in that regard but Friday's finish belongs to that category as well.
This.I've never understood why they argue against gravel but not cobbles.
Cyclists aren't made for it anymore? lmao. What is this, slowtwitch? Anyone who can't handle taking their road bike off sealed roads every now and then probably doesn't belong in a professional peloton anyway skills wise. Also in terms of being able to handle gravel, retired road pros don't seem to have much trouble beating experienced gravel cyclists.Indeed there are a lot of gravel roads in the world. Just like a lot of other terrains people ride bikes on. In comparison F1 nor MotoGP have gravel sections. Elite pro road cycling in some general term hence should not hold on to some relic of the past. The equipment and cyclist in general is/are not made for it anymore.
P.S. Saying it is a right thing Evenepoel lost a race. Due to the gravel section. It's basically wrong that he lost a race in such way. Nothing memorable in it for him or GC lead.
I simply disagree. Think it is a really bad comparison.
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