Meanwhile, in Austria, the Jumbo-boys, and some others, are on the attack.
Nguyễn Hoàng Sàng is probably the best Vietnamese rider overall in an international kind of setting, he has the best international results in recent years. Nguyễn Tấn Hoài is kind of Vietnam's Cândido Barbosa, he's more a sprinter, but he's a durable one (think Boasson Hagen type) and the predominance of races on major highways and the flatlands of coastal Vietnam as well as in the Mekong Delta where the majority of the teams are based means he can try to compete on GC through the time bonuses, like Rik van Looy in the 60s in the Vuelta when they gave a minute's bonus for stage wins. Nguyễn Trường Tài, Nguyễn Tuấn Vũ and Nguyễn Minh Việt are all part of the very strong Vinama team which is in constant feud with BikeLife over who the strongest team in the country is, and historically they've been the best TTT unit in the country for the last few years, which has helped inflate GC positions as, well, Vietnam is a Communist country, and so like in the Peace Race and other Ostbloc races back in the 70s and 80s, the Teams Classification holds an inflated level of importance compared to most races.Is it like that every year, are there maybe more people with this name living in areas where cycling is more common or possible? Or is it a coincidence?
According to wiki, a few events in history have led to its dominance. After the end of the Lý Dynasty, Prince Trung Võ Trần Thủ Độ founded the Trần dynasty and forced the descendants of the Lý to take the name Nguyễn (Trần is also a very common family name); when the Hồ dynasty collapsed, many of its descendants and adherents changed their name to Nguyễn, because the Hồ had slaughtered many Trần supporters and feared retribution when the Trần reasserted power, and chose the more neutral Nguyễn name to escape detection. This historical precedent was followed by the Mạc dynasty when it was overthrown by the Lê, and some of the Chúa Trịnh used this to either defect or escape when usurped by the Nguyễn Lords. Once it was a royal family name, many people had it bestowed on them as an honorific. In general, people are greeted and referred to by their given names in all situations in Vietnam, so family names are not commonly used in day to day life.40% of a population has the same name? What is the point of names, then?
I really wish there was a way to make this race much bigger, it would be great to have an African WT race in such a cycling passionate country and could be an amazing boost. Well, you would need the same race in the country for more local teams, so that they aren't pushed aside, but then also one with the biggest teams. If there were sponsors for that...Today the beautiful Tour de Rwanda starts.
Don't know much about COVID restrictions in the country but usually there are some of the most passionate cycling fans on those roads.
If PCS is correct only 74 riders are on the startlist.
I think the best thing would be to get a miniseason at the 2.1 or 2.PRO level, with a few races backing onto one another. The early season slot was working well, close to the Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon, for encouraging pro teams who went to Gabon to stay for more warm weather training as well as being good for local African cycling. There are a couple of other countries with some genuine enthusiasm for cycling - Eritrea obviously, and Ethiopia is improving (as well as giving some real options for exciting and challenging parcours). Angola has a decent amount of interest too. If they could run two or three of these races back to back, or hell, bring back a couple of the South African races, that would give a team a group of races to travel to rather than be jetting well out of their way for a single race, it could be really good for developing the sport in Africa, and a good number of Continental Tour points would be good for attracting teams down there. I think it would be good to get more a ProConti kind of level péloton with a small number of WT teams sending development riders, because that's going to give the African teams more chance of being competitive and visible in the race and improve the level of the domestic and regional teams without the concern of them potentially being reduced to breakaway cannon fodder, which is always a risk if you jump up to the WT level too quickly. There are some really great riders in East Africa for whom this is either their home race or the nearest thing they will get to a home race all season, and who are motivated to show here. I feel they are owed the chance to do so on a competitive basis and we can use that to slowly up the level of the race and improve the domestic and regional péloton in line with that.I really wish there was a way to make this race much bigger, it would be great to have an African WT race in such a cycling passionate country and could be an amazing boost. Well, you would need the same race in the country for more local teams, so that they aren't pushed aside, but then also one with the biggest teams. If there were sponsors for that...
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