Sprinters win GC

July 23, 2012

One of the most endearing oddities about cycling is how a few race results can turn into a truism in no time. When Indurain won Giro and Tour in the same year, the Giro was “the perfect preparation” for the Tour. When he stopped riding the Giro and still won, “cycling was too hard ‘in the modern era’ to do both”.

Then Lance proved that you can only win if you have the entire team focused on winning the GC, that you cannot combine GC and sprints in one team. This was further proven by HTC, whose GC riders never got very far. Never mind that their GC riders were always on the second tier to begin with. I’ve said many times I thought this was silly, but it’s been one of the most persistent truisms of the past decade.

Anyway, I would like to propose the following new truism:

To do well on GC, you need a top sprinter on your team.

You see, there are three sprinters who have won three stages each this Tour; Cavendish, Sagan and Greipel. They ride for Sky, Liquigas and Lotto, who occupied positions 1, 2, 3 and 4 on GC in Paris. Therefore, irrefutably, you need guys who win sprints to score on GC. Also note BMC, whose sprinter Hushovd could not participate this year, and we all know what happened to Evans.

14 Responses to “Sprinters win GC”

  1. Skater Says:

    Having a good sprinter on the team does take some pressure away from the GC man I suppose. Not everyone thrives on such pressure.

  2. aidanbc Says:

    It’s too bad Farrar had a bad year on the sprints. Maybe if he’d tried a little harder, Hesjedal and Danielson wouldn’t have crashed out.

  3. Rahul Says:

    Also, I suppose now the common wisdom will become that it is better to get the yellow jersey as early as possible to control the race. Of course, last year…

  4. Pave Says:

    I thought the truism was you need sideburns to win the Tour?

  5. Evan Shaw Says:

    Since most people still believe that the sun goes down not the earth turns, and that the correlation between our age and how far the continents are apart is perfectly correlated, it stands to reason that Cavendish will win the tour next year and will be Wiggins lead out man in the sprints, full gas of course after sideburn removal and one more child for Cav.

  6. Evan Shaw Says:

    And what of part 2 Frank and the diuretic thing???

  7. Whit Wheeler Says:

    Brilliant! … this has always been true, we’ve just been overlooking this insight


  8. Damn right. That’s why Orica GreenEdge has… oh…. hang on…

    The exception proves the rule.


  9. I don’t know whether Tyler Farrar actually won any sprints in the Giro, but Garmin definitely brought a few riders to support him in the sprints, so that could add weight to your hypothesis.

  10. James Liu Says:

    Hushovd is still considered a sprinter? Surely he’s really a classics oriented Rouleur?


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