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The Hammer Series 2017
« on: March 01, 2017, 11:40 »


New series 1st one in Limburg

Quote
The first Hammer Series race will be held in the Limburg region of the Netherlands between June 1-4, with Velon and Infront confirming that all the Velon teams and other major teams from the WorldTour and Professional Continental level will take part. Velon hopes to develop the series over time, with three or four races set for 2018 and even more in the long term.

more news to come
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  • Of course, if this turns out someday to be the industry standard integrated handlebar-computer-braking solution then I'll eat my kevlar-reinforced aerodynamic hat.

    Larri Nov 12, 2014

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #1 on: March 01, 2017, 11:44 »
    Day 1 – Hammer Sprint
    Two hours of blistering entertainment.
    Each team’s chosen five riders take on ten laps of approximately 10km* each.
    Points are awarded for the top ten riders to cross the line at the end of each lap.
    Double points may be awarded on certain laps.
    Bonus time gaps are awarded per position after Day 1, which count toward the starting time gaps for the Hammer Chase.
    * The exact number and distance of laps will vary from one race to another, to create the most challenging course and most exciting spectacle based on the local topography.
     
    Day 2 – Hammer Climb
    A two-hour pain-fest you can’t keep your eyes off.
    Each team’s chosen five riders take on a multi-lap challenge of a course specially designed with a punishing hilltop finish line. Total elevation, average and maximum gradients and climb lengths will vary from race to race – but all will test the world’s strongest climbing teams.
    Points are awarded for the top ten riders to cross the line at the end of each lap – with the same points structure as the Hammer Sprint.
    Again, double points may be awarded on some laps.
    Bonus time gaps are awarded per position after Day 2, which count toward the starting time gaps on Day 3.
    Host cities and franchise partners may choose to swap the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Climb days. The leader boards for the Hammer Sprint and Hammer Climb are then aggregated to determine the starting position for the Hammer Chase. Fixed time gaps between positions are adjusted based on time bonuses gained during the first two days.
     
    Day 3 – Hammer Chase
    Team Chase is a fox-and-hounds team pursuit on time trial bikes.
    Each team chooses five riders for the 50km circuit TTT with their fourth-placed finisher’s front wheel the piece of carbon fibre to keep your eyes on! Teams set off with a staggered start. The leading team after the first two days goes off first, the second-placed team sit for an agonising 30 seconds and watch them disappear into the distance… and then their gun goes off. The third placed team sweats it out for another 25 seconds – then they go. Fourth team feel the adrenaline surging for 20 more seconds before they’re released. Then it’s 15-second gaps between all the remaining teams. Fixed time gaps to be adjusted based on time bonuses gained during the first two days.
    All teams must stay in their own formation – no drafting other teams.
    And now there’s nowhere to hide… it’s a race to the finish line for the most dramatic possible climax to the three-day challenge.
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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #2 on: March 01, 2017, 11:45 »
    I like the race series so far re info, I like new idea to be tried I don´t mind teams making some money
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  • just some guy

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #3 on: March 01, 2017, 11:47 »
    Website for the series :web
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  • cj2002

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #4 on: March 01, 2017, 11:51 »
    I like the race series so far re info, I like new idea to be tried I don´t mind teams making some money

    Yeah - it's an interesting idea. And, actually, what new ideas have there been in road cycling? We've got the "race from point A to point B" idea and the "race around a whole country in stages" idea, and that's about it.

    Reading their plan, it reminds me a little of the Revolution Series in track cycling, which takes the "traditional" track/six-day idea and adds a bit of pizazz and polish, as well as a couple of other events. Time limited races are a good idea - makes for easy-to-digest TV.
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    Yellow Peril

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 12:10 »


    This sounds very interesting indeed. It might open cycle racing up to a new audience.
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    LukasCPH

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 12:18 »
    From their 'presentation' of the 'concept', it sounds as if teams can select different squads for each day.

    How is that supposed to work with the UCI rules? :S
    If it's a stage race, you have to race every stage. If you don't race every stage, it's not a stage race.
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    Yellow Peril

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #8 on: March 01, 2017, 13:39 »
    From their 'presentation' of the 'concept', it sounds as if teams can select different squads for each day.

    How is that supposed to work with the UCI rules? :S
    If it's a stage race, you have to race every stage. If you don't race every stage, it's not a stage race.

    Perhaps it will be like that early season opener in Mallorca that they have. You could run a GC for any rider who rides all three stages with an emphasis on the team prize even though the team is fluid throught the 3 days.

    It isn't beyond the wit of man to come up with something. Maybe an emphasis on the team as opposed to an individual GC will prove to be popular.

