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

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Jun 15, 2011
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maxmartin said:
bring back time bonus

dead flat 20, 12, 8

uphill 10, 6, 4

Mountain top no bonus

that will make first week more interesting, Cancellara is already running out of words when interviewed:rolleyes:
It would be nice to see Sagan in yellow instead of green in 5 stages ... :)
 
ElChingon said:
Its been great and entertaining to me but then again I really like bike racing, so I maybe biased.
Yeah, me too. In fact I never understood this thing about racing only being exciting when it's a high MTF with someone attacking from the get-go. I like all parts of racing. :)

biker77 said:
Rider helmet cams so we can see who causes crashes.
Or simply for the totally awesome footage that would give. :cool:
 
Aug 16, 2011
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thehog said:
Have to say I cannot think of a more boring opening to a Grand Tour in years.

To think a rider who wins the prologue in 7 minutes can hold on to the yellow jersey for a week without even trying to defend it. His team sit on the front at the slowest pace in history.

No attacks, no challenges just the same speed everyday.

Apart from Sagan's victory salutes there's no been much to talk about.

Even Cav has been muted.

If next week becomes Sky riding up mountains and someone attacking with 1km to go, followed by a time trial I'll turn off the TV.

I guess no Contador makes a difference but this Tour is sending me to sleep.
You sum up my views yet again.

Unlike previous years I cannot be bothered to check the results before getting home. Then its fast forward and delete. Predictable, boring, with the main contenders for GC doing nothing, siting at the front of the peleton surrended by their henchmen, with no intention to race.

Its tragic the crashes are the main talking point.

Thank goodness for Sagan and Chavenal trying to light up proceedings.
 
I have spent so much time on FFWD or ignoring stages entirely that I will probably wind up having watched more of the Tour de Pologne than the Tour de France this year.

Last year's race was shockingly bad for the first week, but this has been even worse.

To be fair, yesterday's finish was quite interesting since for once I actually felt like the break had a chance of making it. The Boulogne-sur-Mer stage was harder on paper than in practice, but that's not the fault of the ASO. That was a good stage on paper. But no cobbles, no Mont Cassel, no real hills to speak of (there have been two puncheur finishes, but they weren't gap-openers like Mont des Alouettes and Mur-de-Bretagne were last year, barely even as much as Plumelec in 2008. It needed a short steep uphill finish where there can actually be time gaps, or to really make a much better fist of the Seraing stage with lots of earlier climbs. As it stands, everybody has too much to protect to not worry about their place in the péloton, so everybody's fighting to be at the front, and crashes are the inevitable result.

As Timmy said earlier in the thread, this has been pretty bleh racing, in a year where we've been served primarily bleh racing. I can probably count the amount of races that have had me absolutely riveted on one hand this year. I've been accused of not liking cycling, or other people who have been entertained have argued that real fans of cycling would be entertained... but I don't see what's wrong with yearning for more. Not harking back to some halcyon days of yore (mostly fictitious or viewed through rose-tinted spectacles), but just some days where the Dauphiné meant something, where Paris-Nice wasn't a time triallist's race, where races could be won by attacks, not strangled by several teams trying to do a Bob Stapleton at once, where a stage with an intermediate profile could throw up different results rather than being won repeatedly by the same guy.

Basically, everything is geared towards a handful of stages these days; everything else is controlled too much to provide the potential banana skins that provide the unexpected excitement we know and love. The big GC stages are planned out in advance and placed in optimum place for a showdown. Every other stage is just a parade to link them.
 
Apr 10, 2011
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Libertine Seguros said:
I have spent so much time on FFWD or ignoring stages entirely that I will probably wind up having watched more of the Tour de Pologne than the Tour de France this year.

Last year's race was shockingly bad for the first week, but this has been even worse.

To be fair, yesterday's finish was quite interesting since for once I actually felt like the break had a chance of making it. The Boulogne-sur-Mer stage was harder on paper than in practice, but that's not the fault of the ASO. That was a good stage on paper. But no cobbles, no Mont Cassel, no real hills to speak of (there have been two puncheur finishes, but they weren't gap-openers like Mont des Alouettes and Mur-de-Bretagne were last year, barely even as much as Plumelec in 2008. It needed a short steep uphill finish where there can actually be time gaps, or to really make a much better fist of the Seraing stage with lots of earlier climbs. As it stands, everybody has too much to protect to not worry about their place in the péloton, so everybody's fighting to be at the front, and crashes are the inevitable result.

