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Domestique

Old 03-04-19, 09:20 PM
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Rajflyboy
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Domestique

For some reason I hate the “Team Racing” concept of bicycle racing and the idea of the “Domestique”.

For me I would prefer that every rider rides for himself. If you are a great rider than show me how good you are. I think riding in the slipstream of teammates for 97% of the race and then having a few good days in the mountains or time trials is not proving much.

I do understand the financial hardships this could cause the lesser known riders who aren’t bringing in enough money for the costs associated with riding in the TDF.. Team concept makes sense for the financial side of the business. Maybe they could have one year out of every five years that teams are banned from the TDF.

Am I crazy for thinking this?
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Old 03-05-19, 06:14 AM
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I wouldn't say crazy. But, bicycle racing is a sport where competitors work together cooperatively until it no longer works to their advantage. Teams or not, riders are going to work together and lesser riders are going to help those that they believe are capable of winning for a share of that money; not everyone is capable of winning. Only an Individual Time Trial would truly fit what you're describing. Having been to the Tour de France (to watch) I can tell you that TTs are not as fun to watch as epic mountain stages where teams and tactics are in play. Heck, even lead out trains for the sprints get my heart racing, (no pun intended).

Without teams and team mates, many of the epic battles between teams and sometimes individuals on the same team would be no more. Anyone who says Greg Lemond didn't earn his 1986 TDF win fair and square wasn't watching.
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Old 03-05-19, 07:29 AM
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When you have a team riding together in a race, it's natural for the lesser riders to want to help their team leader win, especially if the lesser riders want to make themselves useful and keep their jobs.

Yes, pro racing would be funner to watch if there were teams consisting of 8 Miguel Indurains or Greg Lemonds, all attacking one after another, all capable of winning. But really gifted riders are rare, and if the other team members are not capable of winning, WTF wouldn't they help their team leader win? Should they instead just launch failed attack after failed attack until they get dropped by the pack and then finish in last place 30 minutes behind the main field? Or just ride along in the pack and do nothing? What is the team paying them for, being a human billboard for the sponsor's brand name?

I think, absent some really radical rule changes, it's inevitable that weaker riders are gonna help their team leader win, since it's really the only way they can make themselves useful and justify the money they're being paid.

Now how much it actually helps, in the mountains, to "draft" behind a teammate at 10 mph on a steep climb is debatable, I have never understood how "pacing the team leader up a climb" really helps the team leader much, but that's how they do it. However, this is a separate issue.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:25 AM
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Well

pacing the leader for the 60 miles prior to the big climb will give the team leader with stronger legs for that big climb (and the domestique will already be beat).

Thats exactly why the team racing is not something i like. Switch the roll around and then see who makes it to the top of the hill first.

I guess im a spoiled American. I’m never going out to race and finish second.
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Old 03-05-19, 11:29 AM
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Most sports evolve the way they do because of the environment and fan/media attention.

IOW, group bicycle racing could not have evolved any other way.

The Race Across America may be closer to what you have in mind. It gets very little media coverage. If it did get more coverage, eventually there would be pressure to change the rules to be more TV friendly.

Same thing happens to every sport. Media coverage changes it. Lack of coverage is great for purists but nobody watches it, few can afford it, and it doesn't necessarily draw the best athletes.
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Old 03-05-19, 11:45 AM
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You could just switch to watching a cycling event that IS like that, like mountain biking.
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Old 03-05-19, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
For some reason I hate the “Team Racing” concept of bicycle racing and the idea of the “Domestique”.
...
Am I crazy for thinking this?
Yes. Embrace the strategy, the efficient use of resources, the exploitation of skills and weaknesses. Bike racing is about much more than straightforward speed.
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Old 03-05-19, 12:40 PM
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I do like Track Cycling
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Old 03-05-19, 12:41 PM
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Since it's known that you can't ride flat out for anything but a short bike race, teams make sense to me. Despite rules against working together in early tours, it became evident that riders were going to work together in groups. So eventually allowing teams made it somewhat more fair by making certain that some riders don't get disadvantaged by not having someone to work with.

As well, understanding some of the physical limitations and other factors behind the strategies during the tours and grand tours does make things more interesting to me. It's not just a strategy of winning every stage of a tour, because you don't have to win any to be the overall GC winner. And you can realize that different teams have different goals. Quite a few teams have no real chance to win the overall GC so they work toward other goals. Sometimes their successes at their goals can cause some interesting complications for the teams that do have a shot at it.

When you can realize all the different races going on within a stage of a tour or grand tour and see how the teams going for the overall GC can make or break themselves by getting caught up in those frays, it adds more to the interest for me. I have to say that the short one day races that you can ride all out and are over in a little bit of time just don't appeal to me nor do I understand them.
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Old 03-05-19, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
For some reason I hate the “Team Racing” concept of bicycle racing and the idea of the “Domestique”.

For me I would prefer that every rider rides for himself. If you are a great rider than show me how good you are. I think riding in the slipstream of teammates for 97% of the race and then having a few good days in the mountains or time trials is not proving much.

