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Discussion Starter #1
As a new follower of the pros I am sure there is a lot I need to learn and know before making comments on styles and such but this is more of a personal observation on character than anything else. After reading the article I am linking to I am disappointed in the attitude of the TDF Champion. In my opinion a true champion welcomes a challenge not just people to help HIM look better.

Anyway here is the link.
Hushovd Not To Participate In 2012 Tour De France? | Cyclingnews.com
 

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I really don't understand that either. Especially since Thor is not a GC threat. I mean it's hard to imagine Thor ever having a much better Tour than he had this year, and even then he was no threat to Cadel. So why would it be different when he's on the same team? I wasn't pulling for Cadel to win this year anyway, and after seeing that, I'm glad.
 

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I would much rather tune into the TDF and watch Thor than watch Cadel "I sound like a mouse" Evens.
 

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Unfortunately, to win a three-week stage race like the TDF all of riders have to ride in support of the one team leader. It is too taxing and demanding to split the efforts of the team to both protect the team GC prospect AND do the multiple kilometers of high speed peloton pacing and sprint lead-outs necessary for a sprinter as well. It's either one or the other, you can't have both. Cadel is right to make the team decide which way it wants to go at the TDF. Plus, the TDF is only one race on the calender. There are many other races during the year in which the team could and would support Thor exclusively. And the team can formed around Thor for those events, just as it is selected to best support Cadel at the Tour.
 

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Which is exactly why I think the TDF sucks
The TDF does have it's crappy side but any multi-day race is basically the same...the team picks their leader and rides in support of them. But the leader of the team can change during the race if he is not doing well or crashes out. Racing is a dynamic thing and the teams need to be flexible. Take Team Radio Shack at the TDF this year. They had four potential GC contenders and they all eventually crashed out. But each time the team rallied in support of the new leader and only him. Even the former leader, if he is still in the race, rides for the new leader. Having two leaders at once divides the teams efforts. Remember Lance and Alberto Contador on the same team a few years back. Loyalties were divided in a big way and it was potentially a disaster. It's always good to have a backup plan though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The TDF does have it's crappy side but any multi-day race is basically the same...the team picks their leader and rides in support of them. But the leader of the team can change during the race if he is not doing well or crashes out. Racing is a dynamic thing and the teams need to be flexible. Take Team Radio Shack at the TDF this year. They had four potential GC contenders and they all eventually crashed out. But each time the team rallied in support of the new leader and only him. Even the former leader, if he is still in the race, rides for the new leader. Having two leaders at once divides the teams efforts. Remember Lance and Alberto Contador on the same team a few years back. Loyalties were divided in a big way and it was potentially a disaster. It's always good to have a backup plan though.
If its a team game then the winner should be the team and not the individual. The MVP of the World Series is not proclaimed the sole winner of the World Series as an example of what I am trying to say here.
 

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If its a team game then the winner should be the team and not the individual. The MVP of the World Series is not proclaimed the sole winner of the World Series as an example of what I am trying to say here.
Yeah, that kinda stumps me, too. But I think it comes from the old days when the riders rode as individuals (no teams) and they formed alliances during the race. One guy said to another, 'hey, if you help me here I'll help you there' or 'I'll pay you to help me win this stage' type thing. Or country men would help a stronger fellow country man for the glory of their flag, etc. Then teams were formed to regulate that kind of thing but still only one guy would win.
 

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For the life of me I don't see why anyone would be a water bottle runner, blocker for the real racer, there to just follow the teams instructions with absolutely NO chance to be allowed to win. Either the team as a whole wins, but if an individual wins then every member of the team should be able to do what is in their best interest not Cadel Evans. A domestique should be a pretty french girl in a maid outfit with the shortest skirt possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For the life of me I don't see why anyone would be a water bottle runner, blocker for the real racer, there to just follow the teams instructions with absolutely NO chance to be allowed to win. Either the team as a whole wins, but if an individual wins then every member of the team should be able to do what is in their best interest not Cadel Evans. A domestique should be a pretty french girl in a maid outfit with the shortest skirt possible.
You wouldn't ride a bike for a living even if it meant you could not win a big event? Pshhh!! I understand why they do it, I don't understand why the system exists.
 

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A domestique should be a pretty french girl in a maid outfit with the shortest skirt possible.
AMEN! But really, if these guys weren't domestiques they wouldn't be racers at all. They aren't good enough ('good' being a relative term here because they are still amazing!). Also, these guys do win in other races, usually smaller races. Just not the TDF. A team consists of 28 riders and when one squad of 9 riders is racing the TDF other squads are racing different races at the same time. This goes on all season. So there is plenty of opportunity for the lesser name racers on the team to score wins, too. But the TDF gets the TV time.
 