    Definitely worth a punt at something new.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 14:13 »
    quite a bit has come from CX sking I think

    the Sprint setting up the " hunting" ( jakt) start

    I do not mind the idea tbh
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  • cj2002

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 15:58 »
    It isn't beyond the wit of man to come up with something.

    Yellow Peril, meet the UCI staff. UCI staff, Yellow Peril.

    Those who can, do. Those who can't seem to come up with UCI rules. Eventually.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 17:17 »
    Those who can't seem to come up with UCI rules. Eventually.
    Hey!
    I'm only pointing out problems they will run into working in the current framework! :angry


    :P
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  • cj2002

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #12 on: March 01, 2017, 17:21 »
    Hey!
    I'm only pointing out problems they will run into working in the current framework! :angry



    You know full well I was referring to UCI staff as "those who can't"

    What you come up with makes much more sense and takes much less time...

    Sent from my XT1580 using Tapatalk

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  • Yellow Peril

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #13 on: March 01, 2017, 20:21 »
    Well it might work at least as a novelty for a couple of years. I remember when the Tour series (town centre crits) was ressurected in the UK in the late 2000's it was televised , the fields were large and the racing exciting. Last year it seemed to be on its last legs with smaller fields and falling viewing figures as the top UK teams stopped committing fully to it.

    Cycling is steeped in history which on the one had creates that rich tapestry we all love but also means a resistance to change. Here's hoping...
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  • Carlo Algatrensig

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #14 on: March 01, 2017, 20:46 »
    Its an interesting idea but I can see the final team pursuit possibly becoming a bit farcical especially for the teams that are only starting 15 seconds apart. how will they avoid drafting etc when there is such a smal gap between them at the start.

    I do however like the idea of a teams points race on the road as something a bit different to be tried.
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  • FreeWheelin

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #15 on: March 01, 2017, 23:00 »
    From their 'presentation' of the 'concept', it sounds as if teams can select different squads for each day.

    How is that supposed to work with the UCI rules? :S
    If it's a stage race, you have to race every stage. If you don't race every stage, it's not a stage race.

    Somewhere I read that teams bring a list of 7 riders that the chose their starting 5 from for each race. 
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  • t-72

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #16 on: March 01, 2017, 23:10 »
    Is this at the same time as the Dauphine?
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #17 on: March 01, 2017, 23:42 »
    Somewhere I read that teams bring a list of 7 riders that the chose their starting 5 from for each race.
    So not a UCI stage race classification then. This is only possible under UCI rules as a Mallorca-style series of one-day races.
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  • AG

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #18 on: March 02, 2017, 00:01 »
    seems like it is just before the Dauphine


    it actually sounds pretty cool.  Something a bit new and different - and something to encourage fans backing a team rather than an individual rider.
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  • just some guy

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #19 on: March 02, 2017, 06:45 »
    Is this at the same time as the Dauphine?

    crosses over yes, silly 1st race series up but there you go
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  • just some guy

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    Echoes

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #21 on: March 02, 2017, 12:41 »
    When Larry King started World Team Tennis back in 1974, which those series remind me of, the French Open President Philippe Chatrier chose to ban those players from competing at his tournament out of solidarity with the pre-FO tournaments which were in direct competition with WTT. That included Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver & Ken Rosewall, later Björn Borg.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/24/sports/philippe-chatrier-72-a-force-on-international-tennis-scene.html

    If ASO and RCS can do a good thing for once, they should do the same here.  :cool

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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    just some guy

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #22 on: March 02, 2017, 12:47 »
    When Larry King started World Team Tennis back in 1974, which those series remind me of, the French Open President Philippe Chatrier chose to ban those players from competing at his tournament out of solidarity with the pre-FO tournaments which were in direct competition with WTT. That included Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver & Ken Rosewall, later Björn Borg.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/24/sports/philippe-chatrier-72-a-force-on-international-tennis-scene.html

    If ASO and RCS can do a good thing for once, they should do the same here.  :cool

    RCS will not due their relationship to WANDA/InFront
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  • Echoes

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #23 on: March 02, 2017, 20:27 »
    I'm puzzled when I see how advocates of this project defend it.

    Cycling needs to change, it's stuck in the past, sponsors are no longer interested and young people find it boring. Audience figures drop.

    Only this was already said in the eighties. I'm currently reaing the report made by Jean Wauthier in 1984 about Francesco Moser's hour performances. It stood clear that in Professor Dal Monte's opinion (the man behind Moser's disc wheels) the detractors of Moser's performances were nostalgic of a bygone era, period. There could be no discussion on ethics nor on what the then ruling said. I also remember reading Pierre Chany's "La fabuleuse histoire du cyclisme" who welcomed the UCI's 1989 reshuffle of the whole cycling calendar with its World Cup and all as a way to rejuvenate cycling and give it a boost in terms of audience.

