Hammer Series

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Jun 30, 2014
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kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
so many of my fellow 18-24 yr-olds think that cycling is so boring. And If they don't appeal to that generation than cycling will be in some big trouble.
I second this. Even at the height of the Ullrich-boom in Germany there was only one, maybe two people at school that were (openly) interested (we were a lot younger than 18-24 though, more like 6-10). Some people seem to think being a cycling fan means you're gay. Sounds like a joke, but sometimes you can really get that impression.
When I was in Highschool at least 3-4 people (other than me) in my class were into cycling, I still remember that they were searching for a live ticker on the internet in our school's computer lab durning the L'Aquila stage, they were like "WTF, what the hell is going on, the favourites really screwed up".
Stuff like propper aggresive marketing could really solve many of the sports problems and I don't see how just having those crits will change anything if the racing isn't great, conservative racing and trains on the mountain stages are a big problem.
Having someone like Sagan could really be beneficial for our sport, I'm don't really care for his showmanship and his personality, but he's someone who appeals to a younger audience and is a great rider who often produces great racing, he could really get a lot of people into cycling.
 
Re: Re:

Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
so many of my fellow 18-24 yr-olds think that cycling is so boring. And If they don't appeal to that generation than cycling will be in some big trouble.
I second this. Even at the height of the Ullrich-boom in Germany there was only one, maybe two people at school that were (openly) interested (we were a lot younger than 18-24 though, more like 6-10). Some people seem to think being a cycling fan means you're gay. Sounds like a joke, but sometimes you can really get that impression.
When I was in Highschool at least 3-4 people (other than me) in my class were into cycling, I still remember that they were searching for a live ticker on the internet in our school's computer lab durning the L'Aquila stage, they were like "WTF, what the hell is going on, the favourites really screwed up".
What country are you from? :p
 
Re: Re:

Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
Stuff like propper aggresive marketing could really solve many of the sports problems and I don't see how just having those crits will change anything if the racing isn't great, conservative racing and trains on the mountain stages are a big problem.
Having someone like Sagan could really be beneficial for our sport, I'm don't really care for his showmanship and his personality, but he's someone who appeals to a younger audience and is a great rider who often produces great racing, he could really get a lot of people into cycling.
People attracted to the sport because of Sagan are people the sport doesn't need. We already have enough of a style over substance problem as it is, that's what leads to garbage like these Velon proposals.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re: Re:

kingjr said:
Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
so many of my fellow 18-24 yr-olds think that cycling is so boring. And If they don't appeal to that generation than cycling will be in some big trouble.
I second this. Even at the height of the Ullrich-boom in Germany there was only one, maybe two people at school that were (openly) interested (we were a lot younger than 18-24 though, more like 6-10). Some people seem to think being a cycling fan means you're gay. Sounds like a joke, but sometimes you can really get that impression.
When I was in Highschool at least 3-4 people (other than me) in my class were into cycling, I still remember that they were searching for a live ticker on the internet in our school's computer lab durning the L'Aquila stage, they were like "WTF, what the hell is going on, the favourites really screwed up".
What country are you from? :p
Italy, South Tyrol to be exact, so the fact that you have the big mountain stages in the dolomites close to home really helps a lot.
I went to highschool in Bruneck/Brunico and going to watch the Kronplatz/Plan de Corones MTT was actually a thing in highschool, people took the ropeway to get up and took a decent amount of food and drinks with them to have a good time.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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Libertine Seguros said:
Seriously, road cycling is an endurance sport. It's not broken down into easily digestible 5-10 minute chunks of regular crash-bang-wallop frame-banging action, because that would be completely fundamentally antithetical to what the sport is supposed to be.
Totally agree. I'd rather have cycling turn into some unpopular old fashioned niche sport than having the essence of cycling lost because younger generations have an attention span of 5 minutes and the UCI/Velon/etc thought attracting new audiences (i.e. attracting money) is more important than cycling itself.
 
Re: Re:

Tonton said:
Libertine Seguros said:
More dumbing down, carnival sideshow crap. Which race is this designed to kill, the 80-year-old Tour de Luxembourg it looks like, or maybe Ster ZLM-Toer.

At this point I can't actually tell whose ideas for "developing" cycling (read: turning it into closed circuit races to sell roadside tickets and popcorn) are worse, the money-grubbers at the UCI or the circled-wagon-society at Velon. From the "series of four day races, every race has equal value and has one sprint, one hilly stage, one mountain stage, one time trial" to the "six day max for a stage race, and we'll butcher the Vuelta to make room for more races in the Middle East", picking either the UCI or Velon to take cycling forward is like saying, which debilitating illness would you rather live with? The problem that you're trying to solve really isn't that complicated, and there's nothing 'broken' about the traditional point to point method other than the people racing it often have a vested interest in conservative racing.

