A different breed.

World Champion

by / / 49 posts

The Worlds are going to be played out on US roads, which is fantastic and the last time it happened we witnessed a great race with a worthy winner. But the Worlds has lost a lot of its prestige since moving from late August to its current position in late September. It’s only a month’s difference, but it means that the riders who started early and raced through the summer are dialing down for the season, and only the riders who either took the Summer easy or are started racing later will be interested in racing for the bands.

It used to be that the winner of the road race wore the Rainbow Stripes in the time trial events as well, because there wasn’t a separate time trial Champion. One World Champion instead of two has the sort of simplicity to it that my twisted OCD brain can really sink its teeth into, and every rider to ever swing a leg over a top tube had that event on their list – whether they were a sprinter, a Grand Tour rider, rouleur, or domestique. I would be willing to bet that a modern champion like like Chris Froome or Alberto Contador doesn’t even have the the Worlds on their radar as a career goal.

We won’t be seeing a defending Tour champion roll up to the prologue with the rainbow stripes on their back any time soon. I vote we bring back the Summertime Worlds.

// Musings from the V-Bunker

  1. Frank – It’s CDO and you would know that if you were truly OCD. :-)




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  2. @chuckp

    Clearly you have a keyboard defect there with punctuation like that at the end.




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  3. Why did the race number move from under the top tube to behind the rear brake? Steel racing frames would frequently come with a cool brazed-on race card holder. A little peg under the top tube to tell everyone you are in fact riding a very high end frame. Especially if that brazed-on race card holder was fitted with a Campagnolo downtube shifter wingbolt, because you need that little bolt the be made by Campagnolo as well.




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  4. Last time ’round? Worthy winner? Certamente. Great race? Eh.

    @RVester, you answered your own question: non-steel, or non-metallic frames leave little space behind the head tube. It used to be only short people who had to put the tag out back, but now it’s fuck all.




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  5. @Joe

    Its now getting cluttered under the seat with added GPS making the seats look like they have a semi hard-on trailing out the back




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  6. @frank– I miss the days of old when Worlds was a two week festival of Amateurs and Professionals. When the track world and the road world all gathered in the same city! When the World TTT was a 100km 4 man effort and not the Trade team event it is now( but I am glad that there is at least some form of TTT again).




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  7. We camped alongside the course just before the 20% ramp in Geelong for the 2010 worlds. Was a great week and the atmosphere was awesome. The best bit was rolling out of the caravan park at sun up and riding the entire lap of the course before the pro’s. Then setting up deck chairs and esky’s infront of camper trailer and watching them roll past multiple times.

    Anyone heading to the current WC’s will have an amazing time.




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  8. In Aus, we have a National Road Champion (Haussler/Mullens), a National Time Trial Champion (Porte/Wardlaw) AND a National Criterium Champion (Von Hoff/Wells)…




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  9. I like like this post.




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  10. @Puffy

    In Aus, we have a National Road Champion (Haussler/Mullens), a National Time Trial Champion (Porte/Wardlaw) AND a National Criterium Champion (Von Hoff/Wells)…

    I think they have a national crit champion in the US too.




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  11. @Phillip Mercer

    @Puffy

    In Aus, we have a National Road Champion (Haussler/Mullens), a National Time Trial Champion (Porte/Wardlaw) AND a National Criterium Champion (Von Hoff/Wells)…

    I think they have a national crit champion in the US too.

    Eric Marcotte w/Team SmartStop won USA Pro Crit Nat’l Champ back in April in Greenville, SC




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  12. Still in the early stages of steeping myself in classics, grand tours and now WC’s. Will watch this one with interest.




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  13. They need to move it back. Too many winners have gone on to have subsequent lousy seasons. The last two: Rui Costa and Kwiatkowski being notable examples. I’m going to pick Sagan. He’ll rescue his season (in the eyes of Tinkoff) and crush the pield. My heart says Tommeke, the brain says Pinchy.




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  14. Can’t wait! I’ll be there. I’ve had a lucky run of late and am extremely thankful the VMH lured me this far south. I’ve have easy access to the Handmade Bike Show in Richmond a few years back, then Charlotte last year. Also made it to the cross Worlds in Louisville and now…heading just a few hours north in September for the race. Gonna be awesome to see the road PROs. Never would have guessed I’d be making it to so many awesome cycling events!




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  15. @Phillip Mercer

    @Joe

    Its now getting cluttered under the seat with added GPS making the seats look like they have a semi hard-on trailing out the back

    That is the single most appalling development of 2015. I thought they were special aero fins the first time I saw them. Fuck.




