Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before I ask, I'll anticipate some of the Naysayers..I'm a nobody and just a stupid fan of cycling..there are probably hundreds of valid reasons why my questions are really dumb but here goes..

Has cycling always structured and scored the grand tours to let riders 'specialize' like the TDF? I mean, has the sport ever tried to score itself on the best "all around" cyclists rather than giving stages to sprinters, making mountain stages, and not counting, really the actual times but doing the traditional "same time as.."?

Is this just the way the sport evolved, and now it's "tradition" or is there actually a reason why? I often wonder about long stage races..where the winner is always one of the great climbers. Why even include the sprinters?

Take this tour..one second has been the interval for 4 stages for the overall leader...If they scored on actual time, that certainly would have changed, and made for real racing (for the overall winner) but those guys just ride along, letting the sprinters have their day...Kinda stylistic, isn't it? And when the Alps come, the sprinters drop out? Wassup with that tradition?

How bout racing all day every day and keeping track of the actual time the riders cross the finish each day...and then the guy with the least time wins the race? Did they ever really do it like that? They surely could do..A true test of strength and skill. It would certainly make for some interesting team tactics.

Just curious..I know pro cycling is a 'tradition-rich' sport, but were stage races ever really "may the lowest overall time win" races, and why wouldn't it be better for us fans if it were like that still today?

Getting on my Nomex bibs now...Don Hanson
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,817 Posts
I do not like the lack of time bonuses because it does exactly what you say, separate the competition between sprinting and overall. If there had been time bonuses for the top X amount of guys across the line, we might see yellow jersey chasers sprinting to the line and challenging for the green jersey as well. But instead we have a few sprinters making a dash and the rest just relaxed knowing they'll get the same time.


I do like that the sprinters have to go over the mountain stages because the mountain guys have to go over the flat terrain. It has to do with the whole mentality that the TdF is supposed to be so long and hard that a large part of the group does not make it to Paris. I think that the teams should be going even faster on the flat stages. The guys with the top end and endurance should be ripping the pelaton to pieces and torturing the mountain guys. But in the end we don't have this because the teams know that the sprinters won't really be contenders for the yellow and thus go slower to save energy for the climbs where the contenders attack.


To put it simply, one part of the TdF that I do not like is that it isn't really racing. In an F1 race the drivers go balls to the walls the whole time. It should be a similar case in the TdF.
 

· Bea Arthur's Army of Evil
Joined
·
236 Posts
jsedlak said:
To put it simply, one part of the TdF that I do not like is that it isn't really racing. In an F1 race the drivers go balls to the walls the whole time. It should be a similar case in the TdF.
It is what it is. What you're describing (balls to the wall the whole time) is a crit. Each have their place.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
12,083 Posts
jsedlak The guys with the top end and endurance should be ripping the pelaton to pieces and torturing the mountain guys. But in the end we don't have this because the teams know that the sprinters won't really be contenders for the yellow and thus go slower to save energy for the climbs where the contenders attack. [/QUOTE said:
Really? So the skinny climbers are never ridden into a pulp in the first week of the tour? Riders that otherwise do very well in the Giro and the Vuelta but "somehow" does not have when the pack hits the mountain in the tour.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
early in the tours life read 1910 or there abouts the race was one and lost on a points system. i have a raced a few tours in this format i dont care for them as tts get nullified. Riding for actual time would be very difficult to timekeep as how do u score the guy who runs in 143 spot in a bunch of 180?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,817 Posts
justinb said:
In an F1 race, the drivers are powered by gasoline...:rolleyes:
Duhhh.

Obviously they can't keep their top speed the whole time, but they could do like they did today a lot more. String out the pelaton by keeping a high top speed. Last year's crosswind breakup was some of the most exciting racing.

den bakker said:
Really? So the skinny climbers are never ridden into a pulp in the first week of the tour? Riders that otherwise do very well in the Giro and the Vuelta but "somehow" does not have when the pack hits the mountain in the tour.

I didn't say it didn't happen. But often the middle stages are fairly slow and boring. It is breakaway. Sprint teams come to front of pelaton near the end. Breakaway is caught. Sprint finish. Rinse. Repeat.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,480 Posts
The problem (as explained ad naseum before) with scoring on time is safety. Not necessarily in the final sprint, but in the final 1-2k. Instead of having 6-7 teams and 20-30 riders jockeying for position, it would be 15 teams and 100 riders.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
kbiker3111 said:
The problem (as explained ad naseum before) with scoring on time is safety. Not necessarily in the final sprint, but in the final 1-2k. Instead of having 6-7 teams and 20-30 riders jockeying for position, it would be 15 teams and 100 riders.
kbiker3111 makes the correct point for the OP's question. The last bits of the race are neutralized for safety reasons. There was a time when there were horrific crashes in the finale, all for the sake of a few seconds.

JSR
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Interesting comments.

For the past few days, and on most of the flat stages..The contenders for the race win have kept the same time. Why not just take the team busses to the alps and start racing again? Much safer for the sprinters without all those dangerous other riders on the road with them..And the climbers could sit back and eat bon bons for a few days.. (Ok, bad joke..)

Wouldn't it make more sense to keep racing amongst the whole field..well, maybe not "sense" but make the results more about who can actually ride their bike the best? So what if Evans and Schleck are racing a stage, but they are 100 riders back from the sprinters, the dang time should still count..

