Sprint victories vs other victories

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Mar 14, 2016
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A mountain stage win crushing the peloton is way more spectacular than a bunch sprint, but it's not worth more.

GC riders aren't better cyclists than sprinters, simply a different type of rider.
 
Depends on the quality of the field.

When you've got a lot of the top sprinters all in peak condition + numerous teams committed to the cause, a bunch sprint win is worth quite a lot.

i.e. first week of a tdf. You look down the list and the guy who finishes 15th is more than capable of snagging a win on his day.

That the level of competition is that intense grants its own merit to the winner. It might look easy but it never is. Got to consider the immense pressure to win, the big bucks sprinters are paid to deliver. Pressure is huge.

Compared to an opportunist breakaway win? More beautiful yes, but more deserved, worth more? Nope. I would say quite the opposite.
 
Oct 10, 2015
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CheckMyPecs said:
A mountain stage win crushing the peloton is way more spectacular than a bunch sprint, but it's not worth more.

GC riders aren't better cyclists than sprinters, simply a different type of rider.
I think a full on bunch sprint can be quite spectacular but a crazy mountain win is beautiful to watch. To the bolded, I couldn't agree more
 
1) Field sprinting is much harder than it appears which is why I assume some devalue it.
2) The value of winning field sprints is obvious in the contracts of top sprinters.

IMO: A GT stage win is a GT stage win. I prefer an XC win, man vs man :) but to avoid a road vs dirt discussion, I like a one day classic win above all (but that could come via field sprint, climb, break sprint...).
 
Jul 28, 2012
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jmdirt said:
1) Field sprinting is much harder than it appears which is why I assume some devalue it.
People devalue it because it offers 5-10 minutes worth of entertainment as a spectator, whereas a mountain stage / cobbled classic can be gripping all day.
 
Personally, I think you're approaching it from the wrong angle. Nobody devalues a sprint win for thinking it "easy".

For the most part, sprint stages are felt to have less value for many fans simply because of their abundance, but mainly because they seldom have special or defining features, nor do they typically have any long-term impact because in stage races (other than ones like the TDU which have relatively low value anyway) sprint stages seldom have any relevance to the outcome, and in most one-day races of any value they don't end in field sprints, except sometimes the Worlds (in which case many of the flatter editions like Zolder and København are derided for lack of spectacle) and Milan-San Remo (where the sprinters earn their chance to compete for the win by getting through the distance and over the climbs, so nobody devalues them doing so). Very few sprint wins are memorable and therefore they may as well not have happened a couple of weeks after the fact.

The reason sprinters' salaries reflect their value is that, while some stages are inherently more memorable than others in any given stage race (quick: who won stage 3 of the 2009 Vuelta?), prize money is equivalent. Any GT unless incredibly poorly designed (hello, 2012 Vuelta) will need some transitional stages to get from area to area, and so there will always by necessity be some sprinters' stages. In fact, across the year, sprinters have by FAR the most opportunities to compete for the victory, and therefore, unless a team has one of the few bonanza GT candidates or a dominant Classics rider, having a good sprinter is an important way of ensuring a constant stream of prize money. The "value" of sprint wins from a purely monetary perspective is equal to those in any other stage of a given race. The "value" in terms of esteem amongst the fans is, quite obviously, not, unless something unexpected has happened. Abdoujaparov's most famous win is his hilltop solo in Tulle. Hushovd won the Worlds, but apart from that it's the 2011 Tour when he soloed in after chasing Roy and Moncoutié down off the Aubisque. People hold Milan-San Remo and even the Aubenas stage of the Tour higher than the København Worlds in Cav's palmarès.
 
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
 
Aug 6, 2015
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Echoes said:
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Your post made my day!!!
 
Who the hell "neglects and despises" Classics hard men?

