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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In last year's TDF, Evans took 2nd place over Leipheimer's 3rd by 8 seconds. From what I remember/know about pro stage racing, 1) no one tries to finish higher in the GC on the last day of the TDF--I think it's sort of a gentlemen's agreement. 2) Everyone in the peleton finishes at the same time, no matter where you are in peleton. Last year I wondered why didn't Levi try to challenge for 2nd place on the last day. 8 seconds on the last day, which is essentially a crit, would have been obtainable..

This year with the top five so close, what would happen if the top 3 or five were within 10-15 seconds of each other? Why wouldn't it be ok for anyone of them break away in the first few miles of the last day to get the podium or yellow jersey. To me it seems awfully stupid to have the yellow jersey and podium decided on the day before the last stage. Of course if on the final day, the yellow jersey rider is like a minute or so ahead, then he can relax but still there a lot of remaining placings that should be contested.

For that matter, I think the last day should always be an ITT, just like Lemond v. Fignon. That would really shake up the top 5 placings.
 

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its a gentlemans agreement, traditions etc, but the main reason that the gc guys dont attack is the spinters and their teams are doing 60km+ for the last few kms and to get a win over them let alone 8 seconds is well not going to happen even if your sparticas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Dave for the answer. I just think it would be so dejecting for the 2nd place guy on the last day be 3 seconds behind but can do nothing about. Perhaps it may be that razor thin close this year.
 

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yeah....dave is right....there is a gentlemans agreement, but even if there wasn't, the last day is so fast that the GC guys have almost no hope of being able to win or come in the top few places...its generally a bunch sprint because of the perfect setup for that, and the speeds are insane......saw it live last year and I was blown away!
 

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ping771, I feel that you're being a little dense.

The GC is decided by an ITT, whether it's on Saturday or Sunday. Losing is a dejecting experience, whether it happens on a Saturday or a Sunday.

There are few moments more inspiring in cycling than seeing the champion of the Tour de France being shuttled into Paris by his teammates. You would give that up by having the time trial on the final day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Pretender. What I mean is that on the last day if the placings are so close, why not get your team to pull the GC all the way to the finish. Why let the sprinters get a stage win on the last day? If I was a sprinter or rouleur, and my GC teammate was within 2-5 seconds from first overall, I'd fight tooth and nail to get him up there. I think if it was that close, the riders should just let the GC contenders fight it out at the end. Again, I'm just speaking in extreme hypotheticals.

Regarding the ITT scenario, my point is this: If the last stage is an ITT and the gap between the 1st and 2nd place guy is say 5 seconds, you better believe that each rider will be doing their damnedest to either preserve the lead or take it.(For that matter, I'm sure everyone in the top ten would be trying to go up in final placing on the last day in this scenario.) Yet, if the final day is what it is now, i.e., just a race, then no one fights for even 1 second. My question is why should the nature of the stage be determinative of whether to challenge or not.

What if for some coincidence the 1st and 2nd place rider were dead even on the last day? Would they let them race it out on the last day? Or would they decide who has more points or a better ITT?

I "understand" the rules in that I know what they are. What I don't understand is the rationale.
 

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ping771 said:
Why let the sprinters get a stage win on the last day?
Here is the stage profile:



Surely you know that everyone finishing in the same group gets the same time for that stage. So even if, for example, Cadel leads Schleck by a only second after Saturday's time trial, and CSC decided to contest the race on Sunday, the end result would be exactly the same: Cadel wins by a second. The only difference would be that CSC look like asses.

I don't know why this bothers some people so much.
 

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you seem to be forgetting that even if you dont win the stage, you could possibly win those 3 seconds back if your team was able to cause a split in the peloton while enroute to the finish. this is possible if there are some heavy winds and your team gets helps in causing some eschelons to form.

however, it is poor sportsmasnship to do so. when they have time bouses it makes the situation even stickier. two years ago vino leap-frogged levi in the standings by nabbing a time bonus before reaching paris. while kinda funny, in a sad way, it was considered poor form by many people.
 

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ping771 said:
I "understand" the rules in that I know what they are. What I don't understand is the rationale.
The rationale is this: in order to win a stage from a break, the rider has to be totally commited to making it or die. Look at the results from riders in a break and you'll see if they don't stay away, they usually lose time for the day. Therefore, for riders in position to podium, there is little chance of succesfully gaining time on a competitor while there is a high probablility of losing many places in the final standings. The risk/reward ratio means it doesn't make sense to risk everything for the slight chance of moving up.

It has nothing to do with gentleman's agreements.
 

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pretender said:
The only difference would be that CSC look like asses.
Even if they win by causing the peloton to split?
And what if they did this, won the CG by doing so, and set up somebody like Fabian for the sprint victory outta that break??? Still bad form, huh...

I can see the pomp & circumstance is probably a good thing for the GC winner and his team on the final stage, but I can also see where the Tour is a fight, and until the bell rings, you have a chance to knock out your opponent. (sorry I watched Million Dollar baby last night)
 

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Not only is the finish flat, but it's 8 laps around the Champs Elysees, so any wind advantage/echeloning that might happen is negated. Even a team as strong as CSC with engines like Cancellara, Voigt, and Arvesen isn't getting away.

There seems to be an inordinate number of questions about fighting it out until the last day this year. Probably because it's so close on GC and we Americans like buzzer beaters and bottom-of-the-ninth home runs. FWIW, consider Saturday's ITT the ninth inning, and Sunday to be a trophy presentation.
 

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yeah, the last time they switched it up and had the ITT on the last day it was really boring. That 1989 finish was a real sleeper-something like an American beating a french guy by 8 seconds overall or something. Yawn...

you guys are also forgetting that the so-called gentleman's agreement is for the first lap into Paris. After that, it's every man for himself. Breaks do get away -- it's a slight rise one way on the Champs Elysees with a turnaround at the top - lots of breaks get established there. Sprinter teams usually bring them back. Jeff Pierce gapped the field solo one year.
 

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Yea, nobody has rode away on the final lap in Paris in eons. Except for 2 years ago. Didnt someone ride away from the supposedly inescapable peloton like they were standing still just a couple years ago on the final lap (2005)!! I mean he was likely on drugs, but then again, so were alot of them. I wouldnt say it cant be done when it just was done by a lesser man than Cancellara (e.g.) a couple years ago.
 

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bigmig19 said:
Yea, nobody has rode away on the final lap in Paris in eons. Except for 2 years ago. Didnt someone ride away from the supposedly inescapable peloton like they were standing still just a couple years ago on the final lap (2005)!! I mean he was likely on drugs, but then again, so were alot of them. I wouldnt say it cant be done when it just was done by a lesser man than Cancellara (e.g.) a couple years ago.
And despite Vino's heroic effort, the top 43 riders still got the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I forgot those time bonuses. That could make it more complicated in the end if it comes down to a few seconds.

weltyed said:
you seem to be forgetting that even if you dont win the stage, you could possibly win those 3 seconds back if your team was able to cause a split in the peloton while enroute to the finish. this is possible if there are some heavy winds and your team gets helps in causing some eschelons to form.

however, it is poor sportsmasnship to do so. when they have time bouses it makes the situation even stickier. two years ago vino leap-frogged levi in the standings by nabbing a time bonus before reaching paris. while kinda funny, in a sad way, it was considered poor form by many people.
 
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