Is it really just the result that counts?

March 31, 2011

After E3 and Gent-Wevelgem, cyclingnews.com wrote an article on the winners and losers of the weekend criticizing Team Garmin-Cervelo among others. It writes:

“The team’s tactics in E3 were spot on but
they were steam rolled by Cancellara.”

So let me get this straight. If a team’s tactics are spot on but there is another rider simply stronger on the day, that’s considered a failure? That means that no matter what, any race has one winner, seven team mates and 192 losers. I fully understand that many will proclaim that “this is how the world works”, “this is sport”, etc, but I humbly disagree. Not because I have an affiliation with this team, but on the principle.

In many sports, and particularly in cycling, there are a lot of things you don’t control. Therefore, making the win the only thing that counts is a dangerous approach (in many ways). All you can really do, and I believe all you SHOULD really do as a team, is focus on creating the best possible environment (training, equipment, nutrition, strategy, tactics, communication) for the riders to achieve their optimal performance and for the riders to execute to the best of their ability. If that happens and nobody does it better, you win. If nine other guys are stronger, you come tenth. Either way, your quality of execution is the same.

So to the team I would say, congrats on gelling so quickly and delivering what cyclingnews.com considers the perfect race. That’s all we can ask for. Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments below or via Twitter (@gerardvroomen).

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4 Responses to “Is it really just the result that counts?”

  1. Marcel Flipse Says:

    Absolutely agree, it is the quality of participation that calls for the final winner in the long term !

    “Cervelo: engineered speed”

  2. cyclosophy Says:

    I agree. Sometimes the greatest stories are not about the winner. E.g: Eugène Christophe. Chris Boardman has said that as long as he knows he has done the training, has the equipment and the support, and rode his best, then he can be satisfied with the result, whether it’s 1st or 10th. And , as JV said, about the only other thing you could do to beat Cancellara on his day is hire a sniper!


  3. Thanks for the comments, seems we agree!


  4. [...] asking if now the results are the only thing that matter (which I had answered negatively in this blog)? The answer is simple, of course not. It is clear that the goal of racing is to get to the finish [...]


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