As Timmy said earlier in the thread, this has been pretty bleh racing, in a year where we've been served primarily bleh racing. I can probably count the amount of races that have had me absolutely riveted on one hand this year. I've been accused of not liking cycling, or other people who have been entertained have argued that real fans of cycling would be entertained... but I don't see what's wrong with yearning for more. Not harking back to some halcyon days of yore (mostly fictitious or viewed through rose-tinted spectacles), but just some days where the Dauphiné meant something, where Paris-Nice wasn't a time triallist's race, where races could be won by attacks, not strangled by several teams trying to do a Bob Stapleton at once, where a stage with an intermediate profile could throw up different results rather than being won repeatedly by the same guy.

Basically, everything is geared towards a handful of stages these days; everything else is controlled too much to provide the potential banana skins that provide the unexpected excitement we know and love. The big GC stages are planned out in advance and placed in optimum place for a showdown. Every other stage is just a parade to link them.
And now personal question - was Giro's first week much better ? I don't think so.

First weeks are always ( usually/mostly ) boring at GT's.
 
Gloin22 said:
And now personal question - was Giro's first week much better ? I don't think so.

First weeks are always ( usually/mostly ) boring at GT's.
Not THIS bad though.

2011 Vuelta: uphill finish at Valdepeñas de Jaén opened gaps, Sierra Nevada was rubbish, but at least sorted wheat from chaff
2011 Tour: TTT is a bunch of crap, but two small final climbs that are big enough to open time gaps, much tougher than Seraing and Boulogne-sur-Mer
2011 Giro: Stage 3 would have been a great first week stage had fate not intervened, then there was the strade bianche on stage 5
2010 Vuelta: Málaga stage was good with Gilbert, Valdepeñas de Jaén was keenly fought, plus the dreaded TTT
2010 Tour: cobbles and what could have been a really good Ardennes stage
2010 Giro: obstacle course to Middelburg, 2 TTs, one individual one team
2009 Vuelta: obstacle course and cobbles in the Netherlands
2009 Tour: tougher, longer ITT, wind, overlong TTT, the Montjuïc finish was more or less as tough as anything we've seen in this Tour so far but doesn't really merit counting as an uphill finish in anything other than desperation
2009 Giro: TTT, then an uphill sprint in San Martino di Castrozza and a wheat-from-the-chaff MTF in Alpe di Siusi
2008 Vuelta: 40km ITT and a Valverde stage plus Chavanel nicking the leader's jersey on intermediate bonus seconds
2008 Tour: Plumelec probably tougher than any finish in this race so far, a mid-length ITT and Super-Besse
2008 Giro: two short-to-mid uphill finishes (Agrigento and Contursi Terme) and a genuine medium mountain stage (Pescocostanzo) which opened up some pretty major GC gaps. Also, the break deciding a tough stage leading to Visconti's reign in pink.

All seem to have more going on than the 2012 Tour.
 
Aug 16, 2011
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Libertine Seguros said:
I have spent so much time on FFWD or ignoring stages entirely that I will probably wind up having watched more of the Tour de Pologne than the Tour de France this year.

Last year's race was shockingly bad for the first week, but this has been even worse.

To be fair, yesterday's finish was quite interesting since for once I actually felt like the break had a chance of making it. The Boulogne-sur-Mer stage was harder on paper than in practice, but that's not the fault of the ASO. That was a good stage on paper. But no cobbles, no Mont Cassel, no real hills to speak of (there have been two puncheur finishes, but they weren't gap-openers like Mont des Alouettes and Mur-de-Bretagne were last year, barely even as much as Plumelec in 2008. It needed a short steep uphill finish where there can actually be time gaps, or to really make a much better fist of the Seraing stage with lots of earlier climbs. As it stands, everybody has too much to protect to not worry about their place in the péloton, so everybody's fighting to be at the front, and crashes are the inevitable result.

As Timmy said earlier in the thread, this has been pretty bleh racing, in a year where we've been served primarily bleh racing. I can probably count the amount of races that have had me absolutely riveted on one hand this year. I've been accused of not liking cycling, or other people who have been entertained have argued that real fans of cycling would be entertained... but I don't see what's wrong with yearning for more. Not harking back to some halcyon days of yore (mostly fictitious or viewed through rose-tinted spectacles), but just some days where the Dauphiné meant something, where Paris-Nice wasn't a time triallist's race, where races could be won by attacks, not strangled by several teams trying to do a Bob Stapleton at once, where a stage with an intermediate profile could throw up different results rather than being won repeatedly by the same guy.

Basically, everything is geared towards a handful of stages these days; everything else is controlled too much to provide the potential banana skins that provide the unexpected excitement we know and love. The big GC stages are planned out in advance and placed in optimum place for a showdown. Every other stage is just a parade to link them.
Agree apart from comment on first week last year. I seem to recall GC contenders actually racing on some stages in the first week last year - Stage 4 and stage 8 if recall correctly. Whats the missing link this year - Contador? Andy Schleck?
 
