By - BegoniaInBloom
i wonder if this was by choice or he didn’t get a contract and had no other option
His results strongly suggest the latter. Not WT material
i guess so, but results don’t tell the whole story, strong domestiques don’t have very good results quite often
But i mean 10 out of 12 one day races with a DNF...Also at Dauphiné and Basque...
oh… probs should have actually checked them before commenting 🤦🏼♂️
I don’t think a DNF is any indicator as it’s not uncommon to have half the peloton DNF on one days and there were a lot of DNFs on the last stage of Basque as well.
Im still curious about the dauphine because Stage 1 he was up the road in the break and just dropped and finished solo prob damn close to the time cut. DQT on twitter said “more on his abandon later” but I never saw a follow up. I assumed it was some illness.
I think it’s really tough to know what he could do with a young rider probably playing support most of the time.
As a tall person it was great seeing another tall person climb up a steep hill at US Nats. Lol so I’m prob a little biased on reading his results. I was hoping he’d go to Rally or something. I’m a bit bummed he’s going to a team where I’ll probably never see him race on TV again. But perhaps I can see him race in person now when he comes to my region.
hopefully we will see him make it to the world tour again, it’s always a shame when a young talent just gets chewed up by the WT and spat out
I agree with this. Look at Tim declercq's one day race record...
Tim Declercq had 4 DNFs all year. Last year he had 1. There's really no comparison between the two.
DNFs on 1 day races just means he was a team worker who burnt his match early. Maybe his role was to chase the break in the 0-100km part, then he can choose to ride to the finish on his own or catch a ride. If he has to do the same thing again the next day, the DNF is usually the better option.
Would be the case if he was leading the peloton over a fair amount of km or being in the chase. But most of the time that was not the case. Also seeing that much DNF is unusual, even for a domestique. You stay in the grupetto or make it to the finish with the peloton.
He’ll fit right in then
Obviously this is very cool for Legion, but I'm wondering how this can start to benefit the wider sport which is what Williams says he wants to achieve.
If Legion attracts all the best amateur and expro talent and proceed/continue to win lots/everything, where is the incentive for really high quality talent to join other teams?
I think it's sad domestic cycling everywhere seems to struggle, so good for anyone being able to pull it off and make a living, but this just seems like it will create a monopoly on the domestic scene.
I'm from the UK so might be out of the loop and missing the mark.
I think it makes for a compelling narrative all the same. "Traditional" cycling teams aren't very interesting to the casual outside observer: corporate sponsorships driving revenue, the conservative culture in general, and because the arguably "nerdy" aspects of the sport are what can dominate a first impression -- it all allows Legion to strike a stark contrast with their brand. They are exciting outsiders, cultural (if not financial) underdogs.
This is why they can get mainstream traction with spending whereas Ineos doesn't.
Nerdy team out-nerding other team by spending more on nerdyness isn't a compelling story to follow (*Moneyball* works as a movie, but nobody got excited when the A's actually did the thing).
But a rag-tag bunch of cool kids who don't play by the stuffy rules of the stuffy old men can dominate races for *years* before it gets old. If they want mainstream recognition, they'll probably have to, because a cinderella story has to be big to be interesting.
>nobody got excited when the A's actually did the thing.
As somebody who was a big A's fan in the early 2000s I resent this.
More eyes = more money
More money = ability for smaller teams to compete with legion
But if you look at the world tour, teams like ineos have 50 million euro budgets and stacked rosters, and other teams have budgets closer to 10 million, so I don't know whether the theory holds up.
In the world tour smaller teams still actually have recognisable names and even that doesn't help bring in more money. Where as small domestic teams have no money and no names.
The economics doesn't translate at a world tour level.
It wont translage at any big level for any sport.
Money hardly changes level of competition at the big leagues because there's so much more to it. But it can change things drastically in smaller grassroots leagues
Remember, this isn't a case of small teams with 10 million euro budgets. It's small teams with guys paying to ride their bikes on competitive teams. The more attention goes to such places then the higher chance such teams get some form of support.
