Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This topic was floating through my mind quite a bit this past offseason and I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on what Vaughters and this article are advocating for.

Jonathan Vaughters: Where does big-time pro cycling in the US go from here? | Cyclingnews.com

My favorite team at the time (Etixx QS) had just let go of/failed to resign all but two of my favorite racers on that team (Cavendish, Kwiatkowski, Uran all walked out the door). Frustrated by that, I started to evaluate what other teams and pros I might invest more time into following. I ended up choosing Cannondale Pro Cycling primarily due to the number of young Americans they have on their roster and the fact that developing American talent is something they take seriously. It wasn't an easy choice, however, because, as many of you know, I LOVE the Classics. That love affair eventually evolved into a love for Classics teams and specialists. So, pulling for Etixx became a big part of my springs for a time. At this point, I am happy with the choice I made though and enjoy watching the young guns at Cannondale go after it.

My first question for you is should we feel some obligation to support the cyclists that come from our regions, states, and nations or should we just follow the lads or ladies we enjoy watching race bikes? My second and final questions are: what got you into following pro cycling and what do you think needs to happen to get more cyclists and others interested in following the sport?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
873 Posts
Cycling has always been an odd sport for me to follow. I really don't care to follow any one team, I end up rooting for individuals, and therefore wishing a particular team was stronger to support that guy. Like Sagan/Tinkoff in the Spring.

I want to see exciting racing and guys with that "it" factor. Last year I found myself pulling for Contador over Froome. I can't stand the guy but he does make for interesting races.

Up to this point there are very few US guys that have caught my interest; TVG I guess, Lawson Craddock because I met him at the Tour of Utah and another Utah kid who still hasn't seen the big time- TJ Eisenhart. He rides for BMC and his parents have a house near me. I see him a lot during the winter and even managed to hang on for a few miles with him when he was at the tail end of a 7hr day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cycling has always been an odd sport for me to follow. I really don't care to follow any one team, I end up rooting for individuals, and therefore wishing a particular team was stronger to support that guy. Like Sagan/Tinkoff in the Spring.

I want to see exciting racing and guys with that "it" factor. Last year I found myself pulling for Contador over Froome. I can't stand the guy but he does make for interesting races.

Up to this point there are very few US guys that have caught my interest; TVG I guess, Lawson Craddock because I met him at the Tour of Utah and another Utah kid who still hasn't seen the big time- TJ Eisenhart. He rides for BMC and his parents have a house near me. I see him a lot during the winter and even managed to hang on for a few miles with him when he was at the tail end of a 7hr day.
I feel that way sometimes too. It's much easier to just follow your favorite pros. The contracts in cycling are so short and the teams are often pretty unstable, so their sponsorship deal or roster could change suddenly or frequently. I ended up enjoying pulling for teams despite all of that though because it kind of forced me to take a closer look at the developing talent rather than just focusing on the stars. That part is kind of fun. I am really liking Van Baarle, Woods, and Wippert from Cannondale and Vakoc, Alaphilippe, and Gaviria from Etixx and Theuns and Stuyven from Trek for instance. I am also down for pulling for my fellow Utah boys. I grew up in SLC, graduated from Highland High and the U twice. Go Utes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,580 Posts
It's difficult to stick with a team because, much like other US sports, free agency has team members changing squads all the time.

Jensie is and always will be my favorite. His retirement left a big vacancy in my cycling fandom.

If I had to pick a current team, id probably go with BMC. TVG is from my area, and i truly like their bikes.

I also find myself pulling for Sagan, just because he seems so carefree about everything, and is such a well rounded cyclist.

The fact that most of the racing is in Europe, and hard to find to watch makes it difficult to be very committed. Paris-Roubaix is my favorite event, but i can't even be bothered to watch it live.

Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
865 Posts
Cycling is more individual for me than team sports. The other big thing is that there are very few cyclists whom I root against. I don't have warm spots for Bertie, Froome or Boonen, but it doesn't go all the way to hate--it's better put that I'd prefer they finish second.

Probably the only 'Mericans I relentlessly root FOR are Phil "The Thrill" Gaimon and Taylor Phinney--but that's largely because of their great social media profiles (both very funny guys online).

One other oddity of cycling my fandom--I like guys riders with awkward cycling styles: Damien Gaudin, Ian Stannard--as an old slow guy, I find this very relatable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cycling is more individual for me than team sports. The other big thing is that there are very few cyclists whom I root against. I don't have warm spots for Bertie, Froome or Boonen, but it doesn't go all the way to hate--it's better put that I'd prefer they finish second.

Probably the only 'Mericans I relentlessly root FOR are Phil "The Thrill" Gaimon and Taylor Phinney--but that's largely because of their great social media profiles (both very funny guys online).

