Grand Prix Quebec Finish

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Okay, this is just an observation, and I’m digging the finish, but Peter Sagan goes from the far right side of the road, to the far left side of the road, and finally jumps back to the right side of the road, all in the last 150 meters of this race.  What happened to the rule about sprinting in a straight line the in the last 200 meters?  I’m not sure it changed the results much, but it is pretty radical.  The sprint starts at about 200 meter into the video.

17 thoughts on “Grand Prix Quebec Finish

  1. Sean YD

    Here is the UCI rule regarding “sprints,” Steve. It has been modified over the years, but has gone unchanged since the 2005 season.

    RULE 2.3.036
    Riders shall be strictly forbidden to deviate from the lane they selected when launching into the sprint and, in so doing, endangering others.

    The relevant USA Cycling rule regarding a situation like this is:
    RULE 1N7.
    No rider may make an abrupt motion so as to interfere with the forward progress of another rider, either
    intentionally or by accident.

    and in the schedule of fines, the following penalties are relevant to the above:
    – 8B3 (a) Failure to maintain a line or other sprint irregularities.
    – 8B3 (b) Extremely dangerous behavior in a sprint.
    – 8B3 (c) Pulling on the jersey of a competitor.

  2. JP

    from overhead you can see that he is off the front of the bunch and does not endanger others (2.3.036) or interfere with the forward progress of another rider (1N7).

  3. Steve Tilford Post author

    JP/Sean – I agree it probably didn’t change the results. But when GVA is following Sagan, even if he’s not really attached, he came over on the Roux (FDJ). You can see Roux do a stutter pedal and lean, even though it was probably an over reaction. The rule is because you don’t have eyes in the back of your head and that a rider that might be coming from behind can anticipate that the riders ahead of him are generally going to be going in a straight line. This wasn’t the case at all. It was fun to watch though.

  4. KrakatoaEastofJava

    Love it. Tinkov gets literally everything he was complaining about not having gotten, and he still folds his team. Putz.

  5. Bolas Azules

    Steve it’s about time you grew a set. Did you ever spend any time riding the track? Even our little buddy A. Hampsten made his way down to the Kenosha Bowl during his tutelege from the Madison WI boys (the crit kings of the era) back in the day. Mixing it up a bit is racing, Cavendish’s crap is a bit out of bounds.

  6. Steve Tilford Post author

    Bolas – I’ve been involved in a ton of stuff sketchy in the sport of bicycle racing. Pretty much in every aspect of the sport. The difference is now that virtually every professional race is on the Internet and you see it from so many different angles.

    When new riders, or seasoned guys that haven’t or might not ever, make it to the professional ranks, watch the pros do shit that is obviously questionable and they always get away with it, then all categories of riders think that is the way the pros do it, try to emulate them and the learning process of the sport goes out the window.

    If that was the finish of a Cat 5 race, would you want the guy that did what Sagan did reprimanded or not? We all know that Peter Sagan can handle his bike, but if it was Joe Blow Cat. 5 then you would look at it a little differently, I’d think. But Joe B. has a valid argument saying that is how you sprint at the end of a race. I watched Peter Sagan do it in a World Tour race.

    The fastest way to the line was straight. I can’t explain why Sagan was weaving all over the road. Maybe he was trying to lose GVA? I don’t know. I do know that it worked out fine this time. The sprint was uphill and he was going faster than the other riders. But what if he was going 70kph and it was flat. Would that sprint be correct? Probably not.

    It is better just to have a rule saying that you need to hold your line in the last 200 meters. Not this bullshit rule that you need to be going straight unless you aren’t endangering other riders, then you can swerve around all you want. That rule is stupid.

    You just need to ride your bike the shortest distance to the finish line, as straight as you can go. That usually works out the best for everyone involved.

  7. Jim

    I was there (talked to Trudy too) and thought the same thing but it really wasn’t close enough to be a problem.

  8. conrad

    Personally I feel that you can’t be a truly well rounded racer unless you have spent some time in the track. There are well known rules protecting the sprinters lane. Road sprints are a free for all and scary as hell.

  9. Bryan Barber

    PS was running out of gas and obviously moved over to put GVA in the wind before he Jumped and slung around. He’s been the best in the world for the last four years on that type of finish. The likelihood that someone else was coming up from behind is close to 0%. Therefore, he increased the likelihood of an accident due to his actions by close to 0%. I think that’s totally acceptable.

  10. Mark Kerlin

    He changed his line to the left when he jumped to get an advantage because the road had a crown in it and going left was downhill. He wanted to ride GVA off his wheel as he passed Uran, so he jumped “up” the “track” to his right, making it harder to stay in his draft.

    He used the correct tactic to win the race and did not endanger anyone in the process. Chapeau Sagan.

  11. Charles Dostale

    If the finish is on a curve ( Muscatine in the late ’70s ), then the most direct path or straightest path to the finish line could impede other riders. The “lane” language in the rule accommodates that.

    Riding on the track forces you to learn a lot in a short time about sprinting. Riding cyclocross forces you to learn a lot about bike handling in a short time. Riding a time trial once a week forces you to learn a lot about pacing your efforts. Riders that only ride one type of event are missing out.


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