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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm no expert fan of pro cycling. But I have followed the tour (casually) with interest for many years, and this year, I've been keeping up with the Giro via the net and the VS coverage on Sundays (via my dvr).

These two grand tours seem similar, but I get a different "vibe" from the Italian race..A little more of a race in Italy, somewhat more about putting the riders onto really difficult stages and getting the best possible teams to come race. The Giro seems a bit less "full of itself" if that makes any sense.. The French race seems more nationalistic and the course seems a little more refined..if you can call some 20+ days on a bike "refined".

What say you all? Which is the better race/happening/event? Why? If you had the time and money, which route would you most like to ride with your racing buddies?

How come Euro RVs are so much smaller than the behemoths we see here in the USA? never mind that last..
Don Hanson
 

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First off, the Giro is a highly regarded cycling spectacle for sure but it's more favored by Italian riders to an extent with some of these riders never even going for it at the Tour.

At Le Tour, it would always be the most famous cycling race ever, it would always be 'the one' and the most coveted by general classification guys so to speak.

Also, some riders use the Giro as a warm up for the Tour and drop out half way or something like that.

As far as the RVs go, err, the roads up the mountains are narrow so you need a small one? : )
 

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Gnarly 928 said:
I'm no expert fan of pro cycling. But I have followed the tour (casually) with interest for many years, and this year, I've been keeping up with the Giro via the net and the VS coverage on Sundays (via my dvr).

These two grand tours seem similar, but I get a different "vibe" from the Italian race..A little more of a race in Italy, somewhat more about putting the riders onto really difficult stages and getting the best possible teams to come race. The Giro seems a bit less "full of itself" if that makes any sense.. The French race seems more nationalistic and the course seems a little more refined..if you can call some 20+ days on a bike "refined".
Hi Don!

I agree. I've been wating La Tour for years on OLN then Verses, but this is my first year watched the Giro. (thanks to http://cyclingfans.com/ Giro player.) What an exciting race it is! And you're right, it does have a totally different feel to it. It seems less "staged" (pun intended) somehow. I'm not sure about it being less nationalisitic though, but definitely less refined and maybe a bit more fun! (For those of us watching, not for those trying to ride up the monster hills I mean. LOL!)

Patti
 

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I grew up in awe of the Tour, but have since enjoyed the Giro more because somehow it seems less contrived. The Tour has also become a bit formulaic: prologue, flat stages, ITT, mountains, flat stages, more mountains, ITT, final stage, the end. The Giro seems more unpredictable, more varied, and has one or two idiosyncrasies that make it compelling. I, for one, really enjoy it when the organisers use unpaved roads and new climbs.
 

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gizzard said:
I grew up in awe of the Tour, but have since enjoyed the Giro more because somehow it seems less contrived. The Tour has also become a bit formulaic: prologue, flat stages, ITT, mountains, flat stages, more mountains, ITT, final stage, the end. The Giro seems more unpredictable, more varied, and has one or two idiosyncrasies that make it compelling. I, for one, really enjoy it when the organisers use unpaved roads and new climbs.
You're not kidding about the unpaved roads. I couldn't believe that unpaved section for the TT yesterday! IMO it only added to the excitement.

Patti
 

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Patti said:
You're not kidding about the unpaved roads. I couldn't believe that unpaved section for the TT yesterday! IMO it only added to the excitement.

Patti
If you thought yesterday was epic, you should check out stage 19 of the 2005 Giro. Not only was it brutal, but Simoni and Savoldelli played cat and mouse all day long in what turned out to be one of the best stages I can remember. Truly epic. Here's the cyclingnews.com link:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2005//giro05/?id=results/giro0519
 

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gizzard said:
If you thought yesterday was epic, you should check out stage 19 of the 2005 Giro. Not only was it brutal, but Simoni and Savoldelli played cat and mouse all day long in what turned out to be one of the best stages I can remember. Truly epic. Here's the cyclingnews.com link:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2005//giro05/?id=results/giro0519
It sounds like it was VERY exciting. Thanks for sharing the link. :thumbsup:

Patti
 

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I watched my first piece of a Giro live last year stationed in La Maddalena. The prologue was there and the TTT finish (last 100m) was on cobbles. These are the same cobbles that made me buy new tires on a brand new car with 4000 miles. Amazing finish and a few serious crashes. It was cool to ride the same route around the island that the Giro had twice a week as well (although in about twice as much time as the Liquigas squad).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Maybe, at the risk of seeming bigotted, the different 'vibe' can be traced to the two quite different national characters of the two countrie's peoples. I'd best not try to define the differences between the French and the Italians, though.

