Congrats, Jonas! OK, more seriously, you don’t see this result on Procyclingstats. It is not a real race. It is for show. The riders get paid to appear, quite handsomely as I understand it. The results are scripted. Look, he beat Mark Cavendish. At that level, if Cavendish wanted the win, he would have his team chase the breaks down.
Consider this quote in the article:
The event was more of an exhibition event than race but the big-name riders made numerous attacks despite the heat and humidity. Mark Cavendish fought for the points competition, fighting with other riders in the different intermediate sprints.
I mean, it backs up my point, only it’s hilarious how understated it is. These criteriums are not real races. They are to cycling as WWE is to wrestling as a martial art, only I guess the post-Tour crits are less flashy than WWE. The event was “more of an exhibition event than race” in the same manner as 1 is more than 0.
Look, if Vingegaard beat Cav in a real race on flat terrain, it would be on Procyclingstats, and you would hear talk of it for decades. It would be like one of the GC guys winning the last stage of the TdF. Those are totally flat. By social convention, it’s understood that the GC guys are just cruising with the pack, and the sprint teams will take off during the finishing circuits - this part is a real race, btw. There are breakaways, sure. They never stick, because the sprinters’ teams don’t let them. The last GC contender to win the last stages of the Tour may have been Hinault or Merckx. They are … rather aggressive personalities. But more to the point, cycling was less specialized in their era.
But wait, Greg Lemond! Yes, he did win the time trial heard around the world.
OK, what happens if you go off the script? This guy won a crit in Germany. The funny thing is, nobody exactly knows why he went off-script. But according to the riders, it is possible that the organizers didn’t bother to brief the amateurs, because they all know that they aren’t supposed to win anyway … only this guy did not know. Anyway, have you heard of Dominik Bauer? Legends say that he is still trying to hold off Nickias Arndt, Fränk Schleck, et al.
OK, I do not mean to sarcastically belabor the point to show off my own prowess. The fact is that pro road cycling has a lot of history, and not everybody is going to know everything, and knowing all these little facts does not make me a smart person. I am trying to emphatically convey that Jonas Vingegaard did not really beat Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali, and all three of them beat Mark Cavendish (who did win the points competition), in a short flat race. That could have happened in a real race, but all the sprinters teams would have had to make a massive blunder, the sort of blunder which would leave road captains and DSes falling on their metaphorical swords in shame. Daniel’s broader point is worth discussing. Just do not rely on this result as precedent. That is all.