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Sprinters quiting GTs

I think it is pretty lame when sprinters quit halfway through a GT. It was not cool when Cipo did it. It was not cool when McEwen did it. And it is not cool when Cav or Farrar does it. It screws up the points competition.

I don't know how you would stop it other than prevent a rider who quits from riding the next GT.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Agreed. At least Cippolini would fake a crash or something to give a reason for his exit. These guys just bail with no excuse other than they can't handle the mountains.

For one part I do think they are not doing themselves any good staying in to just hit the autobus the whole time, then again teams could use them early in the stage so as to not use up all their climbers so fast on the climbing stages.

Its really a toss up for me, I do think they shoud compete on all stages and at least give it the old college try. Then the other part of me thinks why risk anything for stages they have no chance at, just pack it in and call it a day.

I do think their winnings should be factored in if they bail like these guys did. If they had a real injury I could see them taking all their prizes but just bailing, nagh they should only take part of it.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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The climber's don't quit on the flat stages, they merely complain endlessly about the length and the flatness. So what's worse, a whiner or sprinter who knows his limits and quits?

Personally, I think the sprinters should just suck it up and learn to motor up those climbs like the rest of us mortals.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Not sure how it was cool for Cipo - he would abandon if the course even looked like going over a speed hump!. But in a way that's what makes Grand Tours so good , there's something in it for everyone -sprinters, roullers, pure climbers and then the solid overall GC riders.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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I have always been frustrated with the fact that sprinters quit after all of the "flat" stages. To me it shows a disrespect to the fans and to the GT itself.

BTW didn't Cav say it was disrespectful not to "race" the Milan stage. Its okay to race a circut where 14 riders broke wheels on the first lap but to do the high mountains is too much for him.

My thought is that unless you have a race doctors note that corrobortes a real reason to quit such as a major crash or a severe illness then the prize money should go to the next in line for that stage that stayed in the race.

Sprinters stop being skirts and do your job.
 
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Anonymous

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ok.. lets cause some trouble...

actually discussed this for a while yesterday at home and i have no problem with it...

Cav (im going to refrain from saying cavvy, i know what controversy it causes), is a sprinter, a professional cyclist, paid to spring and win races. He has won three stages in this giro, done the job asked of him, pleased the team, the sponsors, but there is more to do this season and that needs to be thought about..

what would be the point of him completing the giro, just so that he can say "i completed the giro"... it has no effect on the points competition whatsoever, because the giro points competion is NOT sprint based like the tour..
So he could continue, finish the giro, whoopy doo.. he could also tire himself out completely climbing the mountains, for no reason, he could also come of on one of the descents, break a collarbone and miss the tour..

on the flip side, he can leave now, job done, and go off, couple of days break and then some training, head out to france, recce some of the stage finishes in advance ready for july, and be a serious contender for the green jersey..

Its a professional sport, riders are there to win, and the teams are there to make sure they put the riders in the best possible position to win.. If liverpool are 2-0 with ten minutes to go and rafa takes torres and gerrard off to rest them with a big game coming up, do we all complain, do we say nando and stevie should have finished the match.. what a disgrace it is them coming off early.. NO..

Sprinters stop being skirts and do your job.
And cav's job was? to win as many sprint stages as possible.. i would say he has done his job.. of course the giro could have covered it and had a prestigious sprint stage on the final day instead of some stupid TT :D

(that said, i think cav should have said up yours to the olympics and tried to carry on to paris... as someone who was in paris i would say that though)
 
It's more a case of do you want them in the GTs or not.

It's pretty hard to make rules about folks that want to quit dropping out - all a rider has to do is say they are hurt or sick - just like anyone else abandoning the race. If you could create rules or penalities to make them complete the races they wouldn't enter.

Anyway GT organisers want them there - that's why they put sprint stages in the first week.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ElChingon said:
These guys just bail with no excuse other than they can't handle the mountains.

Very few sprinters are bad on the hills, Cipo probably being the one major exception. McEwen used to use the Giro for training for the TdF and that's the only reason he left the Giro early. McEwen, Zabel and Boonen are all good sprinters with good climbing abilities (hence why they have all won green jerseys in the TdF). Even Cav, at his relatively young age, did OK at MSR this year!