If this is the revolution, then count me out. I shan't watch this farce. This isn't the sport I fell in love with, but some dumbed down, sexed up facsimile thereof, pandering to the usual short-attention-span garbage that is infesting sport upon sport causing them to marginalize true endurance and slow-building storylines in favour of short sharp bursts because they somehow believe the audience is too stupid or impatient to get into a normal race of the kind that has been gripping audiences for 2/3 of the year for over a hundred years. I'm getting perilously close to just walking away.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Brilliant.
I clicked on the thread knowing I´d read something along that lines from Libertine.
and I agree.
 
Re: Re:

Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
so many of my fellow 18-24 yr-olds think that cycling is so boring. And If they don't appeal to that generation than cycling will be in some big trouble.
I second this. Even at the height of the Ullrich-boom in Germany there was only one, maybe two people at school that were (openly) interested (we were a lot younger than 18-24 though, more like 6-10). Some people seem to think being a cycling fan means you're gay. Sounds like a joke, but sometimes you can really get that impression.
When I was in Highschool at least 3-4 people (other than me) in my class were into cycling, I still remember that they were searching for a live ticker on the internet in our school's computer lab durning the L'Aquila stage, they were like "WTF, what the hell is going on, the favourites really screwed up".
What country are you from? :p
Italy, South Tyrol to be exact, so the fact that you have the big mountain stages in the dolomites close to home really helps a lot.
I went to highschool in Bruneck/Brunico and going to watch the Kronplatz/Plan de Corones MTT was actually a thing in highschool, people took the ropeway to get up and took a decent amount of food and drinks with them to have a good time.
Yeah, Italy is definitely a better place for cycling :eek:
 
Re: Re:

kingjr said:
Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
so many of my fellow 18-24 yr-olds think that cycling is so boring. And If they don't appeal to that generation than cycling will be in some big trouble.
I second this. Even at the height of the Ullrich-boom in Germany there was only one, maybe two people at school that were (openly) interested (we were a lot younger than 18-24 though, more like 6-10). Some people seem to think being a cycling fan means you're gay. Sounds like a joke, but sometimes you can really get that impression.
When I was in Highschool at least 3-4 people (other than me) in my class were into cycling, I still remember that they were searching for a live ticker on the internet in our school's computer lab durning the L'Aquila stage, they were like "WTF, what the hell is going on, the favourites really screwed up".
What country are you from? :p
Belgium-Flandres, and I stand by what I said. Young people lost interest in cycling. It doesn't appeal anymore. And that has to change, A sport like cycling is now still the same like 100 years ago (with some minor changes) and yet the bikes have evolved all this time. So why not racing itself?
 
Re: Re:

GenericBoonenFan said:
kingjr said:
Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
so many of my fellow 18-24 yr-olds think that cycling is so boring. And If they don't appeal to that generation than cycling will be in some big trouble.
I second this. Even at the height of the Ullrich-boom in Germany there was only one, maybe two people at school that were (openly) interested (we were a lot younger than 18-24 though, more like 6-10). Some people seem to think being a cycling fan means you're gay. Sounds like a joke, but sometimes you can really get that impression.
When I was in Highschool at least 3-4 people (other than me) in my class were into cycling, I still remember that they were searching for a live ticker on the internet in our school's computer lab durning the L'Aquila stage, they were like "WTF, what the hell is going on, the favourites really screwed up".
What country are you from? :p
I'm from Belgium-Flandres, and I stand by what I said. Young people lost interest in cycling. It doesn't appeal anymore. And that has to change, A sport like cycling is now still the same like 100 years ago (with some minor changes) and yet the bikes have evolved all this time. So why not racing itself?
Edit: ah you were talking to someone else
 
Re: Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
A sport like cycling is now still the same like 100 years ago (with some minor changes)
If only that were true!
It's still riding from A to B over a fixed route.
And that's the problem, cycling is not dynamic enough, too conservative.
You have seen that teams fail to attract to sponsorship and that's because other sports reach out to a broader public. Change is simply needed. And yes I myself think that the hole TTT-stage is stupid but atleast teams are trying something. They don't want to see their sport die out.
 
Re: Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Mayomaniac said:
kingjr said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
Stuff like propper aggresive marketing could really solve many of the sports problems and I don't see how just having those crits will change anything if the racing isn't great, conservative racing and trains on the mountain stages are a big problem.
Having someone like Sagan could really be beneficial for our sport, I'm don't really care for his showmanship and his personality, but he's someone who appeals to a younger audience and is a great rider who often produces great racing, he could really get a lot of people into cycling.
People attracted to the sport because of Sagan are people the sport doesn't need. We already have enough of a style over substance problem as it is, that's what leads to garbage like these Velon proposals.
here´s a funny example, but somehow it explains it. people, jokingly or not, went on about the Sagan´s Haribos..
https://twitter.com/faustocoppi60/status/836185443297263616
 
So instead of watch it die out, they've decided to actively murder it? I'm sorry, I don't believe that's what this is about at all.

