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How to make these long boring flat stages less boring?

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Oct 23, 2011
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I'm all for smaller teams.

And I'm also for getting rid of long boring flat stages. I have no problems with sprinters winning a bunch of stages and I certainly don't want every stage to be about climbing, but stages that give chances to sprinters don't have to be boring. Echelons, different road surfaces and small hills don't eliminate sprinters, but they do eliminate boredom.
 
I like most of the ideas in this thread.

-More intermediate sprints, maybe a golden kilometer would be good
-More difficult finals with a few hills near the end
-I really like Libertine's ideas for the combativity award. It's a pity that the UCI only allows 4 jerseys because if there would be a 5th one for the combativity award I think it would become way more important
-Reduce team size
-Less WT points for sprints, but maybe a few for intermediate sprints and KOM's
-Try different kind of stages. For example make circuits, because you basically only need one single bump in the area and you can make an interesting stage. Or use cobbles or dirt roads. They don't always have to be placed in a way which makes the whole stage super important, but just put a few sectors in the stage and you surely have a few interesting kilometers with the chance of something gc relevant happening, and sprinters being gapped, so the sprints at the end are always slightly different. The dirt roads in the PN stage this year also didn't cause any time gaps but the finale was still ten times better than in a normal flat stage.
 
It's really simple, if you find it boring don't watch. As a lifelong cycling fan I'll watch every minute they give me on tv. On stages like yesterday I just work on other things also and mostly listen. If something happens I can quickly back up the dvr to watch it.

Piano can be dreadfully boring so just use the opportunity to do something else while still following the race. Cycling has had stages like this for 100 years, I see no reason to change it but then I'm old and have leaned patience :)
 
doperhopper said:
We've heard it countless times: Shorten them!

But there must be a better way... either to facilitate breakaways or at least make sprinters to work (e.g.more intermediate sprints).

Any ideas are welcome.

Dress Cavendish up in one of Cipollini's togas and have him drawn to sign in by horse carriage.
 
Re: Re:

vedrafjord said:
The problem was every team had either a GC guy (let's take the day off so we're fresh later) or a sprinter (let's wait til the sprint).

Actually now that I think of it, one answer to this is to have this kind of stage later on in the race. Once a few GC hopes have lost time, and/or team leaders of all kinds have dropped out due to crashes or illness, more teams will feel like they have nothing to lose by sending guys up the road.
 
Re: Re:

CheckMyPecs said:
hrotha said:
Carols said:
It's really simple, if you find it boring don't watch.
If you don't like slavery, don't own slaves.
Ding, ding, ding! No need to get to December, we have a winner for the worst analogy of 2016.
This. To compare watching a bicycle race to slavery is kind of sickening. Boring flat stages have been a part of the tour for the 30+ years I've watched. It's a part of the race.
 
I don't see the big problem this year. I think most cycling fans looked at the route and made a mental "tune in for last 15 minutes of stages 1, 3 and 4).

At least the sprints themselves have been entertaining.

This is what cycling is. A mixture of all sorts of terrain. Personally I have more issues with later on in the route.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
It's called reductio ad absurdum guys. Look it up.

You can do better though. No one really suffers or is physically/morally injured by flat, boring stages.

The ''don't watch it if you don't like it'' exists under the assumption that the current format is not really broken and doens't need fixing, I think. But I understand the proactive stance in trying to change it.
 
Re: Re:

BigMac said:
hrotha said:
It's called reductio ad absurdum guys. Look it up.

You can do better though. No one really suffers or is physically/morally injured by flat, boring stages.

The ''don't watch it if you don't like it'' exists under the assumption that the current format is not really broken and doens't need fixing, I think. But I understand the proactive stance in trying to change it.

Nor is he saying that it is harmful: he is using an extreme example to say that the ''don't watch it if you don't like it'' might ease the discomfort of some, but does nothing to address what remains a issue. Looks like at least three people did not heed the advice to look up 'reductio ad absurdum'.

Not the phraseology I would have chosen, but that does not mean that a fair consideration of what he meant is not deserved.
 
Re: Re:

Armchair cyclist said:
BigMac said:
hrotha said:
It's called reductio ad absurdum guys. Look it up.

You can do better though. No one really suffers or is physically/morally injured by flat, boring stages.

The ''don't watch it if you don't like it'' exists under the assumption that the current format is not really broken and doens't need fixing, I think. But I understand the proactive stance in trying to change it.

Nor is he saying that it is harmful: he is using an extreme example to say that the ''don't watch it if you don't like it'' might ease the discomfort of some, but does nothing to address what remains a issue. Looks like at least three people did not heed the advice to look up 'reductio ad absurdum'.

Not the phraseology I would have chosen, but that does not mean that a fair consideration of what he meant is not deserved.

That is exactly what I said...
 
Yesterday was a unique situation because the team with the yellow jersey also had a GC contender who was seriously injured so it was in their interest to keep things as slow as possible.

There have always been stages like that but in the past we used to have David Duffield to keep us entertained.
 
Ban race radio so that riders and teams don't know exactly what the gap is, who is in the breakaway and how strong it is looking at every single moment of the stage. In fairness the UCI have tried to introduce this but the self serving teams and their egotistical Director Sportifs have blocked it at every turn. So stages like this will be painfully predictable and tedious in the first week until the end of time. A couple of the stages this week have been the worst I've ever fast forwarded through.

Additionally configure WT points in a way that discourages teams that focus primarily on dedicated sprint trains. So there are less riders to focus on managing breaks.
 
Re:

Fergoose said:
Ban race radio so that riders and teams don't know exactly what the gap is, who is in the breakaway and how strong it is looking at every single moment of the stage. In fairness the UCI have tried to introduce this but the self serving teams and their egotistical Director Sportifs have blocked it at every turn. So stages like this will be painfully predictable and tedious in the first week until the end of time. A couple of the stages this week have been the worst I've ever fast forwarded through.

Additionally configure WT points in a way that discourages teams that focus primarily on dedicated sprint trains. So there are less riders to focus on managing breaks.
It will just make it worse - if they aren't sure then they just ride even more conservatively so that a 3 man break never gets more than 2 mins or so they are actually in sight
 
Re:

Carols said:
It's really simple, if you find it boring don't watch. As a lifelong cycling fan I'll watch every minute they give me on tv. On stages like yesterday I just work on other things also and mostly listen. If something happens I can quickly back up the dvr to watch it.

Piano can be dreadfully boring so just use the opportunity to do something else while still following the race. Cycling has had stages like this for 100 years, I see no reason to change it but then I'm old and have leaned patience :)

Agree with this but have to say I liked them a lot more when I could still stomach American television but the insane number of ads and rider promos drove me to mostly lousy internet feeds. Admittedly, it's nothing to plan around, but if it's really hot and you have a cold drink, it adds a nice rhythm to the Tour.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
It's called reductio ad absurdum guys. Look it up.
It is an incorrect usage. To dispute the premise that the stages are boring and something needs to be done in no way leads to or justifies disputing that inhumane conditions need to be addressed. Or, being dismissive about claims about the entertainment quality of a sport does not lead to being dismissive about poltical, moral or ethical obligations. On the other hand, that one may disagree about the need to change a sport does imply that one may disagree about more serious matters; so if we disagree on trivial questions, we may disagree on vital questions.
 
Have a real TT as early as possible. We need more gaps in GC. Make the flat stages even longer, if they all were 240km+, the sprinter teams would have it harder (as long as a real break gets away, not just 1 or 3 riders). 8 men teams would be nice as well (would give space to 1 or 2 extra wildcard teams).

I think yesterday's stage would have been better if it was 280km long or even longer.
 

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