Tuesday Worlds is tonight and the last time I was there, a train came up the left side for the sprint and promptly fell apart with racers ejecting left and right. This caused total chaos. Luckily no one crashed out or got hurt. Last week at the ATOC, on-board cameras were allowed and for the first time, we get an inside look at a Pro sprint.
I asked El Gato about what we’re seeing on YouTube and he said, “Pro racing isn’t amateur racing.” And, “Look at what goes on in the paint at an NBA game when they are positioning for a rebound!” What the cameras showed in the ATOC is what goes on and what amateurs shouldn’t attempt; especially, when primarily concerned with Strava segments or personal bests. Taking those risks are OK if you know how to drive your bike and everybody else around you does. We used to get fast by going on the group ride, but now the coaching boom has created a generation of SCUD missiles from kids on trainers doing Vo2 max intervals.
They are really powerful. Can do incredible damage and not really sure where they’re gonna land. Here’s Meyerson’s take on the cameras and the sprint:
My prediction is that on-board cameras will change field sprinting at the top level. Field sprinting is dirty, dangerous business, and so much happens in the last 5 or 10K that no one ever sees … I’ve been wondering how rider behavior would change if the camera could capture it all. Watch Degenkolb take his hand off the bars and push people out of the way, lean into people with his elbow, and almost crash riders coming back as he passes them. And then watch him get chopped off by his own leadout guy, which likely cost him the win. This is all absolutely normal.
This is also part of what upsets me when people ride aggressively at the wrong times, especially in local races. As I’ve said in the races many times, “if you ride like a dick, you’re going to force me to ride like a dick. And most likely, I’m better at riding like a dick then you are.”
Note that now officially old, get-off-my-lawn racers, if they show up, can out dick ride aggressive riders. As the saying goes, “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.”