I just don't understand the Griping.

Jul 7, 2009
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Seriously.

You have a right to enjoy or not enjoy whatever you want. That's certainly your prerogative. What I don't understand is some of you who seem to think that flat stage bunch sprints or one team/sprinter dominating those stages is somehow something new and thus must be griped about every day ad nauseum.

Interestingly enough, it is coming from a great many people who seem to fancy themselves as 'true fans' that know more than all the 'newbies' on the board. Yes, my post count a fraction of a percent of yours. But it appears my memory is still intact while yours took a back seat.

Flat stages have been dominated by sprinting teams for as long as I can remember. What's more, many years of the Tour have seen an individual sprinter win many stages of that tour. Zabel, Mario, etc. Those are just recent entries. Both of those two tied or beat records that were previously set before them by sprinters who had won 4 or 5 stages in bunch sprints. So I fail to see that this tour should call for such vitriol and bad mouthing simply because we have a new sprinter on the scene who is doing the same thing that has been done for many many a decade.

Climbing stages not being contested. I admit I would have prefered to see more fireworks on stage 7. However, the flack I've seen some of you forum posters handing out because the stage was 'boring' or those that have completely dismissed riders because they did not attack....have you so easily forgotten Tours of yesteryear? Or were you simply not around the cycling world when Miguel Indurain dominated the Tour for 5 years by doing exactly that? Miguel seldom if ever attacked in the mountains. Yet he won 5 Tours. He did so by crushing people in the Time Trials and then not losing time in the mountains.

As a variation on a theme, there are those of you who have complained about the same guy winning too much. Whether it be Lance or Cavendish or someone else. What sport are you a fan of exactly? Because the sport that I ride in has seen guys dominate multiple races throughout its history. People forget Eddie Merckx who won practically everything in sight while he rode. Could you have gotten any more predictable? If the guy entered a race he'd likely win it at the time. Between the years of 1970 and 1973 he won between 37-41% of the races he raced in. Nor was he extremely popular in certain parts of the world for that fact. Or going even further back, Fausto Coppi. Here was another guy who won huge amounts.

Those of you complaining that the Tour is boring because the victor is almost assured to come from Astana or that Contador will be the winner because the others just have lost too much time. Again, this is the same sport that had Merckx in 1975 seem to have it all over by July 13th and yet the very next day lose that Tour.

The hate for Armstrong? Yep, we've had that before too. Eddy Merckx was so hated that they spit on him as he rode. He was hated why? Because he won too much. Eddy tested positive 3 times for drugs. They didn't hate him for that though and seldom do people remember that or even know about it.

1977? Eddy talked briefly about riding in 78. It created controversy within his team. Sound familiar? 1977 also had a Tour marked by doping scandal. Sound familiar? And in 1978....after the Tour finally saw a year without Eddie Merchx and all the media about him....the Badger started his assault by winning his 1st of 5.



Please understand...I do not begrudge you your opinions regarding what you do and don't like. I simply don't understand why you are a fan of cycling if these kinds of things bother you so much? These are things that have always been with cycling and always will. In fact...I would go so far as to say that, except for the doping, the above things are part of cyclings DNA and part of what makes cycling cycling. Yes...there are definitely those races that are less predictable and have more attacks and have less bunch sprints and more breakaways....but they have never been the norm in cycling. It has always been a healthy mix of both that and the above.
 

whiteboytrash

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Mar 17, 2009
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ilillillli said:
i can't decide if this thread is going to get a billion comments or just this one...
Then again most of the time we get a billion threads with just one comment......
 
Very interesting observations, Bain, and I pretty much agree.... (except for the mountains in this years Tour, which seem rather emasculated).
.
I wonder how much of this depends on discussion-forum sociology, rather than the specifics of bike racing...?
.
 
May 13, 2009
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It's still boring to watch.

See, I tune in at 9, see the race situation and know nothing of consequence will happen until 11. So I watch again at 11 for the last ~10 km. That's ok. Can't imagine though how boring it must be to watch the whole stage.

I enjoy the sprint and don't mind Cav winning. Fine with me and he deserves it. But that's only 10m excitement for a 4-5h stage.
 
Jun 30, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
It's still boring to watch.

See, I tune in at 9, see the race situation and know nothing of consequence will happen until 11. So I watch again at 11 for the last ~10 km. That's ok. Can't imagine though how boring it must be to watch the whole stage.

I enjoy the sprint and don't mind Cav winning. Fine with me and he deserves it. But that's only 10m excitement for a 4-5h stage.
second that. well said.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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whiteboytrash said:
Then again most of the time we get a billion threads with just one comment......
nah, most of the time there are bullsh*t threads with uninformed or completely moronic analysis. Like there was some ****er posting about how columbia had imploded back in the first week. Then we didn't see that ****er comment on columbia's domination of the last 2 days.

