The only value in sending a lower level Pro is in terms of development. I have no idea what the likes of up and coming American cyclists is at the moment, but there is little point sending a career Pro Continental rider that may not even have the engine to provide value to the lead riders.
The American team, like many other nations, was greatly depleted in terms of its top end riders. They needed some engines to support the likes of Magnus and Neilsen.
Agreed, this is a sponsor’s dream. He got a ton of coverage and discussion. Gotta say racing the Worlds upped his stock, whether he wants to try road racing or continue dominating the US scene, this was good for him.
LOL, what? A gravel fondo in the US where a large portion of the field is a weekend warrior vs. a few hundred of the best roadies in the world.
I think it’s great watching him go up against the top road field and hang in there. It’s also humbling to know that he can ride away from virtually anyone in the endurance mtb/gravel scene in the US, but there’s an entire tier above him in Remco/Poggy/WVA that can ride away from him. Makes me feel even slower, secondhand.
To be fair, he’s also beating the other sharks swimming with the minnows in that pond. I’m not sure how many are American and how many are past peak Euro pros. Also, in the couple of gravel races I’ve followed, it doesn’t seem like the amateurs even really play a role. The big guys roll off the front in a group and are never seen from again. The Joes and the Pros just happen to be riding the same course on the same day.
That clearly isn’t the definition. I’m not sure if you are just trolling, but taking triathlon as an example, would the ironman world championship be a fondo type event by that definition? Pro triathletes are on the same course at the same time, but I wouldn’t say they are racing each other. Same with the gravel races you’re talking about.
Changing the subject a bit - this is a list of UCI races by “startlist quality” for 2022. The World’s road race was 7th between Tirreno-Adriatico and Fleche Wallonne. I kind of thought it would be lower given that while almost all the heavy hitters are there, there are always some lower level riders from non cycling countries too. This was certainly a “real deal” field.
But then I looked at past years and usually the World’s road race is ranked #2 right after the Tour de France. So this year’s field was a slight bit softer overall than usual (but still quality), probably because slightly fewer riders wanted to fly to Australia I presume.
The Worlds “startlist quality” was 1053
The “startlist quality” for the US National Championship road race was only 15
Not really, I wouldn’t call everyone in the lifetime series a weekend warrior. There’s 10-50 really fast guys at those things, but the other 1k+ aren’t there competing for podium spots. They might be racing to their personal limits or chilling at every aid station eating waffles and bacon. That’s a far cry from racing 200 of the top roadies in the world (or at least the best in their respective countries) who can all ride at 400 watts for a long ass time and all win their local fondos quite easily. So given the opportunity, it should be a no brainer of where to race.