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TOC Stage 1: Sunday, May 16 2010, Nevada City - Sacramento, 167.8km

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Aug 17, 2009
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cycledp said:
Is it just me, or has all the excitement of sprint finishes disappeared because of the HTC train for Cavendish? Every race ends the same: the train takes the front, then dwindles down to Renshaw and Cavendish and finally ends with Cavendish sprinting the last few hundred or so meters. It's no longer fun to watch. I don't care about Cavendish's attitude. That's irrelevant. It's just so boring to watch now. I miss the sprints of the past with McEwen, Boonen, Hushovd, Freire, etc. There might have been lead out men but not huge lead out trains. Matt Goss (also from HTC) won the stage in the Giro today, but didn't need a lead out train. I would just enjoy seeing more finishes like that instead. Anyone else feel the same way? Just curious as to how others see this.

Hear! Hear!

And is this a dying skill for the sport? Do guys see it as one injury away from ending a career? So why try to perfect it?

Not sure.
 
HTC suffocate the life out of races. They get an enviable win record to point at, sure, but their only function in many smaller races - like California and Turkey - is to strangle entertainment or exciting racing. Today's Giro stage was only exciting at the end because HTC blew their train up early and so Goss had to win it without them. As far as HTC is concerned, "it's up to you to make the race worth watching. Otherwise we'll just trample you in the sprints".

Piss off, Stapleton. Your team are the most irritating in the sport.
 
Jul 30, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
HTC suffocate the life out of races. They get an enviable win record to point at, sure, but their only function in many smaller races - like California and Turkey - is to strangle entertainment or exciting racing. Today's Giro stage was only exciting at the end because HTC blew their train up early and so Goss had to win it without them. As far as HTC is concerned, "it's up to you to make the race worth watching. Otherwise we'll just trample you in the sprints".

Piss off, Stapleton. Your team are the most irritating in the sport.

What's stopping the other teams trying the same tactic? The HTC chaps don't have motors on their bikes do they?
 
Andy99 said:
What's stopping the other teams trying the same tactic? The HTC chaps don't have motors on their bikes do they?

Not being as good at it? We've seen plenty of teams attempting to do it but, as soon as it gets to the business end, HTC will swan back in and win the stage. And when they're in races like the Tour of Turkey for it, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

I don't like sprints at the best of times, but when Cav was winning in 2008 and it was Ciolek and him train-hopping to be in the best place it was quite entertaining. Since Columbia stopped bothering even pretending they care about the GC, and just rolled out an eight-man leadout train, all semblance of interest has gone because nobody can compete with Cav over 200m, he's always got the benefit of best position, and every sprint stage is the same.

They're amazing at what they do. But there lies the problem. They turn stages into predictable snoozefests. Sometimes, the races don't help themselves with routes like yesterday's. But in all honesty, in races like this, you wake up and look at the route and KNOW Cav will win. It's not even a 'make a prediction', 'this day will suit rider X'. You KNOW Cav will win. You know exactly how it'll happen, and all you need is a picture of the finish and you can imagine it, in every minute detail, and recount it to people and they won't know you didn't watch it.

HTC are about as entertaining as doing the dusting.
 
May 15, 2009
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cycledp said:
Is it just me, or has all the excitement of sprint finishes disappeared because of the HTC train for Cavendish? Every race ends the same: the train takes the front, then dwindles down to Renshaw and Cavendish and finally ends with Cavendish sprinting the last few hundred or so meters. It's no longer fun to watch. I don't care about Cavendish's attitude. That's irrelevant. It's just so boring to watch now. I miss the sprints of the past with McEwen, Boonen, Hushovd, Freire, etc. There might have been lead out men but not huge lead out trains. Matt Goss (also from HTC) won the stage in the Giro today, but didn't need a lead out train. I would just enjoy seeing more finishes like that instead. Anyone else feel the same way? Just curious as to how others see this.

Like most casual fans enjoy how LA won tour, lots of casual fans enjoy lead out train. They think this is the real sprint that should be.

"TOC's sprint is far more interesting than Giro."

I hope Goss wins in Tour and Cav gets nothing just like today.
:D
 

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Mar 11, 2009
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Moose McKnuckles said:
Yesterday's Giro stage >>> the entire Tour of California.