I do understand the financial hardships this could cause the lesser known riders who aren’t bringing in enough money for the costs associated with riding in the TDF.. Team concept makes sense for the financial side of the business. Maybe they could have one year out of every five years that teams are banned from the TDF.

Am I crazy for thinking this?
You seem to have a lot of strong opinions on how bike racing "should" be done. Maybe you should get involved.
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Old 03-05-19, 02:14 PM
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You're essentially after triathlon then. Or anything that is "ultra endurance" and "self supported".

In a way, team members and domestiques allow some of the drama we get by not having the contenders worry about water, nutrition, and superfluous bike mechanical issues since they lend their body and talent to taking care of those things.

One thing I'd actually like to see eliminated as a team aspect though is the TTT. It is really a gift to the richer teams so they can just tack on 30 seconds to 90 seconds of GC lead time to the total as a "gift" almost. It also shields a GC contender too much from personal failure in ITT's. I'd rather see an iconic Paris arrival ITT than just a bit of prologue length bull crap you typically see. Or more mountain TT's.
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Old 03-05-19, 03:52 PM
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I’m actually a purist.

I’d prefer a TDF that a start point a route and no day type stages. Race until someone crosses the finish line.

Start on July 7 at 8am local and get on with it.

And yeah no Teams.
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Old 03-06-19, 02:25 PM
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I don't think that the OP understands the dynamics of bicycle road racing.

If there were no official teams, unofficial teams would develop anyway. Friends, countryman, brothers, factotums, etc. would have an interest to help stronger riders win. The pure "every man for himself" road race that he imagines is not actually feasible because the realities of drafting and race strategy work against it.

Abolish official teams and those who surreptitiously organize unofficial teams would have the advantage, unless one imposed a "no drafting" rule. And that would make it a boring time trial.
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Old 03-06-19, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I don't think that the OP understands the dynamics of bicycle road racing.

If there were no official teams, unofficial teams would develop anyway. Friends, countryman, brothers, factotums, etc. would have an interest to help stronger riders win. The pure "every man for himself" road race that he imagines is not actually feasible because the realities of drafting and race strategy work against it.

Abolish official teams and those who surreptitiously organize unofficial teams would have the advantage, unless one imposed a "no drafting" rule. And that would make it a boring time trial.
I agree. Look at Worlds.
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Old 03-06-19, 02:56 PM
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Though it would never work for a stage race, something like what the OP is hoping for could be done if there were an invitational race. For example, select 6 to 10 of the world's best riders and have them race against each other over a tough course, without the peloton- Froome vs. Quintana vs. Thomas vs. one of the Yates (but not both! guess why!) vs.3 or 4 others....

there would still be the likelihood of alliances and collaborations, but it would be an interesting experiment. Does anybody know if something like this has been done in the past?
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Old 03-06-19, 03:13 PM
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Sure there would be drafting but if you are not making more money to draft for Lance than you are for Wiggins why would you unless that is going to gain you positions in the race.

The job is to win the race and not finish 2nd to some pampered rider (and that’s what team leaders are in these races) (pampered).
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Old 03-06-19, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Does anybody know if something like this has been done in the past?
Yeah, it was done from 1903 to 1930 in the Tour de France. Cheating was really rife back then when you can find TdF history that isn't written strictly to glorify the TdF.
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Old 03-06-19, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Yeah, it was done from 1903 to 1930 in the Tour de France. Cheating was really rife back then when you can find TdF history that isn't written strictly to glorify the TdF.
I think you misunderstood my question. I was not asking if races had been conducted without teams. I was asking if there have been races organized in which only a small number of invited participants competed.
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Old 03-06-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
I do like Track Cycling
Saturday - cold outside.

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Old 03-07-19, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Saturday - cold outside.

i like. Something for everyone at this track complex.
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Old 03-07-19, 08:10 AM
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3 week TDF

give them a start date and time and a route and let them go

have random drug testing set up along the route

yeah baby
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Old 03-07-19, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
3 week TDF

give them a start date and time and a route and let them go

have random drug testing set up along the route

yeah baby
Cool. Set it up and keep us posted.
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Old 03-07-19, 10:47 AM
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People are entitled to fantasize however they choose. They can incorporate into their dreams as much from reality as pleases them, and ignore whichever parts don't.
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Old 03-07-19, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
People are entitled to fantasize however they choose. They can incorporate into their dreams as much from reality as pleases them, and ignore whichever parts don't.
That's fair. I suppose I'm triggered a little by people who think they are full of great ideas, but won't lift a finger to see them through. I'll not belabor what little of a point I have.
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Old 03-07-19, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
...hate the “Team Racing” concept of...“Domestique”... Am I crazy...?
In that pro-world the best [of the best], only prevail over the other team's best by team effort. In a 120 km stage in this reality there is an astonishing air-resistance, calorie, hydration, and psychological challenge. The "Domestique" and other team members are part of a competitive environment. If you wish to change to a more individualistic paradigm, you'll need to "sell" the idea to the reality of the top pro decision-makers. Part of me agrees with you and there are venues for just that individual action. Please consider tho' the astounding/exhausting beauty of a team working toward the goal of getting "that guy" across the line. There's room for both team and individual action...see Rebecca Rusch in the women's endurance cycling world. Cheers!
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