Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Racing => Topic started by: Biff on July 27, 2012, 02:49:03 am

Title: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Biff on July 27, 2012, 02:49:03 am
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/liggett-slams-inclusion-of-mountain-biking-bmx-in-olympics

Agree/disagree?
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: clarion on July 27, 2012, 05:41:33 am
They're not his sports, so he doesn't understand them, but it seems to me that MTB & BMX both have a valid place in the Olympics.  It's a shame that other events have had to suffer for their inclusion, particularly the spectacularly skilful tandem events, and when other events included recently are so dubious.

His comments about the Omnium are interesting.  I don't think that it necessarily merits inclusion, but it's odd when the versatility of a sportsman is looked down on.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Regulator on July 27, 2012, 07:30:59 am
Did we expect anything other than tittery from Liggett?
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: John Henry on July 27, 2012, 07:31:59 am
Agree in part, disagree in part. I've more sympathy with the inclusion of mountain biking than BMX. I'll miss one or two of the track disciplines that have gone, but not others (Madison was never my thing). I've no particular problem with the Omnium. But everyone's going to have an equally valid personal view, and he's entitled to his.

On the whole I prefer Olympic sports which have an objective, measurable outcome and don't rely on a panel of judges awarding style points. If we're going to chop Olympic events, I'd chop them first. YMMV, of course.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Jaded on July 27, 2012, 07:52:23 am
In line with the first Olympic Games of the modern era, would he prefer women to be excluded?

I'd wonder if Baron de Coubertin appreciated Croquet being in the second modern games.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: IanDG on July 27, 2012, 07:55:56 am
Mixed feelings. MTB and BMX have UCI classifications so why not have a place in the Olympics - both events have been the starting point for good riders (Jamie Staff, Cadel Evans).

Removing the Pursuit and Kilo is what I don't understand. Enjoy the Madison but not upset about it being removed and wouldn't get upset if the omnium and kierin were taken away

Track events I'd choose to be included would be - sprint, pursuit, kilo, team pursuit  and points race.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: red marley on July 27, 2012, 07:59:49 am
I think his main point is that we have lost some important and thrilling track events and I'd agree with him there. The emphasis on it being BMX's fault seems to be made more by the headline and editing of the article than by Phil directly. It does seem odd that the inclusion of BMX counts against the tally of track cycling events given they are such different sports.

Personally, I'm not a fan of participating in mountain biking, but watching the mountain biking events in Beijing last time was an unexpected pleasure, so am looking forward to seeing that this year (even if Essex can't quite match the surroundings of Laoshan).

It's also worth remembering that the Paralympics has a pretty good range of track events, including the kilo, individual pursuit and what should hopefully be some exciting tandem racing.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Rainmaker on July 27, 2012, 08:07:08 am
Posted by: John Henry: Today at 07:31:59 AM

On the whole I prefer Olympic sports which have an objective, measurable outcome and don't rely on a panel of judges awarding style points. If we're going to chop Olympic events, I'd chop them first. YMMV, of course.

+1
But IMO the whole Olympic thing has got out of hand, it's more about making money than sporting prowess now.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: bobb on July 27, 2012, 08:14:36 am
Yeah, I think it's the loss of track events that Phil has a problem with rather than MTB or BMX as such.

I just do not understand the IOC or the UCI. What is the problem? Why can't they all be included? Do they have some kind of limit on the amount of medals? If so, it's simple - change it. There is absolutely no reason why cycling (or any other sport for that matter) can't have medals for all the officially recognised disciplines and events within them. And that includes equal womens and mens events, which of course they've gone some way to resolving.... By chopping out loads of other events to make room for them. Madness!
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Honest John on July 27, 2012, 08:34:01 am
Silly Philly.

Personally, if you were going to drop any cycling, for me it'd be some of the long track events.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: ferret on July 27, 2012, 08:47:49 am
The first thing I would drop is the bloody football, total waste of time, then the tennis would go closely followed by basketball and possibly the equestrian stuff,
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Gaston Lagaffe on July 27, 2012, 08:51:37 am
In line with the first Olympic Games of the modern era, would he prefer women to be excluded?