Oh wait, that was you.
 
autologous said:
nah, most of the time there are bullsh*t threads with uninformed or completely moronic analysis. Like there was some ****er posting about how columbia had imploded back in the first week. Then we didn't see that ****er comment on columbia's domination of the last 2 days.

Oh wait, that was you.
In WBT's defense, it's made for a lasting thread.

I'm just saying...
 
Apr 9, 2009
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Bain I agree with the spirit of your post but I hope you are aware that you are simply griping about people griping which is IMHO even more annoying that people griping about the race!

Anyway, personally I'm not at all annoyed about Columbia's domination of the flat stages - they are doing a really really good job and Cav has the legs to finish it off every time. I wish another sprinter had the legs to mix it up but it really seems like no one can compete with the Columbia train.

Now as far as the GC situation goes I think this Tour simply sucks. Having many of the big GC competitors eliminated by the TTT was sucky but obviously nothing new as Iban Mayo for example suffered the same fate pretty much every year.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
It's still boring to watch.

See, I tune in at 9, see the race situation and know nothing of consequence will happen until 11. So I watch again at 11 for the last ~10 km. That's ok. Can't imagine though how boring it must be to watch the whole stage.

I enjoy the sprint and don't mind Cav winning. Fine with me and he deserves it. But that's only 10m excitement for a 4-5h stage.
But Cobble....that's Cycling!

That is exactly what happens in cycling. It's been that way since its inception. Of course there are some races and some stages within stage races that differ because of their course or the day's weather situation(as we saw on stage 3) or because a couple riders have are able to get away. But a large group staying together and then having a bunch sprint at the end is what you are going to get half the time.

I guess that was the entire purpose of the thread. If that's boring to you ...ok. But that's cycling.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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Bainreese said:
That is exactly what happens in cycling. It's been that way since its inception.
Actually this is what has happenned since the inception of radios. But that's a whole other debate.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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BikeCentric said:
Bain I agree with the spirit of your post but I hope you are aware that you are simply griping about people griping which is IMHO even more annoying that people griping about the race!
I certainly knew that was a possible response that I would get. But after weighing the consequences having to deal with just such a post, I felt it was worth pointing out and so I tried to do so in as much of a non-confrontational way as possible. It simply comes down to this....what are people surprised about? This is what cycling is.

Now as far as the GC situation goes I think this Tour simply sucks. Having many of the big GC competitors eliminated by the TTT was sucky but obviously nothing new as Iban Mayo for example suffered the same fate pretty much every year.
Mayo was a great climber and he certainly shook things up in the mountain stages, but you are absolutely right. He couldn't time trial to save his life. On the flip side, you have great TT riders who just can't hang with the -small boys- in the mountains.

But yes...nothing new. Cycling is like Golf in many ways. It takes a special kind of person to be able to watch a full stage on TV. I admit that even I fast forward through many of the old Tours I have on DVD for the truly exciting parts. The Tour is a sporting event that plays itself out over 3 weeks time. It is one of the longest sporting events in the world. Every moment can't be a nail biter. It is going to have long periods of oh-hum. That is what cycling is. Even in a Pro-1-2 Crit here in the states, only 10-15 minutes of the race will really keep you on the edge of your seat. The rest of the time you are pretty much just getting cheered on by the onlookers as everyone rolls around the course.

But the great thing about it....is that even with as predictable as it can sometimes be, it can be just as unpredictable. The 2003 Tour was a good example. Who could have predicted that Beloki would crash? Or that Lance would dehydrate on the ITT, or that Lance would get put on the pavement by a fan's M.bag? Similarly, even with things on the GC staying relatively unchanged for the last couple of days, who knows what is going to happen tomorrow? Anything could happen. That is the spirit of cycling.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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BikeCentric said:
Actually this is what has happenned since the inception of radios. But that's a whole other debate.
You can argue that if you want. But I disagree. I've raced without radios and with them. The races are seldom different. You still get time splits. Breaks still get reeled in. You still have tactics that are discussed and carried out. A Team car can still get orders out to the team on the road.

There have always been ways to communicate to the riders. Certain radios make it more real time, but I honestly think radios are given too much credit. Incidentally, I also think the notion that 'without radios the riders are less safe' is poppycock. That is a poor poor defense.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Bainreese said:
Seriously.

You have a right to enjoy or not enjoy whatever you want. That's certainly your prerogative. What I don't understand is some of you who seem to think that flat stage bunch sprints or one team/sprinter dominating those stages is somehow something new and thus must be griped about every day ad nauseum.

Interestingly enough, it is coming from a great many people who seem to fancy themselves as 'true fans' that know more than all the 'newbies' on the board. Yes, my post count a fraction of a percent of yours. But it appears my memory is still intact while yours took a back seat.

