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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can't help hating the sprint stages of grand tours. First of all the stages are boring, for obvious reasons. But my second problem is that they keep handing out stage wins to so-called "sprinters." These sprinters might be fast, but fast is a relative term, and next to a track sprinter, they look like a drag race between a vw Polo and a Pagani Zonda. In fact, these "sprinters" might be versatile. They have a great endurance, and they are fairly fast. But they don't have world class quality in any department. Still, these chaps are granted more stage wins than e.g any high-class climber.

The press where I grew up has a fetish for stage-wins. Coverage and status are determined by number of stage wins- period. And that is just what pi$$es me off. Sprinters are handed stage wins on a plate. The chance of getting a stage win as a pure endurance talent, is a lot lower. Why? Because if you are good enuff, they will never let you go. How many stage wins has Levi Leipheimer collected in the TdF? How many stage wins has Hushovd got? Would you seriously consider Hushovd a better rider than Levi? Cos I don't.

I wish somebody would just get rid of these silly sprint-specialist stages. They don't deserve to be measured along real riders. If you wanna be a great rider as an explosive dude, enter the classics, worlds or whatever. But stay away from the grand tours. It is simply not fair to compare the sprinters to the true endurance heroes.
 

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The stages are for whoever wants them. I never saw Levi attack on a flat stage. Maybe he should if he wants stage wins.

If you're referring to flatter stages giving the advantage to the peloton, maybe we should outlaw drafting, that would make racing much more exciting.:rolleyes:

And yes, Thor Hushovd is a better rider than Levi Leipheimer. He has won a pretty big classic, Ghent Wevelgem, while Levi's biggest win is probably the Tour of Germany.

Silas
 

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Ah yes...

tricycletalent said:
I can't help hating the sprint stages of grand tours. First of all the stages are boring, for obvious reasons. But my second problem is that they keep handing out stage wins to so-called "sprinters." These sprinters might be fast, but fast is a relative term, and next to a track sprinter, they look like a drag race between a vw Polo and a Pagani Zonda. In fact, these "sprinters" might be versatile. They have a great endurance, and they are fairly fast. But they don't have world class quality in any department. Still, these chaps are granted more stage wins than e.g any high-class climber.

The press where I grew up has a fetish for stage-wins. Coverage and status are determined by number of stage wins- period. And that is just what pi$$es me off. Sprinters are handed stage wins on a plate. The chance of getting a stage win as a pure endurance talent, is a lot lower. Why? Because if you are good enuff, they will never let you go. How many stage wins has Levi Leipheimer collected in the TdF? How many stage wins has Hushovd got? Would you seriously consider Hushovd a better rider than Levi? Cos I don't.

I wish somebody would just get rid of these silly sprint-specialist stages. They don't deserve to be measured along real riders. If you wanna be a great rider as an explosive dude, enter the classics, worlds or whatever. But stay away from the grand tours. It is simply not fair to compare the sprinters to the true endurance heroes.
Another year, another sprint "hater" so to speak. Every year, there is always a few people who say that sprinters aren't real bike racers, which is far from the truth. Then you always have people who compare track sprinters to road sprinters, and as you said, there isn't a comparison. Show me a track sprinter who could ride a 200km + stage, and then finish it off with a 40+ mph sprint. It ain't gonna happen chief.

Sprinting is just another speciality in road racing in general. Just like climbing. Just like time trialing. They all take different finely tuned skill sets to be really world class at, and make no bones about it, these guys fighting it out for mass sprint wins are world class athletes, and world class endurance athletes. I'm probably certain, just from your comments, that you've never ridden a race and then battled it out for the win going elbow to elbow at 40 miles per hour as you approach the line. The bike handling skills required, plus just the raw power to do it evades you I'm sure.

These guys who do win classics are sometimes sprinters (Tom Boonen anyone?). The sprinters who are riding the grand tours are generally the guys who are battling it out throughout the entire year from February to October most times, and who probably ride the most races, whereas most grand tour contenders, at least these days, will concentrate on just one grand tour (Basso being the exception). And also in grand tours, you have the races within the race (green jersey in le tour for example, intergiro for the Giro d'Italia), which allows the guys who can't compete for the overall to have a goal within the race, and to make good hay for their team with stage wins, and press coverage, and exposure, because without the sponsors, you get no pro racing. Right? Look at the guys who have won the most races consistently year in and year out, and you'll see sprinters on the top of the wins lists. These guys are out there working for their dough, and once again, working for their team. Normally, people who criticize the sprinters, like I said before, have actually no idea of what's going on.
 

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Sprinters are real riders, untill you have tried what they go through to ride a 200+ kilo stage then sprint, then dont comment negativly. I admire all the riders who have given up family, friends and other nicities of life to persue their dream. The climbers ride a different style of race, and one that may not involve the same risk of a fall if they get it wrong. So in summary you may find them boring stages but each to his own, could a "grand" tour really be the pinnacle of world sport without something for all body shapes to aspire too?
 

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Sprinters are impressive to me, no doubt about it.

But WATCHING a sprint stage -- in a major GT where the sprinters' teams have the radio and GPS info they need to control the break perfectly -- is pretty sleepy for all but the last 10K or so.