    Is cycling better off than it was thirty years ago? I don't think so. First we all agree that the aero bikes first used by Moser in 1984 don't make ITT more enjoyable. At least most of us find it boring. Second the World Cup was such a success that it disappeared in 2005 and was replaced by the ProTour, present-day World Tour, while races created ex nihilo and bombed into great classics such as the Wincanton Classics had already disappeared in 1998, replaced by Hamburg Classics.

    So how could you assess all these changes, these moves forward, thirty years after they were implemented? And you'd still wish to make new ones? Changes don't work, so you need further changes? When is the new snub for all these progressists?

    In my opinion it also begs the question what you really find entertaining about this particular sport we call cycling. Do you think it's enjoyable because it's "fun", because the protagonists should like artists with all their bike-handling skills and all as though they were X-game contenders? When a wheelie contest?

    In my opinion cycling should be about epicness. It's an endurance sport! The protagonists should be hard men who really suffer on their machine. I want to see them red-faced with the sweat on their forehead. I like it when they are hit by "the man with the hammer". I know it's sadistic and cynical but it's the beauty of that sport I fell in love with as a very young kid. Like Guimard said, it's not a game like football or basketball, it's a sport, it's competition.

    So seeing a small Madison contest translated to the road doesn't interest me at all. Is it something really new? Six-Days are pretty similar after all. But a series of sprint-fests, no thanks. Okay I love cyclocross and in its current format it's also just an hour but it's a total effort, not a series of sprint like Madison events. Chavanel compared it to an ITT.


    Beside, team spirit is pretty foreign to cycling. I remember a discussion on a French forum long ago about the fact there's a "cult of personality" in cycling. It should be more collective. It's not the point discussing that but it's the rule of a racing sport that the first to cross a finish line should win, victory doesn't divide (besides teams are sponsor-named in cycling, it's really about advertisement and money after all). Be that as it may, collective races have already existed in road cycling, it was the Cronostaffetta. A series of 3 ITT's. A short one, a medium-length one and a long-distance one. But it was a lot more in tune with what cycling has always been then a playful Madison event.

    Okay cast me stones for being grumpy again if you want but I can't help sharing an opinion and it's not my fault if the project goes against the way I've always seen this sport. Those who know me know that if I am to be consistent with myself I need to be against this project...
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  • Yellow Peril

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #24 on: March 02, 2017, 21:45 »
    I agree with you Echoes particularly on the "epicness" of cycling. i am very much a traditionalist, a staunch supporter of races like Paris - Tours even though it isn't as big a draw as it once was and I'd even bring back Bordeaux Paris as well.

    But having said that I understad that there is a need to constantly innovate and broaden appeal as it brings new audiences in and hopefully more sponsors. I then hope in time that people who are new to the sport see their tastes mature so they then enjoy the more traditional races. A bit like starting out drinking Lambrini and becoming a connosiuer of fine reds!

    One thing is for certain attention spans sem to be getting shorter. I will still watch six hours of the World champs like a dog watching a biscuit but I know lots of cycling enthusiasts who only ever tune in for the last 10km's of a race.
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  • t-72

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #25 on: March 02, 2017, 22:24 »
    My reactions to the announcement:
    1) new types of competitions are worth a try once in a while. Cycling is an extremely conservative sport, or as some would put it - the one where the major events have the longest traditions. Most of them are about 100 years old these days. I don't think traditions like that should easily be thrown overboard. Nothing grows to be 100 years if nobody's interested in it. These races have captured the minds of generations of athletes and fans alike, but - there is no guarantee that what worked 100 years back will work 100 years in the future. Great traditions change and grow with the times but to get that change, once in a time something new needs to be introduced.
    2) and then it is yet another race in the Benelux????? Top level cycling needs to grow its worldwide presence but seems to struggle to get out of the old  heartlands of the sport. By comparison, every cross country skiing race could be hosted in Norway and every alpine skiing race in Austria. The Benelux area would fit in a corner of either.
    RAces like these should go somewhere new and open up new markets. Places like Colombia and South Africa are begging for attention.
    3) If there is an overlap with the more tradiotional Dauphine event.... I say, drop the Dauphine. The Dauphine and the Eneco tour are the most hopeless WT races in being hosted in "heartland" regions for cycling (every street in the Dauphine area should have AG2R grafitti on the wall) but they get very few spectators because they are not the main event for cycling in their region. WT races should not be second rank races anywhere - drop them!
    Skiing has an excellent WT system (except they call it World Cup) and winning the overall classification (it's a season-long green jersey equivalent) is considered the best result possible. Keys to success here is fewer races, shorter season, no overlapping events, combination of very traditional classics with some more modern events and some events that are not fixed to one location for many years in  a row.  Cycling may have to drop some old stuff that doesnt't work very well, in order to get some calendar days for new events.
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  • AG

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #26 on: March 02, 2017, 23:40 »
    traditions are important.  the 'epicness' as Echoes put it is very important.  winning Paris Roubaix is always going to be the highlight ... the monuments etc .... no one is doubting or suggesting that they arent the mainstay of our sport.

