at the end of every road season, bar a couple of 1 day/ 3 day races and the Tour of Beijing, we all look forward to the World Road Racing Championships.
This year, the spectacle took place in Toscana for our juniors, under 23s and seniors of both sexes in both road and time trialing. and this year like most, was the usual spectacle. well i thought it was, but as usual there will be doubters, haters or just moaners for the sake of moaning.
i like the worlds because the cream of the pelotons are there, everyone who is anyone and the up and comings from all nations within the uci family. the two big differences that make this the best 1 day race in my eyes, are that it encompasses national pride into cycling and no race radios.
national pride for me is not about waving flags in a patriotic manner, nor wearing the national football shirt and chanting songs. in cycling, and for me, it’s about showing the best of a nations riders, some may even be amateurs. it’s not about creating super teams, full of the best elite athletes on the planet that only the fat wallets of the über rich can collect. it also shows the cycling dna of a nation and how its grassroots governing bodies programmes are working, or indeed not working.
no race radios, again, there will be the ones amongst you reading who think, safety, tactics, strategy and commentary, yes, all great and positive elements to the sport, as grand tour armchair cyclists we are <sniggers>, but as we saw in the olympic mens road race competition, old school or traditional reading of the race from within a race is being lost. the british, were either naive (believing the sky pro team self-propaganda), bad tacticians or out raced. me, i believe they were out raced and outsmarted as the sky train is managed from a car with satellites, radios and tvs, unlike the world rr champs.
at the end of this sublime duel of the masses, the rider who crosses the line first, is awarded a nice shiny gold ‘uci’ medal and the beautiful rainbow jersey, and as a result, for the following 12 months can be seen in brilliant white jersey with the five coloured bands around his and her chest.
is this right, should this year rui costa wear the coveted bands after one single race, where joaquim rodríguez, has come top of the pile for consistant results over the whole of the season and is rewarded by….yep, nothing.
imagine a grand tour awarding a rider for consistency over a period of time? oh, thats right all three do, the maillot jaune, the maglia rosa and at the moment, the red jersey of the vuelta, its not that bizarre is it.
anyway, what do you think, keep it as it is? or reward the no.1 of the year and award another status to the road race championships? or is there another option?