This is a wholesale shift in the direction of "less effort more reward". Money-grubbing and continually pushing the agenda to make the sport less difficult, removing the endurance aspect of it entirely. The objective should be to bring fans to the sport, not to change the sport in the pursuit of some hypothetical fans. Take advantage of the inherent benefits that cycling has as a sport rather than throwing some of the most cherished ones - the chance to see the natural beauty of the countryside it travels through, the free access to it and the many communities it touches - into a bin and then setting that bin on fire.

This may be the generation that supposedly has such a short attention span that it needs its hand held through anything longer than a couple of minutes, but it's also the generation of binge-watching, watching entire series of hour-long dramas in a day. Really, the shorter bursts of action are to give Velon more convenient times to put advert breaks, because not every cycling broadcaster is as savvy as Eurosport, who cram their ad breaks into the first part of the race to give themselves uninterrupted coverage of the important parts, dressed up under the excuse of making the races more appealing to young people. It's not about being more dynamic either - most stadium sports have changed less than cycling over the last 100 years, for example. Do we start putting three-legged races and the likes into the Olympic athletics program to change things up too, because people find the 10.000m dull for the first 3/4?

If that makes me a change-resistant old curmudgeon, then fine, so be it, but I'm with Maarten - I want to see bike races, with all of their complex tactical nuance, their geographical variation, their strategic variation, their man vs. machine in a long, drawn out battle of wills showdowns. That's the sport that I fell in love with and that's why I'm here. Whatever Velon may think of their audience, I understand how bike racing works and how individual and team goals operate, how the jersey classifications work and how different riders have different jobs and different skillsets and specialisms.

I'm not an idiot, and I resent Velon wanting to treat me like one.
 
Re: Re:

GenericBoonenFan said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
GenericBoonenFan said:
A sport like cycling is now still the same like 100 years ago (with some minor changes)
If only that were true!
It's still riding from A to B over a fixed route.
And that's the problem, cycling is not dynamic enough, too conservative.
You have seen that teams fail to attract to sponsorship and that's because other sports reach out to a broader public. Change is simply needed. And yes I myself think that the whole TTT-stage is stupid but at least teams are trying something. They don't want to see their sport die out.
No, they do not trying. If they do they would support all those ideas that can make the race more exciting, less controllable (team radios, power meters, smaller teams etc. )

I have to agree with LS. This is road cycling after all, not the red bull extreme *** show.
And I hate to tell he is partly right on Sagan as well. Cycling does not need this "junkee cool new look" of Sagan.
He should realize as well that he is the idol of a lot of young children on a bike and he has a certain responsibility. He is not the private person that can do whatever he wants just because he is the best. As we heard in spiderman with great power there must also come great responsibility ;)
 
Re:

GenericBoonenFan said:
You guys are out of touch. They need to make cycling more attractive for youngsters...This is a great initiative.
Yes I love the old system, but so many of my fellow 18-24 yr-olds think that cycling is so boring. And If they don't appeal to that generation than cycling will be in some big trouble.
Yeah, the X-Games of cycling... :( . Come on.

There's nothing wrong with cycling. Revenue is the discussion. Ultimately, Velon wants spectators to pay, generate more money...they don't care about the sport. Just wanna milk the cow...arena cycling...we still don't know who would get the money though.

There's something to say about charging spectators, i.e. in my last TdF design, or small roads MTF, if you do a Pic de Beillurti, Sabot, Coq, space is limited , why not? But there's a major difference between end to a mean and mean to an end.

The X-Games stuff...thank you very much.

Real fans are real fans. They don't need the fluff. As far as casual fans are concerned, it's a larger debate, team size, earpieces, course designs not aiming for a result (i.e. '12 TdF), sponsors and money. Not making conservative racing the norm. races predictable. Or be prostitutes, cash in in the Emirates when women riders are being ran over. That's what I call prostitutes. And at the same time, there are big races in Belgium.

My Scottish friends would attest that it's not by diluting the whisky that you make a better whisky :) .

How about promoting bike riding more in our countries, when gas is so expensive? In Richmond, we do it.

Growing the market, at the expense of the essence of the sport is not a solution That's why the Strade Bianche is being more popular. Different race, with all sorts of riders who can be a factor. Good roads and not so good roads.