    BUT

    we also have issues with the sport dying.  Lots of traditional races have been cancelled due to economics.  It costs a lot for tv coverage, for police and security, for road closures etc - to hold a race costs a huge amount (even without the rising salaries of the superstars) and many smaller races simply cannot afford to be held. 

    They are competing against other sports.  Competing for funding, for sponsorship, for audiences ... and without innovation and new concepts, without the superstars (who become superstars with the help of the sponsorship and audiences) even the great traditions will die out.

    So we need change.  We need new fans, and new forms of income for teams.  Team type races - that might build team fans, loyalty, paid audiences and a bit of hype are worth a try.

    I also understand holding it in Limberg.  Its a new concept- and to give it the best chance of success, holding it in the heartland of cycling where fans are hard and passionate makes sense.  Wait till its established before trying to move it to new and developing areas.

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  • FreeWheelin

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #27 on: March 03, 2017, 02:57 »
    I think it is a great idea to try to capitalize on a broader audience like 20/20 has done in Cricket.

    The domestic 4 day competition in Australia has long been considered the best domestic competition in the world (probably according to biased Aussies) and the matches are played in front of empty grandstands.  The domestic 20/20 competition 'The Big Bash' is a fun, short, lively competition that the players seem to have fun doing. Most games are sold out (with a huge amount of kids in the stands) and the TV ratings are excellent.

    The purists didn't like it but they are coming around (I'm one of those).  Time will tell how many 'Big Bash' fans go on to be fans of Test cricket... but it does not matter that much if they don't.  The Big Bash brings money into the game that would not be there otherwise.  Some say that it will be the death of Test cricket, but I dont think so.  The reason it wont be is the players.  The players enjoy the Big Bash, but really they want to play Tests for Australia.  Any one of them would pull out of the Big Bash in a heartbeat if they are given a Test opportunity (as was proven this year).

    So, who knows if Hammer is a success or not, no one would have believed how successful the Big Bash would be.  But even if it is a raging success it will NEVER replace any significant race (and I don't think it even wants to), because the riders want to win the big races.  If Hammer can be cycling's version of 'hit and giggle' (what the nay-sayers call 20/20), then that would be a great thing.  Some fun for fans and riders alike.  A short, easy to follow format that works on TV.  Bring in a wider audience and some new revenue.  ASO, RCS etc should support it rather then fighting it... but we know that wont happen.
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  • Yellow Peril

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #28 on: March 03, 2017, 07:34 »
    .


    I also understand holding it in Limberg.  Its a new concept- and to give it the best chance of success, holding it in the heartland of cycling where fans are hard and passionate makes sense.  Wait till its established before trying to move it to new and developing areas.

    This is a really good point . Just look how lame these middle east races look , not just in the desert but in the towns where there are no fans. It makes for a very cold viewing experience.

    Yes sell the race in a popular cycling location and grow out from there
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  • Echoes

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    Re: The Hammer Series 2017
    « Reply #29 on: March 03, 2017, 09:55 »
    I'm afraid my arguments have not been addressed.

    I know that races have disappeared, I'm saying it myself multiple times in other threads on this very forum. Why do you think? Because cycling in its traditional format is no longer attractive?

    I think that if traditional cycling once was insanely popular in Western Europe, it means it still can be. Only in the last 30 years we've already seen some radical changes as the ones I've already mentioned and the arguments were already the same, "cycling needs to change" etc. If this was true that means that today it should have gained popularity back and you would not need to welcome new changes the way you do. It's evidence that cycling does not need change forward but backward. A return to the basics. A lot of oldies have told me that cycling no longer made them dream anymore. Why all this? If you like sport that is exciting you'll always rather watch motorcross or Nascar or whatever than cycling because cycling fundamentally is not exciting it's epic. You are trying to reach a public that will always neglect our sport while alienating the faithful fans like me.

    So please why keep on looking for "novelties" when the previous novelties didn't prevail and rather destroyed the cycling that our ancestors have loved? Besides this is track cycling translated to the road, right? So how popular is track cycling nowadays? Is it not a good hint at that possible popularity of such concept in the future? The fact that two events have already been cancelled, is that a good start? Well it would make my day if it were to be born dead. After all I don't really worry because it's small things after all but it's the rationale that I cannot appreciate.
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