The Grand 2022 Wollongong UCI Road World Championships Thread, September 18th-25th

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but are not the U23 riders part of a countries total quota.
yeah, they are. But additional entries would make it even worse, to be honest. Although they definitely should do it for the ITT, if they want to keep it a part of the elite race.

In national championships it's also not uncommon that U23 and elite race together, or even more than one country in the same race, by the way. But the domestique/leader situation in the world championships of course makes it a bit more complicated.
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I have a rather outspoken opinion about this.

I think at this point they should lower the age to U21. First of all, it doesn't make sense to have a potential 4 year gap between contenders when the entire point of this division is to have an age bracket to begin with. Secondly, this might have made sense back in the day when young riders were riding on their fathers instructions with beefsteaks in their pants, and doing a bit of alcohol in their bidons because it was thought to help when it rained or that it was good before doing a sprint. Today not only the science behind training has evolved, the knowledge is also easily shared over the internet. Riders can rely on a bikecomputer giving them info about how hard they are going, how many calories they are burning, the watts they are pushing. Trainers across the world can follow up the progress over Strava and other tools. This is all valuable info that help riders stay within their limits and improve in a focused and scientific way. They don't have to rely on their father's advice and race for 6 years to find out their father's advice was completely wrong. All these tools help them to rely on facts and numbers whereas a decade or two ago, young riders had nothing to rely on and needed to build up their own experience and get to know their own body and its limits in a much less efficient way. It's the reason why so many kids are this good coming out of the juniors recently. But lower the age to u21 and you get a division that makes a lot more sense. You get to eliminate riders winning prestigious races on age difference rather than talent.

But other than that, i am a firm believer that they should not exclude pros from this division. It is an age bracket. There is a full amateur circuit for rider who rather not face pros. They can go race other amateurs if that is what they want. But we are talking about an elite bracket here after all. This is supposed to be the stepping stone towards a pro career, not towards an amateur career. Furthermore, i think by excluding the most talented riders from this bracket, that you are only diluting the pool, and this is not helping the riders in the long run, that you (the people who are in favor of excluding the pro riders) are trying to "protect". I think you get better by facing the best. These riders will have a better understanding of how much they still need to improve. They will be able to race against the best in their age bracket and get a much better understanding of what is waiting for them after turning pro.

What good is it to have Tour de l'Avenir winners who only won because the big talents were not eligible to compete due to having signed a pro contract. You get a race with a lot less prestige. Same for the "world championships". The names on the winners list will increasingly feature future no-names since the best in the division will not compete as they will have signed a pro contract. There is no rewinding the clock or putting the genie back into the bottle. Young riders get to perform to their full potential much sooner (as explained) so the pro teams will start signing them much sooner. This is not going to change back it will only increase. Excluding them and you exclude the best from this age bracket. Then what is the use of it anyway? You get a U23 division filled with riders who will at best have a pro career as a 2nd level domestique, and all the others are ready to join the amateurs. Congratulations, you are the first winner of Tour de l'Avenir, baby Giro and worldchampionship in history, see you next year at the amateur races! Because we all know you only won because the best riders weren't allowed to race. It doesn't help the lesser riders, it's actually insulting in a way. They would otherwise get a much better understanding of their actual talent, get to race future stars, and in turn the races themselves would remain prestigious, would remain a benchmark and be worthy of the attention they get. Who is going to watch a WCC or Avenir filled with 3rd rate riders who next year won't be riding as a pro but rather finishing their college degree to become an accountant or join the family farm. Would you rather look back at this period in your life, having been able to race in the same races as Bernal, Pogacar or Uijtdebroeks, or being among the best in a division nobody cares about filled with amateurs?
Why not just go 18+ into the elite class for worlds? 23, 21 are just randomly chosen based on nothing (not that 18 is much different).
I agree with @Logic-is-your-friend that it would be far more appropriate nowadays to make it an Under21s race but open to all.
I agree as well. Athletic development and sophisticated training begin earlier and earlier, so it seems to make the 23y.o. Benchmark outdated. It always seemed a little odd to 22–23 y.o.’s still in a “youth” category when compared to American major sports where the very best typically entered the pro ranks at 21-22, and often earlier for baseball and hockey.
I agree as well. Athletic development and sophisticated training begin earlier and earlier, so it seems to make the 23y.o. Benchmark outdated. It always seemed a little odd to 22–23 y.o.’s still in a “youth” category when compared to American major sports where the very best typically entered the pro ranks at 21-22, and often earlier for baseball and hockey.
Makes the tour white Jersey award to the first under 26 somewhat stupid.
Now after the regroup there are attacks that I think will break up the small peloton. France was patient and brought it back together finally shelling a couple of their good sized group of french teammates and breaking up the small peloton that is left. Just a bit more than two laps left.
Clever attack by eckestorffer(Sp) got a good gap at the finish but after a few minutes and peloton pauses they have pinned him to 9 to 10 seconds now. Brought back now didn't last long
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Morgado(POR) attacks again near the finish will the group watch each other out of it. probably not but we will see.
2nd near finish attack seeing if he can get away on last lap? Maybe.
Group hesitating a bit. Morgado trying for the escape, might have been better to try the late last lap attack as it worked twice. 18 Seconds 15k left.
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After watching Ayuso, who has the composure of a serial killer and Erling Haaland playing like he's one and a half people who interviewers seem absolutely terrified of, it's really quite refreshing to see these awkward youngsters standing about 4 foot tall looking terrified in front of the camera giving some of their first big interviews.
I'm sure even serial killers have doubts sometimes.............
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