Gravel (Race) Controversy?

I think this is a big part of the problem. Former WT guys treating gravel races like their own personal retirement tour and then getting salty when the young guys who are trying build a career are there to actually race hard. It a bad look.

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If someone is complaining about people using hydration packs as part of their race plan, wouldn’t this be more a violation of the “spirit of road racing” than the “spirit of gravel”?

And I would add, the real spirit of gravel is at the back of the race anyway.

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I’d love to think that these guys are intentionally manufacturing controversy just to drive interest/clicks, but that’s a bridge too far. These guys aren’t exactly playing 3d chess with their marketing/pr efforts. Just bad looks all over the place. If I was sponsoring some of these guys (and gals), I’d be cringing at some of this content.

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not exactly the same but when I was still doing triathlons some people would intentionally smear their age group that written on their calf so others wouldn’t be able to tell.

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Sorry I ment when your in your small group, treat it like they are all in the same age group as you.

They do that with masters where I live. Mix 35 and 45 age group together, I just assume they are in the same category as me is how I approach it.

I just assume that’s a requirement for them to make a living since they’re not getting wealthy off race winnings alone. They have sponsors. Sponsors want their sponsored athletes out there promoting their product.

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I have said some things I regret in the emotional aftermath of a race. I even told my wife once that I thought I was done with gravel racing - try recovering from that one. It’s a really easy trap to fall in to. Stetina eventually walked what he said back. Give Ian a chance to do the same.

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THIS. These guys are coming over here, expecting to race on their terms at their pace and are upset that people who still have to make a career are racing them hard.

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That’s a dick move on his part. Not against the rules, but still, lying in the non-premier distance? WTF?

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Taking this a different direction, if gravel racing were pro wrestling, would Keaton be John Cena?

Stetina does whine or stir it up with aero bars, aid stations, and well, shit, ok he stirs it up quite a bit. But, I feel he cares quite about the community of or ‘holy spirit of gravel’ (great IG account BTW). His event is popular, gives back, and is usually down to stick around after the race etc.

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Yeah, I was still racing them for the overall, just might have played it a little different prioritizing the age group if I had known. That’s pretty much all I have a chance for at races like this. The difference between 10th or 15th overall doesn’t move my needle much, but I’ll prioritize age group podium glory whenever possible. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have done too much different (other age groupers could have caught us), but the whole thing kind of blew me away.

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Lesson to us all… Always a good idea to sleep on it before hitting the “post button.”

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Lying isn’t against the rules, but I still consider it unethical in that situation and I’m glad to hear you beat him anyway.

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I think as we age we just have to change our out look. I finished a race and wasnt happy and a friend followed up with you did so good. I didnt even think about my age group and that made me happy thinking about it that way. Keep up the good work man.

I think it’s these guys who are really gifted want it to come down to ‘me against you’ because they figure they’ll win. They left the World Tour because talent alone couldn’t get them wins.

The other lesson is not to hash it out on social media. It rarely does any good.

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I’m loving it. This is way more entertaining than everyone just playing nice. Sports need drama.

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I disagreed with Stetina on the hydration controversy - that’s a strategic move, carrying extra weight (in water) now to save time at stops. But I agree with Boswell here - last time I checked, it was an athletic event and sucking wheels for 9+ hours (Slik @ Unbound 2022 or Roberge here) seems contrary to that. Wheelsuckers can have the $750 grand prize, but never my respect! And I guess I’ll never be a pro because I’m too busy taking hero pulls (and my 2.6 w/kg ftp doesn’t help).

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lol that’s exactly what I was thinking: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; IMAGINE showing up to a bike race, and complaining about people racing their bikes.

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