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Cycling a team sport ....
Last Post 06/11/2013 12:52 AM by 79 pmooney. 7 Replies.
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Ride On

Posts:442

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06/10/2013 06:09 AM
In every other team sport, you compete first against your teammates to make the starting line up, then against the other team. No one is sure of a spot, not even sprinter Tyler Farrar, Vansummeren said. “I really don't want to have a competition against my colleagues. It should not depend on who rides hardest in a test. Of course I will not win the Tour, but I can play a role for the team.”
ChinookPass

Posts:467

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06/10/2013 10:39 AM
That's kind of the price you pay for not being a tour contender. You are just another guy in the pile of domestiques. The cycling world is full of them. It's not a good time to have your name in rumors that you are going to another team (i.e. Stetina).

Though I think there are a few Garmin guys who can bank on a Tour spot: Hesjedal, Miller, Talansky, Dan Martin. The best domestiques are the guys who also come through when they get their rare chance. I'd put Vansummeren in that category though you can only milk that PR victory for so long.
C2K_Rider

Posts:172

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06/10/2013 11:36 AM
Vying for a spot on a team is pretty universal - so I don't know what the complaint can be.

However, Cycling, I think, is very different in that while there is a set team for a given race, there is no chance of replacement during a race. Unlike the ball sports in which they have an excess of team members and replace at will during a game and all season. Imagine if in any given race a team could call on extra riders to take a over if someone was doing poorly or crashed out.
Orange Crush

Posts:1217

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06/10/2013 01:05 PM
Cycling is a bit different from other sports in that points are awarded to individuals. That makes the whole thing a bit trickier.
79pmooney

Posts:1173

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06/10/2013 04:17 PM
There's another place where cycling is different. To win a mass start race, ie a race where a group of competitors start together, frequently the assistance of those other competitors is needed. In fact, teams that could win without outside assistance are the outliers, not the norm. (US Postal/Discover and Sky). Contador's use of whatever competitor who might mutually benefit from the alliance is a norm that has been happening for over a century. (Robbie McKeuen who would jump on any train going to his station, who care's what his ticket says.)

Just to keep things confusing!

Ben
Master50

Posts:238

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06/10/2013 09:53 PM
79
I for one find that one of the most intriguing part of bike racing. Often your success requires you to cooperate with your opponent. It is a real tactical twist over many other sports.
DavidsonDuke

Posts:6

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06/10/2013 11:04 PM
Most folks don't realize that cycling is a team sport and mistake the importance of team tactics. OTOH, hardcore fans, a bit appalled by this lack of knowledge, often overrate the importance of team tactics, especially in Grand Tours. Almost always, the winner of the race have the best combination of mountain top stages and time trials. The team keeps them safe, etc, but the strongest individual usually wins.
79pmooney

Posts:1173

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06/11/2013 12:52 AM
DavidsonDuke, the winner is the rider who lost the least time; in TTs, on the road and on mountain finishes. Crashes, mechanicals, etc. may well add to that time. Some riders manage to always have team cars and teammates close. Some riders get that it is their job to well liked so they can ask an adversary for help in a pinch. Also it is their job to suck it up and do what has to be done when that isn't available. I love watching Alberto Contador because he has the humility to do the first and the heart to do the second.

Ben
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