Critérium du Dauphiné 08/12 > 08/16/20

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Which rider will surprise the most?

  • Sepp Kuss

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Enric Mas

    Votes: 8 12.5%
  • Chris Froome

    Votes: 12 18.8%
  • Sergio Higuita

    Votes: 13 20.3%
  • Adam Yates

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Dylan Teuns

    Votes: 2 3.1%
  • Benoît Cosnefroy

    Votes: 3 4.7%
  • Guillaume Martin

    Votes: 10 15.6%
  • other, French

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • other, non-French

    Votes: 11 17.2%

  • Total voters
    64
  • Poll closed .
oh dear you misunderstood me.

u took my example of Froome’ s win and went on an anti-Froome rant deciding that my post was about being pro-Froome. U completely misunderstood my point. And I fully agree that in 99% of cases he has benefitted and been a proponent of rinse and repeat.

my whole argument is that MTFs are too often boring beyond belief with very little time differences and no one risking anything. My complaint is not pro or against any rider. It is about this idea and modern day’s view that stage races should just pile on more and more MTFs.

I have then offered three solutions to encourage more exciting riding.

those who have taken offense here have not once addressed my offered solutions.

they have instead fixated on the fact that somehow they believe I am supporting a rider they do not like or something.

pretty tiresome really.

Again, proposed solutions:

1. More mountain stages ending after descent to encourage attacks from further out with added incentive that - should they fail - attacking rider will likely not lose time for their efforts.

2. More up and down hilly, or mid-mountain, stages with no flat in between to help break up the trains.

3. Fewer riders per team.

4. And I will add another. More ITT KMs to increase time differences. That will force climbers to attack from further out. Closeness in GC rarely leads to exciting, attacking riding.
Medium mountains can definitely be good, but I think the extent to which they break trains is incredibly overrated. When it's really up and down all day, the strong team will just start slow and let the break go, and nothing much will happen unless their team leader gets recked when some other GC rider is linking up to the break. The Culoz stage was so hyped.

I think the biggest issue with race designs and passive races aren't necessarily even too little TT, but massive backloading, and relying too much on big MTFs, especially when MTFs are the grinding sort of climbs that don't cause selection naturally. I'm especially sick of the 'last GC stage really big MTF' cause it makes the entire 3 weeks more passive. On the other hand GTs that have had the hardest MTF early in the race or didn't even have really hard MTF at all have been way better. Examples would be the 2019 Vuelta and a bunch of Giro's.

A really big thing I've come to dislike is the 3 stage mountain blocks, cause they never all get action, and descent finishes are almost always underwhelming unless they're after the MTF. Compare the Romme/Colombiere stages of 2009 and 2018 for example. Ordering of stages is so crucial. Tourmalet/Cauterets 2015 for example is a stage that might be really good if it's the last stage in the block, but with Plateau de Beille looming, nevermind.

Another thing I've come to dislike is making stages extra hard without real purpose. It just slows racing down even more. Biggest offender for this was the 2018 AdH stage. I think there's actually quite a lot of these. Then there's "mountain stages" that get classified as such but climbs being too easy or too far from the finish will always make them pointless. There's almost always one such Pyrenees stage. Lastly there's using climbs that are just too easy for their position in the race, so the race never explodes like you want it to. See Aubisque 2018.

I've really come around to one climb stages and easier mountain stages if they're in the right place on the right time. Some cols are hard enough on their own, and I wouldn't mind seeing a stage with just Ventoux and then a descent finish for example. Asolo 2010 was great. The last 2 mountain stages of last Vuelta would never have worked if they had been in the first week with Asturias queen stage or something yet to come.

Lastly, I think climb profiles matter an insane lot. Climbs that are hardest towards the top as MTF need to die in a fire. Cat 1s that are steepest at the bottom are great make for great racing. See the Pyrenean MTFs of 2019.
 
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Medium mountains can definitely be good, but I think the extent to which they break trains is incredibly overrated. When it's really up and down all day, the strong team will just start slow and let the break go, and nothing much will happen unless their team leader gets recked when some other GC rider is linking up to the break. The Culoz stage was so hyped.

I think the biggest issue with race designs and passive races aren't necessarily even too little TT, but massive backloading, and relying too much on big MTFs, especially when MTFs are the grinding sort of climbs that don't cause selection naturally. I'm especially sick of the 'last GC stage really big MTF' cause it makes the entire 3 weeks more passive. On the other hand GTs that have had the hardest MTF early in the race or didn't even have really hard MTF at all have been way better. Examples would be the 2019 Vuelta and a bunch of Giro's.