Think how interesting the team tactics would become..No more..."Hey, we got a guy in the break, don't chase" if not chasing might mean your highest placed rider would lose time anyhow. You might have whole teams trying flyers, just to move their man up, regardless of the breaks, and you wouldn't see anyone just soft-pedaling in to any finish...unless they were totally cooked. It'd be more of a real test of who could parse out their efforts over the whole course of the Tour and not just who sits on the smartest until it really matters for "position" in the standings..Guys like Voigt...they would actually have a hope of winning..

Some of the 'same time' results we've seen on stages this year...the front riders are as far ahead of the back guys as the Yellow jersey is now ahead of 6th place...And yet, it doesn't count that they dangle by up to 30-40 seconds or so and still get "same time".

Use the transponders and take all the times would be what I would like to see....But of course, I don't make the rules.. glad of that, eh? (hee hee)

Don Hanson
 

· Registered
Joined
·
650 Posts
Kris Flatlander said:
Not that I support this idea, but every rider has a transponder on their bike (little yellow thing on the non-drive side chainstay).
yes however what happens when the rider swaps his bike with the team car or another rider or as was the case a few years ago when vino was racing for a stage in the alps with botero and his transponder came loose and his mech cut it off. i too dont support the idea of a points based system, i feel the most appropriate reason for curent set up is safety. also the teams are free as happened the other day to get on the front in the cross wind and hammer the weaker flatlands riders as csc did the other day.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
337 Posts
jsedlak said:
Duhhh.

Obviously they can't keep their top speed the whole time, but they could do like they did today a lot more. String out the pelaton by keeping a high top speed. Last year's crosswind breakup was some of the most exciting racing.




I didn't say it didn't happen. But often the middle stages are fairly slow and boring. It is breakaway. Sprint teams come to front of pelaton near the end. Breakaway is caught. Sprint finish. Rinse. Repeat.
Riders barely finish the tour even without consistently stringing out the peleton at 55k/hr. And you think they should do more, as if they could turn it on and off? They did do that in the late 90s and early 2000s, as it turns out they were using "gasoline", if you'll allow the metaphor.

Part of what makes the tour exciting to me is the strategy, the fact that basic physiology limits you from going 100% every single day. As such, riders/teams are forced to pick and choose where to burn matches.

As for the predictable catching of breakaways, the best way to liven that up is to eliminate or modify the use of race radio.

Finally, the whole transponder-based true time scenario faces a fundamental design and safety flaw that's already been mentioned. It's dangerous to have 150 guys trying to jam themselves into the same spot of road in the last 1k of a race. It's for this reason that crashes inside 3k on sprint finishes are neutralized. "True time" wouldn't be more exciting, it would just be unsafe.

But I guess the NASCAR crowd would like it. Rubbin' is racin', right boys?
 

· haole from the mainland
Joined
·
5,966 Posts
Gnarly 928 said:
Interesting comments.

So what if Evans and Schleck are racing a stage, but they are 100 riders back from the sprinters, the dang time should still count..
Today, Evans was 28th, Schleck 34th & VandeVelde 21st. Not in the back of the pack by any means. On these flat stages, **** can still happen. Crashes that split the peloton, for example. Teams keep their top GC contenders in the front of the pack to keep from getting stuck behind a crash or some other mishap.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,270 Posts
The Tour was invented to sell newspapers.

Any decent history of the Tour explains how the format has been tweaked and tortured over the years in order to sustain interest over three weeks.

There are plenty of "purer" bike races out there.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that if it was purely time vs. time, there wouldn't be 150 guys left in the last 1k of the race. Strategies would be completely different thus breaking up the pack mentality. I say put the transponder in the helmet, or shoe and get rid of race radio. Lets see who's left pedaling after 8 or 9 stages. And just for the record I dont watch NAPcar.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
Gnarly 928 said:
Wouldn't it make more sense to keep racing amongst the whole field..well, maybe not "sense" but make the results more about who can actually ride their bike the best?
That is exactly what they're doing now.It takes no greater skill or fitness to sit in the pack at tenth wheel or 90th. Therefore, they all get the same time. What differentiates riders positively or negatively is not staying in the pack. So riders who break away are rewarded with lower finishing times and those unable to stay with the pack lose time. Otherwise pack is pack.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
Joined
·
4,298 Posts
The Tour de France creator, Henri Desgrange would agree with the OP. He tried all sorts of things in the first 30 or so years to try and make it man vs man. Trade teams, national teams, point system, Tours where most of the stages were Time Trials. Initially even no gear changes were allowed.

What you gotta realize is that it's not possible for a human to go all out for three weeks, especially over that sort of terrain.

You want a "purer" race? I suggest you watch the spring classics. Generally speaking early breakaways never succeed.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
justinb said:
Part of what makes the tour exciting to me is the strategy, the fact that basic physiology limits you from going 100% every single day. As such, riders/teams are forced to pick and choose where to burn matches.
I agree. The GTs are like chess matches, with opponents making moves, then counter-moves. The problem is if a rider can't climb and time trial, they can't win. Guys like Cavendish, as blazing fast as he is, have no hope of ever winning the Tour. That just seems sad to me.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
notenuftoys said:
Guys like Cavendish, as blazing fast as he is, have no hope of ever winning the Tour. That just seems sad to me.

dont worry, i think hes consoled by his 4 stage wins and his early week off, letting him start training for the olympics when others are just starting to recover.

and he can always win the green jersey next year, or any of the next 10 years.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top