I doubt it

http://vimeo.com/45784191

Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Exit Stage Left on July 27, 2012, 08:56:40 am
It's an interesting parrallel with the skiing. I first saw Ski Cross at an X Games in Chamonix in the mid 90s when it was a variant of Boarder Cross. It was the most exciting thing I'd ever seen on snow, but it didn't fully fit into the cool dude boarding culture or the mainline conservative ski culture. It was the hit of the Vancouver Games. I'd rather see Mountain Biking in a setting with mountains though, a view of the Thames Estuary can be moody, but it's rarely magnificent. The Manchester Commonwealth games had the benefit of a good venue for the cycling.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Rhys W on July 27, 2012, 09:09:56 am
I dunno, but I think those BMX riders would fall off their bikes a lot less if they rode bikes that fit them.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Gus on July 27, 2012, 09:46:33 am
I dunno, but I think those BMX riders would fall off their bikes a lot less if they rode bikes that fit them.
;D  I doubt it, they would crash into every tabletop on the course and crash even more.
BMX is bloody hard, if you don't are fit with plenty of upperbody strength you will loose. (I tried it& failed big time  :-X)

But else I tend to agree with Windy.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: spesh on July 27, 2012, 10:09:54 am
I'd rather see Mountain Biking in a setting with mountains though, a view of the Thames Estuary can be moody, but it's rarely magnificent. The Manchester Commonwealth games had the benefit of a good venue for the cycling.

I've done a bit of cross-country MTB racing in the south of England and the west Midlands, and in my experience, you don't need to set a course in the middle of a mountain range to come up with a severe physical and technical challenge. Given it's the London Games ( a subtle clue, methinks) it would be a tad incongruous to shove the XC MTB events right up the other end of the country due to a dogmatic insistence on mountains. It would only have been worth doing so if the downhill discipline was an Olympic event - for example, Fort William has hosted national and World Cup series XC and DH events in the past.

The latest post in the Inner Ring is worth a read (http://inrng.com/2012/07/olympics-sprint-farce/). Whilst it is touching on the farce arising from French and German efforts to get extra athletes into the track events, the issue of culled track events is discussed a little bit in the comments. When you look at the German track sprinter (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumofmarc/6936916285/) entered into the XC race, it's going to be almost worth watching that event just for the comedy value.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: mattc on July 27, 2012, 10:39:46 am
BMX is bloody hard, if you don't are fit with plenty of upperbody strength you will loose.
So what next; free-climbing?

BMX is clearly a fine sport, but we don't need more events in the Olympics. You have to decide somehow, and for me - once you've chopped out the judges' opinion events - we should be looking at the basics. Faster, higher, stronger; not how fast if the surface is slippy and someone dumped a massive pile of spare rubble in the way.

Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on July 27, 2012, 10:44:46 am
On the whole I prefer Olympic sports which have an objective, measurable outcome and don't rely on a panel of judges awarding style points. If we're going to chop Olympic events, I'd chop them first. YMMV, of course.
Yeah, that's how I feel. Swimming races in, synchronised swimming out. Although I do quite like the diving and some of the gymnastics, but not fannying about with ribbons, so I'm willing to show some flexibility/hypocrisy.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Jaded on July 27, 2012, 10:46:14 am
On the whole I prefer Olympic sports which have an objective, measurable outcome and don't rely on a panel of judges awarding style points. If we're going to chop Olympic events, I'd chop them first. YMMV, of course.
Yeah, that's how I feel. Swimming races in, synchronised swimming out. Although I do quite like the diving and some of the gymnastics, but not fannying about with ribbons, so I'm willing to show some flexibility/hypocrisy.

Surely the ribbons is all about demonstrating flexibility?
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: spesh on July 27, 2012, 10:51:05 am
What would be interesting is to poll the riders for their views on what would count for more on their CV. Does gold in the Olympic road race trump a Spring Classic, or is it worth no more than a post-TdF "chipper" criterium?

Perhaps the road events should have been dropped in order to preserve the blue riband track events, chances are though, that there would still have been some restrictions on athletes per event to give everyone bar GB and Australia a better shot at the medals. :demon:
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: matthew on July 27, 2012, 10:52:23 am
Why the reduction in events is the question, when womens swimming was introduced did they reduce the number of mens events?

I am glad to see the introduction of the Omnium, it parallels the multi discipline athletics events, but I miss the madness of the maddison and the purity of the individual pursuit.

Its not like the velodrome has to be used for another sport and so has a limited number of days for track cycling, instead there could be 16 days of competition.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: clarion on July 27, 2012, 10:53:33 am
I could happily manage without the Keirin.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: citoyen on July 27, 2012, 10:58:22 am
Removing the Pursuit and Kilo is what I don't understand. Enjoy the Madison but not upset about it being removed and wouldn't get upset if the omnium and kierin were taken away

Track events I'd choose to be included would be - sprint, pursuit, kilo, team pursuit  and points race.

