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i have only been following pro cycling for a few years, so i am still a newbie at this. but it seems this year's tour has been far more exciting. several different people donning the maillot jaune, exciting sprint finishes, and even exciting intermediate sprints a la hincapie doin the math (which suprised me, as he is not one known for his race tactics). in the past, i have not really paid too much attention to the first few stages, other than large drops in GC standings or crashes.

my question: does this tour seem more exciting because there is no clear favorite, the commentators (oln) are explaining other aspects of the race better now that lance is gone, or has this excitement always been there and i am just learning to appreciate the intermediate sprints and time bonuses?
 

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This is pretty standard for the first week of the Tour. Lots of lead changes and people trying to nick a few seconds at the sprints just to get a chance to wear the Yellow Jersey.

You are probably just starting to appreciate the finer points of the race more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i think it also has to do with being able to watch the entire race. in the past i was only able to see the clipped show at the end of the day. i have been able to watch the morning coverage of each stage so far this week, until today. i have to rely on CN while at work.

anyway, i dont recall the giro being like this this past year, but i was only able to read it and see th eweekend coverage.
 

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If Lance were in the Tour this year, he probably would not be in yellow. With not TTT the first week and no TT until stage 7, the organizers have set it up to give sprinters the chance to pass around the jersey the first week.

If there is a difference in the quality of the race post-Lance (and without Basso et al.), good or bad, it'll be apparent next week. I think it'll be a very exciting Tour. Without many true climbers left or as many high mountain passes, it'll probably come down to the final TT and a few seconds either way. I don't see anyone running away with the thing in the mountains. Maybe Levi, but not likely.
 

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If you feel the Tour has been more exciting so far, it's got nothing to do with Lance since things wouldn't be any different if he was in the race. However, I think it will be more exciting when the mountains come not just b/c Lance is missing but b/c there are no clear favorites.

The GC battle in the Giro was boring this year b/c Basso was so dominant and that was even with Simoni who is always an attacking rider at least making it somewhat interesting.
 

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Although I agree that the two time trials (especially the last one) will be very important, I think this years tour WILL be decided in the mountains. Should be interesting either way.

It would be great to see big George hang on to the climbers in the mountains, but I have my doubts. Also, don't forget about the chicken. I see him putting the hurt on some GC contenders next few weeks. Too bad Valverde is out, he is always interesting going uphill. I'm definately more excited about the Tour this year. No clear favorite for the GC.
 
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I thought it was a bit more exciting in the first week last year, but I'm really looking forward to the next TT and then the mountains. The end of the stages are pretty exciting though.
 

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This is pretty much how it goes the first week.

I was a little excited to see The Tour without Lance, but it seemed like it was going to be a race between Basso and Ullrich. Now that they are out, it seems that there are quite a few riders that have a reasonable chance at winning.
 

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today was the first day

anything 'different' happened in a post LA TdF. Johann was able to put a rider in a break in the first week. Otherwise this tour has gone off exactly as it would have had LA been there.
 

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weltyed said:
i have only been following pro cycling for a few years, so i am still a newbie at this. but it seems this year's tour has been far more exciting. several different people donning the maillot jaune, exciting sprint finishes, and even exciting intermediate sprints......?
Like people have been saying, this first week has been going on as per it usually does.

Why it may seem more exciting, at least in my opinion, is that the OLN coverage is not stuck with having to do a Lance Money Shot every few minutes. Because, fo the most part, the casual viewers (who make up a giant part of the OLN demographic) were there to see LA, and OLN/Discovery knew that and indulged them.

That, and the wide-openess of the race this year make the whole thing more exciting.

As far as the importance of the TT vs the mountains, I think that in modern times, unless you were as dominating in the TTs as Big Mig, the race is decided in the mountains. Because, unless you crash (e.g. Rasmussen), your not going to lose (relatively) massive amounts of time in a mostly flat TT, even if they're fairly long. But in the mountains, if you crack early, you can lose LARGE swaths of time. Hincapie is a good TT man, but he's no Mig, so he'll have to hang on in the mountains like he never has before.

Of course, if Johan is still supporting him as their leader in the last week, the Disco team certainly has the experience to lead him through the cols. But can he do it? More importantly, how much of a gap will he have created for himself after the second TT? And how will other teams treat him at that point? All the other teams are used to attacking Disco - it's all they've known for the past seven years! And if George gets attacked and isolated in the mountains.....
 

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ChilliConCarnage said:
Why it may seem more exciting, at least in my opinion, is that the OLN coverage is not stuck with having to do a Lance Money Shot every few minutes. Because, fo the most part, the casual viewers (who make up a giant part of the OLN demographic) were there to see LA, and OLN/Discovery knew that and indulged them.
OLN does not control the camera feed. If anything, there was too much France and too little Lance from the camera feeds in the flat stages the last seven years. Of course, the announcers talked about him incessently whether the camera was on him or not.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
If you feel the Tour has been more exciting so far, it's got nothing to do with Lance since things wouldn't be any different if he was in the race. However, I think it will be more exciting when the mountains come not just b/c Lance is missing but b/c there are no clear favorites.

The GC battle in the Giro was boring this year b/c Basso was so dominant and that was even with Simoni who is always an attacking rider at least making it somewhat interesting.
Yeah good point. I said in another thread "With no Lance the tour = exciting" but in reality it will only once the mountains come that that will come to light. We have no idea who is going to lead. Is it going to be All disco, is Cadel Evans going to be on fire or are the Spaniards going to take charge? No one knows and that is what will make this tour exciting.
 
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