2018 PRO thread

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

Moderator: Moderator Team

KWalker
Posts: 5903
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

Let me clear up some things for everyone:

1. If you have tattoos and a beard you're not automatically a hipster. Drinking coffee at stops doesn't make you one either. Neither does artsy social media posts or Taylor Phinney trying to be fashionable.
2. Hipsters don't typically pay to race sanctioned events. Most people that would qualify as such play bike polo, do alleycats, radonneur, or just simply ride their bikes.
3. Actual bike hipsters are ultra pretentious about "being authentic" and "craftsmanship". Think NAHBS and dudes that still cling to retro style components and mountain bikes.
4. Further reading: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/book ... eif-t.html
5. At first I thought EF was stupid for doing this, but then I remembered how *f##k* boring pro cycling is. Just look at this thread we are at almost 420 pages and I would guess that 1/2 are about Froome, doping, and disc breaks. Meanwhile American continental racing is tanking and pro teams are vanishing at (slightly) faster rates. World Tour racin hasn't really globalized except for letting rich Princes buy races in boring places, adding riders from developing countries as domestiques, and bumping any race that isn't a vacation down to 2.status. The thing is, a lot of these continental races still are interesting as at their stories. Meanwhile World Tour cycling lacks more than 4 or 5 real personalities and most races tend to go by a predicted script. Less doping has made races often less dynamic and more boring.

Meanwhile, gravel events and fixed gear crits draw a ton of spectators. You can often engage and track riders through apps or livestreams and since amateurs often race the same event there is a lot more fan engagement then just waiting outside a bus. In a lot of races a fan can easily drive or ride to multiple places on the course. Meanwhile if you want to see action in the Tour you have to arrive hours early and stand on the side of the road to watch the riders go by once for a few seconds. Watching races requires pirating streams in other languages and if we didn't have Sagan the top tier of riders would be pretty flat.

I don't love the EF team or like many of it's riders, but at least they're willing to give back and engage. Even if they flat out win a race, their presence will draw more national and local elite riders and will benefit the event.

Cycling has to grow. World Tour road racing and Pro MTB do not have successful models. CX might have the most fan engagement, but is pretty novel and obscure.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

Rondje
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Netherlands

by Rondje

KWalker wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:16 pm
Meanwhile, gravel events and fixed gear crits draw a ton of spectators. You can often engage and track riders through apps or livestreams and since amateurs often race the same event there is a lot more fan engagement then just waiting outside a bus.

Cycling has to grow. World Tour road racing and Pro MTB do not have successful models. CX might have the most fan engagement, but is pretty novel and obscure.
I want to add that fixed gear races, next to the big crowds, would probably do pretty good on television. Just as CX it's a spectacle and short and intense rather than endurance. If it wasn't for 1 guy standing high above everyone else CX probably be one of the best disciplines to watch on the television. But just as fixed gear racing it's more of a sub-culture with a specific following. Fixed could copy CX by asking for an entree fee and get more revenue out of food trucks etc around the venue.

With that in mind, I'm also curious about how Innsbruck WC did, from what I've read you had to buy a ticket to get a spot on the finish line straight. It might make cycling less open but if races start asking a fee for the mountaintop finished you got the chance on a healthy business.

by Weenie


User avatar
tymon_tm
Posts: 2604
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:35 pm

by tymon_tm

damn, even Froome wasn't boring this year so I don't really get what all that negativity towards WT racing comes from?

US scene, just like any other national scene is - well - national, thus not global, and that's why we don't really get to discuss it here. as fun as cyclocross or mtb or various other ideas might be, they're still just variations. each to his own I'd say. if road racing in it's pure form makes you bored, than what can I say - switch your tv to something else. for me MTB is borring, crits are meh, fixed gears are cool but only ridden by courier chicks. as much as I love cycling's growing in many directions (triathlon being sorta kinda one of them) I don't feel I have to follow em all. besides, personally, IMHO all those 'short n fast' events are for the adhd generation who can't stand a single 'thing' taking longer than scrolling down your fb page. same with participants themselves - for many few hours on the saddle is torture, so they seek somehing else. is it bad? of course not, it's just different. and you can't really compare one to another.
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

kingkongsfinger
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 1:06 pm
Location: UK

by kingkongsfinger

I fully understand the last two posts from Rondje and KWalker. I went to watch the World Cyclocross at Valkenberg this year and its teh best weekend I have ever had watching or not watching bikes race. The shorter grand tour stages this year were fantastic, longer stages usually just get policed by the big team.

So I reckon to spice things up, less team members, shorter and more difficlut stages. (oh and no drug tests.....only joking with this)
"I could have done this job myself in five minutes, but as things turned out I had to spend two days trying to find out why it had taken someone else three weeks to do it wrong."

Kurets
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:55 pm

by Kurets

This all sounds like the same old US-centric broken record about cycling not being sustainable, not being interesting for viewers, that american disciplines (crits, gravel, am style cx etc.) are better because of this and that.
In reality I think most everyone who follow cycling throughout the season knows that road racing does not need to change. One day races, big or small, tend to play out very different from year to year, riders change and tactics evolve. Grand tours do tend to get decided in the mountains and the TTs, but we always get great action from the lower contenders, during "breakaway days", and even in the hectic sprint finales.
I am convinced that cycling in Europe is, and will remain, sustainable. It just happens to be a niche sport in most countries, even in Europe.

