So we're sure many of you heard about the spat at the USGP between the JP and TJ that stems from Gloucester last year or earlier. There's a little attention and video on it in our full race report, and VN did a lot more on it. We don't necessarily want to highlight the negative aspect of the sport and race on our home page, but we are curious on hearing your thoughts about the topic.
When is contact and tactics just part of racing? What do you consider crossing the line? Is braking to stall a group, trying to pass right before a corner or changing lines in a corner okay?
Were you at the races (Gloucester 2009 and Planet Bike Cup 2010) and actually saw what happened?
Or have an experience in your own race that you think was dirty racing? Or attempt a clean pass or to help a teammate and someone else thought it was dirty or unsafe?
Share your thoughts. There aren't crystal clear rules or officiating on these kinds of things and thus the community's pulse is of interest to us.
Having met both JPow and TJ I can say that off the bike they are very cool down to earth guys. Page who I met at his Starcrossed clinic this year left me with a less than positive impression. I can't say that that necessarily holds true once the gun goes off though...
From the video of last year I would say TJ coming into the corner hot came a little wide, but JP also pull into the corner overlapping and failed to protect his front wheel. I also can't say I am a fan of the C-dale guys sitting on the front slowing things down (I am more of sit second wheel fan), but consider it a fair tactic as long as you aren't totally a jerk about not letting guys by. JP if you have watched him race passes aggressively and apparently doen't like it when the favor is returned. What I don't get is that everything I have heard indicates Euro cross is so much more aggressive so why is Page who races predominately in Europe complaining.
I've had my line cut off when trying to go inside. In those cases I was always the faster rider but the onus is on me to get by the guy in front. He's racing too and he doesn't need to give up a line just because I'm faster. I didn't see the altercation between TJ and Page from the most recent race. It from my perspective on the video from last year. TJ came in hot and so did Page. TJ adjusted his line to make the corner, it's Page's fault for being too close in that corner. No harm no foul, it's just part of the game. On a total side-line I haven't been impressed with Page's attitude. He always seems to be making excuses by blaming someone. - Just my opinion, I could be totally off on this.
I think something like an intentional braking on a steep climb to halt the progress of the guy behind and make him dismount is over the line. I wouldn't ever cut a corner close to put a guy into the fence, but I wouldn't be mad at someone else for doing the same thing. We're racing, if he wants to protect his line that's his right.
I'm not in this for money or fame...Its up to me to pass the rider in front of me, I plan to do it cleanly. If someone behind me is clearly faster I prefer to let them by, no reson for me to be a fat slob because I want to stay in front. All of this being said, I've made a few mistakes and passed too aggressively or in the wrong spots. If it happens to me I try and assume that the rider made a mistake as well.
From my experience.. limited of course.. communication seems to be the key. I race mtn bikes as well.. and it just seems to work best to let the rider in front of you know you are there.
"on your left" !!
What's the old saying? "If you can't take the f#*king heat, then get the f*#k outta the kitchen." It is a race, dammit!...not a Sunday parade and champions are not usually nice guys on the course...they are mean and nasty a$$holes. As they should be. Its either them or you. Save the etiquette crap for the roadies. I look forward to having a good time no doubt, but dammit if I even at my low echelon going out to do the best I can then anyone who gets in my way or effs with me is going to pay. I would expect no less from a pro. Let the hating begin.
I had a guy cut down on the outside through a turn. I was still in front so I let my line go wide and he got forced into the forrest. Since I was in the front I had the right to take my line. He got a little pissy but it is racing and he accepted it.
At the USGP this weekend on Sunday, a guy in the 7th or so row tried to gain 50 places on the start and cut across taking out a large group. That was just dangerous.
They say that all is fair in Love and War ... except when your jealous lover cuts off your penis or the losers in the war get sent to the Hague. That said, I believe that assertive behavior with the intention of advancing your position or gaining an advantage is the definition of racing. In other words, HTFU. Where I draw the moral line is using team tactics when the playing field is not level, meaning that CX is unlike the TdF with all teams having equal strength (numbers) at the start.
If you are willing to take a corner hot at the risk of sliding out or crashing, then I say right on and enjoy your reward. If you are part of a large team in a race with few large teams, I say man up and race - don't block competitors. The C'dale team is awesome, but risks becoming/being perceived as the Windows 7 of CX.
Jonathan Page is a one man show and toes the line with the Euro pros. Maybe that is the sound of one hand clapping ... not whining.
TJ hit a classic late-braking, late-apex move. JP, who seems pretty notorious for getting a little whining done from time to time should have adjusted his line. My grandpa was a cabbie and he always said that you just gotta get your nose in there and you've got it. Looks like TJ nailed a bold move and JP ran into his rear wheel.
Cross isn't like mountain bike racing with different categories on the same course. If they're in front of you, you're racing each other, the person in front has no responsibility to move for those behind and it's on the person in back to get around the person in front, that's why the courses are wider than 12 inches. there's a multitude of lines through every corner and everyone's riding it different, if someone's in front of you, don't run into them. simple as that.
no whining, no excuses. If you don't like it, get up, chase them down and put them in the rear-view mirror, if you can't chase them down, you had no business being in front of them anyway.
The pro's do this for a living, they're paid to win races so it should all be fair game?
However this has a knock on effect to those of us who are just out for fun. Having read the Steevo blogspot this is something thats starting to happen in the UK too. I've witnessed Dads screaming at their kids, kids being encouraged to cheat to get a higher placings and unsportsmanlike behaviour being excused because "its a race". In most cases a race for placings in late 20's and early 30's.
Its not just the kids either in. I beat a guy in a race through the summer, no biggy he'd beat me the week before and the week before that. The following week as I went to go past him he physically pushed me off the course! We were "racing" for 18th place!
Going back to my opening line about it all being fair game obviously its not really the case. The pro's have a responsibility to be professional and set a good example. Its what sets up future generations of riders.
As riders we have a responsibility to ride fair to ourselves and other competitors.
Perhaps most importantly as parents we have a responsibility to our kids to show them the right way to behave in all walks of life including sport.
With regards to the incident between TJ and JP it looked like JP tried to undertake and it just didn't work out for him, ce la vie!