FGR #5 Wrap

Another week, another Group Ride. This one seemed closer to real life than usual for me. In other words, I only had a vague idea of the route, and once folks got going I got dropped pretty quickly.

It’s a tough topic to address cogently, because it resists the categories I’d like to assign. There are new races that are good. Most agree TDU, underway now, is one of them. And then there are races that are not as good. Tour of Qatar might be one of those. Equally, the early season Euro races whose hold on the imagination has dwindled have this great historical flavor, but when the rubber meets the road, they sorta suck.

We seem split between those who believe the pro peloton should suffer through the European winter/spring, and those who think it’s a good idea to warm up in the, um, warm.

Of course this is all pretty fantastical as no one entity, not even the UCI, or particularly not the UCI, controls the races. They are privately owned events, as much at the whim of groups like ASO, as vulnerable to our vain wishes.

Phil Liggett, to whom I’m wont to defer in most of these situations, says the season is on. Versus is showing racing on my TV. Eurosport may be doing the same on yours.

And the peloton rides on.

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3 comments

  1. Jim

    What are the good non-European early races? I’d put the TOC in there. Not because the bigboy tour pros are on form, or because the course is amazing, but because it gives us a window on pro life. The bigboys are warming up for the season; you can tell who worked hard or who ate too much in the off season, and who may be a threat at La Primavera. A lot of the NRC pros seem to view it as a chance to audition for the bigboy tour, so you see some great attacks and great desparation as they try to hold out for stage wins. You get a lot of domestiques and “B” squad guys having their day in the sun. And maybe the state throws you nasty weather and turns a couple stages into epics.

    Not every football game has to be the Superbowl. And even the Superbowl sometimes sucks compared to some of the undercard games. The only thing that makes the early classics better, is that they have a history of the racers showing up and going hard. The newer, gentle weather races? How hard the racers go, and how the tactical situation shapes up in a particular race has more to do with how good a race it is. Gotta take each one in turn, and avoid generalizations.

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