Has the first week of the Tour been a yawn fest?

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Nov 16, 2011
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Time bonuses would've added quite a bit of difference to the game. GC riders with a kick certainly would've tried a few things. Someone like Cancellara who can power on hard at the last few kilometers could try to squeeze even more time in, perhaps enough to being a more credible overall GC threat. The incentives are just not there now.
 
Time bonuses seriously need to come back. It's a joke that winning a prologue practically gives you a guaranteed 1 week in yellow. Uphill finishes? No problem, just make sure you crash 3 km from the line and you'll get the same time. Not that Cancellara doesn't deserve having yellow as he's been magnificent, but he would still have yellow even if he hadn't done a **** since the prologue.

Also, there has to be an early mountain stage. It doesn't have to be hard, just slightly selective at least so the GC is sorted out a bit. That'd make it safer in the peloton as the pretenders who lost time on said stage would stop sacrificing everyone's lives by staying in the front of the peloton (because they mistakingly think they can do a good GC).
 

Fidolix

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Jan 16, 2012
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I admit it´s been a bit dull, but it is what it is, the tour.
Maybe it would be an idea to shorten down the flat stages to around 150 - 160 k instead of 200+, and breakaways would be more competitive against a chasing peloton, and throw in a couple of short uphill finishes like last year.

But glad we haven´t lost any GC contenderes yet on stupid crashes.
 
Jun 17, 2009
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maltiv said:
Time bonuses seriously need to come back. It's a joke that winning a prologue practically gives you a guaranteed 1 week in yellow. Uphill finishes? No problem, just make sure you crash 3 km from the line and you'll get the same time. Not that Cancellara doesn't deserve having yellow as he's been magnificent, but he would still have yellow even if he hadn't done a **** since the prologue.

Also, there has to be an early mountain stage. It doesn't have to be hard, just slightly selective at least so the GC is sorted out a bit. That'd make it safer in the peloton as the pretenders who lost time on said stage would stop sacrificing everyone's lives by staying in the front of the peloton (because they mistakingly think they can do a good GC).
What GC rider has caused/contributed to any of this years crashes?

Yesterdays crash was Farrar barging through?


Hugh
 
Mar 4, 2012
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orangerider said:
Someone like Cancellara who can power on hard at the last few kilometers could try to squeeze even more time in, perhaps enough to being a more credible overall GC threat.
Cancellara in interview: "I will never win the Tour de France" :rolleyes: - Even with bonuses, people who can't climb mountains will never be a GC threat.

I think the racing was pretty good. Remember these are mostly FLAT stages - how exciting can they be? Until now, we had:

>Different sprinters winning stages, with competing trains and a surprise Cav defeat

>The field actually going for the intermediate sprints

>Chavanel's late attacks

>Cancellara trying stuff instead of just cruising in yellow (where the stage suits him, ofc)

>Sagan NOT winning every stage...

>The breakaway really close to making it to the line.

What more can you want when there are no mountains? The breakaway is NOT going to succeed with so many people interested in sprints and especially not if anyone would get the yellow as a result. Accept that these are flat stages, and enjoy them... or watch Wimbledon or something.
 
Apr 7, 2010
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the tour is not usually particularly interesting given the whole point of this race is to sell the french countryside to the world...

1 day races > stage races
 
May 14, 2010
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If you notice, most of the recent GTs are loaded toward the last two weeks, with a relatively "mild" first week. It's kind of like foreplay. Part of what's enjoyable about this first week is the anticipation of the next two weeks and the buildup to them. You just have to rearrange your thinking.

The racing hasn't been too bad either, although if it were up to me I'd make the flat stages shorter, or find some cobbles. I'd really like to see more imagination applied to the parcours in the first week, but it's still been interesting.
 
Apr 19, 2010
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I couldn't even watch it while riding the turbo trainer, and I normally stare at a blank wall.
Couldn't they add at least one interesting stage mid-week? Some nice lumps throughout and a proper hilltop finish. Sagan would probably win, but it would be better than nothing.
 