ToC is emblematic of the commercialism that pervades the American mentality.....

Hey, look, they're going over Bonny Doon! Meanwhile, Evans the the crew at the Giro went over 10 Bonny Doons on the way to the climb.

Emblematic of Commercialism give me a break.

The Tour of California owes its meager success to GrassRoots Volunteerism and Community Organizers. The massive turnouts are NOT due to any AEG/ASO/Versus advertising on California Airwaves conspiracy boy...

Yes, Tesla in not a Ferrari and the ToC is not a Giro.
Nothing wrong with that.

But it was a Dark and Stormy Tuesday on BonnyDoon last year.
The Sea was angrily blowing rain and hail upon the riders that day.
But the fans were out in monumental numbers. Huge crowds.
ElkMan. ElvisImpersonator. Tough fans. Real Fans.

Where were the fans on the sloppy white roads of Tuscany?
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Andy99 said:
What's stopping the other teams trying the same tactic? The HTC chaps don't have motors on their bikes do they?

What's stopping other teams from doing what HTC is doing is that they actually want to win a major tour or the main spring classics as opposed to just stage wins and small races. This prevents them from having a lead out train like HTC. I don't think we'll ever see HTC win Paris-Roubaix, Flanders, the Giro, the Vuelta or the Tour de France, but they will remind you ad nauseum about winning stages and minor races. It's not quantity, but quality that matters.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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I would think that most teams would be quite happy if the won 6 stages at the Tour, 6 stages at the Giro and 5 stages at the Vuelta all in one season. I'd call the quality and quantity. And also, Milan - San Remo isn't one of the main classics?
 
Jul 23, 2009
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kjetilraknerud said:
I would think that most teams would be quite happy if the won 6 stages at the Tour, 6 stages at the Giro and 5 stages at the Vuelta all in one season. I'd call the quality and quantity. And also, Milan - San Remo isn't one of the main classics?

Of course they're are happy. That's not the point. Agree somewhat on Milan San Remo, but it certainly is not as prestigious as Poubaix or Flanders. They will never come close to winning the overall in a major tour, and all their stage wins, especially the ones with Cavendish, will be won in the same exact, boring way. It's like watching a movie and knowing the ending already. Why bother?
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Cal_Joe said:
You missed the point. You are focusing on the hype aspect. Most of the overblown comparisons are the hype - doesn't matter if AEG, Stapleton, whoever call it as comparable to a GT, a Euro stage race, or better than a local crit, or better than the local Saturday club ride. Ignore that crap and focus on the performance.

ignorance is bliss.
you missed my point, as hype had nothing to do with my post mate :rolleyes:

In terms of performance, course and overall entertainment this race is trailing many stage races - and i repeat, for you - let alone a GT.
 
Apr 28, 2009
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cycledp said:
Of course they're are happy. That's not the point. Agree somewhat on Milan San Remo, but it certainly is not as prestigious as Poubaix or Flanders. They will never come close to winning the overall in a major tour, and all their stage wins, especially the ones with Cavendish, will be won in the same exact, boring way. It's like watching a movie and knowing the ending already. Why bother?

I get your point, but I still think that most teams would build a sprint train like HTC if they had the riders to do it, since most teams can't win a monument or a GT. Of course Liquigas or Saxo won't do it, because they have GT riders, but a team like QuickStep should do it, like they did before.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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kjetilraknerud said:
I get your point, but I still think that most teams would build a sprint train like HTC if they had the riders to do it, since most teams can't win a monument or a GT. Of course Liquigas or Saxo won't do it, because they have GT riders, but a team like QuickStep should do it, like they did before.

Interesting point on Quick Step. Hopefully they will do it in order to bring back some excitement to the spint finishes
 
Apr 28, 2009
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Excactly. I don't know too much about the Quickstep squad, but say Devolder, Tosatto, Velo, Chavanel, Weylandt and then Boonen. They could do some damage.

HTCs problem is that they tend to use every rider in the sprint train. In 2008, Kirchen led out quite a few sprints and came seventh overall (sixth without Kohl), but last year I think the hard work on flat stages ruined a bit of the GC riding for Tony Martin. Will be interesting to see what they do with Rogers this year, as he looks to be in good form.
 

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