Modern racing is now boring…


Feel free to discuss and the usual couple of life coaches to tell us all how it is and shoot me down… :wink:

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I’ve read about how boring racing and how robotic the racers have become for the last 15 or so years and yet year after year we have some absolutely exciting and epic road racing that takes place. Not saying I wouldn’t mind another couple of guys cut from Dan Martin’s cloth but I think kvetching about how the sport has gotten boring and need massive structural changes is a just a common past time for everyone who watches sports just like bitchin about announcers.


I personally believe there are some moments these days but for those that have experienced racing in the 80’s, 90’s and prior will have enjoyed when cyclists were more intuitive, spontaneous etc.

Nothing will change from the current path, enjoy the experience of mediocrity.

here we go again. ‘boring’? nah.


I find this all kinda funny…Martin’s heyday was the epitome of boring, robotic races. Sky-dominated, power meter focused, radio controlled orchestrated blah….

Joe we have guys like Pog, Wout, MVP, Fishboy and others who go out and race as they feel, breathing new life into the sport…and Martin calls it boring?!?!?


I’m not able to read the article, but there’s scale and context.

Remco and Van Vlueten races, where they win by minutes: boring

Sprint stages that are inevitable wins by the sprint teams: boring.

Mountain stages that are just attrition: boring

There seemed to be much fewer of the second set this year, so there was drama of whether the break would survive, or a late attack by Jumbo that won it at the Tour.

Only the Vuelta was about attrition, which is what the Vuelta does every other year.

I love Martin, but I think he’s got it way wrong. This is the golden age of cycling as far as I’m concerned. So many different guys winning in different ways. Racing was electric this year, from the beginning of the season to the end.


I started watching bike racing when Lemond came on the scene, and from what I can remember of almost 40 years of being a racing fan, the racing now is every bit as good as it has ever been. Hell, it may be even better.


I don’t know about golden ages specifically, but it’s not boring. As @Alfred_Doper said above, we’ve been hearing of this for years now, and there’s nothing to it.

Dan’s wrong. He might find it dull, but his is just one opinion.


Does no-one remember the Sky train? :sleeping:

I don’t think racing is obviously more boring now, having followed it since the mid 90s. More breakaways seem to stick, for one, and I quite enjoy the fact that there isn’t an obviously dominant grand tour rider at the moment, too.

But we’re perhaps missing a maverick or 2, that I grant - a Pantani-type figure (that’s a referee to style and approach, not PEDs).


Sport is too professional now, there’s no room for mavericks that won’t comply with the training plan.

Having said that, I agree that racing is as good as I can remember and is far better then it was a few years ago at the height of the Sky train.


This has gotten me into bike racing.

Pogacar, Wout Van Aert, Evenepoel, Roglic, Vingegaard and MVDP

It’s like the Big 4 in tennis. You just love seeing these riders competing

MM’s finish was great too

Only boring race to me was Wollongong. But I bet if national teams raced without radio’s a lot more frequently it’d have been a lot more interesting


I think there were boring races in every era.

If you think about the stage races, the indurain, Armstrong and Sky dominated Tour de France were quite boring if you looked only at the GC. There was a still lot of fun and impredictability in the individual stages though.

Many classic monuments have been decided more or less the same way for decades, bar the occasionnal surprise. It didn’t change much in recent years.

Having said that I tend to prefer race with smaller 5 riders teams and without radios. But this is unrelated to Martin’s opinion on the riders. As others have said, they are a number of fast free electrons in the peloton currently with the riders mentionned by @Henri_Desgrange and @Andrew_Bowen .


For those eulogising about how good racing was in the '80s and '90s, my question is - how do you know? How much of it was broadcast? My recollection is that the only cycling available on TV (I nearly said free-to-air TV, but of course it was before subscription services and the internet) across the whole year was limited coverage of each TDF stage.

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You are saying that with an US bias probably. Here in europe a lot of races were already broadcasted (that doesn’t mean they were all exciting though).

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I was pretty surprised by him saying that now of all times. The last few years have been consistently more interesting than the preceding fifteen or so. My cycling watching started with Armstrong, then into the Sky trains. I wasn’t watching all the monuments and other smaller one day races I watch now, though.
But a weird comment after the Tour and worlds we just had.

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Dan Martin is probably not being very objective given that he was at the sharp end of races a few years ago but had been drifting back through the peloton until his retirement.

I can imagine the Israel Premier Tech team bus is full of riders moaning about how racing was better 5 years ago when they were all still winning races!


The guy who started the thread is in Melbourne and he’d have been getting the same half hour highlights package per stage of TdF we all got back in the 90s, with nothing else shown for the year.

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Fair question, but we started getting much better (and longer) coverage in the early 90’s (in the US). By 92, ESPN had a daily, tape delayed coverage, etc.

But there are plenty of videos out there which covers a lot of the racing in depth.

What stands out for me as the major difference between that era and now is the strength of the teams. Go watch the highlights from the 89 Tour and you see the team leaders slugging it out, mano a mano, many climbs out from the finish. No domestique around them, just the strongest guys riding against each other.

Now, every mountain stage usually comes down to the final 3-5km, where riders pick up a handful of seconds vs. minutes.

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