May 12, 2010
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A terrible first week yeah. There didn't happen anything in the stages aside from the last 5 kilometers. Not even some echelons. The uphill sprints were kinda nice, but not nearly enough to make it an interesting first week.
 
I think part of the problem was that they were hoping at least one of these past stages would have some fierce winds. It's always a gamble but sometimes if wind does turn up in full force it could bring some drama with splits in the peloton and GC contenders caught out.

edit: and yes it's been a bit of a boring first week. I've enjoyed Peter sagan on the uphill finishes, same for canc. attacking and keeping up with the puncheurs but the pan flat stages were boring as always.
 
Nov 16, 2011
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Cancellator said:
Cancellara in interview: "I will never win the Tour de France" :rolleyes: - Even with bonuses, people who can't climb mountains will never be a GC threat.

.
I'm not sure the other GC contenders would see it that way. They would start getting shakey if they saw a TT rider who can blow the doors off even the 2nd most top TT stage finisher rake up dozens of seconds as the initial stages roll on by while they sit complacent in the group. Rather, the opposing teams would put a stop to it and that is what would make for a more interesting race.
 
Jul 15, 2010
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Some of you guys need to go back to playing your playstation - how much excitement do you think you need.

There have been two uphill finishes and twisty run in's to the sprint stages. There have been breakaways that have been in with a shout, there have been crashes and there has been a nervous bunch. Its been a good week from a spectator point of view. The routine for tours has kinda been established for a while you know. You have to give the sprinters a chance, and if it was not for the exceptional form of Sagan, which has made the two uphill finishes look a bit like sprinting, you have only had three "sprint" stages

It would not have made any difference if there had of been more wind, because Evan's, Wiggin's and Menchov have all been very attentive at the front and a split would not have caught anyone out.

If its "boring" for you, its partly a function of all the GC riders getting their **** together and the teams riding very professionally. Time bonuses would have just meant even more attention at the front from Evan's and Wiggin's which in effect is just a form of defensive riding.

But hey I guess in this new short attention span world we live in we might have to look at spicing things up to keep the kids interested - or maybe we could just leave things the way they are and accept that the first week of the tour is meant to just draw the curtain on what is to come.
 
fatsprintking said:


It would not have made any difference if there had of been more wind, because Evan's, Wiggin's and Menchov have all been very attentive at the front and a split would not have caught anyone out.
You say this, but this is just false. Do you really believe all GC contenders are in the front 10-20 all the time? If there are echelons you can pretty much be sure there will be GC contenders who get caught out, be it because they just went to get a drink or because they were having a chat with their buddies at the back just before the turn into a crosswind section. A split would not have caught anyone out is a naive statement.
 
SetonHallPirate said:
Somewhat agreed. Make Angelo Zomegnan the race director of the Tour, please...(of course, he'd probably have the Tour make the turn towards Pic du Midi once they got over the Tourmalet, but that would be just fine by me!)
Nah, he'd send them to Midi di Bigorre, just because it's a bit higher
 
Mar 4, 2012
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orangerider said:
I'm not sure the other GC contenders would see it that way. They would start getting shakey if they saw a TT rider who can blow the doors off even the 2nd most top TT stage finisher rake up dozens of seconds as the initial stages roll on by while they sit complacent in the group. Rather, the opposing teams would put a stop to it and that is what would make for a more interesting race.
TDF 2011

Stage 14 - Cancellara +0:23:44
Stage 19 - Cancellara +0:25:27

Okay, he was probably not in a hurry and had domestique duties earlier in the stage, but obviously he would lose at least 5 min in every stage like this. How many bonus seconds do you think he can pick up?!
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Yes, like almost every year. These stages are all about the finish, and the final kilometres have been exciting.
The race has been unlucky with the lack of wind. One of two possible GC stages probably just weren't quite long enough, and was upset by a crash, without which some may have lost a few seconds.

I'd like to see bonus seconds just to watch the sprinters have a chance at yellow.

