• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Has the Tour become the "Palin" of bike races?

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Bagster said:
[...]

Maybe the Giro is more competitive because the really elite stage racers are either just using it for TdF training and hence are not in top condition, or they are not there at all eg Contador. Therefore the race becomes more even whereby slightly lesser riders can compete with them.

I think the big difference was the TTT. Without it, there would be a slew of climbers between one and two minutes down on a slew of TTers right now. With the Alps and a 40 km TT still to come, that would make for a pretty wide open, exciting race.
 
Parrot23 said:
I wonder if the Tour is like it is with politicians: when they start to laugh at you personally, you're in trouble. Is the Tour becoming the "Palin" of bike rices? (I'm saying this neither for nor against her).

Like the French fans' joke about riders on the road a few years ago: "Courage, the pharmacy is just round the next corner". :D

Tour this yr. has the flavour of a "stage"-managed pantomine. We all knew who (just 1-3 guys) was going to win in the first week (if things remain unchanged). And we all pretty well know who is going to win the sprints. The rest is a charade; they're just going through the motions.

Combo of the route and Astana.

Solutions?

- mountain top finishes

- no race radios for key stages (eg. mountain stages, etc.)

- no TTT's (eg. Evans is stronger than Armstrong so far, but he's 3 minutes behind and has no chance)

Ideas? eg. Why is the Giro more competitive?
The sport of cycling has been the Palin of sports for years, at least since Festina, in France.
 
Mongol_Waaijer said:
So far this is the most tedious tour I have ever seen.

It almost seems as though there is a collusion between ASO, Astana and the strongest teams to follow the Armstrong script.

It's not really a race right now - it's an entertainment product created for cycling's new market audience with LA as the star, Contador the bad guy and Cavendish the impetuous young buck.

All the sponsors, riders, ASO, UCI, Nike, Trek et al all stand to benefit financially from this script.
And it's working. Versus numbers are way up.
I believe, but have not confirmed, that interest and attention in Europe is much higher too.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
No, at least Palin is kinda' hot. This tour would be a 3 if we were judging on beauty.
 
Apr 11, 2009
2,250
0
0
Visit site
Alpe d'Huez said:
TTT was much shorter for starters. Then, and this is the key, even though none of the big and famous climbs were in this year's Giro (Gavia, Stelvio, Motirolo, etc.), and even though the two toughest stages were somewhat snipped, they still had several stages where the final was either an uphill finish, sometimes steep, or close to a final climb. This caused the GC riders to come out from hiding. They couldn't control the pace of the race with a course like that, so they were forced to go mano-a-mano. If the Tour would have found a way to have a 2-4km, 11% climb at the end of a Stage like 11, (or 10, 9, 8, etc.) we would have much more likely seen the GC riders going at each other. And because some of the Giro climbs like this are short like this, while there are gaps, they are in seconds. So the shake-up isn't so much it decides the race. Take a look at Stage 14 from the Giro, especially the profile. This is a great course design. Now, take a look at the finish.

Thanks, Alpe. Helps clarify Giro's competitiveness.

So GC contenders would be forced to show their noses at front at finishes given possibility of losing crucial seconds, instead of hiding out in peleton all day. Someone also mentioned restoring bonus seconds might help too, I think.

Do remember that bone-cruncher climb won by Gerrans at Bologna in Giro. Gerrans must be mad not to be here.

Thanks to everyone for input; wealth of knowledge out there :)
 
Jun 18, 2009
1,086
1
0
Visit site
Parrot23 said:
Do remember that bone-cruncher climb won by Gerrans at Bologna in Giro. Gerrans must be mad not to be here.

Gerrans was pretty upset not to be included in the TdF squad, and understandably so. That was such a great stage. Thanks Alpe d'Huez for letting me watch the finish again! :D
 
Jun 23, 2009
168
0
0
Visit site
I am trying to give the organisers the benefit of the doubt. While I am disappointed to this point and am not watching most stages, I am trying to reserve judgement until ventoux. However, the script says Armstrong wins the stage with Contador second wearing yellow.
 
Jun 18, 2009
1,086
1
0
Visit site
biker77 said:
I am trying to give the organisers the benefit of the doubt. While I am disappointed to this point and am not watching most stages, I am trying to reserve judgement until ventoux. However, the script says Armstrong wins the stage with Contador second wearing yellow.