One other oddity of cycling my fandom--I like guys riders with awkward cycling styles: Damien Gaudin, Ian Stannard--as an old slow guy, I find this very relatable.
I completely get this stuff as well. It doesn't get much wackier than Cannondale Pro Cycling and the Ride Argyle outfit. I like Uran because he dresses cool on and off of the bike and he's quirky. I'm not even a big GC rider type of fan, but I dig his style. I like Craddock and Dombrowski in part because they are funny on instagram and whenever I see them on videos. It's absolutely an odd sport to follow, but that's kind of what makes it cool.

My kind of thing all day long:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BD8XA4do93_/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
I get it for sure. My favorite team that I was fanatical in following was Euskaltel Euskadi. They were like the bad news bears of the pro peloton. Every member that moved on to other teams after Euskaltel dissolved has performed at a much higher level, (excluding Sanchez) Igor Anton, the izzaguiirre brothers, etc. I have framed authentic jerseys and jackets from various years, and I break several fashion rules by wearing their kit on the road very occasionally. Man I miss them, and seeing the beautiful pre-2015 Orcas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
865 Posts
I completely get this stuff as well. It doesn't get much wackier than Cannondale Pro Cycling and the Ride Argyle outfit. I like Uran because he dresses cool on and off of the bike and he's quirky. I'm not even a big GC rider type of fan, but I dig his style. I like Craddock and Dombrowski in part because they are funny on instagram and whenever I see them on videos. It's absolutely an odd sport to follow, but that's kind of what makes it cool.

My kind of thing all day long:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BD8XA4do93_/
ha , ha! almost forgot about uran--very stylish dude. one of the best instagram accounts, for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I get it for sure. My favorite team that I was fanatical in following was Euskaltel Euskadi. They were like the bad news bears of the pro peloton. Every member that moved on to other teams after Euskaltel dissolved has performed at a much higher level, (excluding Sanchez) Igor Anton, the izzaguiirre brothers, etc. I have framed authentic jerseys and jackets from various years, and I break several fashion rules by wearing their kit on the road very occasionally. Man I miss them, and seeing the beautiful pre-2015 Orcas.
I loved the kits. They were so classic.


Shorts Sky Vehicle Smile Cloud
 

·
Not Banned
Joined
·
49,013 Posts
I was a Domo Farm Frites guy. Still like QS. Prefer teams that care about April over July.

hard to develop young talent with the joke that is called USAC. They collect heaps of revenue but if a young up and coming racer wants to compete abroad the purse strings are knotted. It will cost a US Junior over 8 Grand to go race Road, Track, CX worlds across the pond. Much of that $ going to the USAC, whom if they succeed will suddenly take credit for their success.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was a Domo Farm Frites guy. Still like QS. Prefer teams that care about April over July.

hard to develop young talent with the joke that is called USAC. They collect heaps of revenue but if a young up and coming racer wants to compete abroad the purse strings are knotted. It will cost a US Junior over 8 Grand to go race Road, Track, CX worlds across the pond. Much of that $ going to the USAC, whom if they succeed will suddenly take credit for their success.
It's definitely an issue. That's why I view the American conti teams that are focused on developing young pros (like those ran by Axle Merckx, George Hincapie, and J. Vaughters) are the best thing to happen to American Cycling. It's where the stars of the future are now coming from, if you ask me.

A closer look at the American Continental outfits | Cyclingnews.com

I guess getting to that level is the bigger problem. I'm not sure how you fix what's going on with juniors and racing for youth though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Outside of the big names a person I've latched on to and started following is Chad Haga. He's a part of Team Giant-Alpecin and was one of the more seriously injured in a collision with a car while training back in January. It's been neat following his injury and recovery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,038 Posts
I just cheer for a few riders that fall into the all rounder group or the sprinters. With baseball you can cheer for a certain team and in 20 years they will still be there and with cycling they just go poof like your photos on the hard drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
My husband got me to start watching pro cycling after we got married. So it would have been 2003, 2004 that I started watching. 2005 I picked Valverde as my favorite rider (did not pick a favorite before him). He's been my guy since then. I've stuck by him as my favorite through everything. As a result of him being the rider I pull for his team has been the team I cheer for as well, through whatever sponsorship they happen to have at the time. Guess it helps they have been one of the more stable teams as well. When he finally chooses to retire I'm really not sure what I'll do then, it'll definitely leave a void. I actually usually seem to be more drawn towards the Spaniards to cheer for as well. So as long as the team is still around, I'll most likely still cheer for whoever is with Movistar when Valverde does choose to retire. As for the Americans I do cheer for Tejay and Taylor Phinney. Even when it comes to something like the Worlds or the Olympics I'm going to cheer for my favorite rider first regardless of what country he is from. So even though I'm American I cheer for Valverde and thus the Spanish team at the Worlds and Olympics including getting to go to the Worlds last year to see them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I kind of fell into cycling fandom by accident. I was trying to find a fun way to improve my health after years of practicing law under stressful circumstances (employment litigation) and eating poorly. My blood pressure and weight were at unhealthy/dangerous levels given my family's history with cardiovascular problems. I quickly identified triathlon as the "ideal" solution. I started training by running 5ks and got a swim coach. I was toughing it out, but hating both to be honest. As I initiated steps to prepare for the bike portion of those events something amazing happend, I fell in love with riding a bike just like I had as a kid. I started looking into cycling more and came across the old Garmin Cervelo/Cervelo Test Team "Beyond the Peloton" videos (which were new and a big deal at the time) and the rest is history. The video I ended up watching multiple times during those early years was one of the Roubiax videos. So, I was kind of hooked on the Spring Classics from the beginning.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLU-2wFcmT-ryWfyNdQI0foTzcO7tr-kBe