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I see the same thing in F1 racing. One driver is faster than the other, but they're on the same team, so orders say Rossberg wins this race instead of Schumacher cause we don't want Vettel to win. (no Mercades isn't that good I know but still, freaking Red Bull :mad: ) It drives me crazy, what ever happened to "the best person wins"
 

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Just to be selected to ride in the TDF is huge. Wether as a GC contender or the lowliest domestique. It is an accomplishment way beyond anything other professional athletes will ever achieve. So yeah if I where a pro and had the opportunity to bring water bottles to the rest of the team and had no chance of winning anything in the race I would go for it in a heartbeat. As far as I'm concerned, the riders who are there with no chance for individual glory are the real heros of the race. These are the guys who really love the sport and race for no other reason. What would the TDF be with nothing but the handful of riders who get the stage wins and the jerseys?
 

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Just to be selected to ride in the TDF is huge. Wether as a GC contender or the lowliest domestique. It is an accomplishment way beyond anything other professional athletes will ever achieve. So yeah if I where a pro and had the opportunity to bring water bottles to the rest of the team and had no chance of winning anything in the race I would go for it in a heartbeat. As far as I'm concerned, the riders who are there with no chance for individual glory are the real heros of the race. These are the guys who really love the sport and race for no other reason. What would the TDF be with nothing but the handful of riders who get the stage wins and the jerseys?
I like that, very well put.
 

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Just to be selected to ride in the TDF is huge. Wether as a GC contender or the lowliest domestique. It is an accomplishment way beyond anything other professional athletes will ever achieve. So yeah if I where a pro and had the opportunity to bring water bottles to the rest of the team and had no chance of winning anything in the race I would go for it in a heartbeat. As far as I'm concerned, the riders who are there with no chance for individual glory are the real heros of the race. These are the guys who really love the sport and race for no other reason. What would the TDF be with nothing but the handful of riders who get the stage wins and the jerseys?
+1

I see the same thing in F1 racing. One driver is faster than the other, but they're on the same team, so orders say Rossberg wins this race instead of Schumacher cause we don't want Vettel to win. (no Mercades isn't that good I know but still, freaking Red Bull :mad: ) It drives me crazy, what ever happened to "the best person wins"
As much as I hate to say it, I think the best person/car combination has been winning all season in F1. But I did enjoy Abu Dhabi more than most for the very reason that he didn't.
 

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The grand tours have become such technical events that choosing the team is solely based on one gc rider. Many sprinters have to fend for themselves and do double duty as water boys. At the end of a flatter stage it is amazing how they can organize, ride so fast and at such high speeds just to come in 12th. Then your day is done, tomorrow you're back to carrying food and water. Would I race like that, yes, it's a team sport and you give til there is nothing left. If you have the genetics to be the leader than you get the glory.
 

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Can't believe the comments on this thread.

Cycling exists as it does (present controversy about drugs aside from this comment) as a result of more than a century of evolution. And at the heart of "team" racing and grand tours is the notion that there is an enormous dynamic between teams, favourites, specialists, generalists, climbers, descenders, sprinters, roleurs, directors, soigneurs, mechanics, equipment, sponsors, rivalries, alliances....

A "star" does not win a Tour without their team, though many have done so with little team assistance (remember Roche?) by their strength and their strategy. But to say there should be no individual winner (ala many other team sports) is nonsense. In other team games do the rest of the team fall by the wayside leaving the "stars" to complete the game? This happens in cycling when the race enters the mountains and the cream rises to the top. Similarly, in an individual time trial, the best/strongest races alone.

And don't most of those other sports have an MVP? Or a "best on ground" or similar?

Try to think of a grand tour as more like a movie with lots of actors, technicians, a director (or in the case of cycling, usually 20 or so) with leads, support, cameos etc. Only one actor wins the Oscar don't they? And they always thank their team (and usually their parents, agent, sponsors and God).

And personally, I'm glad cycling is different to most other sports that involve teams of barely thinking automatons following play by play instructions from their coaches and can't pace, respond, recalculate for themselves (yes, I think the introduction of race radios to cycling is a disaster).

At the end of any discussion like this comes the simple option. If you don't like an aspect of cycling - watch another. Watch something like mountain biking where riders essentially do time trials. If that's going to "float your boat" for excitement and interest, more power to you.

If not, read some history of cycling, learn of the rivalries and the strategy and the planning and the management of skills and strengths and resources. If you still don't like it, that's cool. Watch tennis, or swimming, or chess.
 
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