I was thinking…..

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about last weekend. And this radio thing and power struggle for control of professional cycling and all its potential money. The struggle is like struggles in all other businesses. Who controls the power and who gets the money. And I’m thinking that professional cycling has just become a job for most this guys. How sad.

I guarantee that most riders don’t want radio earpieces. The ones that do are racing for money and not for the love of the sport. I’m pretty pessimistic about a lot of aspects of the sport. The drugs aren’t leaving nearly as quickly as I’d hoped. The races are getting more and more boring. Only the “superstars” get to win. Etc. Etc.

Most the guys in the pro peleton are alright bike riders. Not great, but good. And most these guys, after they have paid their dues by riding a few years, have it in their abilities to win big races on “their day”. We all have those days. The days when our pedals have no resistance and we can turn them at any pace we like. It is rare that one of those days happens on a race day. Even rarer when it happens on a big race day, on a course that suits your abilities. But, when one of the “regular” guys on a team has one of those days, it is wasted. He doesn’t get a chance to showcase his abilities because he has a job to do. And his job could be a menial as fetching water bottles all day. Shit. What a bad existence. I’d rather be touring with panniers.

So, this power struggle is happening so the teams with the money can decide how they can make the most money from the sport. I hope it works out for everyone. Especially the riders. Because most of them are just going to be water boys for their whole career.

Here’s a photo from the 1981 Coor’s Classic of climbing Loveland Pass with Marc Madiot, Thomas Prehn and a Russian guy. Marc went on to win Paris-Roubaix a few years later. I was nearly having one of those days that day. Not quite.

And here’s Marc doing his team director thing nowadays. I wonder which day he would prefer? And I also wonder if he would want to be on the other end of this “conversation”?

12 thoughts on “I was thinking…..

  1. Texas rider

    I dunno Steve… domestiques have been around as long as the sport.. and I know you know a lot of guys who’ve been there – how many have ever said they’d trade their few years of glory for anything?

  2. tilford97 Post author

    I realize that domestiques have been around for a long time. But, their roles have changed so dramatically that they rarely, if ever, have a chance for “their own glory”. That is something that has changed during my riding period. I find it sad.

  3. Dave Johnson

    I think a lot of guys leave the sport once they realize the reality of the pro peleton. I stopped racing because it stopped being fun. If you can’t win a race because you trained harder than the next guy because that guy is taking PEDs , why bother? And nowadays, there are guys in local races taking PEDs so they can win a few bucks. Racing in Texas the 80s as a Cat.2 Junior was a blast.

  4. Matt

    Mssr Madiot just looks like a fool and the rider, if smart, has probably pulled the earpiece. Would that ever motivate anyone?


  5. Jonny Bold

    Madiot looks worse than a fool. He looks like a full blown psycho! I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that nutjob.

  6. Blake Barrilleaux

    That photo from the Coors Classic looks like the same area on the climb as the photo of Peirce, Hampsten and Grewal in the Eddy B book. Madiot is using an external vehicle speaker during the T.T.

  7. Wayne McCombe

    Some people actually perform better with external motivation, how do you know McGee didn’t want that?


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