Author Topic: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?  (Read 8598 times)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2011, 12:51:37 pm »
Forgetting number of wins for a moment, how would Cav do against Cipollini if Cav went back in a time machine and raced Cipo at his best?

You can't ignore the stats. I'd have thought the relative number of stage wins answers that question. Cav is regularly beating the likes of Greipel and Farrar, who are no slouches themselves.

Anyone who thinks Cav is a rubbish climber should look at how he compares to Cipo, who always quit the Tour at the first sniff of a gradient.

Quote
I find it remarkable that such relatively small riders, such as Mark Cavendish and Victoria Pendleton, repeatedly outsprint bulging-muscled big powerhouses.   I know part of it is down to aerodynamics (and Cav gets into particularly aero position for a sprinter), but what else is itt?  How do they physically do it?

Power-to-weight ratio?

d.

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2011, 12:54:41 pm »
Picking up the comment from the telegraph article again

Quote
(Cavendish) ..a man about as adept at cycling up mountains as my brother-in-law,

Just shows how little people comprehend about the speed of a Pro cyclist.  Cavendish finished in a group of 80 riders, presumably 80 of the most accomplished riders on the planet.

Yep. if the organisers had stuck to the rules they'd've lost the world champion, current and past national champions, the Green Jersey and his likely runner-up and half the stage winners.

Quote

As a cyclist myself I still find it hard to comprehend (because TV doesn't do the gradients or the speeds justice) just how superhuman the Tour cyclists are.

When I'm descending a 1:7 local hill, the wind tearing at my jersey and roaring in my ears, I glance, quickly and nervously, at my trip computer to find I'm travelling about 15km/hr slower than Cavendish manages on the flat.


Me too. And as for uphill, even Cav and the Big Lads probably don't use their bottom gear (39x24?) in the interests of making the time cut.
The journey is always more important than the destination

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2011, 01:19:11 pm »

Yep. if the organisers had stuck to the rules they'd've lost the world champion, current and past national champions, the Green Jersey and his likely runner-up and half the stage winners.


The organisers did stick to the rules. The rules allow them to extend the time limit at their discretion where >20% of the field come in outside the time limit.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2011, 01:20:10 pm »
Cav must have better muscles than the bulging powerhouses - but ultimately they are the same - fast twitch fibres.  Perhaps his programme is better so as to avoid bulking up too much as that is excess weight?

I think mindset and preparation have a lot to do with his performance too.  He is meticulous by his own admission.

gonzo

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2011, 04:59:59 pm »
TBH, speed on the flat is determined by power to aerodynamic drag, not weight. Cipo has been quoted as saying that Cav doesn't train properly throughout the winter and that if Cipo followed Cav's off season plan, he'd never have won anything.

To give an idea of power, I've seen the 10 second max power numbers for some of the top guys as being about 2 horsepower!

Rhys W

  • I'm single, bilingual
    • Cardiff Ajax
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2011, 05:19:40 pm »
I find it somewhat puzzling that Cav, being so slight is such a rubbish climber. He's no heavyweight (the podium girls tower over him) and his power output is not under question.

However, in a recent interview he himself hinted at the reason - his muscles must be heavily weighted towards the fast-twitch type, possibly at the extreme end of the bell-curve.

peliroja

  • Mrs Woolly
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2011, 05:45:17 pm »
Nice blogpost from a former colleague of mine about Cavendish, here.

JT

  • Howay the lads!
    • CTC Peterborough
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2011, 06:38:52 pm »
I find it somewhat puzzling that Cav, being so slight is such a rubbish climber. He's no heavyweight (the podium girls tower over him) and his power output is not under question.

However, in a recent interview he himself hinted at the reason - his muscles must be heavily weighted towards the fast-twitch type, possibly at the extreme end of the bell-curve.