Advertising dollars follow eyes.
AND most importantly, it leads to inspiration for younger guys to join the sport.
I'm pretty sure there are young kids out there inspired to ride by the Legion YouTube channel. I think they inspire all kids but yeah, you could say young black kids for sure because riding bikes competitively isn't common in some communities.
Without some money and attention in the little leagues then the sport dies.
Those guys are saving the sport in the USA in a way.
Given the results of ineos the past couple of years - which were good, but nowhere near 5 to 1 with other major teams, I'd say Ineos coul both be the example and counterexample here.
Yeah, it's a good point but I feel it could be the same with Legion.
Sky had Froome who was the premier grand tour rider of his time and stacked a team around him. And it's almost been like, he was the thing that the whole thing pivoted round and no amount of money or bussed in talent has quite made up for his absence.
I do wonder if Legion actually pivots around Justin (mostly) and Cory. Both are super talented and have sprint watts most could only dream of, Justin rode solo for a year or two and still won lots so that should say it all. He's also charismatic, polarising, has a noble goal and with his diversity aspect being very in vogue, it's like the perfect storm of stuff. That's brought fans money and talent which has amplified their dominance. Much like in the sky peak, they're hard to beat.
But I wonder if once Legion lose Justin and Cory, like with Ineos, might the whole thing come crumbling down too?
I know Justin wants to build something sustainable but does it hinge on him more than he realises. Will the Ian Garrison and Freddy Ovetts (spelling) of the team carry the torch in quite the same way?
Is there really eyes if you know who is going to win every race ahead of time since they're so dominant?
The alternative is you never know who's going to win because you'd never watch or know of the racing.
Now people from across the world know about some of the American Crit racing because of legion
But then I also watch Jeff Linders videos and I've heard of Mike's Bikes, I don't know what they do and I highly doubt I'll ever buy something from them. So again, eye balls are one thing, but it has to translate into something to mean anything
Think of any big sports teams you support that have big name sponsorship. How many times has that led to you putting dollars in their pockets? Think of world tour cycling, how many times has sponsorship led to dollars out your pocket into the sponsor's pocket?
I'd be surprised if over 10% of F1 sponsors on the grid are seeing a positive return on their sponsorship. And F1 ain't cheap
When presented with a choice between Nike and some unknown brand, without any way to get information about the unknown brand, and I need to buy the item, and the price isn't out of my budget range, I'll buy Nike.
I sure bought a segafredo coffee bag for the lol just teh other day
Is there actually a single example in sports where this was true over a longer period? as in not in a single season outlier?
You have to start somewhere.
Also, this year was weird because of the pandemic. There was only 1 UCI race in the US, so all they could really do was race on the Crit scene.
L39ION also needs to build excitement for the sport in the US, not just develop racers. If you look at their announcement on Instagram when they signed Garrison, they basically only showed pictures of him in the US National Champion TT jersey. They know that the average American (who is someone that knows almost nothing of cycling) cares more about that than the fact he is coming from DQS.
>There was only 1 UCI race in the US, so all they could really do was race on the Crit scene.
Why? Do Specialized and Swift not pay enough to afford a ticket to Europe?
And do what races? They are a Continental team, not a UCI ProTeam, and being an American one the best they could hope for is an invite to 2.x races. I follow cycling and can't even name any of those races off the top of my head. How exactly does that grow cycling in the US?
>They are a Continental team, not a UCI ProTeam
So is Hagens Berman Axeon
Yes, and they only do 2.x or 1.xU races and nobody in the US knows who they are. Justin Williams wants the team to not only be successful but also visible.
They've got the visible part, but are ignoring the successful part. Because I assume in the US they know who Taylor Phinney, Neilson Powless and Ian Boswell are?
What are you talking about? L39ION won basically every race they did this year. And what do those guys have to do with anything?
