Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More than 1 way to sandbag

There is more than one way to be a sandbagger.

Often people think of the term "sandbagging" and relate it to a rider that won't move up just so that he can win more races.

I think the truest nature of the term is more in the essence of racing in a field where you can win more races just so that you can win more races. Forget the category of the rider for a moment and think about how this applies in racing in all fields...masters included.

Casey Kerrigan from the NCNCA has often said that your category should reflect your level of ability, it should not be seen as a trophy that you hold onto. Meaning if you are a Category 1 rider you should be competitive in a Pro/1/2 field. The flip side of this is, if you are competitive in a Pro/1/2 field, maybe you should be racing Pro/1/2 events.

Based on the above statements I would like to present a thought for your consideration:
If you are a Category 1 or Ex-Pro or even Ex Euro-Pro rider isn't it, under the same concept as above, quite possibly sandbagging by racing amateur masters fields?

As Casey has said, if you can't be competitive in a Pro/1/2 event, you should downgrade.
On that same note, if you are competitive in that field, shouldn't you be racing in that field.

My impression of this sport is that one should challenge one's self. If you are winning more often than not, how are you challenging yourself?
If you are riding away from a fields over and over again...solo...how are you challenging yourself?

Take out the semantics of the word and how can one see this different than sandbagging, cheating, or even worse...doping?

At the end of the day, who are you really cheating? I would say you are cheating Yourself.

Hats off to those aging riders who are challenging themselves and racing against a field that presents challenge...you know who you are.

Wag of the finger to those racing in a field that does not challenge you just so that you can win more... you know who you are too.

Honor is a hard thing to come by these days. Niceness and pleasantry aside, honor is different. Even an asshole can have honor.

Are you honorable?

-Nome out


Blogger mtb05girl said...

Nice post! There's so much of the Upgrading BS going on here in Iowa it's not even funny. Lots of people upgrade to the 2's without doing well at all in the 3's. Sure they do alright in state, but Iowa really doesn't have much competition. If and when they go out of state (or out of staters come to Iowa), they usually get smoked.

Also, I don't think Trish and the others you named on my blog. They are in Iowa you say?? Are you headed to Super Week this year?

Nice job in the tandem race!!

7:54 PM  
Blogger mtb05girl said...

I forgot to mention the flip side of the upgrading side in Iowa. People who need to upgrade don't. It's pathetic. But I guess there really isn't a happy medium. I wish there were stricter rules for upgrading. It might weed a few things out.

7:55 PM  
Blogger X Bunny said...

in the women's fields we always race with the 1s because there rarely are masters events

and if promoters don't want cat 1s in the masters fields, they should offer masters 2/3 fields

watch them, race with them, learn from them, challenge yourself

1:27 PM  
Blogger veloandvino said...

hmmmm, I don't think I'm a sand bagger..never raced pro, just been handed a few gifts of genetics from mom and dad..lungs, heart, and love the taste of blood.
However racing the master TT 40-44 was done because I don't want to race against Mick Hell o fast Man for personal reasons when ever possible.

He has helped me alot and I like to see him and go for V's and I'm going for PR's.

I"ve been in the Proz getting my ass kicked as of late.
All good for Natz & Worlds.

12:05 PM  

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