+1 re the individual pursuit and kilo. If it had to be a choice, I'd lose the keirin and team sprint to make way for them. I like the madison too and would keep it. And I like the omnium too - it's the decathlon of track cycling. Still not entirely sure why we can't keep all of them though.

I'm not fussed about the BMX or MTB events. They're fun but I have no strong feelings either way on whether they should be Olympic events. I think I broadly agree with mattc though.

The events I think we really need to get rid of are the ones that require their own mini-tournament structure spread out over many days, or even weeks - eg football, tennis. It's fine to have a few heats for short events like sprints, but events of longer duration should be mass participation one-offs, eg the marathon, the road race.

Also, the swimming events need to be seriously rationalised - far too many of them. Much as I admire the likes of Phelps and Foster, there's something not quite right about a sport where it's possible for one competitor to take seven golds at a single games.

d.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: madcow on July 27, 2012, 12:36:53 pm
BMX is bloody hard, if you don't are fit with plenty of upperbody strength you will loose.
So what next; free-climbing?

BMX is clearly a fine sport, but we don't need more events in the Olympics. You have to decide somehow, and for me - once you've chopped out the judges' opinion events - we should be looking at the basics. Faster, higher, stronger; not how fast if the surface is slippy and someone dumped a massive pile of spare rubble in the way.

My son is a member of British Mountaineering Council and yes, Free Climbing is openly being discussed as a potential Olympic sport.
It already has  a World Championship.
On the basis of faster , higher, stronger it qualifies .
 Difficult to set up in Essex though. Beachy Head anyone?
 Its all about appealing to yoof and TV/sponsors, not what the public think of as Olympic sport. Hence golf, tennis etc.

Somewhere in "Heroes ,Villains and Velodromes" there is an account of the reasoning that was behind the changes in track events. Its very complicated for an outsider to follow , but basically the IOC and the UCI blame veryone but themselves after a loaded series of questions put to National governing bodies gave them a result they didnt want.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Biggsy on July 27, 2012, 12:43:13 pm
Was the Madison dropped because it's boring?
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: citoyen on July 27, 2012, 01:30:59 pm
Boring? I suppose you're one of those people who thinks Test cricket is boring too, are you? ;)

I presume it was dropped because of all the track cycling events, it's probably the hardest for spectators to follow, and spectator-friendliness seems to be the overriding concern for the organisers these days. Fair enough, I suppose.

I find the madison exciting to watch even when I haven't got a clue what's going on. Mind you, I'd be happy if the six day race was made an Olympic event.

d.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Ewan Houzami on July 27, 2012, 02:13:08 pm
Talking of which, whatever happened to Tony Doyle's plans for a London Six Day? I'd go. 'Specially if there was a well-stocked bar.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: ferret on July 27, 2012, 02:32:49 pm
early on in the development of the London Games, there was a move to get the MTB stuff held in Wales due to it's hilly nature, it was decided that it was too far away ? likewise the show jumping should have been held at Hickstead, an internationally renowned show jumping / equestrian set up, but no, needed to have an arena specially built in the middle of London at the cost of £000's to the good 'ol tax payer, hey ho,
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: mattc on July 27, 2012, 03:03:39 pm
I can see the attraction of running the events centrally where possible, but in the 'current economic climate' this is exactly the sort of waste that should have been stamped on early doors.

(football in Glasgow seems to be OK).
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on July 27, 2012, 04:31:04 pm
Drop the Keirin :o

The Keirin is a fantastic event, as is the Omnium.

They should have kept them all in.

Edit to add-

Was anything dropped in Track and Field to accomodate the womens Pole Vault?
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Gaston Lagaffe on July 27, 2012, 04:41:43 pm
Was anything dropped in Track and Field to accomodate the womens Pole Vault?

The crossbar ;D

IGMC
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Exit Stage Left on July 27, 2012, 05:15:14 pm
Personally I'd add a third event to the Olympics and the Paralympics, one which excludes those whose income from sport exceeds that from their full-time job. I suppose it would be possible to have a medal table adjusted to weed out the millionaires.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: tatanab on July 27, 2012, 05:17:04 pm
Was anything dropped in Track and Field to accomodate the womens Pole Vault?
I'd ask the same about swimming when the open water swim was introduced.

More seriously I think too many sports and their variants have been included in the games, such as under water synchronised martial artists basket weaving on bicycles.  I think the games should go back to the basics of running, jumping, throwing.  Certainly scrap all the "artistic" sports.
Title: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: citoyen on July 27, 2012, 07:53:44 pm
Thinking about it, dropping the individual pursuit could have been a blessing in disguise - if it had still been an Olympic event, would Brad Wiggins have switched his focus to the road in the way he did?

d.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: uphillbothways on July 29, 2012, 04:46:13 am
I'm not keen on mountain biking and I can't bloody stand BMX, but it was absolutely the right decision to introduce them as Olympic events.

