Dirty Kanza - EF Gone (Alternative) Racing

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by Weenie


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Maximilian
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by Maximilian

Those dudes are chill. Would love to ride with them and have a few pints chatting sh1t! I like that they have genuine respect and nerves for the race.

halcyongolf
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by halcyongolf

I was a bit skeptical when EF announced their alt. racing plan for the year, but this video makes it more clear the purpose behind this idea and overall I like it. The pros come across as much more human, relatable (and marketable) in this slickly produced piece. Really enjoyed watching it. Also, how much stronger would Morton have been if 1.) He wasn't sick days before and 2.) He actually had done a super long gravel race and didn't make mistakes on bottles and fueling?

bilwit
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by bilwit

halcyongolf wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:36 pm
I was a bit skeptical when EF announced their alt. racing plan for the year, but this video makes it more clear the purpose behind this idea and overall I like it. The pros come across as much more human, relatable (and marketable) in this slickly produced piece. Really enjoyed watching it. Also, how much stronger would Morton have been if 1.) He wasn't sick days before and 2.) He actually had done a super long gravel race and didn't make mistakes on bottles and fueling?
He was also the one pulling Howes the whole time apparently

Mep
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by Mep

Awesome video, really well put together. It's great to be able to see the personalities of the pro riders you see on the TV screen. Usually all you get to glimpse are their backs and side view. Dare I say it, it brings back some of the love for Cannondale.

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Maximilian
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by Maximilian

I really love this video. As has already been said it shows a human side that's never really been seen before. They guys just seem super stoked to be doing the event and humble too. They seem to ha e a lot of respect for the event and the challenge it is. I found it funny that these dude who can ride a 21 day GT were nervous before a 1 day event, even if it us one of the toughest going.

blaugrana
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by blaugrana

I don't want to be overly cynical, and the video may have done some things right, but the "pro racer is very excited to do <random alternative event> for the first time" formula will get old quickly. If this is supposed to be the future of professional cycling, count me as unimpressed.

I mean, the Dirty Kanza seems like a nice event, and just finishing is a huge accomplishment for any amateur cyclist, but from that to being an interesting race to watch and follow there is a long way. You can either have the top athletes in the sport racing for the win, or you can have thousands of amateurs challenging themselves and having a fun day out on the bike, but I doubt it's possible to successfully have both. And I also doubt people are going to suddenly get excited about who won some random sportive like it was a monument or the Tour de France.

If the goal is to sell some gravel bikes and shorts with banana carrying side pockets, though, they will probably succeed at that.

spdntrxi
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by spdntrxi

blaugrana wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:01 am

If the goal is to sell some gravel bikes and shorts with banana carrying side pockets, though, they will probably succeed at that.
Cannondale and Rapha were way ahead of you on those two points...DK not needed.

glepore
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by glepore

spdntrxi wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:34 am
blaugrana wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:01 am

If the goal is to sell some gravel bikes and shorts with banana carrying side pockets, though, they will probably succeed at that.
Cannondale and Rapha were way ahead of you on those two points...DK not needed.
Its not some marketing conspiracy. Its distracted drivers and asshats on group rides.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Berk custom (5.6); Serotta Ottrott(6.8) ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

bilwit
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by bilwit

blaugrana wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:01 am
I don't want to be overly cynical, and the video may have done some things right, but the "pro racer is very excited to do <random alternative event> for the first time" formula will get old quickly. If this is supposed to be the future of professional cycling, count me as unimpressed.

I mean, the Dirty Kanza seems like a nice event, and just finishing is a huge accomplishment for any amateur cyclist, but from that to being an interesting race to watch and follow there is a long way. You can either have the top athletes in the sport racing for the win, or you can have thousands of amateurs challenging themselves and having a fun day out on the bike, but I doubt it's possible to successfully have both. And I also doubt people are going to suddenly get excited about who won some random sportive like it was a monument or the Tour de France.

If the goal is to sell some gravel bikes and shorts with banana carrying side pockets, though, they will probably succeed at that.
Kanza and a lot of other big gravel or long distance mountain bike events in the US are already exactly what you describe. They've already had professionals battling out for the win for years. The only difference with Kanza this year is that four (active) World Tour riders showed up.