In regards to Tifosi's statement that they should "learn to motor up those climbs like the rest of us mortals", McEwen cruised up Alpe d'Huez at the not so lazy speed of 53 minutes after a 200 km stage. Believe me, even the sprinters can get up these climbs better than us mere mortals!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cipo was un-invited to a number of TdF for this very reason.

But then, what motivation do sprinters have when uphill finishes are awarded as many points as flat finishes. Who is more likely to win this years sprinters jersey, Di Luca, or team mate Petacchi?
 
Mar 3, 2009
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tifosa said:
So what's worse, a whiner or sprinter who knows his limits and quits?

Just because a sprinter knows his limits and quits, doesn't necessarily mean he's not a whiner. :)

Just thought that was important for the record.

Cheers
Greg Johnson
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Then perhaps the Points Jersey is to be devided into Flat Sprints and Uphill Wins?

Then we'd still have the semi not to high finishes and not so flat which the sprinters don't win and neither do the real climbers.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Greg Johnson said:
Just because a sprinter knows his limits and quits, doesn't necessarily mean he's not a whiner. :)

True that. Not like I resemble that remark ... :)

I simply don't know any pure climbers who ride piano on the flats for 100k, crack wise about the negative elevation gain, and wax poetic on the virtues of altitude training - all the while falling off the back like they've been shot out of a cannon and expecting the group to actually wait for them (admit it - you know someone like this!)
 
elapid said:
Very few sprinters are bad on the hills, Cipo probably being the one major exception. McEwen used to use the Giro for training for the TdF and that's the only reason he left the Giro early. McEwen, Zabel and Boonen are all good sprinters with good climbing abilities (hence why they have all won green jerseys in the TdF). Even Cav, at his relatively young age, did OK at MSR this year!

That's just not true. Sprinters are overall the worst climbers in the peloton. Some are better than others but as a group they generally suck. That doesn't mean they can't finish mountain stages though. Quitting because of mountains is just a mental issue of not wanting to punish yourself.

One thing they could do for it to not be so obvious is to instead of quitting before a stage starts they could simply just make sure to miss the time limit on a big mountain stage if they are afraid the organizers won't reinvite them.

This year also the organizers have shot themselves in the foot with the course with regards to the sprinters. There are no real sprinter stages in the last week except maybe stage 18 but that will probably see a long break and not even a sprinter stage on the final day. So why should anyone want to stay in the race?

The only real reasons sprinters finish the Tour is if they are fighting in the top for the green jersey and because of the Champs-Élysées stage which is the most prestigious stage win there is for a sprinter. Take away those aspects and no sprinter would finish the tour either.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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benpounder said:
But then, what motivation do sprinters have when uphill finishes are awarded as many points as flat finishes. Who is more likely to win this years sprinters jersey, Di Luca, or team mate Petacchi?
Sprinters complained as early as December (November) when this year's Giro was unveiled - and rightly so, from their point of view.

But sprinters going home early is a price I'll gladly pay for a spectacular, challenging, interesting Grand Tour.
 
May 6, 2009
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elapid said:
Very few sprinters are bad on the hills, Cipo probably being the one major exception. McEwen used to use the Giro for training for the TdF and that's the only reason he left the Giro early. McEwen, Zabel and Boonen are all good sprinters with good climbing abilities (hence why they have all won green jerseys in the TdF). Even Cav, at his relatively young age, did OK at MSR this year!

In regards to Tifosi's statement that they should "learn to motor up those climbs like the rest of us mortals", McEwen cruised up Alpe d'Huez at the not so lazy speed of 53 minutes after a 200 km stage. Believe me, even the sprinters can get up these climbs better than us mere mortals!

I reckon I'm ok at climbing (i'm better at it then sprinting for example) and I would be over the moon if I did it in that time.
 
Dont forget that Cipo finished the Giro regularly winning the points jersey a few times I think. It was only at the Tour that he would drop out at the first hint of a mountain which I admit I did not like. Guess it illustrates his favour for the Giro, dragging himself over the mountains in Italy which are arguably tougher.