Track cycling is this weird little niche that doesn't really encourage broader participation in cycling. I love it to death, but it's obviously alienating to a lot of people - the basic geometry of a velodrome is intimidating, even if you're an experienced road cyclist. It doesn't help that so many track events are so inscrutable. Most track and field events need no explanation, but ordinary punters are baffled by the keirin and sprint, let alone something as complicated as a madison or points race.

Bringing in MTB and BMX events can only be good news for cycling. They're events that young people can relate to. Most kids will have a mountain bike or a BMX in the shed, which they might be inspired to dust off by a medal for Britain. Much as it pains me to say, I think that Shanaze Reade is a more plausible role model than Victoria Pendleton.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Biggsy on July 29, 2012, 05:52:47 pm
Yeah, it's called the Olympic Games, not the Olympic Sports.  I wouldn't mind if darts and Twister was included.
Title: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: citoyen on July 29, 2012, 11:16:22 pm
Most track and field events need no explanation, but ordinary punters are baffled by the keirin and sprint, let alone something as complicated as a madison or points race.

My TV writer friend was putting together a TV guide to the Olympics and asking for advice on what to include. "What's the keirin?" she asked. So I told her. "Motorbikes? Are you taking the piss?" she replied.

;D

d.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on July 30, 2012, 07:18:48 am
A couple of USA-ian velodromes have noise restrictions and substitute tandem-paced keirins. I've not tried it but I've always thought that tandem pacing would work better than a motorcycle pacer. You don't have the common problems of the pacer not cranking the throttle enough or suddenly leaping away. A strong tandem pair accelerates in the right manner and to the right speed for a keirin leadout.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Rhys W on July 30, 2012, 09:18:09 am
In the early days of track racing (late 19th century) they used triples and quads for pacing I believe.

I was at the Wales National Velodrome last week to watch a Team GB training session and it was strange to see an "ordinary" motorbike there instead of an old two-stroke derny - it just didn't look right. The motorbike was whisper-quiet, so quiet that I found myself trying to determine if it was actually powered by electricity.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Giropaul on July 30, 2012, 09:26:50 am
A couple of USA-ian velodromes have noise restrictions and substitute tandem-paced keirins. I've not tried it but I've always thought that tandem pacing would work better than a motorcycle pacer. You don't have the common problems of the pacer not cranking the throttle enough or suddenly leaping away. A strong tandem pair accelerates in the right manner and to the right speed for a keirin leadout.

I used to replace the derny quite often at track league, winding it up to (not quite!) speed and then swinging off, just on my bike.

It still gave a decent race for people. The UCI (bless them) has, of course, cut the terminal speed of the derny quite severely, so it's not an impossible speed for a single rider, or a tandem.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: David Martin on July 30, 2012, 10:56:22 am
We often use Human Powered Derney's for the youth riders.. OUr derney is a motorbike - One of our local riders was qualified to ride the derney before his road motorbike!
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Biggsy on July 30, 2012, 11:06:03 am
I always wonder about the fumes from a petrol motorbike.  I'd like an electric bike to be used anyway, for the sake of publicising electric vehicles.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on July 30, 2012, 11:24:04 am
Not just triplets and quads were used for pacing a 100+ years ago. The formidable Dunlop pacing team had several quints, a big advantage for their racers. There were even bigger pacers made, sometimes with 'donkeyback' positions for the last rider.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on July 30, 2012, 01:54:43 pm
Like many others, I used to think the artistic sports or the events which rely on judges' opinon had no place in the Olympics, but my opinion's developed since then. Weren't grace and skill elements of the wrestling and other events in the classical Olympics?

As for the track events, I don't think I fully understand all of them but they probably all have a place. So what criteria should be used if there isn't time or space to hold all of them: popularity? suitability for TV? significance to competitors? I don't know! It's like the multiple swimming events - to my mind there's no difference between the various strokes of the same distance, but clearly the distinction counts for those who know.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: henshaw11 on July 30, 2012, 02:15:15 pm
Usual caveats apply re wikipedia pages - but if you look at those available on the classic (original) olympics and the modern olypics, then other than very initially they *never* have been just running, jumping throwing -  the Greeks added events over the the decades, too. ISTR that if you took the events of the first olympics and stripped out the cultural/religious aspect you'd be left with about a day's worth of competion (if that).