Hell, there are even a lot of low profile local "sportives" which have a race category and "recreational" staggard start. Even huge events like Haute Route is a "race" which 90% of the people there just go to ride like a sportive.

Ultimately, I think the goal was to help bring down the barriers in what is a pretty toxic, niche cycling community broken down into a number of cliques which all look down on eachother for whatever stupid reason. Roadies put World Tour riders at the very top of their own cycling world and seeing them do a long distance gravel event with respect for the race and the community helps make other aspects of cycling more inclusive. Personally, I think it would have been more effective if they showed up and didn't try to contest the win. Showing that everything doesn't have to be a race would have been a better message.

flying
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by flying

blaugrana wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:01 am
You can either have the top athletes in the sport racing for the win, or you can have thousands of amateurs challenging themselves and having a fun day out on the bike, but I doubt it's possible to successfully have both.
I would say the Ironman world championships have been doing just that since 1978 & is more than popular :wink:

AJS914
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by AJS914

blaugrana wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:01 am
I mean, the Dirty Kanza seems like a nice event, and just finishing is a huge accomplishment for any amateur cyclist, but from that to being an interesting race to watch and follow there is a long way.
Personally, I think it sounds like a fantastic race where many stories play out over 10+ hours.

EF is going in the right direction with stuff like this. It's great to hear riders say some interesting things and being real people rather than robots in helmets and wrap around glasses.

Shrike
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:08 pm

by Shrike

Yes it's a brilliant step in the right direction and for that two can you not get behind Rapha for investing in this. To go somewhere this needs a few more things which can only happen organically now - fans to support it, other teams to participate to create exciting rivalry and TV coverage.

I think this is also a space where recent retired pros can make some money and keep fitness. Contador, Boonen? Why the hell not. Time to think of the box to make the sport interesting.

Never wonder why you don't see loads of big name ex pros doing adventure type ultra rides and there being coverage of it? That sort of thing is dead curious. Imagine Boonen or Contador on Trans Continental :P

ichobi
Posts: 1000
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by ichobi

They already do that. Jens Voigt, Cadel Evans, Schleck, Contador, Cancellara are kept busy being invited to granfondos and sportives all over the world particularly Asia where they usually name their fees. I met all of them except Cancellara in Thailand in the past 3 years riding sportives. Jens even said had I known retirement could be this lucrative I would have had retired long before I did!

blaugrana
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Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 9:49 pm

by blaugrana

bilwit wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:21 pm
Kanza and a lot of other big gravel or long distance mountain bike events in the US are already exactly what you describe. They've already had professionals battling out for the win for years. The only difference with Kanza this year is that four (active) World Tour riders showed up.

Hell, there are even a lot of low profile local "sportives" which have a race category and "recreational" staggard start. Even huge events like Haute Route is a "race" which 90% of the people there just go to ride like a sportive.

Ultimately, I think the goal was to help bring down the barriers in what is a pretty toxic, niche cycling community broken down into a number of cliques which all look down on eachother for whatever stupid reason. Roadies put World Tour riders at the very top of their own cycling world and seeing them do a long distance gravel event with respect for the race and the community helps make other aspects of cycling more inclusive. Personally, I think it would have been more effective if they showed up and didn't try to contest the win. Showing that everything doesn't have to be a race would have been a better message.
But do they really? One thing is to have a couple of World Tour pros shooting an ad and maybe some lower level domestic pros really going for the win, but we are far from seeing Quick-Step or Astana sending their best possible classics squad and going all in to win the race.

Don't get me wrong, I do think it's nice that they show up, and I agree with you that they shouldn't really contest the race. That's basically what's been happening in sportives and Gran Fondos in Europe for decades, and everyone would consider it pathetic if pros went out of their way to beat a bunch of amateurs at an "it's kind of a race but not really" event.

But again, to me this doesn't really constitute an "alternative race calendar", it's just another way to market themselves and engage with the fans. But without then going and contesting the actual World Tour races, they would be doing little more than the thousands of influencers and instagrammers who create this kind of content without ever worrying about race results (and whom I have nothing against, just to be clear).

by Weenie


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