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A light TdF?

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Dedelou said:


I am not so sure that what makes the TDF boring has anything to do with the route alone. I agree with those who said part of the problem is the size of the organization and what they represent. Compared to the Giro , the tour remains a giant, the racing is faster, the stages are longer, the competition stacked with the best riders and yet the commercial pull seems to skew everything to collectively calculated mode that spoil the excitement.

It's more that the Tour is so important that nobody wants to risk being out of the mix. At the Giro you'll have a mix of Italian teams who only get that as their one chance to shine in the year, and they want to be seen. They also invite teams of nothing but pure climbers, who often bring a lot of excitement to the race. You also have people who are only using it to warm up for the Tour, so race the first half hard, to test themselves. At the Vuelta, you have people who are dropping out for worlds prep, so you see strong riders losing time and getting into escapes if it helps their preparation (see Cunego last year or Ballan in '08), and you have some quite small ProConti teams showing up who want to impress.

The Tour is a victim of its own success; it's becoming increasingly difficult for the 'little team' to get an invite, and when they do give their national teams invites, the teams are suited to racing all round France, including lots and lots of flat races in the north, which puts them at a disadvantage regarding competing overall compared to the teams only racing the Italian and Spanish calendars. And because nobody is using it to prepare for anything else, everybody has the intention of going for 21 days, which means they won't take major risks in the first two weeks unless they have to; this also means that the péloton will seldom take the risk of letting the break get 15 minutes up the road and will control it much more rigidly, which removes an aspect of unpredictability from many stages. Last but not least, you have the desire not so much to win, but to NOT LOSE. People like Wiggins know in their heart of hearts that they won't win the Tour de France this year, but they are still determined to get that high placing. As a result they'll only race aggressively once their high placing is assured; anything less than a high placing will be regarded as a failure, so they have to ride to protect that rather than aim higher with a shoot for the stars approach. And the successful results of Bruyneel has made that conservative high placement something to aspire to.
 
christianpetrin said:
I´ve been taking a look at this year TdF stages and am shocked that the stages seem not as hard as they are used to be, despite several riders saying this year tour is much harder than last year.

Mean, just 3 mountain top finishes and still all short in length (under 200k). But lots of mountain stages with mountains far from the finish.

I´m guessing this year´s winner will win by a quite small advantage. No way Contador will win it by a four minute margin again. He should win it by one, maybe two minutes margin at most.

But still think it should be an exciting race, but thanks to the riders, not the route.

There is only one really tough grand tour each year and it is earlier and in Italia. The TdF is becoming more like a french grand fondo.
 
craig1985 said:
So if you guys could design the Tour de France route for this year, what would you do? If you have to start in Rotterdam (and the prolouge) and end in Paris, how would you go about it?

It's one to be critical, another to put your money where your mouth is and come up with something better. If I can mapmyride sorted, I will come up with something.

Go to the Cycling Manager forum, look at the previous Pro Cycling Manager versions and the fan-made Tour de France variants. Plenty of cool and much more exciting Tours are made there by members.

The real Tour de France doesn't go there because either a) the finishing city doesn't have the money to organise/buy the finish b) the TDF can't put their large circus there
It's all about $$$
 
rhubroma said:
Anything but the first ten days in northern France!

Since my voice counts for zero, though, it would be useless to "plan" a Tour. But have fun with it.

Less Roman roads and more Massif Central. Cantal. Auvergne. Corrèze. Landes.

The dangerous wilderness where water is scarce and barely a century ago the inhabitants were even suspicious of the French.

If you want a peloton passing through the brutal soul and the bruised romantic heart of France, this is where it's at. :cool:
 
Nov 17, 2009
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craig1985 said:
So if you guys could design the Tour de France route for this year, what would you do? If you have to start in Rotterdam (and the prolouge) and end in Paris, how would you go about it?

It's one to be critical, another to put your money where your mouth is and come up with something better. If I can mapmyride sorted, I will come up with something.

I don't know if I have the time or knowledge to do this sort of thing... but these are some stages I'd put in:

1. A stage that contains the last 150km from Paris-Roubaix.
2. Ventoux
PROFIL.gif

3. Tourmalet
PROFIL.gif

4. Alpe d'Huez
PROFIL.gif

5. La Plagne
elev16.gif

6. Alpe d'Huez ITT
7. A 60km mostly flat ITT.
8. A 30km hilly ITT.
9. A short (20km?) TTT to start the race.
10. Finish in Paris.

Add a couple more mountain stages with downhill finishes, a scattering of hilly-classic type stages and a good 6 or 7 sprint/transition stages.