In general I dont like guys stopping midrace for no reason. However I can understand the sprinters quitting the Giro this year as there is no more sprint stages and there is another GT coming up, if the route was more like a Tour route, then I would be more annoyed at them.

I think the best climbing sprinters were Erik Zabel & Sean Kelly.
 
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pmcg76 said:
Dont forget that Cipo finished the Giro regularly winning the points jersey a few times I think. It was only at the Tour that he would drop out at the first hint of a mountain which I admit I did not like. Guess it illustrates his favour for the Giro, dragging himself over the mountains in Italy which are arguably tougher.

In general I dont like guys stopping midrace for no reason. However I can understand the sprinters quitting the Giro this year as there is no more sprint stages and there is another GT coming up, if the route was more like a Tour route, then I would be more annoyed at them.

I think the best climbing sprinters were Erik Zabel & Sean Kelly.

or the giro's favour of him.. i dont think he would have finished this giro...

they are paid to sprint, cav has done his job.. thats it for me.. why risk extra tiredness and injury doing a job youre not being paid to do..

as for splitting the pts jersey in the giro to uphill finishing points, and sprint points.. do the giro really need any excuse for yet another ruddy competition.. its already starting to resemble a school sports day with prizes for everyone..
 
May 13, 2009
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The TdF in particular has been very formulaic. Week 1, flat flat flat boredom. Then Pyrenees/Alpes (or the other way around) with a couple of undulating stages in between under the hot mediterranean sun, perfect for breakaways. No wonder, sprinters drop out. Maybe if they changed their formula a little so that sprinters would've an incentive to stay in the race. Actually the TdF isn't doing so badly in that the green jersey is so prestigious and they have the Champs Elysees.
 
May 23, 2009
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I hate the fact that sprinters drop out early. Who cares how many stages Cavendish wins if he only has to dose his effort for 1-1.5 weeks of a 3 week race? It is not an even playing field. They should award the wins at the end of the tour, so if you drop out (not crash) the stage goes to the sprinter who finishes the race in the next best time.
 
May 23, 2009
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jfarbs

mcewen, Boonen and Zabel are (were) the real deal. Riders like Cavendish should stick to 1 day classics or go back to the track. Either that or suck it up and finish the race. Grand Tours are for the all arounders. I want to celebrate the 1 guy who can climb, TT and sprint over 3 weeks . Sure sprint finishes are exciting, but if the playing field is level, I don't care who is sprinting.
 
May 13, 2009
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jfarbs said:
I hate the fact that sprinters drop out early. Who cares how many stages Cavendish wins if he only has to dose his effort for 1-1.5 weeks of a 3 week race? It is not an even playing field. They should award the wins at the end of the tour, so if you drop out (not crash) the stage goes to the sprinter who finishes the race in the next best time.

Impossible to enforce. What about riders dropping out with stomach flu, joint aches, tendonitis, muscle cramps or whatever?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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ingsve said:
That's just not true. Sprinters are overall the worst climbers in the peloton. Some are better than others but as a group they generally suck.

I agree that sprinters are probably the worst climbers in the peloton, but then again they train for sprints, not climbing. My point is that, despite being the worst in the peloton, their climbing abilities are far better than the majority of us non-professionals and they are definitely not slouches when the gradients start to get steep.
 
Cobblestones said:
Impossible to enforce. What about riders dropping out with stomach flu, joint aches, tendonitis, muscle cramps or whatever?

It would be easy to enforce if there were a rule that if a rider does not finish a GT, he is ineligible to start the next GT. If you get sick or fall then you need time to recover, maybe even the whole winter plus the Giro if it happens during the Vuelta.

It is mostly just a problem during the Giro. Although there are non-sprinters who will ride half teh Vuelta as preparation for the world championship.
 
May 13, 2009
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BroDeal said:
It would be easy to enforce if there were a rule that if a rider does not finish a GT, he is ineligible to start the next GT. If you get sick or fall then you need time to recover, maybe even the whole winter plus the Giro if it happens during the Vuelta.

It is mostly just a problem during the Giro. Although there are non-sprinters who will ride half teh Vuelta as preparation for the world championship.

C'mon. That would be harsh. You don't need that long to recover from, say, a stomach flu. It would also require the three GT organizers to work together.