I was talking about success in professional cycling. Like those three guys got thanks to Hagens Berman Axeon and participating in small European races.
Legion is not a development team, nor is it a team that participates in professional racing. So what is it then, besides a PR project?
>L39ION also needs to build excitement for the sport in the US,
This. I am a U.S. member of this sub, and since the Tour of Cali folded I can barely name any US races or domestic teams (excluding Rally). Yet I know and am aware of L39ION. I'm not necessarily a 'fan' but they doing their damnedest to keep the sport alive in the U.S., and I have to wish them all the best, even if they area bit brash -- but maybe that's needed in the U.S.
There weren't enough 4 corner office park crits in the world tour for him
Which top level riders have gone back though?
There have been a handful over the years but never the very top guys.
Chris Horner being the biggest example. ;)
I didn't realise that but I don't think junior worlds is a certain predictor of senior strength. For example Almeida came 26th in that TT almost 3 minutes back but has obviously developed a lot more as at junior level riders still have a lot more room for improvement and maybe he just isn't improving as much as others.
I also don't know why people are downvoting you, this is a place for discussion
What’s this subs take on Legion?
ambivalent, on one hand it was a well designed expansion, on the other hand it also introduced a lot of the systems that would eventually make world of warcraft unplayable.
I still don't really know who they are, or why they get mentioned on this sub so often.
I think ultimately they are a net positive for cycling. Their involvement in bringing minorities into cycling is pretty powerful and clearly having an effect. I think their social media presence is also pushing cycling into the 21st century and demonstrating how far behind some WT teams are with marketing. But I do accept that they are a big fish in a small pond and can be a bit OTT for a regional team
They have a reputation for reckless tactics and crashing people out of races, which isn’t awesome. Seen some really sus GoPro footage of ridiculous shit their riders have done in crits.
This. They race dangerous and reckless. Not a fan
It would be hilarious to see them race in Europe and get absolutely bodied by the amateurs/conti riders here. Would definitely knock their egos down a peg
I mean, I don't think they have an inflated sense of ability. I doubt any Legion riders think they'd be winning one day classics in Europe or anything. They're really good at what they do in the States, and are responsible for bringing a lot of eyeballs to crit racing. Why the hate?
Not classics, just local crits here. They would be destroyed. Even at an amateur level. Yet they act like they are world class riders. Even worse is that it is impossible to win when they show up with a massive team and bully other riders out of position. If they would just act humble a little bit. My guess is that at a certain point more and more people will start hating them because of their blind pursuit of money and fame.
Soooo....how sour are those grapes ya got?
I'm just stating the reality of things. But nice and constructive points you have there.
> blind pursuit of money and fame
Tgis feels like a total misrepresentation about what both Justin and Cory have said Legion is about.
Because bringing full leadouts and 8 man teams made up of ex WT/PCT riders to amateur crit races and then acting like you're hot shit comes across as a bit disingenuous. It's like Man City just buying themselves the Premier League. Can't argue with the exposure point though
Meh, they're playing to win. Good for them. If other teams want to beat them, get faster riders.
Also - other teams have ex WT/PCT as well.
They might be "amateur" crit races, but they still pay out, give sponsor exposure, and are really the only game in the USA right now. Maybe Legion and other "pro" teams' success will lead to a more expanded pro racing schedule.
Hahahahah, Get faster riders??? My team is a California Domestic elite team (same level as Legion last year and their second team this year) so we race a very similar calendar to them. We aren't a weak team but we can't afford to keep top riders on the roster for more than a season.
We barely even get free kits for the year and once in a blue moon will get some travel or nutrition products covered. Most other domestic teams that they race against are in a similar boat. How are we supposed to compete against a team with an annual budget in the millions?
There is no other male US team (except world and pro tour) that's combined salaries are as high as one or two legion rider salaries.
