what would you consider to be the most important attribute in competitive cycling?

Aug 25, 2012
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Sprinting?
Climbing?
TTing?

Combination?

different races requiring different attributes such as grand tours vs single day races?

I know very little about the sport but it seems like the most common characteristic of the elite ones is that they are very good climbers and dominant time trialists as opposed to someone that can sprint, or someone that can be in the top in both sprint and TT (although I cant find any cyclists that fit this catagory, there must be some)?
 
today its clearly climbing.

Exhibit a - Andy Schleck. Probably not even in the top 50 of any of tting, cobbles, sprints, descents.

but one of the biggest names, and one of the biggest earners in the sport.

Purito can arguably be exhibit b.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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shakeshakeshake said:
Sprinting?
Climbing?
TTing?

Combination?
Of the ones you listed I would say TTing the most important with climbing second. Or even better a combination of being able to TT and climb well. Look at each cyclist who has won the tour 5 times, each one was a very good time trialist. Plus stage races frequently come down to and are decided in the time trial.
 
shakeshakeshake said:
Sprinting?
Climbing?
TTing?

Combination?

different races requiring different attributes such as grand tours vs single day races?

I know very little about the sport but it seems like the most common characteristic of the elite ones is that they are very good climbers and dominant time trialists as opposed to someone that can sprint, or someone that can be in the top in both sprint and TT (although I cant find any cyclists that fit this catagory, there must be some)?
The biggest stars are the riders that can win the TdF since they get most media attention. The winner of the TdF is pretty much always a good TT'er and climber. A good TT rider that can't climb will fall far out of the top of the GC while a very good climber can reach a top10 of the GC even if his TT sucks.

Cavendish is a pure sprinter. Sucks at anything else, but he is the best sprinter out there. That makes him a big star as well, but he will never be able to win a stage race with a decent climb in it, but he will be able to win many stages of a stage race.

There are also the 1-day races which usually require different qualities. A great climber like Basso for example has never been able to perform in a hilly one day race.
 
Kwibus said:
The biggest stars are the riders that can win the TdF since they get most media attention. The winner of the TdF is pretty much always a good TT'er and climber. A good TT rider that can't climb will fall far out of the top of the GC while a very good climber can reach a top10 of the GC even if his TT sucks.

Cavendish is a pure sprinter. Sucks at anything else, but he is the best sprinter out there. That makes him a big star as well, but he will never be able to win a stage race with a decent climb in it, but he will be able to win many stages of a stage race.

There are also the 1-day races which usually require different qualities. A great climber like Basso for example has never been able to perform in a hilly one day race.
He did podium L-B-L ;)
 
Netserk said:
To me the most important thing is will power. It's the difference between Andy 'I-have-never-won-a-stage-race' Schleck and Alberto 'I-have-won-at-least-one-GT-each-year-since-2007' Contador.
Allthough I agree with you that willpower is incredibly important the difference between Alberto and Andy can also easily be explained by Andy's inability to TT :)

Allthough their difference in willpower is huge as well.
 
The fact that there are so many aspects.
Riders of many different sizes and skills competing against each other. In how many other sports would a person like Dumoulin and a person like Hushovd be competing in the same event? Sure, they may not be competing for the same goals within the race, but then again; aren't they both sorta sprinters?

Goals within the race: That's another thing, in stage-races at least; a race can have multiple races going on at the same time.
 
Jul 29, 2012
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Kwibus said:
Allthough I agree with you that willpower is incredibly important the difference between Alberto and Andy can also easily be explained by Andy's inability to TT :)

Allthough their difference in willpower is huge as well.
I think will is the most important thing. That's what makes Contador and Cancellara even greater, they've such hunger to win. Unbelievable.
 
Mellow Velo said:
Top physiological qualities and the ability to suffer.
Ability to suffer is pretty much the same as willpower. Your will has to be stronger than the pain your suffering.

All those comments on willpower, big heart etc. are ofcourse right, but I think OP was specifically asking for which disciplines in cycling are the most important. Climbing, sprinting etc.
 
What does "most important" mean - ability to make most money?

I would guess TT in that case, because even if you're just average you're still a valuable teammate. Being just an average sprinter and nothing else makes you useless and being an average climber too for the most part.
 
Oct 4, 2011
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Good question but I feel it needs to be broken down further.

What is the most important attribute do you feel for a grand tour competitor?
What is the most important attribute for a one day classic contender ?

Cycling is so diverse in disciplines that it really depends on what you or the team want to achieve when you look for attributes in a cyclist. Stage wins in the mountains, sprints,one week races,one day races and classics and the grand tours all require different attributes depending on the nature of the race.

A grand tour winner will be the most consistent over all the disciplines, usually excelling in one. A week long race can be won by a sprinter or a climber or a tt specialist depending on the nature of the race.

So to ask in professional cycling which attribute is the best is quite a bit more complex than it seems.
 

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