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Competition for Cavendish?

FJSFJS Posts: 4,820
edited February 2009 in Pro race
Interesting bit of news today... Theo Bos (2006 sprint and keirin WC) is quitting track cycling to try to become a road sprinter; he's said to be going to the new Cervelo team (cnnections with manager Jean-Paul van Poppel; speaking about someone who should know something about road sprinting!).

Does anyone know any earlier examples of track sprinters at that level making the switch to road, mid-career?

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  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Video evidence of what Theo Bos can do with a good lead-out...

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Pl-H3UJJg

    Whether he can do it surrounded by other riders at the end of a five hour race... well, it'll be interesting to see.
  • MichuelMichuel Posts: 269
    FJS wrote:
    Does anyone know any earlier examples of track sprinters at that level making the switch to road, mid-career?

    A good but early example is Russell Mockridge, career 1946-1958. He progressed from track golds to TdF with road victories, tho obviously first novice races on road. From "My World on Wheels" :-

    In 1948 he recorded 1m16.5 for kilo, then rode to 28th in London Olympics road race where had 5 minute puncture then rode world road champs.

    In 1949 won 5 Australian track titles - 1km sprint, kilo, 4K pursuit, 1 mile, 5miles.

    In 1949 at Empire Games beat Syd Patterson to win kilo in 1m13.4s (Patterson impeded by low light). This was faster than 1948 Olympics gold time. Beat Patterson in 1km sprint.

    Had a break from cycling then in 1951 rode world champs sprint against 2 Italians and came second to Sacchi. In 1952 won amateur Grand Prix of Paris sprint qualifying for professional event which he won beating Derksen and Harris (10,000 crowd). Rode 1952 Helsinki Olympics - won kilo gold with 1m11s and tandem gold with Cox.

    In 1953 turned professional and rode 6days . Was in lead until 2 hours before end but had to retire exhausted. Ockers and Van Steenbergen won.

    Felt it was too hard on the track against pros so switched to kermesse racing. After a time won one in Kortrijk . "to the local (Belgian) cycle fraternity the step-down from a sensational sprinter who had won GP of Paris to a struggling road rider was too much" so returned to the track circuit.

    February 1954 in Monte Carlo in first race on a road course including La Turbie hill finished 7th (recognised as the moral winner) beating with Louison Bobet at 3 mins over 180km. Rode massed start 12.5km 900metre Mont Agel hill climb and finished 15th to Federico Bahamontese at 20seconds - said of Bahamontese "the most phenomenal hill-climber the sport has known". Won Paris 6Day with Patterson against Van Steenbergen, Ockers, Koblet, Poblet, Robic, Derksen...28,000 crowd.

    1955 rode Paris-Roubaix against Bobet, Coppi, Koblet finishing 41st. Rode Tour of Vaucluse up Ventoux and won. Rode in Charly Gaul's teamTdF - 16th on 2nd stage, 29th on 3rd stage finishing on hill, 11.5 mins behind Bobet. 4th day 140 miloes finished 29th with Bobet, Kubler, Robic ahead of Gaul. 12th on 4th stage, then 14th. 7th stage - Aravis, Telegraphe, Galibier 253km won by Gaul, improved on GC to 47th (Andre Leducq former TdF winner said "I did not have any time for sprinters until this Tour but if Mockridge finishes I will shake his hand as warmly as the winner"). On Ventoux stage suffered under 122F heat but finished. Ill was eliminated on next stage but was reprieved With half team gone became domestique for Gaul. Finished Tour 64th at 4h14m.

    Returned to Australia and on his bike in a race in scratch bunch was killed by a bus in 1958. Last year a bus driver from Australia mailed in Cyclingnews he'd seen Mockridge on the road shortly before his death.
  • No competition for Cavendish in 2009.
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    He may be competition for Cav if he get thousand of miles in first for endurance. He is faster than Cav on track by far, but will loose top end speed when he switches to road and also after hours riding so it may be close :D
    I do not believe that you tube video because he is even actually free wheeling at some points and the speed they are moving does not look like 86mph to me, and if it was to turn the pedals he would have to be on 56 x 10 gear doing 200rpm to do that speed or 230 rpm on 53 x 11.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I doubt he can turn to the road that well - but good luck to the guy ! Makes it easier for hoy and co !
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    There's no doubt some of Cavendish's ability comes from the track. His sprinting style is similar to a track rider, being far forward on the bike with his back low, locking his hips to ensure power goes all the way from his back down into the pedals.

    But Cavendish will face competition from plenty of others. His brilliant rides this summer in the Tour were hugely impressive but it might have been different if he'd met Boonen, Petacchi or Bennati, maybe he would have "only" won three. I don't think there will be any certain sprint finishes where he's guaranteed a win.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Kléber wrote:
    But Cavendish will face competition from plenty of others. His brilliant rides this summer in the Tour were hugely impressive but it might have been different if he'd met Boonen, Petacchi or Bennati, maybe he would have "only" won three. I don't think there will be any certain sprint finishes where he's guaranteed a win.

    And that's a good thing. Wondering who's going to come second doesn't make for a very exciting sport.

    I think in a rough and tough sprint he doesn't have the physical presence to win all of them...yet. But clear run he won't lose.

    Talking of sprinters, whatever happened to Ventoso?
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    I see Bob has futher boosted his credibility by getting Zabel on board to help Cav and the rest of the sprinters....