To be fair most of the sprinters do the minimum possible to get over the mountains. What's the point of them slogging over an HC climb to come 30th? Let's not forget that Cav has won Milan-San Remo so he can climb quickly when he wants/needs to.
a great mind thinks alike

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2011, 06:57:26 pm »
I think it unlikely that anyone will surpass Merckx, not because I think Merckx is unsurpassable but because the Tour has changed. In Merckx's days the tour had many split stages with very short timetrials in the afternoons that Merckx was also able to win, we don't get that now and I doubt we will during Cavendish's career.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2011, 07:09:15 pm »
I find it somewhat puzzling that Cav, being so slight is such a rubbish climber. He's no heavyweight (the podium girls tower over him) and his power output is not under question.

However, in a recent interview he himself hinted at the reason - his muscles must be heavily weighted towards the fast-twitch type, possibly at the extreme end of the bell-curve.

To be fair most of the sprinters do the minimum possible to get over the mountains. What's the point of them slogging over an HC climb to come 30th? Let's not forget that Cav has won Milan-San Remo so he can climb quickly when he wants/needs to.

I've just been looking at the course for the World Championship in Copenhagen in September, which Cav has stated is his next target. The final 1km or so is along a dead straight road with a bit of a gradient. OK, so it only gains about 20m but it's enough of a climb to make it interesting. Not unlike last year's finish, but a longer finishing straight and a longer climb.

The 14km finishing circuit has a couple of small bumps in it too.

Can Cav do it? Hard to say, but I'm not sure I'd bet against him.

d.

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2011, 07:29:14 pm »
Can we nail one myth. Cav is *NOT* a rubbish climber. He is not one of the better climbers in the peloton but he is far from poor. It is just the company he keeps who make him look sub par. Sub 45 mins on the Alpe de Huez is *not* bad climbing.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2011, 07:40:37 pm »
There was (at least) one day this week when Cav only just made it within the maximum time allowed.  I'm not concluding anything from that, apart from it being consistent with a relatively rubbish climber.

EDIT: This is irrelevant.  Please ignore.
●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2011, 07:46:54 pm »
There was (at least) one day this week when Cav only just made it within the maximum time allowed.  I'm not concluding anything from that, apart from it being consistent with a relatively rubbish climber.
There was two days when he didn't.The time cut off is calculated as 120% of the winners time so if the winner goes very fast it gives less time for the others to make it back. Not really a good indicator of a riders ability since those in autobus try to predict the winners time, then calculate their cutoff and try to ride accordingly to meet the cut off. They usually get it right bu they know that the organisers will not eliminate 50% of the race, even before the current regs. were introduced (the points deduction). In past times they'd simple extend the cutoff.

Rhys W

  • I'm single, bilingual
    • Cardiff Ajax
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2011, 07:56:14 pm »
Can we nail one myth. Cav is *NOT* a rubbish climber. He is not one of the better climbers in the peloton but he is far from poor. It is just the company he keeps who make him look sub par. Sub 45 mins on the Alpe de Huez is *not* bad climbing.

I didn't say he was a rubbish climber compared to you and me David! I was just noticing that at 1.75m and 69kg he's not that far off the build of a good climber - by pro rider standards.

BTW the cutoff time is more complicated than that - it varies from day to day and the average speed of the winner. The driver of the autobus needs to be adept at mental arithmetic.

LEE

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2011, 08:02:25 pm »
There was (at least) one day this week when Cav only just made it within the maximum time allowed.  I'm not concluding anything from that, apart from it being consistent with a relatively rubbish climber.

That's meaningless. 

He deliberately rode the mountain stages as slowly as he could get away with because there's a negative side to riding them any faster.


Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2011, 08:03:24 pm »
The driver of the autobus needs to be adept at mental arithmetic.

Won't he get help from someone in a team car with a computer?
[Quote/]Adrian, you're living proof that bandwidth is far too cheap.[/Quote]

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
  • Twit @iceblinker
    • My stuff on eBay
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2011, 08:04:40 pm »
There was (at least) one day this week when Cav only just made it within the maximum time allowed.  I'm not concluding anything from that, apart from it being consistent with a relatively rubbish climber.