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  16. @frank

    @Phillip Mercer

    @Joe

    Its now getting cluttered under the seat with added GPS making the seats look like they have a semi hard-on trailing out the back

    That is the single most appalling development of 2015. I thought they were special aero fins the first time I saw them. Fuck.

    Reminds me of Mr. Garrison’s car of the future on South Park…




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  17. @Haldy

    @frank– I miss the days of old when Worlds was a two week festival of Amateurs and Professionals. When the track world and the road world all gathered in the same city! When the World TTT was a 100km 4 man effort and not the Trade team event it is now( but I am glad that there is at least some form of TTT again).

    A-Merckx to that! Bring it back I say, bring it back!




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  18. @Barracuda

    We camped alongside the course just before the 20% ramp in Geelong for the 2010 worlds. Was a great week and the atmosphere was awesome. The best bit was rolling out of the caravan park at sun up and riding the entire lap of the course before the pro’s. Then setting up deck chairs and esky’s infront of camper trailer and watching them roll past multiple times.

    Anyone heading to the current WC’s will have an amazing time.

    I was actually thinking of Cadel while writing this as well; he was a pretty diverse rider and had a great year in the bands. Strange that a rider like him rode the worlds, probably only because they were in Oz. Or maybe that was the year he broke his elbow in the Tour and he had some time off in the summer?

    @Oli

    I like like this post.

    Short, concise, to the point. You like the article, I like your post!




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  19. @wiscot

    They need to move it back. Too many winners have gone on to have subsequent lousy seasons. The last two: Rui Costa and Kwiatkowski being notable examples. I’m going to pick Sagan. He’ll rescue his season (in the eyes of Tinkoff) and crush the pield. My heart says Tommeke, the brain says Pinchy.

    I’m all-in for Phinney on the heart side, but Tommeke needs to win his fifth Roubaix in the bands.




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  20. Went to the Worlds in 2003 when they were in Hamilton Ontario. It was an unforgettable time partying all day with the tifosi,dutch,belgians,et al. Somehow after the race I ended up in the dutch team tent as they sat there moments after the finish, and then acquired the 90 foot colnago banner on the finishing strait (alleged). If at all possible, everyone should try to make it to richmond




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  21. Really excited for the Worlds — living in DC, they’re not too far away. The family’s going to make a day of it.

    Wondering where the best spots to hang out might be; it looks like to see the cobbled climb on 23rd Street you need to buy tickets to the “fan zone” there, which is disappointing, though maybe that’s just one side of the street. Looks like a proper leg / frame buster of a hill…




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  22. @frank

    Ah, but you missed missed my point.

    I would be willing to bet that a modern champion like like Chris Froome or Alberto Contador




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  23. @fignons barber

    Went to the Worlds in 2003 when they were in Hamilton Ontario. It was an unforgettable time partying all day with the tifosi,dutch,belgians,et al. Somehow after the race I ended up in the dutch team tent as they sat there moments after the finish, and then acquired the 90 foot colnago banner on the finishing strait (alleged). If at all possible, everyone should try to make it to richmond

    Its sadly not going to be possible for me, but I guarantee it will be an amazing party. My sister lives near there, too; it would be so much fun to visit her and see the race at the same time.




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  24. @LawnCzar

    Really excited for the Worlds — living in DC, they’re not too far away. The family’s going to make a day of it.

    Wondering where the best spots to hang out might be; it looks like to see the cobbled climb on 23rd Street you need to buy tickets to the “fan zone” there, which is disappointing, though maybe that’s just one side of the street. Looks like a proper leg / frame buster of a hill…

    Wait. What? A cobbled climb at the Worlds? Now we’re talking. I mean, they’re AMERICAN cobbles but still, that is legit. How is it possible I didn’t know this?

    @Oli

    I’m still missing it, I’m afraid.




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  25. Loving this quote from Sagan about doing some course recon, especially the last sentence.

    “I know nothing about it,” he said. “Nothing. Because the most important thing is to get the Worlds in top form. If you don’t get in top form, what are you going to do? The preparation is more important than looking at the course. We’ll ride around it I don’t know how many times in the race anyway, no?”




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  26. @frank

    @Oli

    I’m still missing it, I’m afraid.

    That’s cos you’re drunk & don’t think it’s an issue to be seeing double.




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  27. @frank

    Yeah, it’s only like 100 meters long but plenty steep and they’re doing 16 laps. After the first dozen times they ride the thing I suspect the man with the hammer will be positioned part way up, hopping around like Didi. Good a place as any to force a selection.