As for kicking out 'artistic' stuff - you *do* realise you'd lose all gymnastics and diving, for example? Those are way more interesting IMO than see a bunch of blokes kick up the dust over 100m..YMMV


Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on August 04, 2012, 05:28:12 pm
The velodrome was sitting unused for the first few days of the 'lympics, wasn't it? They could have added women's events in without losing men's.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: David Martin on August 04, 2012, 06:27:53 pm
It is to do with the number of medals. Cycling has X medals and they set the programme around that. Arguably the omnium gives the best value for money in spectator minutes per medal
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: bobb on August 04, 2012, 06:34:22 pm
But nobody has ever come up with any reasonable explanation as to why cycling can't have Y medals rather than X
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: eck on August 04, 2012, 06:35:10 pm
And, I think one of the commentators, or it may have been Cav, said that swimming has 42 medals. 42 FFS.  ::-)
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: bobb on August 04, 2012, 07:11:53 pm
And according to Addlington Swimming is the hardest sport to win a medal in! No it isn't! You've got about a million events to have a crack at...
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: uphillbothways on August 04, 2012, 07:20:09 pm
But nobody has ever come up with any reasonable explanation as to why cycling can't have Y medals rather than X

I don't want to libel anyone, so I'll phrase this quite carefully.

A sport's governing body has a very strong incentive to get more events into the Olympic Games, because most countries use medal prospects as a factor in how they allocate sports funding. Each extra medal for your sport means millions of pounds invested globally in facilities, talent development etc, which will be beneficial to the sport as a whole and to the governing body.

There is a long history of allegations of bribery against members of the IOC. In the case of the Salt Lake City bid for the Winter Games, ten IOC members were expelled and another ten sanctioned for "accepting inappropriate gifts"; An IOC report stated that these gifts may have influenced the voting decisions of members. There are only very broad objective standards for the inclusion of a sport in the Games and the selection process hinges on a vote of IOC members.

Although there is no evidence that any governing body has attempted to corruptly influence the decision-making of the IOC in their selection of events, there would be ample motive and opportunity for any of them to do so.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Veloman on August 04, 2012, 08:24:11 pm
And according to Addlington Swimming is the hardest sport to win a medal in! No it isn't! You've got about a million events to have a crack at...

A million events?

I must be unaware of some.

Could you name them as I might even join young Addlinngton in having a crack at one
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: bobb on August 04, 2012, 08:34:02 pm
I'll let you into a little secret - when I said "about a million" I was kinda exagerating. Silly, I know. I didn't realise anybody would actually think there are literally a million swimming events. I'm really sorry that I confused you...
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: hubner on August 04, 2012, 08:46:31 pm
But nobody has ever come up with any reasonable explanation as to why cycling can't have Y medals rather than X

I don't want to libel anyone, so I'll phrase this quite carefully.

A sport's governing body has a very strong incentive to get more events into the Olympic Games, because most countries use medal prospects as a factor in how they allocate sports funding. Each extra medal for your sport means millions of pounds invested globally in facilities, talent development etc, which will be beneficial to the sport as a whole and to the governing body.

There is a long history of allegations of bribery against members of the IOC. In the case of the Salt Lake City bid for the Winter Games, ten IOC members were expelled and another ten sanctioned for "accepting inappropriate gifts"; An IOC report stated that these gifts may have influenced the voting decisions of members. There are only very broad objective standards for the inclusion of a sport in the Games and the selection process hinges on a vote of IOC members.

Although there is no evidence that any governing body has attempted to corruptly influence the decision-making of the IOC in their selection of events, there would be ample motive and opportunity for any of them to do so.

The UCI can influence which cycling event gets into the Olympics, and if the people who run a certain cycling event in a certain country give enough "material support" to the UCI...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7525072.stm
Title: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: citoyen on August 04, 2012, 10:07:26 pm
I've wondered if it's not only the sports' governing bodies "lobbying" the IOC - USA, for example, are very strong in swimming, so they would certainly have a motive for making sure lots of swimming events are included, and they're a big, powerful nation...

d.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Veloman on August 04, 2012, 10:15:05 pm
I'll let you into a little secret - when I said "about a million" I was kinda exagerating. Silly, I know. I didn't realise anybody would actually think there are literally a million swimming events. I'm really sorry that I confused you...

No surprise to me and no need for apology.

Obviously, I was drawing attention to the irony of your posting about what Addlington said immediately after giving maximum effort in a race where she lost her Olympic title, which she had worked like mad over the last 4 years to try and retain. Full of emotion and physically drained, she spoke from the heart without having chance to gather her thoughts. Disparaging comments about what Addlington said were inappropriate IMO. 