It is pretty cool, some of the routes I've seen in this year's Giro. Very interesting cycling roads and quite a good test for racer's overall. I also like the fact that the Giro didn't have a week of flat sprinters only stages at the start, like seems to be the formula for the Tour.

its all good,
Don Hanson
 

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This probably won't make a great amount of sense, but the TdF seems like a celebration of France and of the race, while the Giro feels like a race first, then a celebration.

With all the things going on the past several years (Armstrong dominance, doping, formula, etc.), I have found myself enjoying the Giro more and more.
 

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New to Cycling...

Magsdad said:
This probably won't make a great amount of sense, but the TdF seems like a celebration of France and of the race, while the Giro feels like a race first, then a celebration.

With all the things going on the past several years (Armstrong dominance, doping, formula, etc.), I have found myself enjoying the Giro more and more.
I 2nd that E motion! All in favor ... APPROVED! ...

I started out watching the TFD's and believed it to be the SuperBowl of cycling... coupled with Lance, it was a no brainer to be sucked into the hype and admiration of the race... However as I have been dispapointed with the years of TFD scandal, and disapointment in recent years, AND the exclusion of Astana this year... The sweet grapes of France are SOUR and have withered on the vine for me... I now enjoy the Classics, and this year The Giro.... I plan on buying the Giro pack - 2003-2006 and cathing up ... Probably will pay just enough attention to the TDF this year, but will not watch or buy the DVD as I have in the past....

Joe Reganato Jr
Phila Pa.
 

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As others have noted, the Giro organizers seem to be a little more creative with the route than the TdF organizers. I prefer the Giro since it seems like the recent Giro routes seem to do the best job of pushing the riders to their limit.
 

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Jens <a href="http://www.velonews.com/article/76720">doesn't</a> concur.
<i>It’s a stupid race - I don’t like it! We are at a ski area! Leave it to the mountain bikers!” said an angry Voigt. </i>

it was a bit much this year, especially when it's supposed to be some sort of page turning season in which competition is "clean". read the quote from gasparotto after jens's diatribe. the route was enough but 10 long transfers made it a farce.
 

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I've been watching both the Giro and Le Tour for a while now and I think that the guys at the Giro took a HUGE step by letting Astana race, as far as I'm concerned the French are just a bunch of pussies who like to complain a lot, I think the Italians stepped it up big time this year and the Giro is by far my favorite tour race to watch now. Heck, no matter who wins Le Tour this year, there will always be the "But Astana wasn't there, so you can't say you had all the best teams racing"
 

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Gnarly 928 said:
What say you all? Which is the better race/happening/event? Why? If you had the time and money, which route would you most like to ride with your racing buddies?
I have been to the Tour de France several times; my only exposure to the Giro has been via television (I used to watch it every day when OLN had daily coverage on television). I think that the timing of the two events favors the Tour in several respects. First, from a racing perspective, the Giro comes earlier in the season and some riders are not a their full potential. Although it is the ultimate race for many Italian riders and teams, the Giro effectively is a training ride for others. No one does the Tour to train for some other ride. Second, many more people take vacation time in July than they do in May. The crowds by the side of the road at the Tour appear to be much larger than those of the Giro; also it seems as if everyone in France who is not by the side of the road is watching the Tour on television in a bar or cafe. Also, because of vacation timing, a lot of people from outside of France travel to see the Tour.

Both France and Italy are great countries to visit and have great cycling cultures. I would like to see both races and ride parts of each. Trying to compare the two of them is like trying to compare, say, Provence and Tuscany. Both regions have a distinctive feel, but to say that one is better than the other is difficult.
 

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Le Tour is the biggest and most important race and attracts the best riders, the Giro, however, has been the superior and more exciting race for some time. IMO of course.

Think of it like the NFL: Often times, the NFC and AFC championship games are far more exciting than the Super Bowl itself. However, the ultimate prize of every team is the Super Bowl, not just the NFC or AFC crown. The Super Bowl may not always be the best game, but it is clearly THE game.

The Giro and Tour relationship is different in that they are separate prizes unto themselves, but you get the point.
 

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DRLski said:
I've been watching both the Giro and Le Tour for a while now and I think that the guys at the Giro took a HUGE step by letting Astana race, as far as I'm concerned the French are just a bunch of pussies who like to complain a lot, I think the Italians stepped it up big time this year and the Giro is by far my favorite tour race to watch now. Heck, no matter who wins Le Tour this year, there will always be the "But Astana wasn't there, so you can't say you had all the best teams racing"
The French are the ones actually taking the biggest risk at this point. Although I imagine the rest will come right along with them, they are not fools. Don't forget who it was that stood up and did a race without the UCI which effectively killed the ProTour. It wasn't the big Italian, Spanish (who argueably have sufferd the most as a result of destroyed races) or Belgian organizer.
 
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