That's meaningless. 

He deliberately rode the mountain stages as slowly as he could get away with because there's a negative side to riding them any faster.

You're quite right.  Sorry I didn't think it through.  Obviously I'm not a proper sports fan.

Bit risky to cut it fine, though, isn't it?
●●●  My eBay items  ●●●  Twitter  ●●●

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2011, 08:07:28 pm »
The driver of the autobus needs to be adept at mental arithmetic.

Won't he get help from someone in a team car with a computer?

I suspect the computer is calculating the cut off dynamically based on the leaders projected finish time. It's probably why the judges don't have room of error now, the riders have no excuse for being late other than being too slow !

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2011, 08:08:52 pm »
There was (at least) one day this week when Cav only just made it within the maximum time allowed.  I'm not concluding anything from that, apart from it being consistent with a relatively rubbish climber.

That's meaningless. 

He deliberately rode the mountain stages as slowly as he could get away with because there's a negative side to riding them any faster.

You're quite right.  Sorry I didn't think it through.  Obviously I'm not a proper sports fan.

Bit risky to cut it fine, though, isn't it?
They know that more than 20% of the competitors will not be eliminated so for most riders it's not risky if the group is big enough. Being out of time carries a 20 point penality though which is only meaningful if you are contesting the points jersey.

Rhys W

  • I'm single, bilingual
    • Cardiff Ajax
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2011, 08:24:17 pm »
It depends on the winner's average speed, so it's only determined after he crosses the line - at which point the autobus may be 25 minutes down the road. Obviously they'll be radioed the result and the implications, and I suppose they must have an idea whether the pace has been ok or frantic that day - at least up until the last climb.

But as LEE says - the sprinters play a game of brinkmanship based on saving their energy for the next flat day, and often rely on the "there's 70 of us in this group, they can't send all of us home" argument.

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2011, 08:28:08 pm »
They know that more than 20% of the competitors will not be eliminated so for most riders it's not risky if the group is big enough. Being out of time carries a 20 point penality though which is only meaningful if you are contesting the points jersey.

Veering off topic, but I thought this a bit harsh. Is there a similar way to loose 20 KOM points on the flat?

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2011, 08:33:27 pm »
They know that more than 20% of the competitors will not be eliminated so for most riders it's not risky if the group is big enough. Being out of time carries a 20 point penality though which is only meaningful if you are contesting the points jersey.

Veering off topic, but I thought this a bit harsh. Is there a similar way to loose 20 KOM points on the flat?

There is logic to it as it is the green jersey contenders who consistently flirt with the cut-off time. The similar situation just doesn't occur on flat stages.
[Quote/]Adrian, you're living proof that bandwidth is far too cheap.[/Quote]

Rhys W

  • I'm single, bilingual
    • Cardiff Ajax
Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2011, 08:40:12 pm »
It does seem a bit perverse - if you don't make an effort on GC you should be penalised on GC - not the points competition. But yes - it's the green jersey boys who try and get away with it.

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2011, 11:08:06 pm »
It depends on the winner's average speed, so it's only determined after he crosses the line - at which point the autobus may be 25 minutes down the road. Obviously they'll be radioed the result and the implications, and I suppose they must have an idea whether the pace has been ok or frantic that day - at least up until the last climb.

I suppose there also comes a point where if the front runners have put a spurt in to break away or try and win the stage, then the average speed needed for the "bus" to get home in time jumps massively over such a short distance left to make it impossible (or at least without blowing up).

Team car: "It's ok Cav don't worry you'll piss it, at current estimate the front runners will finish in 10 minutes, giving you an average of just XXkph to make the cut off"

Team car 9 minutes later: "Shit, they've gone for it and now you have to double your average for the last 5k to make the cut off"

Cav: "fuck off"

Re: Cavendish - How legendary will he be?
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2011, 11:09:39 pm »
Well put Doosh  :thumbsup: ;D