Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey, All -

I've got two separate and largely unrelated questions for discussion.

1. A little over a week ago, in a pretty small 'cross race in a small town outside of Nashville, I witnessed a phenomenon that continually eats at me and, in my mind, wreaks of a disregard of ethics. In the men's "A" race, within the first two laps, two leaders opened up a roughly 25-second gap. They maintained that gap between themselves and the rest of the field for the rest of the race. One guy pulled the entire next seven or eight laps; the guy with him sat in and drafted - for the next seven or eight laps. In the final minutes of the race, with less than one lap to go, the guy who sat in, for all intents and purposes, the entire race, broke away. The guy who pulled the majority of the race, didn't catch him and wound up losing.

Those of you who have been racing bikes for a long time, regardless of whether they are road, mountain, or 'cross, (well, alright, maybe not in downhill (ha!)) have probably seen this happen time and again.

My question is this:

Is it ethical?

I wrestle with it because it seems like a perfectly smart tactical maneuver that wins races. However, after I saw the winner cross the finish line, I couldn't help but think in some ways he really didn't deserve the win.

The folks I'm really hoping respond in this thread are those who implement this technique and those who have had success with it.

2. For those who were at nationals in Rhode Island this year, I'm dying to play the "what if?" game. Let's say, for the sake of argument, everyone shows up healthy, and the weather is dry the days prior to and on race day with temperatures in the mid-40's F. Who wins the men's elite race? Would the results have been any different?

Thanks.

Dan
 

·
50ft. Queenie
Joined
·
1,154 Posts
danwerle said:
My question is this:

Is it ethical?

I wrestle with it because it seems like a perfectly smart tactical maneuver that wins races. However, after I saw the winner cross the finish line, I couldn't help but think in some ways he really didn't deserve the win.
Dan
its totally ethical & totally smart. the only un-smart thing about that move was the guy who let someone sit on his wheel for 7 laps!! if the winner wasnt willing to pull, then the other dude should have done something to make him pull ahead.

danwerle said:
2. For those who were at nationals in Rhode Island this year, I'm dying to play the "what if?" game. Let's say, for the sake of argument, everyone shows up healthy, and the weather is dry the days prior to and on race day with temperatures in the mid-40's F. Who wins the men's elite race? Would the results have been any different?

Dan
i think it would have been a close and VERY EXCITING race between Wells & JP.
wells was on fire!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
yeah why pull if you dont have to?

now if it was in the mens b's then it wouldnt be ethical because if you can put that much time on the field, you need to upgrade. but otherwise, i agree its a smart move. and like the other psoter said, what wasnt smart was letting a guy draft off of you for 7 laps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
Chris Horner... good example

He was in a great position to maintain his break away from the peloton in last years TDF (can't recall the stage #). The rider that stuck with him refused to keep on wokring, so he basically figured that either way he was going to at best finish second. Instead of letting the other rider take the advantage and win, he sat up and let the peloton catch them.

I think that was good strategy on his part.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I'm convinced. I remember that TdF stage and having that gnawing sense of impending doom watching Horner get caught. Also, a poster in another thread had, generously, posted a link with four of the Belgian races held this past December. On at least one of those races, you could clearly see the lead rider signaling (with hand gestures) for those with him in his pack to take pulls, so as to avoid the scenario I had asked about earlier in this thread.

Sitting in for several laps, if someone can get away with it, makes more sense now.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Although I totally agree with the comments about trying to make the eventual winner pull through, there is no shame in second place. Even with Horner, 2nd would have been better than 38th place or whatever place he ended up with.

Maybe someday when I win a race (or a bunch of races), I will feel different.

I also wonder if the two were teammates or even training partners and worked this out before the event. Maybe the guy in second was trying to lock up a series placing and second place did that just fine for him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
James A said:
Although I totally agree with the comments about trying to make the eventual winner pull through, there is no shame in second place. Even with Horner, 2nd would have been better than 38th place or whatever place he ended up with.
QUOTE]

Right, but you also have to remember that in the TDF, for the stages, unless you win it, 2nd is the same as 38th (or in some cases last place). Horner's quote was along the lines that to finish in second was essentially like finishing in last place (to him). He wasn't going to work his a$$ off for someone not on his team to win if they weren't going to pull.

In a cross race or any other single day event, unless you want 2-3 other guys in the hunt, you probably will push it through, even if you think the guy sucking off you for 6 laps will probably be the one to win. I'd probably have some choice words to say to him after the race though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
KonaMan said:
I think that was good strategy on his part.
Are you serious? Make the choice: Be remembered for (at worst) second place stage in your first ever TdeF.

OR

Be remembered for throwing your chance of a stage victory in the worlds biggest bike race because you refused to accept your chances of possible second place. I bet Saunier Duval were not happy missing out on all the PR for a US stage winner.

Vino nearly got canned by T-mobile a few years ago for such tactics, refusing anything but # 1.

Little different for your local CX series I agree
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top