    I have to say, I’m pretty psyched.




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  28. @frank

    @Barracuda

    We camped alongside the course just before the 20% ramp in Geelong for the 2010 worlds. Was a great week and the atmosphere was awesome. The best bit was rolling out of the caravan park at sun up and riding the entire lap of the course before the pro’s. Then setting up deck chairs and esky’s infront of camper trailer and watching them roll past multiple times.

    Anyone heading to the current WC’s will have an amazing time.

    I was actually thinking of Cadel while writing this as well; he was a pretty diverse rider and had a great year in the bands. Strange that a rider like him rode the worlds, probably only because they were in Oz. Or maybe that was the year he broke his elbow in the Tour and he had some time off in the summer?

    Yes, correct on both counts, but he was actually in the mix till the last corner and punch up the main straight to the finish.

    Doing the WC Jersey justice and due respect.

    It was a tough course and he rode very well.




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  29. That picture of LeMondster; that’s not a folded tubular in his seat tube bottle holder, is it?

    I caught the ’86 worlds in Colorado Springs. Yep, I’m old. I heartily agree that having the track events et. al. included really makes for a full on velo bingewatching experience. There was some great racing on the banks, and then the Roads to cap off a beautiful week. All my heroes were there.




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  30. Let’s go back to a single world championship race, but then resurrect the Grand Prix Des Nations.




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  31. It is only karma that keeps Valverde from disproving this post?




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  32. @cognition

    Let’s go back to a single world championship race, but then resurrect the Grand Prix Des Nations.

    Couldn’t agree more. Bring back the GP des Nations! ALL the top TT boys did it – and get it back to Nice – not some flat, boring course up north.




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  33. Read my article that I posted previously. Lots of great viewing places. Not a bad seat in the house. I’ll be down there with the family for the women’s and men’s elite races.

    @LawnCzar

    Really excited for the Worlds — living in DC, they’re not too far away. The family’s going to make a day of it.

    Wondering where the best spots to hang out might be; it looks like to see the cobbled climb on 23rd Street you need to buy tickets to the “fan zone” there, which is disappointing, though maybe that’s just one side of the street. Looks like a proper leg / frame buster of a hill…




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  34. Frank – If you’d read my article, you’d know. :-) The climb on 23rd Street is short (just over 100 meters) but steep (average grade 14% but close to 30% at the bottom). I’ve ridden it and, at least for mere mortals, it’s a killer. The cobbles on the left have been recently re-cobbled and are a bit smoother than the originals, but it will still be bumpy. And it’s pretty narrow (basically a single lane), so it will likely be a fight for position. But not likely to decide the race (although could be where a split happens). More likely the race will be decided on the climb up Governor.

    @frank

    @LawnCzar

    Really excited for the Worlds — living in DC, they’re not too far away. The family’s going to make a day of it.

    Wondering where the best spots to hang out might be; it looks like to see the cobbled climb on 23rd Street you need to buy tickets to the “fan zone” there, which is disappointing, though maybe that’s just one side of the street. Looks like a proper leg / frame buster of a hill…

    Wait. What? A cobbled climb at the Worlds? Now we’re talking. I mean, they’re AMERICAN cobbles but still, that is legit. How is it possible I didn’t know this?




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  35. @Philonius

    That picture of LeMondster; that’s not a folded tubular in his seat tube bottle holder, is it?

    Yes, it is! So that means it could very well be him getting ready to go for a training ride on the second rest day, which is where this photo is from (not from the flat when Chiappucci attacked, as is widely believed.)




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  36. @frank

    @Philonius

    That picture of LeMondster; that’s not a folded tubular in his seat tube bottle holder, is it?

    Yes, it is! So that means it could very well be him getting ready to go for a training ride on the second rest day, which is where this photo is from (not from the flat when Chiappucci attacked, as is widely believed.)

    Didnt we once have a forensic discussion about the circumstances under which this photo was taken?




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  37. @Nate

    I do remember that, but I’ve also just noticed that that appears to be a local twig he is using to lever off the tub.




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  38. @Teocalli

    Hah, I think you are right. Even more awesomeness.




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  39. @chuckp

    I did — that’s how I knew it was only 100 meters!

    Thanks for posting the article (and photos). We’ll be down there with a four year old and a two year old, so that adds a certain dynamic… access to food, bathrooms, and amusement but not too crowded while being able to see the action. Hm.