Maybe there's some way to tie that together into a route... perhaps drop one of the above for Hautacam.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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Of course there are some issues... like how two use the same side of the Galibier... I was just copying some interesting stages from previous tours.
 
I am sure there are reasons for it but i feel that climbs in the Alpes-Maritimes are underused. Why not a stage into say Sospel with Turini and Braus as the 2 last climbs?

15 km @ 7% + 30 km descent + 10 km @ 6.4% + 10 km descent

There is a 100th anniversary of the Monte Carlo rally next year, why not make a little tribute to those roads ;)
 
Apr 8, 2010
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I think the route is well composed this year. I enjoy the racing even when it's not about the GC. MTF are nice but more often than not they're not really that exciting. They are very predictable in general. I'm more excited about the stages that can turn out to be anything.
A MTF usually doesn't blow up before the last climb and then it will be easy to control for the strongest rider.
 
May 14, 2009
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Puy De Dome

rhubroma said:
Well they arrive on Mt. Ventoux and there isn't much space up there.
:rolleyes:

I'm not disagreeing with you that the Tour has outgrown itself, however, that is no excuse (or shouldn't be) to not plan more exciting routes for the fans.

Bring back the Puy De Dome stage. Best of the all. Such a nice area as well.
 
Jun 29, 2009
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You definitely don't need an HC MTF finish for exciting racing.
Still remember Stage 8 of the '05 tour quite vividly -- wasn't even considered a mountain stage. Just a Cat 2 climb (Col de la Schlucht) 30 km or so from the finish, but I was on the edge of my seat.
Or (to the point of others in this thread), maybe it was just exciting because it was one of the few times in 7 years that Pharmstrong's team couldn't control the race...
 
Jun 30, 2009
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i'll agree with most everyone on this board. a mixture of 7ish mountain stages (and, sorry, i need at least 4 mountaintop finishes), 5ish transition/classic/the breakaway can make it sections, 2 time trials about 50k each, and 6 or so sprint stages. sorry, that's what made for some good tours in the past.

the tourmalet's just not the tourmalet when it's 70k from the finish (i'm looking at you, 2009). 3 mountaintop finishes and only one time trial? sorry, that's got "boring tour" written all over it.

having said all that, here's my 2010 stage-by stage preview:

prologue: cool, a parade.
stage 1: guess what? it's a sprint. remember that word.
stage 2: the breakaway gets 5 minutes. they come back. it's a sprint.
stage 3: sweet! cobbles! still a sprint.
stage 4: welcome to sprintsville. population: you
stage 5: finally not a sprint. psych! it's a sprint.
stage 6: knock knock. who's there? a sprint.
stage 7: watch radioshack lead the intact peloton up a cat. 2 climb.
stage 8: holy ****! a mountain! we here the word "GC" for the first time.
rest 1: who's got the nicest bus: saxo or sky?
stage 9: lance-lead rider protest on a dangerous downhill finish. fun.
stage 10: fun stage. if by fun you mean GC-irrelevant.
stage 11: i bet you missed sprinting. it missed you, too.
stage 12: a breakaway succeeds as radioshack bores the peloton to death.
stage 13: enough with the breakaways. time for a sprint.
stage 14: "control the peloton" is the new "win the stage".
stage 15: let's all do stage 9 again.
stage 16: some out-of-contention frenchman grabs polkadot points.
rest 2: get a load of all these custom bikes lance has.
stage 17: i don't understand how we're supposed to sprint up this thing.
stage 18: are you there, god? it's me, sprint.
stage 19: 25k time trial, 26k of people waiting around.
stage 20: the gc battle takes shape.
=======================


that is all.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
ilillillli said:
i'll agree with most everyone on this board. a mixture of 7ish mountain stages (and, sorry, i need at least 4 mountaintop finishes), 5ish transition/classic/the breakaway can make it sections, 2 time trials about 50k each, and 6 or so sprint stages. sorry, that's what made for some good tours in the past.

the tourmalet's just not the tourmalet when it's 70k from the finish (i'm looking at you, 2009). 3 mountaintop finishes and only one time trial? sorry, that's got "boring tour" written all over it.