This year's Giro is also a funny race to choose to complain about sprint finishes, ya know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am a teeny weenie little disappointed with you. I didn't expect everybody to agree, but at least I thought there would be some counter-arguments to the points I made. Perhaps like one of you said, this has been thrown up so often, that you have become desenzitized and all that is left to discuss is whether or not the threadstarter is a sprinter himself or not..:rolleyes:

Apart from you guys, in other sports there is simply more interests towards the "pure breed" People gather round to watch 100m dash, but 800? Who gives a fock about the 800? Sure, 400 and 800m runners get the highest lactate levels, but the average joe doesn't know sh.t about sports physiology. All they know is who is fastest. And as an average Joe, I know these so called sprinters AIN'T the fastest, the trackies are. And they ain't the best endurance athletes, like Ullrich and Basso. They simply profit on stupid grand tours and their sleeping stages. They don't have the extreme qualities, that was my point. They are NOT comparable to 100m dash. Heck, they aren't even on par with the 800m runners, they are more like the hurdle guys.
 

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tricycletalent said:
I am a teeny weenie little disappointed with you. I didn't expect everybody to agree, but at least I thought there would be some counter-arguments to the points I made. Perhaps like one of you said, this has been thrown up so often, that you have become desenzitized and all that is left to discuss is whether or not the threadstarter is a sprinter himself or not..:rolleyes:

Apart from you guys, in other sports there is simply more interests towards the "pure breed" People gather round to watch 100m dash, but 800? Who gives a fock about the 800? Sure, 400 and 800m runners get the highest lactate levels, but the average joe doesn't know sh.t about sports physiology. All they know is who is fastest. And as an average Joe, I know these so called sprinters AIN'T the fastest, the trackies are. And they ain't the best endurance athletes, like Ullrich and Basso. They simply profit on stupid grand tours and their sleeping stages. They don't have the extreme qualities, that was my point. They are NOT comparable to 100m dash. Heck, they aren't even on par with the 800m runners, they are more like the hurdle guys.
Actually, I find 800 and 1500m races much more exciting than 100 or 400. Or hurdles. There's some tactics involved and you can see the whole race develop, rather than "blink and you miss it" 100m, which I find unbearable, especially with all false starts and post-race posturing.

I agree with you to some degree - I prefer climbing stages, or at least mildly undulating stages that give breakaways some chance. Flat stages are rather boring to watch, except for the final 20 seconds. But sometimes someone tries to sneak away in the final couple of km, and it makes things more interesting.
 

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tricycletalent said:
They simply profit on stupid grand tours and their sleeping stages. They don't have the extreme qualities, that was my point.
If you think these stages are boring and easy to win, why don't other riders go out on a break and win them? Supposedly your endurance specialists should have no problem, since they are so superior.

Give me a break.

Silas
 

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Not extreme, not extreme at all.



While the flat stages can be boring at times, it is always fun to see the 3-5 man break with a 10 minute lead get reeled in and passed with a kilo to go by a lead out train going twice the speed I will ever achieve on the flats. Then the 3 or 4 or 5 fast guys launch themselves off the front to the line. Pretty exciting stuff in the end. Are they as fast as track guys? No, they're not supposed to be. The race can't always go uphill and the sprinters and their trains keep it animated on the flats.

Dave
 

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55x11 said:
... Flat stages are rather boring to watch, except for the final 20 seconds. But sometimes someone tries to sneak away in the final couple of km, and it makes things more interesting.
See Vinokourov during the last stage of the 2005 TdF. That was sweet.
 

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The issue I think is that the sprinters drop out after the first week when it the hills come in the 2nd week. I think they'd garner some more respect if they stuck with it. I think a sprinter stuck with it last year in the TdF.

But, I guess they wouldn't want to have their form ruined by riding mountains. :rolleyes:



magnolialover said:
Another year, another sprint "hater" so to speak. Every year, there is always a few people who say that sprinters aren't real bike racers, which is far from the truth. Then you always have people who compare track sprinters to road sprinters, and as you said, there isn't a comparison. Show me a track sprinter who could ride a 200km + stage, and then finish it off with a 40+ mph sprint. It ain't gonna happen chief.

Sprinting is just another speciality in road racing in general. Just like climbing. Just like time trialing. They all take different finely tuned skill sets to be really world class at, and make no bones about it, these guys fighting it out for mass sprint wins are world class athletes, and world class endurance athletes. I'm probably certain, just from your comments, that you've never ridden a race and then battled it out for the win going elbow to elbow at 40 miles per hour as you approach the line. The bike handling skills required, plus just the raw power to do it evades you I'm sure.

These guys who do win classics are sometimes sprinters (Tom Boonen anyone?). The sprinters who are riding the grand tours are generally the guys who are battling it out throughout the entire year from February to October most times, and who probably ride the most races, whereas most grand tour contenders, at least these days, will concentrate on just one grand tour (Basso being the exception). And also in grand tours, you have the races within the race (green jersey in le tour for example, intergiro for the Giro d'Italia), which allows the guys who can't compete for the overall to have a goal within the race, and to make good hay for their team with stage wins, and press coverage, and exposure, because without the sponsors, you get no pro racing. Right? Look at the guys who have won the most races consistently year in and year out, and you'll see sprinters on the top of the wins lists. These guys are out there working for their dough, and once again, working for their team. Normally, people who criticize the sprinters, like I said before, have actually no idea of what's going on.
 

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bas said:
...I think a sprinter stuck with it last year in the TdF.

But, I guess they wouldn't want to have their form ruined by riding mountains. :rolleyes:
Many spinters have "stuck with it" and won the maillot vert over the years.

2005 Thor Hushovd
2004 Robbie McEwen
2003 Baden Cooke
2002 Robbie McEwen
2001 Erik Zabel
2000 Erik Zabel
1999 Erik Zabel
1998 Erik Zabel
1997 Erik Zabel
1996 Erik Zabel
1994 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
1993 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
1991 Djamolidine Abdoujaparov
1989 Sean Kelly

to name a few.
 
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