I agree your comment was silly and I thought it was worth pointing that out.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: geraldc on August 04, 2012, 10:20:09 pm
There are a large number of swimming medals, half of the US gold medals have come from swimming, and they lead the board
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Giropaul on August 05, 2012, 08:46:30 am
It's obviously, to us cyclists, unfair, that there are shedloads of events in swimming, with multiple entrants from each country, and this huge limitation in the velodrome.

Ultimately these hings are decided by politicians (albeit that they might have once been competitors), and it becomes all about deals, giving a bit to get a bit etc. Many of these people have persoanl ambition beyond their own sport, to to rise higher in their own infrastructure.

It would be nice if the competitors had a say; but it appears that this doesn't, and can't, happen.

I disagree that track is some weird sidewater -  it's been the basis of cycle racing for as long as there have been bikes. It's also much more easily understood and televised. Try explaining the whole load of tactics going on in the road race last week to someone who's never raced, or even never raced at a serious level.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: John Henry on August 05, 2012, 09:06:29 am

I disagree that track is some weird sidewater -  it's been the basis of cycle racing for as long as there have been bikes. It's also much more easily understood and televised. Try explaining the whole load of tactics going on in the road race last week to someone who's never raced, or even never raced at a serious level.

I did... I've never raced, but I basically understood what was going on. To be fair, most people who were genuinely trying to understand managed to. The ignorance of the mainstream media didn't help.

Anyway, you're right about the track. It's accessible and makes better TV. I think we have to ask what the Olympics are for. In very few sports are they the pinnacle of 'pure' competition. They're a celebration and an opportunity to expose people to new sports, and hopefully inspire them. (And they're a commercial venture, of course).

If that means that we have to 'dumb down' a bit and not do the full range of disciplines, fair enough. It's just the way that cycling has done this seems a bit eccentric. Taking out the individual pursuit and keeping, say, the keirin seems to me a bit like athletics deciding to keep the 20km walk and lose the 100m sprint.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: uphillbothways on August 05, 2012, 08:20:07 pm
I disagree that track is some weird sidewater -  it's been the basis of cycle racing for as long as there have been bikes. It's also much more easily understood and televised. Try explaining the whole load of tactics going on in the road race last week to someone who's never raced, or even never raced at a serious level.

Nearly everyone knows what it's like to run or swim or cycle on the road. Most people had a go at javelin and discus and the long-jump at school. Only a tiny minority of serious cyclists have ever rode on a velodrome, let alone the general public. When I take people down to Manchester velodrome for Revolution, they're inevitably astounded by the whole experience - the speed, the steepness of the banking, the dernies and the riders on rollers in the pit. It's a fantastic sport, but it's clearly the form of the sport that's most distant from everyday cycling.

As I said in my original post, I love track cycling, but I just don't think it's going to engage the general public, especially children, in the same way MTB or BMX can. I dearly hope that I'm wrong in this, but I think that a vastly greater number of girls will relate to Shanaze Reade than to Laura Trott.

Track cycling just isn't very accessible. Even if you're lucky enough to live near a velodrome, it's not a cheap activity for a young person, it's inherently intimidating, you've got to get accredited etc. Rightly or wrongly, mountain bikes and BMXes are the sorts of bikes kids get for christmas. Up and down the country, youngsters are building their own BMX tracks on bits of waste ground. It's cycling as young people know it. If the UCI doesn't prioritise grass-roots engagement, it's ultimately a betrayal to all of us - we can't survive without new blood.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: uphillbothways on August 05, 2012, 08:29:50 pm
If that means that we have to 'dumb down' a bit and not do the full range of disciplines, fair enough. It's just the way that cycling has done this seems a bit eccentric. Taking out the individual pursuit and keeping, say, the keirin seems to me a bit like athletics deciding to keep the 20km walk and lose the 100m sprint.

See the link in hubner's post. The Keirin Association provided substantial funding to the UCI. Of course, the UCI are clear that this had no bearing on their decision to lobby for the inclusion of keirin in the Olympic Games.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: mattc on August 06, 2012, 08:31:14 am
Track cycling inaccesible? I don't get this.

Kids take to it quite happily, so being 'astounded' doesn't seem to be a problem. If the "steep banking" is a problem, why do you say they want BMX tracks?!?


And I'm not sure that we suddenly need to leverage BMX/MTB - these pastimes are 30-40 years old. Kids have always ridden round dirt tracks with their mates, and they have happily got into road/track racing (usually ditching the BMX as they mature).
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Rig of Jarkness on August 06, 2012, 08:41:34 am
Track cycling just isn't very accessible. Even if you're lucky enough to live near a velodrome, it's not a cheap activity for a young person, it's inherently intimidating, you've got to get accredited etc.