A really big thing I've come to dislike is the 3 stage mountain blocks, cause they never all get action, and descent finishes are almost always underwhelming unless they're after the MTF. Compare the Romme/Colombiere stages of 2009 and 2018 for example. Ordering of stages is so crucial. Tourmalet/Cauterets 2015 for example is a stage that might be really good if it's the last stage in the block, but with Plateau de Beille looming, nevermind.

Another thing I've come to dislike is making stages extra hard without real purpose. It just slows racing down even more. Biggest offender for this was the 2018 AdH stage. I think there's actually quite a lot of these. Then there's "mountain stages" that get classified as such but climbs being too easy or too far from the finish will always make them pointless. There's almost always one such Pyrenees stage. Lastly there's using climbs that are just too easy for their position in the race, so the race never explodes like you want it to. See Aubisque 2018.

I've really come around to one climb stages and easier mountain stages if they're in the right place on the right time. Some cols are hard enough on their own, and I wouldn't mind seeing a stage with just Ventoux and then a descent finish for example. Asolo 2010 was great. The last 2 mountain stages of last Vuelta would never have worked if they had been in the first week with Asturias queen stage or something yet to come.

Lastly, I think climb profiles matter an insane lot. Climbs that are hardest towards the top as MTF need to die in a fire. Cat 1s that are steepest at the bottom are great make for great racing. See the Pyrenean MTFs of 2019.
awesome, awesome post!

and not because i agree with everything (tho I do), but you bring up a lot of stuff/details that I had not thought of. Tx.
 
How many years back are we allowed to go before it doesn't count as the last few years? Because in the last decade there's Schleck to Galibier, 2010 Giro Aprica, 2011 Giro Rifugio Gardeccia, Quintana in the Route du Sud, Contador to Fuente Dé, Quintana to Semnoz, Quintana to Val Martello, Aru to Cercedilla, Landa to Aprica, Nibali to Risoul, 2016 Vuelta Formigal, Contador's career-ender at Angliru, Yates' win at Sappada, Froome's odyssey to Monte Jafferau, Carapaz' Giro-winning ride in Aosta, the Courchevel raid in the Dauphiné when Froome and Contador lost the GC to Andrew Talansky, the last stage of Paris-Nice 2017, the race-settling final stage of País Vasco in Eibar last year...

There are a lot of races with plenty of panache. You're saying that the panache is what makes things exciting, but 99% of Froome's career has been predicated on the "rinse and repeat BS" that you deride, because he's been on a team that has built a strategy around the simple bludgeoning tactic of "have strongest rider in race. Have strongest backup team in race. Ride on the front until everybody drops". Froome himself has a few other stages where he's surprised people - the descent attack on the Peyresourde, for example - but for the most part he's used the same rinse and repeat tactic himself, and has only been interesting when his support team has been weaker so he's raced more mano a mano (putting his authority down on Contador on Las Allanadas in the Ruta del Sol, winning on Col du Béal in the Dauphiné) or he has been put in a position of weakness (Jafferau) - and it's no coincidence that races and performances like that have been better received by the fans than the average Froome show of power even though you could certainly argue that a few of them (Pierre Saint Martin, for example) were more impressive than any of his more well-received results.

Sure, plenty of people who are celebrating Jumbo's dominance are only happy because it feels different, not because it is different. It's still the same tactic, just used by a different team, sure. But for a lot of people they're just happy it's a different team that's doing it because it isn't just the same old same old. You know, just like how F1 had had several years of the same teams dominating and people were bored of them and Vettel stealing the title from Alonso and Webber on the last day in 2010 was received well, but two-three years later when Vettel had become the dominant champion people were sick to their heart of him... and then people were glad when he was going to finally be challenged when Mercedes got their act together, and now F1 viewing figures are in the toilet because we've had several years of Mercedes winning everything, and since Rosberg retired and Hamilton insisted on a clear #2 driver rather than a #1B, we don't even get the opportunity for some insubordination in the ranks.
Quintana Semnoz was not long range. The attacks came on the last climb. Also, Froome's ride at 2017 Solaison in Dauphine was very exciting in my opinion, that was the stage where Fuglsang won the race from Porte after a long range raid.

Also, I would consider Red Bull as dominant, not Vettel. There were better drivers on the grid, but they did not have the same machinery. Plus, 2017 and 2018 Mercedes were less dominant than any of the cars Vettel had between 2010-2013. I would even consider 2018 Ferrari to be the better car over the season. Hopefully 2022 regulation changes can benefit Red Bull, Ferrari, Renault and Mclaren so that we have the likes of Verstappen, Leclerc, Alonso and Ricciardo fight for the championship.
 
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