More than anything I think week one should be week 2. Week 1 has been a prologue, and 5 sprint days, 1 of those uphill. Stage 3 was the only profile that offerred a little more. I think these would be raced differently with a week of hard racing in the legs and significant time gaps between the favourites. Breakaways would be given a little more latitude, GC riders who screwed the first week might try to get in a break making the early part of the race more interesting. etc
I think the first week has delivered as promised, I'm looking forward to the next 2 weeks. Hopefully week 2 is raced unlike last year.
 
Jul 15, 2010
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gerundium said:
You say this, but this is just false. Do you really believe all GC contenders are in the front 10-20 all the time? If there are echelons you can pretty much be sure there will be GC contenders who get caught out, be it because they just went to get a drink or because they were having a chat with their buddies at the back just before the turn into a crosswind section. A split would not have caught anyone out is a naive statement.
Given that Wiggin's, Evan's and Menchov have been very attentive, and that Liquigas are already at the front for Sagan, who do you think is going to get caught out? For the bunch to split there has to be someone who is willing to drive the split - Who would do this without other teams being vry awake to this.

I agree 100% that crosswinds are the best way to break things up, but the probelm this year is that all the main GC riders have pretty much all of their teams at the front to ensure that they dont get caught out. If the conditions had of been favorable for echelons to form, you would have had a very frantic bunch all trying to postion their leaders at the front which just would have meant that there was more chance of crashes - everyone knows that so you end up with more conservative racing because crashes are not really good for anyone as if you are out of luck you could be the one to fall.

I want there to be wind and I want to see someone try and split the bunch, but I understand why this is unlikley to happen. There are too many teams that are trying to ride at the front whenever there is a chance of any type of split, as they have all been drilled that this is what is required and because it worked well for BMC last year. I would be very surprised to see a genuine GC contender get caught out.

But hey maybe I am super naive and dont know anything at all.:)
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Well, Let me tell ya that I love bike racing as much as anyone. I watch all of every bike race that is aired. So far this Tour, I haven't even fast forwarded a second. However, though the scenery and the French/Belgian countryside, hamlets, and villes have been beautiful, the racing has been boring, boring except for the last 20 K when all Hell begins to assemble to break out the Devil. Those sprints have been spectacular! We have seen a 22 year old kid rise to level of superstardom; we have seen one superstar, FabCan, show us why we revere him; we have seen the other superstar Mark Cavendish fight for his life with "one hand tied behind his back," and do so without complaining (unless he forced Peta into sending that touching little tweet).
Really though, unless we are going to let ex-Giro boss Zomegnan take over to design some super entertainment as the Giro was for those glorious few years, we've got to be content with another average Tour, designed to please everybody and in the process pleasing no body.
Hey, I try to remember that I'm watching the Tour de freakin' France...so I need to sit back and soak it in and thank God I'm alive. Sorry...I don't mean to be preachy.
 
Apr 21, 2012
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As a self professed newb to cycling, I have to say watching today's finish was incredible. Such a display of athleticism, determination and strategy. :cool:
 
Jul 23, 2010
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Am enjoying it.

Bradley Wiggins is totally stuck on 7 seconds behind Cancellara! Hasn't wavered for 1 second!
 
Apr 17, 2009
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Relatively speaking, I think it's been a pretty good first week of the Tour. A vast majority of the time the first week follows the same formula: the break gets out, the sprint teams chase and we get a bunch sprint. That's just the nature of the game most of the time. The sprinter teams are fresh and able to bring in the break. Once they get mountains in their legs its a different story and the breaks have their chance. Of course there are exceptions, 2001 and 2004 come to mind. I think it helps this year that the HTC Cav Express is no longer around and Sky cannot put 5+ men to the front to chase down the break. Lotto seem to have assumed that role, but they don't seem to be nearly as efficient.

I think Prudhomme has done a good job designing courses where punchy uphill sprints are included in the first week. I certainly thought Stages 1 and 3 were well designed and led to an exciting finish.

I agree that time bonuses should be included. I would think that Evans and Wigan might have fought it out a little bit more in States 1 and 3 if there was some guaranteed time at the end.
 
Jun 25, 2012
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I've had fun.. infact more fun than the last few years...

Its not boring as such, but not great either..
 

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