Argue that people underrate their achievements because of the elevation in importance of flat stages of stage races at the expense of many good semi-Classics and other one-day races, or underappreciate these types of riders' importance, argue that riders who have no chance of winning a pure bunch sprint toasting their domestiques to prevent any other outcome are part of the biggest problem facing the spectacle of the sport, then fine, that may suit the argument you present, but who the hell is going around saying they "despise" Classics hard men? I seem to recall that Tro Bro Léon is one of people's favourite small races, Roubaix is universally heralded as one of the finest racing days - if not the finest single racing day - of the year (especially when we get an edition like this year's), and a lot of people posting in this very thread are arguing the point that while from a winnings point of view the sprint stages in stage races may be equal in importance to any other stage, from a perspective of the fans they are much less valuable. The hyperbole hurts the points you're making.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Who the hell "neglects and despises" Classics hard men?

Argue that people underrate their achievements because of the elevation in importance of flat stages of stage races at the expense of many good semi-Classics and other one-day races, or underappreciate these types of riders' importance, argue that riders who have no chance of winning a pure bunch sprint toasting their domestiques to prevent any other outcome are part of the biggest problem facing the spectacle of the sport, then fine, that may suit the argument you present, but who the hell is going around saying they "despise" Classics hard men? I seem to recall that Tro Bro Léon is one of people's favourite small races, Roubaix is universally heralded as one of the finest racing days - if not the finest single racing day - of the year (especially when we get an edition like this year's), and a lot of people posting in this very thread are arguing the point that while from a winnings point of view the sprint stages in stage races may be equal in importance to any other stage, from a perspective of the fans they are much less valuable. The hyperbole hurts the points you're making.
Every post made by Echoes I have seen the last month or so has sounded like that. A broken record if there ever was one.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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Echoes said:
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Winners are remembered, no matter if they were sprinters, climbers, or classics men. Reason why pure sprinters were not much remembered in the past is that they were not winning a lot. Back then fast men who could go hard won a lot, like Van Steenbergen, Darrigade, Poblet, Van Looy, Maertens. That all changed with emergence of Cippolini and his Saeco train. Cippo and similar riders won a lot. Classics fast men could not win so much anymore. Riders become specialized, and pure sprinters received recognition. And it's normal, I mean how could you not appreciate man who won 200 races on the road, or 40-50 GT stages!? Classics riders are of course appreciated more than sprinters, and it should be that way, but only champions and winners among them, not Vanmarcke (he needs to win something first). You can't rank Vanmarcke, who has a couple of victories, as high as Andre Greipel who has 140! And I rank sprinters under classics, GT and TT men.
 
Mr.White said:
Echoes said:
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Winners are remembered, no matter if they were sprinters, climbers, or classics men. Reason why pure sprinters were not much remembered in the past is that they were not winning a lot. Back then fast men who could go hard won a lot, like Van Steenbergen, Darrigade, Poblet, Van Looy, Maertens. That all changed with emergence of Cippolini and his Saeco train. Cippo and similar riders won a lot. Classics fast men could not win so much anymore. Riders become specialized, and pure sprinters received recognition. And it's normal, I mean how could you not appreciate man who won 200 races on the road, or 40-50 GT stages!? Classics riders are of course appreciated more than sprinters, and it should be that way, but only champions and winners among them, not Vanmarcke (he needs to win something first). You can't rank Vanmarcke, who has a couple of victories, as high as Andre Greipel who has 140! And I rank sprinters under classics, GT and TT men.
200 insubstantial wins. I dont mind any of them. Id change every of his wins for a true epic mountain win.
 