    Though very young, the girls crazy, crazy, crazy about bikes and love going to see races, so that helps. The youngest can’t see a bike without excitedly announcing it (same if she sees someone in their kit) and the eldest is starting to get a sense of how the race works and use the right jargon. “Is he in the break?” she asked me, the other day. (heart explodes)




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  40. @chuckp

    Read my article that I posted previously. Lots of great viewing places. Not a bad seat in the house. I’ll be down there with the family for the women’s and men’s elite races.

    @LawnCzar

    Really excited for the Worlds — living in DC, they’re not too far away. The family’s going to make a day of it.

    Wondering where the best spots to hang out might be; it looks like to see the cobbled climb on 23rd Street you need to buy tickets to the “fan zone” there, which is disappointing, though maybe that’s just one side of the street. Looks like a proper leg / frame buster of a hill…

    Ah, the GP des Nations – when Hinault had his mechanic strip the hubs and repack the bearings with light oil instead of grease . . . and nowadays Dave Brailsford gets praise for attention to detail!




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  41. @LawnCzar

    The start/finish will have plenty of access to food and bathrooms, but will also be the most crowded (obviously). Shockoe will probably be the second most crowded. And I’m sure Libby Hill and 23rd Street will be absolute zoos. You may do well on W. Main on the south side of the course. Might be far enough away from the maddening crowd. Close to VCU campus so lots of places to eat.

    My wife, daughter, and I will probably be back-and-forth between the start/finish and Shockoe on both Saturday and Sunday. If you’re at the start/finish in the morning, stop in at LIFT and maybe we’ll run into each other.

    BTW, where in the DC area do you live? I’m in Arlington. We should try to hook up for a ride sometime.

    Cheers!

    @chuckp

    I did — that’s how I knew it was only 100 meters!

    Thanks for posting the article (and photos). We’ll be down there with a four year old and a two year old, so that adds a certain dynamic… access to food, bathrooms, and amusement but not too crowded while being able to see the action. Hm.

    Though very young, the girls crazy, crazy, crazy about bikes and love going to see races, so that helps. The youngest can’t see a bike without excitedly announcing it (same if she sees someone in their kit) and the eldest is starting to get a sense of how the race works and use the right jargon. “Is he in the break?” she asked me, the other day. (heart explodes)




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  42. @Brendan O’Donoghue

    Ah, the GP des Nations – when Hinault had his mechanic strip the hubs and repack the bearings with light oil instead of grease . . . and nowadays Dave Brailsford gets praise for attention to detail!

    Don’t forget that track cyclists used to use graphite instead of grease or oil, and then inflate their tubulars with helium. Neither lasted more than a half-hour, but the 4000m pursuit should be over in less than five minutes!




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  43. @RVester

    Why did the race number move from under the top tube to behind the rear brake? Steel racing frames would frequently come with a cool brazed-on race card holder. A little peg under the top tube to tell everyone you are in fact riding a very high end frame. Especially if that brazed-on race card holder was fitted with a Campagnolo downtube shifter wingbolt, because you need that little bolt the be made by Campagnolo as well.

    Agreed, although the same can’t be said for three cable ties on TVT carbon.




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  44. Remember doing a rather painful crit in Richmond ’round ’92 or so that had some “cobbles” (though not the proper baby’s heads as found in the mother country). They were on a hill. I’m assuming its one and the same–in an industrial/port-like setting if I recall. Also recall losing some skin, wonder if it’s still there?




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  45. @Joe

    Probably the same crit I did about the same time, i.e., early 90s. Shockoe/Tobacco Row. Cobbles and hills. One of the few times I could actually contend in a crit.

    Remember doing a rather painful crit in Richmond ’round ’92 or so that had some “cobbles” (though not the proper baby’s heads as found in the mother country). They were on a hill. I’m assuming its one and the same–in an industrial/port-like setting if I recall. Also recall losing some skin, wonder if it’s still there?




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  46. My office overlooks the last 100m of the courses, not that I’ll be at work that week! It’s gonna be awesome. I’ve ridden the course, and I’m just glad to say I won’t have to do it 16 times!




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  47. I live and ride Richmond and have ridden all of the cobbles in the city.

    The cobbles on the course are legit to say the least and will make for some interesting racing.




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  48. I am hopeful that the pro race that John Eustice is pitching, and coincidently is almost in my backyard, draws some World Tour pros looking to tune up for the worlds which start the following weekend. It would be nice to see these guys race, especially since I won’t be trekking down to Richmond.




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