Basic track bikes are very inexpensive.  And many velodromes have a shed full of them that youngsters can borrow.  And as Mattc says, it's not at all intimidating to an eager 12 year old.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on August 06, 2012, 08:50:19 am
Track cycling just isn't very accessible. Even if you're lucky enough to live near a velodrome, it's not a cheap activity for a young person, it's inherently intimidating, you've got to get accredited etc.

Basic track bikes are very inexpensive.  And many velodromes have a shed full of them that youngsters can borrow.  And as Mattc says, it's not at all intimidating to an eager 12 year old.

I should imagine that the only distress the avearge 12 year old would suffer in learning track cycling is that the lessons start on the blue bit as oppsoed to the top of the banking.

I know they are an expensive resource but, I wish there were more indoor velodromes around the country.

I understand from a former Olympian that the 'short' track at Calshott is very similar to those that used to be used for the '6 days of' type events on the continent and that some of those were temporary affairs, put up in a town for the '6 days of whereversville' then struck down and moved on. Perhaps BC should consider doing something like that- commisioning a mobile velodrome and touring the country, setting it up on local parks like they do wih fairs and circuses.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Jaded on August 06, 2012, 08:50:38 am
How many velodromes are there in comparison with swimming pools in the UK?
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: citoyen on August 06, 2012, 09:06:30 am
Perhaps BC should consider doing something like that- commisioning a mobile velodrome and touring the country, setting it up on local parks like they do wih fairs and circuses.

That's a great idea.  :thumbsup:

Does anyone know what's going to happen to the Olympic velodrome after the games finish? Will there be opportunities for the likes of me to have a go on it, eg like there are at Herne Hill?

d.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on August 06, 2012, 09:12:53 am
How many velodromes are there in comparison with swimming pools in the UK?

Wikipedia lists 25 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cycling_tracks_and_velodromes#United_Kingdom) tracks in the UK including one grass track and one listed as to be constructed.

As to swimming pools, I dont know but think that most towns have one and some places several, or at least more than one (though very few olympic size pools exist in the UK).
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: padbeat on August 06, 2012, 09:26:42 am
The one under construction in Glasgow is the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome (obv.) and is due for completion in October. I'm certainly going to go for a taster session with a bunch of mates. I think you're right about the 12yo indestructability of youth thing, 'cos I expect to be shitting myself when I get to riding around the banking.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: David Martin on August 06, 2012, 09:35:36 am
I too am hoping to get a chance to ride the SCH velodrome. Our local one has just been resurfaced (outdoor 400m tarmac) and could do with being a bit steeper on the bends.

Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on August 06, 2012, 09:47:01 am
I have never ridden an outdoor velodrome (even though I have one within an hors ride at Palmer Park in Reading). I know they have served an excellent purpose in being the introduction for some (if not many) to the glorious art of track cycling. Laura Trott learned her trade at the outdoor track at Welwyn didn't she?.

I think that we still need to up the ante as far as covered tracks are concerned though. I don't know how useable the outdoor venuse are in the extremes of weather we have in the UK.

How much does a wet track reduce its useability at somewhere like Palmer Park or Welwyn?
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on August 06, 2012, 09:50:31 am
Wet concrete tracks generally stop racing as track tubs use hard rubber to reduce rolling resistance. Asphalt tracks are a little more forgiving of dampness and Japanese kieren tracks are all-weather surfaces with racing continuing regardless of rain.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: rafletcher on August 06, 2012, 10:02:09 am
How many velodromes are there in comparison with swimming pools in the UK?

Not to disagree, but how many of those pools are of olympic standard and don't contain water slides and flumes etc.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: mattc on August 06, 2012, 10:23:46 am
How many velodromes are there in comparison with swimming pools in the UK?

Not to disagree,
You can't disagree - he asked a question! (to which the answer was pretty obvious)
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on August 06, 2012, 10:52:51 am
Track cycling just isn't very accessible. Even if you're lucky enough to live near a velodrome, it's not a cheap activity for a young person, it's inherently intimidating, you've got to get accredited etc. Rightly or wrongly, mountain bikes and BMXes are the sorts of bikes kids get for christmas. Up and down the country, youngsters are building their own BMX tracks on bits of waste ground. It's cycling as young people know it. If the UCI doesn't prioritise grass-roots engagement, it's ultimately a betrayal to all of us - we can't survive without new blood.

Bring back grasstrack, ffs!

All you need is a field.