Oh I appreciate the struggles of domestic teams, and I’m not saying its fair, per se. My argument there is that there is basically no professional cycling circuit in the U.S. anymore, and while Legion’s budget is big, I doubt they could afford the astronomical costs associated with racing in Europe for a season (plus, they likely want to be visible in the US because that’s where there fans are located).
So what are they supposed to do, not race?
My statement came out a bit glib, bit what I meant is that perhaps this will spur more teams to start chasing setups like Legion and have increased sponsorship, etc. Maybe not, but you can’t deny there were way more eyes on domestic crits this year than previous years.
They could afford to race in Europe for a season or at least for a block, Axeon, Lux and Hot Tubes do it and there budget is far smaller. USA Cycling also has a team house in Belgium that they allow US teams to stay at which is how smaller Conti teams do blocks over there. They spend $40k for the UCI Conti license and haven't used it, that license would allow them to race Belgian Pro Kermesse against teams like Quickstep and Alpecin Fenix.
Believe it or not every team is chasing setups like Legion, and want more sponsorship, doesn't mean any of them have gotten it. I agree that they are bringing a lot more eyes to US crit racing and getting more people into the sport. However, when they win a local P/1/2/3 crit it shouldn't make the front page of CyclingTips
Justin Williams did a crit series in London which is known for being a tough regional race. Iirc he might have got a podium. Not World Tour.
I think they would hold their own in races similar to what they're good at, kermesse, crits, etc.
~80 comments on a thread about a mostly unknown rider leaving the WT for a local (as I understand it?) team in the US should be a tell about the controversial nature of the team here.
Funny thing about Legion is, that I only know about them from meme-pages on Instagram and through YouTube.
I seriously doubt that a lot of older cycling fans in Europe know much about the team - or even care enough to learn about them, as it’s a small American team. At least that seems to be the theme in Denmark.
Why should we really care about an American team, developing American crit-racing?
They’re a pro team here. They’re popular because they clean up crit racing and they’re trying to open up the sport to communities that it typically hasn’t been available to.
Sure, and I know a bit about Legion, but my point is that most cycling fans outside the US won’t care much - as noble as the goal about expanding cycling is.
I think it’s good, that people are trying to expand cyclings reach, but I don’t really know enough about Legion to have a qualified opinion on them.
It’s a good TV show, and I can see why people like it, but it’s just a llittle too hard to follow.
I don’t think this will be the last American euro pro to make this switch either.
Many of them suck too
And legion is c o o l
Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM) next WT rider to go to L39ion - and the team's facebook makes it look like more signings are in the works.
Here's the tweet that confirms it
i gotta say, one of the things i don't fully get is how signing more and more young white riders helps the increase the diversity of cycling in america, which is something i'd truly love to see. i feel like i'm missing something every time they announce another young white rider
"L39ION of Los Angeles is a team devoted to promoting diversity in cycling, building community, and developing a platform for the future of American racing."
How does continually signing young, white Pro Tour riders help any of their mission statements?
Oh come on. Their roster is way more diverse than most pro teams, have you looked at it? Increasing diversity doesn't mean passing up on talent.
Exactly. They used that to brand themselves, and now they just go for the money. Quite hypocrite if you ask me and just confirming what they hold against "traditional cycling".
I see the money point, but still I think having some good African American riders who can win races goes much further than having a more diverse roster without necessarily winning more. Hopefully it can motivate more young kids to get into cycling and maybe we’ll see Legions effect on American cycling and diversity in 10-15 years
That's all there is right now. They have to start somewhere, not only developing talent but also developing a following for the sport of cycling in the US.
i disagree. i think there are plenty of up and coming folks that are culturally diverse, invested in their communities, and are not current WT riders that could use an opportunity like this to sky rocket their visibility
Can you name them and tell their story so we can all take a look?
So this is like a top American soccer player leaving the English premier league to play in MLS ?
Not really because Garrison has sucked at elite level. More like a player that showed talent in a top clubs B team, got promoted to the A squad and then did absolutely nothing because they never progressed.
And then going to the USL not MLS.