Normandy said:
Agree apart from comment on first week last year. I seem to recall GC contenders actually racing on some stages in the first week last year - Stage 4 and stage 8 if recall correctly. Whats the missing link this year - Contador? Andy Schleck?
A chance to create gaps.

The hardest stage this year was neutralised because of a crash as well. Had a couple of guys lost ten seconds then it would have been vaguely interesting.
 
Dec 30, 2009
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I'm in the "I just like to watch cycling" camp. It's obvious that ASO tried to throw in some crosswinds. They rode through a wind farm. As someone in the wind industry it's just a fact that you can never count on the wind when you want it.
 
Normandy said:
Agree apart from comment on first week last year. I seem to recall GC contenders actually racing on some stages in the first week last year - Stage 4 and stage 8 if recall correctly. Whats the missing link this year - Contador? Andy Schleck?
I didn't count as far as stage 8, since we haven't reached the equivalent point (stage 7) this year yet. Otherwise some of those other races get some added points to make (2009 Vuelta to Aitana, 2008 Vuelta to La Rabassa, 2010 Vuelta to Xorret del Catí, 2010 Giro the Montalcino Strade Bianche stage, even the 2009 Tour to Arcalis).
 
Mar 10, 2009
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1) Get rid of opening TTs and Prologues. Start with a proper 200k stage, a hilly one would be nice.
2) Bring back time bonuses on all "flat" stages and mountain top finish stages.
 
Dec 16, 2011
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I've quite enjoyed the Tour so far. Two nice uphill finishes; 3 different winners of mass sprints; and a break that nearly survived.

It's not much, but the first week is always an introduction to the real deal.:cool:
 
I have been so badly banged up by this borefest, that I am seriously considering not taking the start, today.
Even given the extremely tough competition from passed editions, this week's racing wins my "cure for insomnia" award by a country mile.

(even with my expectations set at grass level)
 
Jun 17, 2009
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VeloGirl said:
1) Get rid of opening TTs and Prologues. Start with a proper 200k stage, a hilly one would be nice.
2) Bring back time bonuses on all "flat" stages and mountain top finish stages.
Time bonuses on flat stages would see GC trains which would add more Kaos. Cadel would have his own train as well as well as well as Schleck, Wiggans would sit on Cavs wheel.
 
hughmoore said:
Time bonuses on flat stages would see GC trains which would add more Kaos. Cadel would have his own train as well as well as well as Schleck, Wiggans would sit on Cavs wheel.
You mean like we see the GC guys fighting for the sprints in the Giro and Vuelta? The GC guys haven't got a prayer of making the top 3 in a flat bunch sprint in a Tour field, not even Valverde in his heyday. So instead, the GC guys are happy to let it all slide, but we get some interesting fighting by those close to the yellow jersey to try and get a day or two in the jersey. This has been more like 2009, though, where Cancellara won the opening TT, then nobody had a chance of deposing him (TTT aside) until Arcalis.

My god I hope PdBF is better than Arcalis.
 
Jun 12, 2012
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It hasn't been that bad, well for me anyway. Granted aside from the sprints it hasn't been great. The first week pattern is not vastly different to recent previous GTs. The week 1 parcours weren't designed to be amazing (or it looks like that to me). Also, which first week of GTs have been better than weeks 2 or 3?

Definitely strange opening thread post and timing!
 
I've quite enjoyed it, but not enough to watch it live. Roll on 2013 if the UCI stick to their guns about radio bans. Then the opening week will have some unpredictability again and there will actually be a point for the 150+ riders outside the top 5 sprinters (and their teams) for bothering to get on their bike in the morning.
 
Jun 15, 2010
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The question of the day is.Did Frank Schleck finish yesterdays stage with a bun stuck in his gob?
I have a theory that when he was throwing a hissy fit at the crash site, someone stuck the bun in his gob to shut him up!
This would mean that he rode the last 25 km breathing only through his nose.Chapeau Sir.
 
Sep 26, 2009
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simo1733 said:
The question of the day is.Did Frank Schleck finish yesterdays stage with a bun stuck in his gob?
I have a theory that when he was throwing a hissy fit at the crash site, someone stuck the bun in his gob to shut him up!
This would mean that he rode the last 25 km breathing only through his nose.Chapeau Sir.
That was funny. I wondered what it was also.
 
Can't remember to have ever seen a spectaculair first week in TdF. This week there were some uphill finishes (Sagan), normally it's seven days flat or something :eek: (in my memory). So I wouldn't say this was exceptionally boring.
 
Jan 14, 2011
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ElChingon said:
Nighty night.

Its been great and entertaining to me but then again I really like bike racing, so I maybe biased.
Agree 100%. I used to squirm in my seat waiting for the boring sprint stages to be over. But not this year I'm afraid the boring part is just beginning as the british Dream Team steam rolls over the rest of France. I'll get to bed earlier then.
 

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