Youngsters (your words) would be happy with old school cycling. It used to be fun and unpredictable.Big money and return on investment made big contributors' success guaranteed. Earpieces making robots, big $ whining about results and getting refs on their side (Froome-Ventoux), 3 km rule...

Wheelie contest anyone? Sagan ftw.

Seriously, that's not cycling. Velon came up with the X-Games model...that's not innovating, And to me that's plain stupid. And please refrain from the outcry "you're a mod and shouldn't be controversial". I have been riding bikes since the '60's, I love the sport so much that I'm here, I rode 60 km yesterday, I truly care.

Cheers ;) .
 
Ugh, the negativity from some people. Reminds me of old baseball fans in the US.

Nothing wrong with trying something new. It's one, 3-race series. It's not like they're replacing Milan-San Remo with this. There will likely be issues that they'll have to work out after the first running but at least give it a chance before trashing it. I don't understand the closed-mindedness. Why make up your mind before even seeing the product? It might completely suck, but who knows, maybe it'll actually be fun to watch.
 
Jan 15, 2017
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Cycling turned into F1, or cycling X-Games as some people say. This is what definitely will kill this sport in its professional way.
 
Re: Re:

Maaaaaaaarten said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Seriously, road cycling is an endurance sport. It's not broken down into easily digestible 5-10 minute chunks of regular crash-bang-wallop frame-banging action, because that would be completely fundamentally antithetical to what the sport is supposed to be.
Totally agree. I'd rather have cycling turn into some unpopular old fashioned niche sport than having the essence of cycling lost because younger generations have an attention span of 5 minutes and the UCI/Velon/etc thought attracting new audiences (i.e. attracting money) is more important than cycling itself.
But isn't cycling already exactly like this (apart from Belgium maybe?). It's a cliché maybe, but it's often said that in France the generation 60+ is the sport's faithful main audience. Same in Germany: ARD brought back live transmissions of the Tour because a lot of people like to see nice pictures of the French countryside in July. Races in Europe often disappear due to aging organizing teams.

Cycling can be incredibly beautiful, we all agree on this, but to the uninitiated younger generation used to Snapchat, YouTube etc. it's just boring. Unfortunately, this Hammer thing sound just awkward and will not help the bigger cause at all.
 
Re: Re:

Bye Bye Bicycle said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
Libertine Seguros said:
Seriously, road cycling is an endurance sport. It's not broken down into easily digestible 5-10 minute chunks of regular crash-bang-wallop frame-banging action, because that would be completely fundamentally antithetical to what the sport is supposed to be.
Totally agree. I'd rather have cycling turn into some unpopular old fashioned niche sport than having the essence of cycling lost because younger generations have an attention span of 5 minutes and the UCI/Velon/etc thought attracting new audiences (i.e. attracting money) is more important than cycling itself.
But isn't cycling already exactly like this (apart from Belgium maybe?). It's a cliché maybe, but it's often said that in France the generation 60+ is the sport's faithful main audience. Same in Germany: ARD brought back live transmissions of the Tour because a lot of people like to see nice pictures of the French countryside in July. Races in Europe often disappear due to aging organizing teams.

Cycling can be incredibly beautiful, we all agree on this, but to the uninitiated younger generation used to Snapchat, YouTube etc. it's just boring. Unfortunately, this Hammer thing sound just awkward and will not help the bigger cause at all.
I'm witnessing it here in Belgium aswell, not many youngsters and young parents are interested in cycling. Mostly elderly people.
It might not help but atleast they're trying.
And it's not only cycling, every bike-based sport will be in trouble in a couple of years if action is not taken now.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
I think gimmicks like these could be ok in moderation, but not at the expense of traditional racing.
Agreed. The thing is though that new races or concepts always have to start somewhere.

Over 100 years ago the GTs were a gimmick thought up by some newspapers because track cycling wasn't selling enough. Fifty years later, another gimmick was introduced in the form of the points classification because it was wanted that GTs could be competed in by more than one type of rider. Hill climb competitions are another thing with lots of history in the sport, but which were a gimmick when introduced. Even races like RVV were created by newspapers as a marketing exercise.

Just because something is new and taking the sport in a different direction doesn't mean it's necessarily a bad thing. Cycling has never stayed still - there's never been an era when traditionalists weren't complaining that it's changed for the worse. Whether or not this thing by Velon is progress is, of course, highly debatable, but I don't see the harm in trying to see if it takes off. In 50 years time, an event like this could well be regarded up there with the monuments and GTs.
 
Re: Re:

Tonton said:
...

My Scottish friends would attest that it's not by diluting the whisky that you make a better whisky :) .

...
Maybe not the best example. It's very common to add a drop of water to a dram to bring out the flavours. You'll find a small jug of water at the end of the bar in all good pubs in Glasgow.
 

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