having said all that, here's my 2010 stage-by stage preview:

prologue: cool, a parade.
stage 1: guess what? it's a sprint. remember that word.
stage 2: the breakaway gets 5 minutes. they come back. it's a sprint.
stage 3: sweet! cobbles! still a sprint.
stage 4: welcome to sprintsville. population: you
stage 5: finally not a sprint. psych! it's a sprint.
stage 6: knock knock. who's there? a sprint.
stage 7: watch radioshack lead the intact peloton up a cat. 2 climb.
stage 8: holy ****! a mountain! we here the word "GC" for the first time.
rest 1: who's got the nicest bus: saxo or sky?
stage 9: lance-lead rider protest on a dangerous downhill finish. fun.
stage 10: fun stage. if by fun you mean GC-irrelevant.
stage 11: i bet you missed sprinting. it missed you, too.
stage 12: a breakaway succeeds as radioshack bores the peloton to death.
stage 13: enough with the breakaways. time for a sprint.
stage 14: "control the peloton" is the new "win the stage".
stage 15: let's all do stage 9 again.
stage 16: some out-of-contention frenchman grabs polkadot points.
rest 2: get a load of all these custom bikes lance has.
stage 17: i don't understand how we're supposed to sprint up this thing.
stage 18: are you there, god? it's me, sprint.
stage 19: 25k time trial, 26k of people waiting around.
stage 20: the gc battle takes shape.
=======================


that is all.

Freaking hilarious!

I still think stage 3 will be ridden more like a classic race and less like a Tour stage, but maybe that is just wishful thinking?
 
Mar 22, 2010
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ilillillli said:
i'll agree with most everyone on this board. a mixture of 7ish mountain stages (and, sorry, i need at least 4 mountaintop finishes), 5ish transition/classic/the breakaway can make it sections, 2 time trials about 50k each, and 6 or so sprint stages. sorry, that's what made for some good tours in the past.

the tourmalet's just not the tourmalet when it's 70k from the finish (i'm looking at you, 2009). 3 mountaintop finishes and only one time trial? sorry, that's got "boring tour" written all over it.

having said all that, here's my 2010 stage-by stage preview:

prologue: cool, a parade.
stage 1: guess what? it's a sprint. remember that word.
stage 2: the breakaway gets 5 minutes. they come back. it's a sprint.
stage 3: sweet! cobbles! still a sprint.
stage 4: welcome to sprintsville. population: you
stage 5: finally not a sprint. psych! it's a sprint.
stage 6: knock knock. who's there? a sprint.
stage 7: watch radioshack lead the intact peloton up a cat. 2 climb.
stage 8: holy ****! a mountain! we here the word "GC" for the first time.
rest 1: who's got the nicest bus: saxo or sky?
stage 9: lance-lead rider protest on a dangerous downhill finish. fun.
stage 10: fun stage. if by fun you mean GC-irrelevant.
stage 11: i bet you missed sprinting. it missed you, too.
stage 12: a breakaway succeeds as radioshack bores the peloton to death.
stage 13: enough with the breakaways. time for a sprint.
stage 14: "control the peloton" is the new "win the stage".
stage 15: let's all do stage 9 again.
stage 16: some out-of-contention frenchman grabs polkadot points.
rest 2: get a load of all these custom bikes lance has.
stage 17: i don't understand how we're supposed to sprint up this thing.
stage 18: are you there, god? it's me, sprint.
stage 19: 25k time trial, 26k of people waiting around.
stage 20: the gc battle takes shape.
=======================


that is all.

post of the day nominee
 
ilillillli said:
i'll agree with most everyone on this board. a mixture of 7ish mountain stages (and, sorry, i need at least 4 mountaintop finishes), 5ish transition/classic/the breakaway can make it sections, 2 time trials about 50k each, and 6 or so sprint stages. sorry, that's what made for some good tours in the past.

the tourmalet's just not the tourmalet when it's 70k from the finish (i'm looking at you, 2009). 3 mountaintop finishes and only one time trial? sorry, that's got "boring tour" written all over it.

having said all that, here's my 2010 stage-by stage preview:

prologue: cool, a parade.
stage 1: guess what? it's a sprint. remember that word.
stage 2: the breakaway gets 5 minutes. they come back. it's a sprint.
stage 3: sweet! cobbles! still a sprint.
stage 4: welcome to sprintsville. population: you
stage 5: finally not a sprint. psych! it's a sprint.
stage 6: knock knock. who's there? a sprint.
stage 7: watch radioshack lead the intact peloton up a cat. 2 climb.
stage 8: holy ****! a mountain! we here the word "GC" for the first time.
rest 1: who's got the nicest bus: saxo or sky?
stage 9: lance-lead rider protest on a dangerous downhill finish. fun.
stage 10: fun stage. if by fun you mean GC-irrelevant.
stage 11: i bet you missed sprinting. it missed you, too.
stage 12: a breakaway succeeds as radioshack bores the peloton to death.
stage 13: enough with the breakaways. time for a sprint.
stage 14: "control the peloton" is the new "win the stage".
stage 15: let's all do stage 9 again.
stage 16: some out-of-contention frenchman grabs polkadot points.
rest 2: get a load of all these custom bikes lance has.
stage 17: i don't understand how we're supposed to sprint up this thing.
stage 18: are you there, god? it's me, sprint.
stage 19: 25k time trial, 26k of people waiting around.
stage 20: the gc battle takes shape.
=======================


that is all.