(but I agree about mtb and bmx being 'more accessible'. It's more attractive to teenagers as well, looks more 'fun')
Title: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: citoyen on August 06, 2012, 11:34:13 am
I was riding my BMX round the dirt track we* "built" up in the local woods before I even knew such a thing as a velodrome existed.

d.

*"we" being me and some other local kids.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on August 06, 2012, 11:49:30 am
Pimpin your ride was what it was all about in my yoof (cowhorn handlebars on my Raleigh Jeep etc) and then caneing it until it, or you, broke.

These days it seem sto be more about hacking or modding your drive etc.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: mcshroom on August 06, 2012, 11:55:25 am
I was riding my BMX round the dirt track we* "built" up in the local woods before I even knew such a thing as a velodrome existed.

d.

*"we" being me and some other local kids.

I did exactly the same, then found out why it was a bad idea to ride the route backwards :facepalm:
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: hubner on August 06, 2012, 12:07:57 pm

I disagree that track is some weird sidewater -  it's been the basis of cycle racing for as long as there have been bikes. It's also much more easily understood and televised. Try explaining the whole load of tactics going on in the road race last week to someone who's never raced, or even never raced at a serious level.

But track cycling has been in decline since the 50 (?), with all the sponsorship money and fan interest on the road. Perhaps except for the winter sixes. Name all the post war cycling heroes, how many of them were track riders?

In the 70s and 80s the track events at a world level were dominated by the state sponsored riders from the Easter Bloc, then after 1989, aspiring riders would choose the road, same as in the West, because there was no money in track cycling.

Then British Cycling spotted a gap in the market, as it were, and now again state sponsored riders are
winning against track riders who have to to get private sponsorship.

Track cycling is easily televised, and some events are easy to understand. But some like the madison is almost impossible to show on TV and that's why it's been dropped. The individual pursuit and kilo  wer dropped because I guess a lone rider is seen as boring to the general public, the team pursuit is more of a spectacle.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Rig of Jarkness on August 06, 2012, 12:55:19 pm
Track cycling is easily televised, and some events are easy to understand. But some like the madison is almost impossible to show on TV and that's why it's been dropped. The individual pursuit and kilo  wer dropped because I guess a lone rider is seen as boring to the general public, the team pursuit is more of a spectacle.

I suspect the IP was dropped because it was deemed to take too long to schedule.  I suspect the kilo was dropped because it was deemed to be 1 sprint event too many.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: mattc on August 06, 2012, 01:19:14 pm
slightly OT:
Watching the kilo in the Omnium, it struck me that the shorter event duration is much better than for the 4km events. I'll watch a longer event where there is some interaction (like the solo sprint, keirin or points* race), but a rider (or team) just belting round at constant pace, on their own, isn't as exciting.

The TP has the added interest of riders swinging off, and potentially 'dropping the baton', but when it goes perfectly it's actually kinda dull  :(


*Well, maybe ...  ;D
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: John Henry on August 06, 2012, 06:30:40 pm
I used the word 'accessible' upthread to describe track cycling in the sense that it's easy for non-cyclist spectators to understand, in comparison with road racing. It's only anecdata, but the non-cyclists at work seem to have picked up what's happening on the track fairly easily - but the tactics and outcome of the Olympic RR had them mystified and took a lot of explaining.

I don't see how you can argue that track cycling is 'accessible' in the sense of being easy to participate in. Even those people who are fortunate enough to live within sensible distance of a velodrome can't really just pitch up on spec and have a go.

Whether BMX should replace track events depends on what you think the Olympics are for, I guess. Are they a general celebration of sport aimed at inspiring grass-roots participation, or are they the pinnacle of 'pure' competition? In some sports - and cycling's one - those aims aren't always compatible. In other sports they might be.

BMX dirt tracks... those were the days. I bounced then. Stinging nettles hurt just as much, though!
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on August 07, 2012, 01:08:39 am
In the 70s and 80s the track events at a world level were dominated by the state sponsored riders from the Easter Bloc, then after 1989, aspiring riders would choose the road, same as in the West, because there was no money in track cycling.
They rode on oval tracks.  :D
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: hubner on August 08, 2012, 01:19:05 pm
Well according to Boardman and perhaps Porter, the individual pursuit was dropped to prevent the current British domination of Olympic track cycling.
Title: Re: Liggett goes off on one
Post by: fuzzy (retd.) AAGE on August 08, 2012, 01:29:51 pm
Well according to Boardman and perhaps Porter, the individual pursuit was dropped to prevent the current British domination of Olympic track cycling.

A Fail of epic proportions?   :thumbsup: