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Fun types of stages that could be added to Stage Race Road Cycling

Some would say that the types of stages we get in this thing of ours, is limited to Road Races, and Time Trials. Others would argue that you can go slightly further and split RR into flat, intermediate, mountainous, short, long and TT into long, short, hilly, flat, individual and team.

My question is can anyone think of any fun types of stages that could be added to our thing. Remember road cycling is about generating interest and giving the fans a spectacle.

(1) On another thread some time back someone suggested a down hill itt. Brilliant. (2) Sean Kelly suggested a down hill race without pedals, so only aerodynamic skills are tested. nice.
Also on 1 thread we by accident came accross the idea of a (3) mountain ttt. Some might argue it would be unfair on riders with a weak 5th person but like i said, its all about spectacle. You could put in stipulations which limit time lost. Also this could be combined with another idea, (4) ttt where riders get individual times. On a flat stage it would test team strenght without punishing people like vino when the 5th rider falls off. But it would work best on a flat then mtf type stage where teams are tested on their ability to lead their climbers out.

One idea i recently thought of would be to have (5) a relay tt stage in stage races. Have teams do a say 80 k tt where every member on the team does 10 k. Alternatively put hills and cobbles in so that teams are tested on their debth. Tt specialist for the flat, climber for the hills, sprinter for the descents.

A sister idea to this, and the current queen idea would be a (6) relay road race. So a member of each of the 20 or so teams starts together and do 10 k. Then the next 20 take over and so forth. The small group limits slipstream as an advantage hence encourages attacking riding. It would be perhaps the only occasion where having hills or cobbles in the early part of the race would be more interesting. Best placed in a ardennes classic style enviroment i think this would be guaranteed 80 K of total fun- unless you put it in the tdf where everyone would be too scared to attack. Would be interesting to see what riders teams put at the end. Some might try sprinters others attacking riders. How would sprinters fair with no teams to bring attacks back.

Sorry if i have already mentioned many of the best plausible ideas. I hope not though. Any good ideas?
 
Jul 31, 2010
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all are good ideas, as a further suggestion: a madison type time trail where only the number one of a team + his best team member would battle it out against the clock. also one could include a cyclocross or a though cross country, where not all of the team helpers were to start but instead 3 to 4 of the best. this would ensure a more widely distributed stage win across the board, since team captains are more tired and lesser riders who are better rested can attack without real consequences on the gc
 
Jun 9, 2009
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How about a prolouge type TT but with a few obstacles thrown in maybe some slaloom cones, a narrow plank over water or a set of steps to ride run down. The final challenge could be a 3m or 4m jump over a pool of pirannahs or barb wire.
 
May 5, 2009
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The Hitch said:
On another thread some time back someone suggested a down hill ITT.

I remember that! That was a fun thread! :)

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?p=67325&highlight=France#post67325

The Hitch said:
Sean Kelly suggested a down hill race without pedals, so only aerodynamic skills are tested...

Wow. Cool! :)

The Hitch said:
TTT where riders get individual times... But it would work best on a flat then MTF stage where teams are tested on their ability to lead their climbers out.

I love this idea! :)


The Hitch said:
A relay road race... with TT specialist for the flat, climber for the hills, sprinter for the descents.

Man, this would be great instead of a prologue! :)
 
Jun 9, 2009
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All are fun ideas.

I remember going to watch a circuit race in Arlington, Virginia that was part of the Tour du Pont or Tour de Trump. It was great to set up a bar-b-q in the middle of a park and eat and drink all day as the race passed frequently.

A crit or cicrcuit race can be made very interesting with the inclusion of a short-sharp climb or some tight corners to string the field out.

I'm not sure, but I think we are more likely to see this type of race before we see one with a ramp causing the racers to jump a moat filled with crocodiles.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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In stead of a TTT have 2 riders of a team have a couple TT. Like the Trofeo Bracchi.
You could do this at any point in the race and even make additional rules (like having to field the highest and lowest placed rider in the GC)
 
Mar 19, 2010
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How about a few Mountain bike stages; something like mountain bike marathon. 80ks or so. It would really test the all-round capabilities of an athlete. Normal road stage race with a couple of off-road stages.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Fester said:
How about a few Mountain bike stages; something like mountain bike marathon. 80ks or so. It would really test the all-round capabilities of an athlete. Normal road stage race with a couple of off-road stages.

The gaps would be huge and so it would become more of a MTB event.

Altough I'm totally in favor of a cycling 'olympics'.
Track, Cyclocross, MTB, Road racing...
That would be awesome.
 
ak-zaaf said:
In stead of a TTT have 2 riders of a team have a couple TT. Like the Trofeo Bracchi.
You could do this at any point in the race and even make additional rules (like having to field the highest and lowest placed rider in the GC)
Then every team's in-house Cancellara would do his best to lose as much time as possible in the stages leading up to this ;)
 
Mar 11, 2009
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theyoungest said:
Then every team's in-house Cancellara would do his best to lose as much time as possible in the stages leading up to this ;)

Because every team has a Cancellara?
If you do it late in the race it wouldn't make sense to let guys like that lose as much as your genuine worst guy.
 
ak-zaaf said:
Because every team has a Cancellara?
If you do it late in the race it wouldn't make sense to let guys like that lose as much as your genuine worst guy.

But what when say Gustav Erich Larsson (just random saxo guy) crashes and loses a ton of time on 1 stage and becomes lantern rouge, and then his teammate Contador is 2nd to Schleck or Menchov or whoever and that person gets teamed up with Contadors teammate. Then Larsson will do absolutely no work and Schleck will have to work on all his own while his opponents get help. Things like this happen in races but you cant impose a disadvantage like this on 1 rider from the top.
 
The Hitch said:
But what when say Gustav Erich Larsson (just random saxo guy) crashes and loses a ton of time on 1 stage and becomes lantern rouge, and then his teammate Contador is 2nd to Schleck or Menchov or whoever and that person gets teamed up with Contadors teammate. Then Larsson will do absolutely no work and Schleck will have to work on all his own while his opponents get help. Things like this happen in races but you cant impose a disadvantage like this on 1 rider from the top.
I actually assumed he meant the best and worst placed rider from every team, otherwise the worst placed rider has no incentive whatsoever to work with the strong guy, unless he happens to be from the same team.
 
theyoungest said:
I actually assumed he meant the best and worst placed rider from every team, otherwise the worst placed rider has no incentive whatsoever to work with the strong guy, unless he happens to be from the same team.

ah right. my bad. Still a bit unfair. in my scenario then if sorensen say (cant use gel in this example because he is too good a tter) was last in gc because of a crash and cancellara was 8th it might make saxo force sorensen out just to get cancellara tting with contador so still too much interference.
 
Jun 9, 2010
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The Hitch said:
(1) On another thread some time back someone suggested a down hill itt. Brilliant. (2) Sean Kelly suggested a down hill race without pedals, so only aerodynamic skills are tested. nice.
Also on 1 thread we by accident came accross the idea of a (3) mountain ttt. Some might argue it would be unfair on riders with a weak 5th person but like i said, its all about spectacle. You could put in stipulations which limit time lost. Also this could be combined with another idea, (4) ttt where riders get individual times. On a flat stage it would test team strenght without punishing people like vino when the 5th rider falls off. But it would work best on a flat then mtf type stage where teams are tested on their ability to lead their climbers out.

One idea i recently thought of would be to have (5) a relay tt stage in stage races. Have teams do a say 80 k tt where every member on the team does 10 k. Alternatively put hills and cobbles in so that teams are tested on their debth. Tt specialist for the flat, climber for the hills, sprinter for the descents.

A sister idea to this, and the current queen idea would be a (6) relay road race. So a member of each of the 20 or so teams starts together and do 10 k. Then the next 20 take over and so forth. The small group limits slipstream as an advantage hence encourages attacking riding. It would be perhaps the only occasion where having hills or cobbles in the early part of the race would be more interesting. Best placed in a ardennes classic style enviroment i think this would be guaranteed 80 K of total fun- unless you put it in the tdf where everyone would be too scared to attack. Would be interesting to see what riders teams put at the end. Some might try sprinters others attacking riders. How would sprinters fair with no teams to bring attacks back.

Sorry if i have already mentioned many of the best plausible ideas. I hope not though. Any good ideas?

(3) That was on my post... TTT - Galibier - Alpe D'Huez... hahahaha but Is a really nice idea...!!!

(5) That is GENIUS!!!!! The best Idea ever tho...

(6) Yeah that would be totally fun...

Well some ppl said it before... Double stages... a short TT and then an stage with MTF or hilly stage with finish in a 3rd or 2nd category climb...

Double ITT.. one short flat and then a ICTT in a mythic climb... before the rest day... I don't know... I like this idea cuz pure climbers could regain time lost in the flat... :D
 
Ryaguas said:
Well some ppl said it before... Double stages... a short TT and then an stage with MTF or hilly stage with finish in a 3rd or 2nd category climb...

Double ITT.. one short flat and then a ICTT in a mythic climb... before the rest day... I don't know... I like this idea cuz pure climbers could regain time lost in the flat... :D

It is a good idea i think too. They have used it before. Eg criterium international only the tt comes 2nd
 
Tiered Time Trial: Sometime in the middle of a GT, take 1-10, 11-20, 21-30, etc. and have a "tier time trial". Scored on the 5th man across the line. Distance = somewhere between 50 and 80K.

Take this year's TdF after stage 10:

1 Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank 49:00:56
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana 0:00:41
3 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:02:45
4 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 0:02:58
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:03:31
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Team Radioshack 0:03:59
7 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank 0:04:22
8 Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0:04:41
9 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:05:08
10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:05:09

versus:

11 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo 0:05:11
12 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin - Transitions 0:05:42
13 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:06:23
14 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0:06:31
15 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia 0:07:04
16 Carlos Sastre (Spa) Cervelo Test Team 0:07:13
17 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:07:18
18 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:07:47
19 Thomas Löfkvist (Swe) Sky Professional Cycling Team 0:08:03
20 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Team Radioshack 0:09:05
 
Jul 13, 2009
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One stage that i like the idea of which i think was used in the tour of the med a few years back was the "individual mountain team time trial". Half of it was on the flat and the other half was to a summit finish but you took the individual riders time to count for the GC. It meant that the team had to work as hard as possible on the flat for the leader but then to get the best possible finish they had to climb the mountain as fast as they could either with or without assistance from team mates that could go with them.

Edit to say this is essentially what hitch said as point 4 in his original post
 
Jul 19, 2010
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I love the Relay Race idea. In a criterium course so the spectators would see top level racing all day long. How about a figure eight track, with one loop in the city (cobbles, narrow streets, lotsa corners) and the other out into the countryside (long open roads, wind), with the first rider doing one loop, the next doing the other, the third back on the first loop, etc...

Or we could just have random farmers on tractors, striking for more subsidies and handouts, the odd train, and even a flock of sheep obstacle course.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Using the a & b style employed by the Crit International, replace most of those horribly boring flat stages with a hilly (or cobbled, or cross wind) a stage where breaks are favored and follow it with a 10km mass start TTT b stage just for the sprinters. Limit each team to say, 4 riders picked by the team at the end of the a stage. Give time bonuses only for the b race so that sprinters have more opportunity to take the leaders jersey. Use an unmodified point system to determine the overall winner of stage a & b.

For an uphill TTT, rather than having a set number for the finishing time, use a percentage of the remaining team. 50% for example - time stops with the fifth rider if the team has 9; the fourth if 7 or 8 remain; third with just 5 or 6... Actually, this would work for any TTT, especially those late in the race.