• david__g

    I’ve also noticed that compared to the previous couple of seasons, he seems much more relaxed and jovial during post race interviews where he used to seem almost combative and angry.

  • David Simons

    Be nice if he had enough respect for the race to actually finish it. Some riders don’t contest the sprint because they want to preserve enough energy to actually complete the race. Pro cycling, eh?

  • MushieG

    I like Cav, but I think its crap that they can do this. Others are busting a gut to get on the team and get left out because a good rider wants to complete a few stages.
    If you had paid to goto Paris to see the best riders and found out that some had pulled out, how frustrating and disappointing that would be.

    I realise they could easily have said he got gastro over night and couldnt go on, but now I am getting into soccer territory….

    • Neil_Robinson

      Ease up there chief.

      Cav owes the sport? The tour? You? Why does he owe anything? What would be sufficient to meet his obligations?

      The bloke stated Rio was his aim #1 aim got 2016 as far back as last year. as Shane rightfully points out it’s one of the reasons he joined DD. So far this tour he’s clocked up 4 stage wins, and almost 2000km. Most didn’t think he’d even win one (i’ll admit I didn’t).

      So why does he owe something? What does he owe? Who does he owe it to? The tour may be the premier road cycling event for fans, but it’s not the only thing going on. It’s a race like all the other races riders pull out of for a variety of reasons (e.g. most sprinters dont finish the #2 race of the year, the Giro).

      Lets for a moment stop and look at what was ahead of him at the tour when he pulled out. A mountain stage, an uphill TT, and then two more mountain stages before the final day in Paris. I’ve heard he’s a kg or two heavier in preparation for Rio, and has been dropped from the grupetto a couple of times already.

      The bloke doesn’t owe anyone anything, he’s delivered way more than expected. Be happy you got to see the most prolific (winning) tour sprinter move up the leaderboard of all time tour stage wins. Be glad you got to see the resurgence of a man who’d most written off, to see proof that his age is not a barrier, and that determination, belief and support can deliver great things.

      • david__g

        Well said. MushieG sounds like the sort of cycling fan who knows of little beyond the TDF. You see whoever makes it to Paris – none of the riders owe you anything. Same goes for David Simons above – tell me exactly how cav doesn’t ‘respect’ the race? You seem to know very little about bike racing.

      • What I find interesting is that while many sports (including cycling) don’t regard the Olympic Games as the pinnacle achievement of their discipline. However, Cav is taking the Olympics seriously, is sacrificing his TdF for it, and if the athletes owe the utmost respect and dedication to any event, it should be the Olympics.

        Good on Cav for this.

        • Neil_Robinson

          I think the differentiation between the Olympics mattering to a sport/athlete or not is money. If the sport has a decent professional side, then it’s #2 (e.g. Golf, Baseball, men’s road cycling).

          For those that dont, the Olympics is it and a bit (e.g. Rowing, Track cycling, women’s cycling).

          If you can’t compete for money, you compete for glory, and supply/demand says an event that’s every 4 years is more glorious more than one every year (e.g. worlds).

          • Dave

            I think there’s a lot more to it than money.

            I would put the men’s Olympic Road Race as closer to the second group than the first. It is quite highly prized by most within the sport (apart from a certain type of fan) because cycling has a long standing culture of representative competition. If it were not, the pro teams would not be so supportive of it.

            Golf and Baseball have never had that culture, and it is showing this year. In the case of golf, the individual format has probably contributed to that where a teams format (perhaps requiring a minimum of one amateur on each team) might have been more successful.

            • Barring team sports like baseball and basketball, the Olympics seem to be not as popular amongst sports such as golf and tennis where the athlete needs to win in order to take home their salary.

        • Neil_Robinson

          It’s also interesting that Rohan Dennis leaving for the same reason hasn’t made any waves.

          • Dave

            And the same goes for Trek-Segafredo, they let Cancellara leave the Tour early (despite the support he could offer Mollema in the first half of each remaining stage) and signed Jack Bobridge for this year despite knowing he would be focusing on the Team Pursuit.

        • Nitro

          Agree 100%.

          If he ends his career with a TdF yellow jersey, 2nd on the list of all time stage winners, multiple World Championships AND an Olympic gold, that’d be a pretty good career wrap.

        • Dave

          All the real evidence would suggest that the Olympic Road Race is a quite highly prized win, and one that almost every team is willing to cooperate with despite theoretically getting nothing out of it.

          It would seem that the suggestion that the Olympic Road Race is a minor event comes only from certain sectors of the ‘white socks only’ fans, not from anyone within the sport.

        • NYCRider

          Why are we all talking about the Olympic Road Race? Cav is there to do track. Pretty self-explanatory as to why he wants gold on the track and would leave the tour early to achieve this

        • MushieG

          I agree, but what i was suggesting was that if he does prioritise the olympics, then why start the tdf at all. After all its not 21 individual races its 1 race.
          I would even suggest (and I know this will probably cause many to raise their hands and ask what am I thinking, but it is only my opinion and opinions are what make this forum) :

          That stage wins should only be recorded if you make it to Paris – ie: complete the entire race. Stand on the dias and receive all 21 stage wins there. I think this would make it more interesting.

    • Dave

      If the Tour organisers are unhappy with the situation, they should have selected a more balanced course.

    • Steve S

      I agree with you mate. No one else seems to, but I definitely do :)

  • James Longfield

    Great article. Thanks Wade. I’ve been delighted to see Cav back at his best, dominating and letting his personality come across.

    On a tangential point, what do people think of the idea of an Olympic Jersey – like the rainbow stripes? Lots of opportunity for a golden fleece type affair, it might give Michael ‘Bling’ Mathews even more motivation to win!


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