Mr.White said:
Echoes said:
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Winners are remembered, no matter if they were sprinters, climbers, or classics men. Reason why pure sprinters were not much remembered in the past is that they were not winning a lot. Back then fast men who could go hard won a lot, like Van Steenbergen, Darrigade, Poblet, Van Looy, Maertens. That all changed with emergence of Cippolini and his Saeco train. Cippo and similar riders won a lot. Classics fast men could not win so much anymore. Riders become specialized, and pure sprinters received recognition. And it's normal, I mean how could you not appreciate man who won 200 races on the road, or 40-50 GT stages!? Classics riders are of course appreciated more than sprinters, and it should be that way, but only champions and winners among them, not Vanmarcke (he needs to win something first). You can't rank Vanmarcke, who has a couple of victories, as high as Andre Greipel who has 140! And I rank sprinters under classics, GT and TT men.
GT TT victories are the least impressive for me. At least in sprints there is unpredictability: split second decisions have to be made, the drilling of the sprint train has to be put into practice, the break has to be reeled in - but not too soon, and then the timing of the sprint, judging the wind, choosing the right line, adjusting for any gradient etc..

A GT TT is just a load of riders following preset numbers on their power meter, most of whom aren't even trying their hardest, and with basically no tactics involved.
 
Fernandez said:
happytramp said:
Being 'allowed' into the break in the first place is basically a sign of disrespect from the peloton.
Thats not correct. Every single rider with enough time lost in the general classification is a potencially allowed rider to enter in the break.
So the GC contenders or stage favourites don't consider them to be dangerous so the let them go in a break. It's basically them saying they don't think they're important.
 
Mar 13, 2015
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Fernandez said:
Mr.White said:
Echoes said:
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Winners are remembered, no matter if they were sprinters, climbers, or classics men. Reason why pure sprinters were not much remembered in the past is that they were not winning a lot. Back then fast men who could go hard won a lot, like Van Steenbergen, Darrigade, Poblet, Van Looy, Maertens. That all changed with emergence of Cippolini and his Saeco train. Cippo and similar riders won a lot. Classics fast men could not win so much anymore. Riders become specialized, and pure sprinters received recognition. And it's normal, I mean how could you not appreciate man who won 200 races on the road, or 40-50 GT stages!? Classics riders are of course appreciated more than sprinters, and it should be that way, but only champions and winners among them, not Vanmarcke (he needs to win something first). You can't rank Vanmarcke, who has a couple of victories, as high as Andre Greipel who has 140! And I rank sprinters under classics, GT and TT men.
200 insubstantial wins. I dont mind any of them. Id change every of his wins for a true epic mountain win.
Number gives weight! ;)
 
Fernandez said:
Mr.White said:
Echoes said:
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Winners are remembered, no matter if they were sprinters, climbers, or classics men. Reason why pure sprinters were not much remembered in the past is that they were not winning a lot. Back then fast men who could go hard won a lot, like Van Steenbergen, Darrigade, Poblet, Van Looy, Maertens. That all changed with emergence of Cippolini and his Saeco train. Cippo and similar riders won a lot. Classics fast men could not win so much anymore. Riders become specialized, and pure sprinters received recognition. And it's normal, I mean how could you not appreciate man who won 200 races on the road, or 40-50 GT stages!? Classics riders are of course appreciated more than sprinters, and it should be that way, but only champions and winners among them, not Vanmarcke (he needs to win something first). You can't rank Vanmarcke, who has a couple of victories, as high as Andre Greipel who has 140! And I rank sprinters under classics, GT and TT men.
200 insubstantial wins. I dont mind any of them. Id change every of his wins for a true epic mountain win.
So you would prefer to have had the career of, for example, Mauricio Soler than that of Cipollini? :confused:
 
Echoes said:
That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Can't we admire them all?
The sprinters, the classic riders, the GT-riders (and shorter stage-race riders), the TT-specialists, the random breakaway riders.
 
Guys, stop responding to Echoes. There are the trolls where you are not sure if they maybe mean it serious what they say and there are the ones how get so incredibly ridiculous that we should just ignore them.

My opinion about the topic in general:
Sprint victories are more difficult to achieve since there are probably about 10 riders every year who even have a serious chance to win a bunch sprint in a gt. But on the other hand these wins are always kind of the same and you don't remember them as well as you remember a great fight in the mountains. Therefore I think that if I was a sponsor I would rather have one win in a mountain stage (even from the break) than one in a bunch sprint.
 