Hilarious. Knock, knock. Who's there? Sprint./Are you there god? It's me, sprint. LMAO.:D:p I hope you were cracking up while you were writing this...
 
Apr 8, 2010
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ilillillli said:
i'll agree with most everyone on this board. a mixture of 7ish mountain stages (and, sorry, i need at least 4 mountaintop finishes), 5ish transition/classic/the breakaway can make it sections, 2 time trials about 50k each, and 6 or so sprint stages. sorry, that's what made for some good tours in the past.
Isn't that pretty much the 2010 route except for one tt (and one mtf if you don't count stage 7 wich I guess you don't.)?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I have to say, stage 16 just p!sses me off. Did they not remember how HORRIBLE stage 9 of last year's tour was? Its like they said "hey, that turned out so unexciting and crappy last year, lets see if we can do something similar this year...and...wait for this guys, you are not going to believe the idea I just had...we will include the TOURMALET AS PART OF IT.....AGAIN!!!"
 
Thoughtforfood said:
I have to say, stage 16 just p!sses me off. Did they not remember how HORRIBLE stage 9 of last year's tour was? Its like they said "hey, that turned out so unexciting and crappy last year, lets see if we can do something similar this year...and...wait for this guys, you are not going to believe the idea I just had...we will include the TOURMALET AS PART OF IT.....AGAIN!!!"

At least this time they might just have included enough climbing to shake the likes of Freire and Rojas. When a sprint for 3rd occurs in a HC mountain stage, and it involves genuine sprinters, you've made a mess of things.
 
kurtinsc said:
I don't know if I have the time or knowledge to do this sort of thing... but these are some stages I'd put in:

1. A stage that contains the last 150km from Paris-Roubaix.
2. Ventoux
PROFIL.gif

3. Tourmalet
PROFIL.gif

4. Alpe d'Huez
PROFIL.gif

5. La Plagne
elev16.gif

6. Alpe d'Huez ITT
7. A 60km mostly flat ITT.
8. A 30km hilly ITT.
9. A short (20km?) TTT to start the race.
10. Finish in Paris.

Add a couple more mountain stages with downhill finishes, a scattering of hilly-classic type stages and a good 6 or 7 sprint/transition stages.

Maybe there's some way to tie that together into a route... perhaps drop one of the above for Hautacam.


You cant have alp de huez and ventoux every tour de france. They had ventoux last year and they generally have alp every 2 years so there are years like 2010 when they need to use other routes as well
 
Jun 30, 2009
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Magnus said:
Isn't that pretty much the 2010 route except for one tt (and one mtf if you don't count stage 7 wich I guess you don't.)?

i guess it's "pretty much" with the exception of fewer mountaintop finishes, fewer time trials, more sprint stages and a few "transition" stages that will likely be GC-neutral.

looking back on the list of stages, it actually looks better than i remember it. i think it's really going to be about how aggressive the teams are. if they're "in it to win it" (which i hope astana will try) this could be an exciting parcours. but if the teams decide to do a "control the peloton" thing like saxo and radioshack seem to love then this thing could be a real snoozer.

i just like the mountaintop finishes and the tt's because at least they force something to happen. "transitions" can go either way.

thanks for the kind words, y'all.
 
Nov 17, 2009
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The Hitch said:
You cant have alp de huez and ventoux every tour de france. They had ventoux last year and they generally have alp every 2 years so there are years like 2010 when they need to use other routes as well

Why not?

We have the same last stage every year... as far as I can tell there's no real reason why you couldn't pick 2-3 other historic climbs and have finishes there every year as well... other then the directors wanting to mix things up.

Mixing things up is fine... but I'd love to see ventoux and the alpe d'huez on the agenda every year.
 
kurtinsc said:
Why not?

We have the same last stage every year... as far as I can tell there's no real reason why you couldn't pick 2-3 other historic climbs and have finishes there every year as well... other then the directors wanting to mix things up.

Mixing things up is fine... but I'd love to see ventoux and the alpe d'huez on the agenda every year.

If you used them every single year they'd lose their magic. Yes I know that they use them lots anyway, but it would feel less special to have a win on those mountaintops if you got a chance every year. And besides, there are lots and lots of hills and mountains, if you're limiting your options by guaranteeing what two of your MTFs are going to be, that makes the Tour route designing even more inflexible than it already is.

I'd like to see the Col de la Bonette and descent into Jausiers used again. That was great fun, finishing on a long and fast descent.
 

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