Monday, December 8, 2008

1988 - Maurizio Fondriest

15 comments:

Tanner said...

Steve Bauer: when cycling and hockey collide.

Bandobras said...

of course as a Canadian I have to point out Bauer was cleared of any wrong doing and got the silver.
Little boys shouldn't play with the men.

-kw said...

Oh, Canada! Right, Bandobras?
Pretty sure it wasn't Claude or the the Belgians clearing Bauer of any wrongdoing.
Weak sauce.

sidi45 said...

2 minutes for elbowing.

Luke said...

Let's see. First you bridge to the leading group of two in the last lap of the Worlds, reaching them in the last 1k. Then, *naturally* you go right to the front and proceed to pull for the next 500 meters in too big a gear. Then, inside 200 to go, you lead out the sprint yourself, only to realize right in the middle of your sprint that you're undergeared. So you sit back down, fumble your shift, and start sprinting all over again. Only, now you're surprised that someone is trying to sneak up your inside, so you overreact, lose your balance, and then you throw your elbow.

Genius.

As much as I love Bauer, he was destined for third, had Criq not crashed.

Bandobras said...

Well when you just want to suck wheels its sometimes tough to get past.
It wasn't the Belgians who cleared him if was UCI. and then the little cry baby took him to court and that was thrown out too.

Serge Cornelus said...

It is not because Bauer was cleared then, he didn't sprint like a @|#}§... That has nothing to do with 'men or boys'. Also, let's face it: if you had been Criquielion, would you not have tried to get some cash from the whole incident? Note: I do not say so because I'm Belgian! :-) Anyway: Fondriest was a great rider and worthy world champ. And Bauer? I agree with Luke...

bikesgonewild said...

...never understood why, when bauer dove across the road to the right, criquielion decided to go further right & up the barriers...not a particularly wise decision in light of the fact that the road was wide open w/ only the three of them...

...tell me that if the situation was reversed & bauer was coming up for the final few meters on criquielion, that claude wouldn't try to intimidate w/ an elbow & i'll tell you that you don't know big time world championship sprint finishes...

...& consider the fact that fondriest & criquielion were raised & schooled in two of the most rabid cycling nations on the face of the earth while canadian steve bauer essentially created his own cycling environment until he was good enough to make it first here in america & then in the cauldron of the european pro peleton...

...even lemond had it easier as a cyclist getting his racing chops here in america in a broader & richer cycling environment...

...& as an ex-pat canuck who played hockey as a kid, i did think 'sidi45's' comment was funny as hell...sad because it not only resulted in silver but also because criquielion's legal bitching soured the young canadian's accomplishments through the years until the protest was rescinded by the uci, but still, it was a funny comment...

Touriste-Routier said...

Great video clip; this is something I read about way back then, but never saw footage of before. Some great comments too!

Rubbing/elbowing is racing, but usually this is reserved for bunch sprints.

Bauer would have been my overwhelming pick to win the sprint, had he sat back and let the others lead it out.

Let's just say that this wasn't Bauer's finest sprinting performance. I have no idea of where the wind was coming from, or what was going on behind them that would make him decide to come to the front so early and lead it out, as well as to take such a varying line.

No question that he was all over the place, and the shift threw him off balance even further.

But Criquielion wasn't exactly using his best tactical sense by coming up on the right. Bauer was clearly moving over; Claude backed down (instead of throwing an elbow and fighting for his line), got bumped, pinched, and dumped. I wonder if the same thing would have happened to a leading field sprinter.

The only smart one here was Fondriest, who sat back and waited. He was lucky that the motors weren't any closer (poor caravan management- one TV camera motor being so tight is one thing, but 2; one of them should have been ordered to back off) so he was able to pop-out, and go easily around.

Notice how Bauer slowed his pedaling after contact was made? Was he cooked or just shocked? It definitely made things easier for Fondriest.

I can understand the protest to the UCI, but the other legal action was rather silly, and damaged Criquielion's credibility to me. Damn shame, because all 3 were such great riders.

Carbon4Carbon said...

Bauer's bridge to the front was epic, truly. And then going to the front as soon as he did, that was ballsy.
But, I have to tell you, I have no problem with him using the barrier. This is sort of like how a Cornerback in football will use the sideline to pinch a receiver and keep him in check. Bauer did basically the same thing.
Criq had the whole road. He should have taken it.

Burt Friggin' Hoovis said...