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
My favorite racers are all connected to the Classics for the most part as well. I like Sagan, Degenkolb, Stybar, Kwiatkowski, Michael Matthews, and Simon Gerrans most. My fondness for Stybar comes from the period when I was considered trying cyclocross and I was watching a bunch of it. I latched on to him as my favorite in that sport and I kept following him once he started to make waves on the road. If I had to pick one, it would probably be Sagan at this point. He actually used to annoy me for a while, but he matured a bunch, as most of us do, and grew on me. He is so skilled and does so many things well that I can't help but enjoy the ride. I wish he would focus more on the Ardennes, but I think he loves the Tour of Cali and takes time to prepare for that instead.

The old guard that were my favorites when racing and/or in their prime were Hushovd, Cancellara, Boonen, Juan Antonio Flecha, and G. Hincapie.
 

·
Not Banned
Joined
·
49,013 Posts
It's definitely an issue. That's why I view the American conti teams that are focused on developing young pros (like those ran by Axle Merckx, George Hincapie, and J. Vaughters) are the best thing to happen to American Cycling. It's where the stars of the future are now coming from, if you ask me.

A closer look at the American Continental outfits | Cyclingnews.com

I guess getting to that level is the bigger problem. I'm not sure how you fix what's going on with juniors and racing for youth though.
The USAC needs to take a portion of the wad of cash they collect every weekend at sanctioned races towards youth development. Our top young racers should not have to fund raise to get Euro or Worlds experience. They toss $ at paid pros on teams that fund them but come up empty for Juniors. But when a junior succeeds they are first to take credit
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The USAC needs to take a portion of the wad of cash they collect every weekend at sanctioned races towards youth development. Our top young racers should not have to fund raise to get Euro or Worlds experience. They toss $ at paid pros on teams that fund them but come up empty for Juniors. But when a junior succeeds they are first to take credit
It makes sense to me, but who has the influence to pressure them into doing something like that? It sounds like the parents of the younger racers and others that care about our juniors program need to organize and establish an entity that fights for things like this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Outside of the big names a person I've latched on to and started following is Chad Haga. He's a part of Team Giant-Alpecin and was one of the more seriously injured in a collision with a car while training back in January. It's been neat following his injury and recovery.
Haga seems like he has some real potential. I wonder if he will have to move to another team like Craddock did to get a chance to shine though???
 

·
off the back
Joined
·
15,584 Posts
My favorites are hard to describe why, they just are. For teams, I kinda have a soft spot for some of the smaller Pro-Continental teams. Since I've begun to enjoy the spring classics more than the grand tours, I like to see a lot of the smaller Belgian teams, Wanty, Topsport Vlandaaren, Roompot and such.

I do like the Giro best as far as the tours go, and I like that the smaller Italian teams get invites. I love Bardiani and loved Vini Fantini despite what DiLuca and Santambrogio did to them. Which is why despite loving their kit, I cannot root for Nippo-Vini Fantini, as the owner of Farnese Vini, and now co-sponsor of Nippo, was the man who forced the Vini Fantini DS to sign DiLuca in the first place. Almost destroyed the team, and then took his sponsorship money to another squad, Nippo. So the former Vini Fantini is now Southeast, who I have a soft spot for. Flourescent yellow kit!

And I like seeing Caja Rujal in the Vuelta and whatever smaller races they, and those other Belgian and Italian teams can get into.

Big teams I like Movistar, since they are Banesto/Caisse D'epagne, etc, and Lampre, just for their kit. FDJ, and Lotto Jumbo. Mostly its just individual riders, foremost among them Sagan. Van marcke, Roelandts, Stybar, Valverde, Costa, Rodriguez, Mikel Landa, Van den Berg, Uran, bunch of others. Oddly enough, no Americans.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top