    :roll:
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 10,448
    I think the video was real enough
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    iainf72 wrote:
    I see Bob has futher boosted his credibility by getting Zabel on board to help Cav and the rest of the sprinters....
    I know. What next? Rudy Pevenage and Walter Goodefroot as DS and Freiburg Uni to advise on coaching?
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    I think Mr Ball has already snapped up Rudy!
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Kléber wrote:
    There's no doubt some of Cavendish's ability comes from the track. His sprinting style is similar to a track rider, being far forward on the bike with his back low, locking his hips to ensure power goes all the way from his back down into the pedals.

    But Cavendish will face competition from plenty of others. His brilliant rides this summer in the Tour were hugely impressive but it might have been different if he'd met Boonen, Petacchi or Bennati, maybe he would have "only" won three. I don't think there will be any certain sprint finishes where he's guaranteed a win.

    The difference with Cav is he can sprint from a long leadout or without. Boonen prefers a long hard fast lead out so in a sprint without this I do not think Boonen is fast enough to beat Cav.
    WIll be worth watching this year though :D
    I hope Cav tries to complete tour this year.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    And an uphill finish too. Who's the Bos?
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Blimey - I wouldnt have picked him. Good start !
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Whilst Boonen and Petacchi can be very quick with a fast lead out, they simply don't have the acceleration on the final run in - the way that Cavendish can open up gaps at 70kph through acceleration gives him few peers - witness Boonen sitting-up in Qatar when he realised he couldn't catch his wheel. If it's a straightforward drag-race to the finish, there's few to match Cav at the moment. Bos' switch to the road also suggests he has a fragile temperament - he might not enjoy being given a continual pasting on the road - the ratio of races to wins is considerably less on the road. In the modern era, there's few riders who have been successful on both the road and track.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • timoid.timoid. Posts: 3,133
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Whilst Boonen and Petacchi can be very quick with a fast lead out, they simply don't have the acceleration on the final run in - the way that Cavendish can open up gaps at 70kph through acceleration gives him few peers - witness Boonen sitting-up in Qatar when he realised he couldn't catch his wheel. If it's a straightforward drag-race to the finish, there's few to match Cav at the moment. Bos' switch to the road also suggests he has a fragile temperament - he might not enjoy being given a continual pasting on the road - the ratio of races to wins is considerably less on the road. In the modern era, there's few riders who have been successful on both the road and track.

    I think he's banking on more money from switching to road cycling. You could hardly call the boy soft
    It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    FJS wrote:

    Tyler's phantom twin in 13th place :shock: :lol:
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    Saw a pic of Bos the other day (can't remember where). He's lost a fair bit of weight.

    Cavendish is certainly no match to Bos on a track sprint, and I doubt Theo's just jumped to the road without giving it some thought and (legitimately!) visiting doctors to see if his body characteristics will suit the road. Saw a programme in the Netherlands which followed him when he went to Japan to race a few Kerins. Seems like a nice, dead normal, guy.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • who would have thort Hushovd would beat boonen and cav in a sprint, not seen it yet but must have been one flat out last couple of k's
    http://cyclingnews.com/road/2009/feb09/ ... feb18news3
  • Cav could put on 10 kilos, and never compete in the match sprint with Bos.

    I also assumed Bos could not drop 5 kilos and have the energy system so he could use the legacy power after 220km. Not, how many of those 5 kgs came from functional muscle power.

    Road sprinters are still endurance athletes. They are not power athletes, they just have great power amongst their endurance fibres.

    If Bos can do this, and compete with Cav, he is amazing.

    I always though he would win bunch kicks in GTs. But, not bear Cav when Cav had a sighter of the line at 200. No one in the current peloton can beat Cav.

    Chicchi is fastest besides Cav. Ciolek is close to Chicchi. Boonen is about 3 lengths slower over 200 metres if both are in the wind at the same time.

    Next tier are Leigh Howard, and Phinney.

    If Hushovd can be a strength sprinter, Phinney will put out more watts than Thor I reckon, as long as his energy system ensures power after 220km. Phinney's kilo time is proof positive of his power output. Howard is about the same talent as Phinney, but has been riding a bit of everything on the track, madisons, scratch, omnium. He can ride the same time as Phinney imo.

    Within one month of his 16th birthday, Howard rode 3'23" for the 3km pursuit. Phinney's WR was 3'16" mid. So Howard would have had 2 years, (Phinney set it just after his birthday) to ride 7 seconds faster. With specificity, he could have achieved that. The month after his 17th birthday he went 3'19". So he had knocked 4 off it.

    Howard blew Bayley's doors off in the Austral Wheelrace when he was only 15. About the most mind blowing performance ever seen from a 15 yo trackie. Then followed up winning Melbourne Cup on Wheels if memory serves. Someone will correct me if wrong.

    So, I think we will need to wait for one of Bos, Howard or Phinney.

    And Phinney will never be a traditional bunch sprinter like Cav, he will not be a match in the acceleration sprints that MCewen mad his own for 6 years. Phinney will needd sprints like Avenue de Grammont, to open up a strength sprint from the last km ridden at 65kmph, then he can acclerate it to 70 and match Cav. If sprint starts at 55 or 60, no one will ever beat Cav, til perhaps Bos or Howard produce some prodigious talent.

    On Bos, Steels and Boonen were 1km trackies as juniors. And Sercu and Danny Clark were the last era, who really went from track sprint, to the road, and juggled both successfully. Then the sprinters got bigger and more powerful with morphologies like weightlifters. Then track tactics changed, but it is still not conducive. See Marty Nothstein, won only a NYC crit.

    I don't think anyone besides Phinney can juggle road endurance and track sprint. Perhaps Bos and Howard can also ride sub 1'01" kilos.
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