No way will Armstrong win Ventoux........
 
I am dissapointed that we haven't seen more fireworks in GC to this point but to be fair to the organizers...

Decisions about the course are made approx a year in advance. Towns that wish to host a depart/arrival must make bids and then there is a selection process. Being a host is an enormous opportunity for financial gain in many of these small towns. This is a complex political process and has to be married to the idea of competiveness in the race itself. There are many compromises and you do not throw the TdF together overnight.

Organizers could not have expected the Astana dominance in the TTT. Armstrong hadn't even come out of retirement or decided what team he would ride for when most of the decisions about course selection were made. Love him or hate him his experience and strength have made a significant difference on how the race is playing out.

To a large degree this issue of timing also debunks the ASO, UCI, Nike, Easter bunny conspiracy theory.

I also feel that the organizers wanted to create a course that would keep many riders in contention until the last week when the riders cover the TT and Ventoux stages. It seems very obvious to me what they were attempting to do and it has nothing to do with hidden agendas. It has to do with creating tension and suspense. I see a lot of logic in what was done but unfortunately it didn't work.

As far as teams or athletes "not racing". I assure you they are. It appears that Astana is in a very strong position to win and maybe even sweep the podium. It is in a rider's best interests long term to finish as high on GC as they can. An intelligent rider is not going to launch extremely risky attacks. You don't take a chance at implosion and falling out of the top ten to move from 6th to 5th. I don't like this pattern but I certainly understand it.

In general, GC strategy has become very defensive until later in the race from all in contention at the grand tours over the last few years. The previously mentioned factors this year have exagerated this even more.

This race is far from over tho and we are gauranteed to see fireworks in the last week. Maybe even more so b/c everyone is rested from riding so conservatively. We'll be able to judge much better at the end of the tour. I have a feeling this will be a memorable race when the dust settles.
 
Apr 11, 2009
2,250
0
0
Visit site
Boeing said:
kinda but I am not interested in seeing the tour naked

LOL, like Voigt, she can only wear one pair of pants at a time. :D

Sorta like a relative of mine used to say about those envious of the really wealthy: "Well, they can only wear one pair of pants at a time". True.

NB: I'm impressed with Menchov's approach this year. Big win at 100th edition of Giro. Not riding well now at Tour, BUT not all that upset. Tranquilo, because he got his big win.

Makes sense. The Tour can distort professional riders' goals and dilute the sport overall, re there are so many other objectives, and may explain some of the really defensive riding at Tour, whereas the Giro always seems to be shootout at the O.K. Corral.

Kinda like Hinault's recent comment on Armstrong being the champion of the Tour, not procycling generally.
 
Apr 11, 2009
2,250
0
0
Visit site
lean said:
Organizers could not have expected the Astana dominance in the TTT. Armstrong hadn't even come out of retirement or decided what team he would ride for when most of the decisions about course selection were made.

That's for sure; the TTT has thrown a spanner in the works. Without the TTT a lot of climbers would be very close going into the ITT--with Ventoux still to come.

Saxo, I think, was a surprise in TTT; organizers "probably" expected them to win or be very close and thus have Schlecks competitve to the end.

Still find the Giro and Vuelta generally much more competitive. With di Luca vs. Menchov and regular hilltop finishes, the last Giro seemed like a total shootout to me, though the ITT again pretty well fixed everything in place thereafter. The Tour often seems more sedate.

There seems to be an issue with time trials in GTs recently. Quite the juggling act vs. mountain top finishes. Looks like GTs can be designed by a "committee", ie. sometimes come out looking like a camel.
 

Bagster

BANNED
Jun 23, 2009
290
0
0
Visit site
unsheath said:
You missed the first stage then? Unless you thought your holiness was holding back?

If you are judging overall strength through the Tour on the first stage then you really need to learn a little more about the sport you are discussing.
 

Bagster

BANNED
Jun 23, 2009
290
0
0
Visit site
Cobber said:
Gerrans was pretty upset not to be included in the TdF squad, and understandably so. That was such a great stage. Thanks Alpe d'Huez for letting me watch the finish again! :D

Cervelo were braindead not picking Gerrrans to support Sastre in the mountains
 

TRENDING THREADS