Bauer was the dude who was always right there, but never quite put it together:

88 worlds fiasco

losing Paris-Roubaix by 1 centimeter

flatting out of the lead group of 89 worlds

Just missing the podium of the TDF

He's like the best rider ever who never won anything...

thanks,
burt

bikesgonewild said...

...touriste-routier...you bring up a good point as re: "was he cooked or just shocked ???"...

...'canadensis competitis' as an athlete on the world stage is as driven as anyone BUT there remains the ol' ingrained issue of over-politeness which is a well known nationalistic canuck trait...jeez...even our toughest hockey players, after elbowing you in the teeth & hip checking ya into the boards, will do a skate-by & mutter an understated "sorry, eh ???"...

...joking aside, i honestly think bauer literally checked up & slowed because he knew he was involved in something that had gone wrong & while subconscious, his checking up was a reactive way of dealing "politely" w/ the situation...
...maurizio fondriest was certainly the recipient of steve bauer's self-conscious reaction to criquielion's poor judgement...
...& while bauer moved him over, 'criq' over-reacted & w/ plenty of room (relatively speaking), rode into the barrier of his own volition...

...steve bauer as a bike racer ???...ask sean kelly...he'll tell ya...

Serge Cornelus said...

Interesting to notice some cultural differences here :-).

Yes, we are whimps compared to you Canadians - seriously. Sure, bodychecks and elbows are (I guess, I don't play hockey) ok on the ice. But in cycling there are other rules. You might think they stink, but they are there. Explicit and implicit. If you don't like them, go do something else. One of the most important ones is that you don't go off your line while sprinting, and you don't elbow your competitors (at least not too much :-)). If you decide to do so anyway, you get disqualified.

For the rest, some facts about the race: Criq escaped 13 km before the finish - Fondriest was the only one capable of taking him back, be it with some trouble. Bauer only managed to come up front because of the two others watching each other too much and Fondriest, smart as he is, gambled and did not want to take turns leading. Criq did not exactly suck a lot of wheel that day...

Also: had it not been for the too many motorcyclists whose slipstream Bauer could get into, he would not have been there (stupid because the race actually was in Belgium, in Ronse to be precise - so it was actually the Belgian (lack of) organisation that, ironically enough, lead to a Belgian rider not winning).

And Bauer did push Criq into the fence, maybe not intentionally but still - big time world champ sprint or not: a sprinter will try to take as little wind as possible. The righthand side was the only logical place for Criq to go past Bauer. And at the moment Criq dove into the whole, there still was plenty of space to get past.

One final thing: I do have great respect for Bauer, being 'the best rider who never won anything' or not - there are many great riders who never won much. Bauer was one of the guys I saw racing right outside our doorstep when I was still... well, younger than today. He didn't consider himself too good to take part in small time races (because that's what they were where I lived). So respect for earning his place in the peloton, in a sport which is not always quite open to new things/people and for doing so on the other side of the world.

No One Line said...

Bauer's elbows were all over the place while sprinting anyway. To me, this looks a lot less like a clear-case of at fault and more like a regrettable incident that resulted from a combination of many things - sprinting with downtube shifters being an inch too tight against the barriers for that kind of contact to be okay, and maybe above all, being fatigued from having just almost completed a bike race. To me, Bauer's swerve was a lot louder than his elbow.

It's regrettable because if I were Fondriest, I wouldn't be too pleased with that win. Bauer obviously pulled up when he realized what happened, which was a good course of action - even if there was a solid second of time elapsed between the contact and Criquielion hitting the barrier. It kind of takes the flavor out of victory when, of your two opponents in the sprint, one crashes and the other pulls up. Fondriest wins by default, Criqielion gets mad, Bauer gets blamed. Nobody really wins and the world waits for integrated brake/shift levers.

bikesgonewild said...

...serge...honestly, nobody is calling anybody a wimp here, believe me...come on, dude, this is bike racing...everybody in the game is tough...no doubt about it...

...& see, as as ex-pat canuck i'm apologizing for saying something that could be misinterpreted...hah !!!...old habits die hard...

...it was good to read your words regarding bauer, because although his list of palmares wasn't glorious, he was one hard man on the bike, in the tradition of the 'flahutes'(i think thats the word i want)...

...& when a man as hard as sean kelly says bauer was one of the riders he respected...well, that says something pretty strong...

...'no one line'...agreed...regrettable incident all 'round & ya, if i'm fondriest, i accept that it will help me sell bikes when i retire, but i never wave the 'world championship' flag too proudly, at least in my heart...