DFA123 said:
Fernandez said:
Mr.White said:
Echoes said:
The problem is always the same. Cycling viewers are sooooo obsessed with GT's that even flat stage wins become big achievements in themselves while classics no longer matter for the biggest number and of course prize money adapt to the new situation. When I started watching cycling in the nineties, the transitional stages between mountain ranges would hardly end in bunch sprints. Typically the bunch would let a breakaway gain a 20 minute lead that would be sure to win, sometimes these breakaways put a whole peloton out of time limit. Nobody gave a damn about flat GT stages. Why should you sacrifice a whole team just for a sprinter? Nobody thought it was worth it. It was like using a Canadair water bomber to extinguish a chimney fire. Today, GT flat stages are so important - despite being cakewalks - that even sprinters who know they have no chance in a sprint have their domestique work in the chase behind breakaways, which is crazy. How can Démare have his gregarii chase behind breakaways when he cannot outsprint Kittel? It's getting crazy. And those domestiques are exhausting themselves for very little in return. And in the meantime classic riders who are true and genuine hard men who deserve respect from cycling fans are neglected and despised by them because cobbles are "so passé". It disgusts me.

Roger De Vlaeminck once said that flat GT stages are just a notch above kermesses and he saw it fit to add that in his days kermesses were not that easy to win. Of his 24 GT stage wins, he only remembers the 2 mountain ones, the rest is irrelevant to him. And if he's so trashed by modern cycling fans, it might be because he speaks true. Historically speaking, only classic champions, climbers and ITT champions are remembered as all-time greats on the road. Sprinters not! I'm not sure that any posters on here can name one pure sprinter until the 90's. Only all-rounders are remembered. That should have been the fate of the likes of Cipollini, Petacchi, Cavendish or Kittel but I guess that the current generation of GT-obsessed cycling fans would rather hail those wheelsuckers as heroes and rather bury the likes of Cancellara or Vanmarcke into a pauper's grave. :cry:
Winners are remembered, no matter if they were sprinters, climbers, or classics men. Reason why pure sprinters were not much remembered in the past is that they were not winning a lot. Back then fast men who could go hard won a lot, like Van Steenbergen, Darrigade, Poblet, Van Looy, Maertens. That all changed with emergence of Cippolini and his Saeco train. Cippo and similar riders won a lot. Classics fast men could not win so much anymore. Riders become specialized, and pure sprinters received recognition. And it's normal, I mean how could you not appreciate man who won 200 races on the road, or 40-50 GT stages!? Classics riders are of course appreciated more than sprinters, and it should be that way, but only champions and winners among them, not Vanmarcke (he needs to win something first). You can't rank Vanmarcke, who has a couple of victories, as high as Andre Greipel who has 140! And I rank sprinters under classics, GT and TT men.
200 insubstantial wins. I dont mind any of them. Id change every of his wins for a true epic mountain win.
So you would prefer to have had the career of, for example, Mauricio Soler than that of Cipollini? :confused:
What I want to say is that I love cycling because its hardness and sometimes its epic. I dont find any of them in sprinters. I dont feel hot nor cold watching a sprint.
 
RedheadDane said:
Can't we admire them all?
The sprinters, the classic riders, the GT-riders (and shorter stage-race riders), the TT-specialists, the random breakaway riders.
My problem with modern-day sprinters is that they are staying comfortably in the peloton for 90% of the race, their domestique doing the dirty job chasing breakaways and then just make an effort of 250m and get all the rewards and honour. Personally I cannot really admire so much. Their domestiques deserve more credit. In my opinion modern-day sprinters are of necessity wheelsuckers. They might be nice guys but I don't see why they should deserve so much credit. When they start participating in the chase behind breakaways, I'll start admiring them more but that's not for tomorrow, I guess. It's also valid for uphill finish specialists, in the Ardennes for example.
 
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