Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2021 (April 14-18)

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Libertines question had deeper meaning also their guess about koronins friend not from Madrid but supporting real..if I can answer for him. Libertine can very well talk about it themselves.
I guess I can understand, supporting the safe winners, "plastic fans"... but I'm an "opera fan" myself, loving operas and supporting Barcelona, well, not the club, but the players, even though the only time I've been in the Camp Nou was for a Rolling Stones concert. :joycat:
 
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Yes, the mindset of "either you're good enough to win everything or you're not good enough" fits perfectly with the archetype fan who is not a fan of the sport or even really of the particular team or athlete they've chosen, but a fan of winning. Find me a Manchester City fan over the age of 15 who doesn't have a Manchester accent, and I'll show you one such person. Similarly, most people who support Real Madrid don't fall in love with the iconic history and tradition of the club, they fall in love with the idea of the Galácticos, so watching the same style of football but played by lesser talents elsewhere doesn't suffice for them. They're only interested in seeing the best, and the resulting consistent victory lends to a very dismissive approach towards anything below the very best. Like, I know some fans would rather watch a bad race between the best than a good race between a lesser field, because they can't get as invested in the better race because they don't feel it as valuable in the lesser field, but especially in an endurance sport like cycling, where you aren't groomed as a talent through a pro team's academy from single digit age groups, how does one expect that those people who are the best became the best in the first place?

And really, is the field that bad? This is fairly standard for a 2.1 race nowadays. A few World Tour odds and sods riding for form, a few ProContis and some small teams making up the break fodder. The only such races you will find with significantly better startlists at this status are races like the Ruta del Sol, Algarve and some of the 1.1 semi-classics - most of which are pre-season and tune-up races. The days of 2010 and the Vuelta a Castilla y León featuring Contador, Mosquera, Soler and Antón duking out the mountaintops, and Coppi e Bartali with Sella, Riccò, Basso, Scarponi and Pozzovivo battling are gone. The combination of the financial crisis impacting, shortening and lessening races, and the increased Premier League-ification of World Tour cycling (partly a product of the weakening of the national calendars, and partly a product of UCI having to protect their investment from teams like Cervélo and BMC finding the loophole that let them buy a cheaper ProConti licence, spend the balance on elite riders, and get invited to any race they wanted while not having to do the UCI's globalisation project races like Beijing) means that you don't have a super-strong field of ProConti teams in Spain, Italy, Belgium and France to keep these races at a high level anymore. Back in 2010, the ProConti ranks had Evans, Ballan, Sastre, Hushovd, Voeckler, Hoogerland, Carrara, Visconti, Mosquera, Scarponi, Pozzovivo, Garzelli, Paolini, de Waele, Westra. Now we're lucky if we could find a third of that number of elite names, and riders of comparable level, instead of leading ProTeams, are domestiquing at WorldTeams, and the domestic calendars aren't strong enough to sustain ProTeams at a level as competitive as Vacansoleil, Xacobeo-Galicía or Androni Giocattoli could be back then, let alone Cervélo and BMC.
 
Yes, the mindset of "either you're good enough to win everything or you're not good enough" fits perfectly with the archetype fan who is not a fan of the sport or even really of the particular team or athlete they've chosen, but a fan of winning. Find me a Manchester City fan over the age of 15 who doesn't have a Manchester accent, and I'll show you one such person. Similarly, most people who support Real Madrid don't fall in love with the iconic history and tradition of the club, they fall in love with the idea of the Galácticos, so watching the same style of football but played by lesser talents elsewhere doesn't suffice for them. They're only interested in seeing the best, and the resulting consistent victory lends to a very dismissive approach towards anything below the very best. Like, I know some fans would rather watch a bad race between the best than a good race between a lesser field, because they can't get as invested in the better race because they don't feel it as valuable in the lesser field, but especially in an endurance sport like cycling, where you aren't groomed as a talent through a pro team's academy from single digit age groups, how does one expect that those people who are the best became the best in the first place?
Ha, I'm a Manchester City fan aged over 15 and not from around there (everyone at school in Ireland at the time supported United so I had to be different; I reckon if I were a bit younger I'd support Everton as Liverpool became the bigger and better supported team).
I've enjoyed this season a lot as City have become a bit like Quickstep - you know they are going to score/win but you don't know who it will be, so this year Gundogan and Asgreen have been the stars as opposed to the household names.

I also watch semi-pro football and the first stage of this race.
 
You can get differences with different sports. I'm a hockey fan and will watch whatever hockey game I can find. I listened to Canadian Jr League games on the radio while growing up in North Eastern Ohio. Yes I'm a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. I grew up in the 80's when they couldn't make the playoffs when everyone makes the playoffs. Yes I grew up watching Mario Lemieux play. Cycling for me is very different. Didn't grow up with it.

Stage 1 and we get a winner most people haven't heard of. Not surprising.
 
Which is why a race like this, where there will be less control and fewer big names, can usually be more fun, so long as you take it for what it is and enjoy it as a race. Which, from the sounds of things, is what you (edit: Carrick-on-Seine) do regarding football. But then, if you picked Manchester City because you were being contrarian and because they were the anti-Manchester United, it seems you've almost chanced upon a team that becomes the best by revolting against the dominant, so that makes some sense - it's similar to how his backstory and his performances as a cult hero back on Adria Mobil made me a fan of Primož Roglič, and so his current form as one of the sport's most dominant riders (and especially the brain trust surrounding him) has me ambivalent.

I also find Guardiola-ball extremely boring, if I'm honest, and the relentless sycophancy that the press show towards it and total deference to it is even duller. He did it at Barcelona, did it at Bayern and does it at Man City - hold the ball, hold the ball, hold the ball, if you lose the ball, foul immediately in the opposition half, win the ball back, and rinse and repeat until the opportunity arises for the golden pass or ten to provide a highlight reel goal. There was a TiFo video a couple of years ago that showed that, pro-rata for time spent with the opposition in possession, Manchester City are the dirtiest team in the league, but their enormous possession numbers mean that they don't actually concede that many free kicks. You can go back through the football (soccer) thread in the Café to find posts of mine from a decade ago arguing with people over the matter of quality of play vs. predictability of outcome with regards to Pep's Barcelona. But, having failed to respond to changes since Pep was in charge there, Barcelona are an interesting example right now. Their support is massive, built on that goodwill, but just a few seasons of not winning the Champions' League and only periodically winning La Liga has left them making desperate moves to hold on to those glory days and racking up colossal debts because while they do have a very strong and loyal fanbase, they also acquired a lot of fans who are unable to accept not winning every week. They could still do a domestic double this season, but that still won't suffice for those fans. And, to belatedly answer BlueRoads, I have a vested interest in them not achieving the first part of that double when they face the most solvent team in La Liga on Saturday.

Koronin... even Bruins games on NESN with Jack Edwards commentating?! Are you insane?! Why would you do that to yourself?!
 
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