Sent from my H4113 using Tapatalk


KWalker
Posts: 5903
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Location: Bay Area

by KWalker

Then provide some actual counterevidence if I'm so wrong. I googled and here are the first few articles:
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/ ... to-survive
American references, but the numbers are relevant: https://cyclingtips.com/2017/08/analysi ... orth-cost/
INRNG has UCI revenue reports although not really relevant.
2018 was a good year in finally getting live data in races- something that has existed for decades in other sports.
And how many teams in the last 5 years have ended prematurely or have large, multinational sponsors leave the sport?
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Failed Custom Bike

DartanianX
Posts: 534
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:00 am

by DartanianX

When Ridleys holding company - Race Production -acquired the Merckx brand it was stated the entire range would be re-worked so I imagine Merckx has come to the party with a big $$ investment into AG2R to get their new bikes thrust onto the market as world tour quality and hit the ground running.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Kurets
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:55 pm

by Kurets

KWalker wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:00 am
...
Sponsors come and go, and will continue to do so. The sport continues. I don't intend to "prove" anything, because there is really nothing to prove. We get the "cycling needs a new business model", "lets make it more like F1", "why don't all pros speak english?", "why do the teams change names", etc. arguments/questions all the time. Adding in things like live data and the new "hammer" races cater to that crowd while actually not providing anything that really adds to the sport.

pastronef
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:33 am
Location: Asti, ITALIA

by pastronef

DartanianX wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:32 am
When Ridleys holding company - Race Production -acquired the Merckx brand it was stated the entire range would be re-worked so I imagine Merckx has come to the party with a big $$ investment into AG2R to get their new bikes thrust onto the market as world tour quality and hit the ground running.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
for now they say they sponsor Ag2r for 2019. If I was an Ag2r fan I won´t buy a Merckx frame until a longer deal is confirmed

User avatar
tymon_tm
Posts: 2604
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 4:35 pm

by tymon_tm

F1 and live data.. and we still can't get time splits right (esp in US races), not to mention basic info like speed...

every new idea brought to live might add something, but it will never replace classic road racing, appealing to a bit different viewer. they can be sorta complementary, but only to some point.

that cycling is a niche, I wouldn't say. as a pro sport, judging by number of viewers - yeah, maybe... probably. but if you take into account how many people actually race themselves, and I'm not talking categorized road racing, but all sort of events (in my neck of the woods mtb marathons gather 1000+ participants easily, and there's one somewhere every weekend) that make thousands of people actually compete - can same be said about, say, tennis? I for one haven't heard about many tournaments for amateurs, there's no "local scene", not even a "lbs" where people would get around worshipping newest equipment.

I dare to say this dissonance (between the amount of viewers and riders/racers) is where most of potential for pro cycling's growth lies. ideas? after 30-second brainstorm I'd say both UCI and major race owners, like ASO obviously, should try to capitalize on the fact people like to actively take part in their favourite discipline themesleves. perhaps create an 'official' amateur racing series, taking place on all the holy roads, say a day before the main event? maybe promote junior racing more, e.g. joint events for juniors, men and women? I believe sucking people in - not with what you show on tv screen, live data, cool graphics etc - but through creating an 'experience package' where you can come to a race, ride yourself or take your kids to do a lap or two, then sit back and watch few races instead of waiting countlessly for one, could be just a way to go.
kkibbler wrote: WW remembers.

Rondje
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Netherlands

by Rondje

From an economic point of view, you can't deny that road racing is in a bad spot. Yes, we can say teams/sponsors come and go, but that's no argument to say it's okay. If you can find new opportunities to make the sport healthier and more sustainable it would be stupid to ignore them. Asking an entree fee on a mountaintop finish is 1 of those ways to create a healthier environment. X amount of money goes to the teams, etc. And a possible bonus point is that you get rid of the idiot's who make it dangerous as they aren't bothered to pay.

I also think people seem to misinterpret the EF change. They don't say road cycling is bad, they just expand to other cycling disciplines as well, try to get more media coverage. I mean, how many people here know that LottoNL-Jumbo is a combined cycling and ice skating team?

pastronef
Posts: 1366
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:33 am
Location: Asti, ITALIA

by pastronef

from the CN forum: "Edward Theuns terminates his contract with Sunweb. He couldn't get used to Sunweb's way of thinking and working. Not surprising, knowing they have (ridiculous) protocols for everything. From how to eat your breakfast, to how to walk onto the podium after a race"

CrankAddictsRich
Posts: 1257
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:39 pm
Contact:

by CrankAddictsRich

themidge wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:38 am
I also think it isn't really in the spirit of gravel/ultra-endurance/even-red-hook-to-a-lesser-extent events to have a concerted professional team effort to do them and do well.
I don't follow the Red Hool crit scene actively, but its my percepton that it is already dominated by factory teams the last several years with Specialized, Pinareallo, etc fielding organized teams made up of pro riders.... No?
2016 Pactimo Brand Ambassador
http://www.Crankaddicts.cc
2017 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL5
2015 Specialized S-Works Allez
2014 Specialized S-Works Shiv TT
2015 Specialized Venge Pro (Retired)

Rondje
Posts: 1274
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
Location: Netherlands

by Rondje

That perception is wrong. You got Specialized Rocket Espresso yes, it's a big team with maybe the biggest exposure, but they don't dominate the sport. Most teams are independent teams sponsored by smaller brands like 8bar, Cinelli, Aventon, etc.
There is occasionally a pro rider riding it, but most guys aren't pros. Some are guys who came just a bit short to make it as a pro or try to make a comeback, some are youngsters still trying to break through, others made their specialty out of fixed gear crits.

by Weenie


maquisard
Posts: 2048
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 8:51 pm
Location: France

by maquisard

DartanianX wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:32 am
When Ridleys holding company - Race Production -acquired the Merckx brand it was stated the entire range would be re-worked so I imagine Merckx has come to the party with a big $$ investment into AG2R to get their new bikes thrust onto the market as world tour quality and hit the ground running.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Merckx to be is a brand stuck in the late 90's, early 00's for me, a bit like Litespeed in that regard. They really need a re-brand.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post