Flat stages have been dominated by sprinting teams for as long as I can remember. What's more, many years of the Tour have seen an individual sprinter win many stages of that tour. Zabel, Mario, etc. Those are just recent entries. Both of those two tied or beat records that were previously set before them by sprinters who had won 4 or 5 stages in bunch sprints. So I fail to see that this tour should call for such vitriol and bad mouthing simply because we have a new sprinter on the scene who is doing the same thing that has been done for many many a decade.

Climbing stages not being contested. I admit I would have prefered to see more fireworks on stage 7. However, the flack I've seen some of you forum posters handing out because the stage was 'boring' or those that have completely dismissed riders because they did not attack....have you so easily forgotten Tours of yesteryear? Or were you simply not around the cycling world when Miguel Indurain dominated the Tour for 5 years by doing exactly that? Miguel seldom if ever attacked in the mountains. Yet he won 5 Tours. He did so by crushing people in the Time Trials and then not losing time in the mountains.

As a variation on a theme, there are those of you who have complained about the same guy winning too much. Whether it be Lance or Cavendish or someone else. What sport are you a fan of exactly? Because the sport that I ride in has seen guys dominate multiple races throughout its history. People forget Eddie Merckx who won practically everything in sight while he rode. Could you have gotten any more predictable? If the guy entered a race he'd likely win it at the time. Between the years of 1970 and 1973 he won between 37-41% of the races he raced in. Nor was he extremely popular in certain parts of the world for that fact. Or going even further back, Fausto Coppi. Here was another guy who won huge amounts.

Those of you complaining that the Tour is boring because the victor is almost assured to come from Astana or that Contador will be the winner because the others just have lost too much time. Again, this is the same sport that had Merckx in 1975 seem to have it all over by July 13th and yet the very next day lose that Tour.

The hate for Armstrong? Yep, we've had that before too. Eddy Merckx was so hated that they spit on him as he rode. He was hated why? Because he won too much. Eddy tested positive 3 times for drugs. They didn't hate him for that though and seldom do people remember that or even know about it.

1977? Eddy talked briefly about riding in 78. It created controversy within his team. Sound familiar? 1977 also had a Tour marked by doping scandal. Sound familiar? And in 1978....after the Tour finally saw a year without Eddie Merchx and all the media about him....the Badger started his assault by winning his 1st of 5.



Please understand...I do not begrudge you your opinions regarding what you do and don't like. I simply don't understand why you are a fan of cycling if these kinds of things bother you so much? These are things that have always been with cycling and always will. In fact...I would go so far as to say that, except for the doping, the above things are part of cyclings DNA and part of what makes cycling cycling. Yes...there are definitely those races that are less predictable and have more attacks and have less bunch sprints and more breakaways....but they have never been the norm in cycling. It has always been a healthy mix of both that and the above.
Thank you for one of the most accurate, concise, well thought and well written comments placed on this site in a long while.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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VeloFidelis said:
Thank you for one of the most accurate, concise, well thought and well written comments placed on this site in a long while.
By in large I agree.
As with every Tour - there is the race for the stages and then the GC battle. The stage races have been what you expect, a dominant sprinter winning on the flats, a couple of good breakaway and an impressive display by Felliu in the mountain stage.
As for the GC battle - yes, it has been a little sombre as a result of the TTT but there are some exciting parcours in the final week and of course we will be left guessing all the way to the top of the Ventoux.

We can discuss and debate what an exciting/boring race this is throughout - but our defining memories are usually made well after the final yellow jersey has been received in Paris.
 
May 13, 2009
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Amsterhammer said:
I think WBT is indefensible.

I'm just saying....;)
LOL, I agree. dont forget his disappearence after claiming Saxo would win the TTT.
We are going to have to wait on his prediction that Cancellara will win the tour one day, although it doesnt look very promising considering he is 36:11 down on GC.
 
May 19, 2009
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I think they should split the tour in 2. The all mountain/time trials tour de france and the flat stages/sprinting tour de france. I know which one I'd be watching. ;)
 
May 13, 2009
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Bainreese said:
But Cobble....that's Cycling!

That is exactly what happens in cycling. It's been that way since its inception. Of course there are some races and some stages within stage races that differ because of their course or the day's weather situation(as we saw on stage 3) or because a couple riders have are able to get away. But a large group staying together and then having a bunch sprint at the end is what you are going to get half the time.

I guess that was the entire purpose of the thread. If that's boring to you ...ok. But that's cycling.
Ever seen a spring classic?

I think it's really due to race radio. Before, riders tried for example to bridge the gap because escapes were never allowed to go all that far (mostly). Escapes wouldn't form in the first km. The peloton wouldn't know what happened in the escape, who's working, who's not, if they work together or attacking each other. Completely different racing then and now. If all you've ever watched is TdF after the introduction of race radio, then, yes, that's what you expect.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
Ever seen a spring classic?
Yes. The question is...have you? I'm not trying to be confrontational here, but I honestly can't see how you can compare a Grand Tour to a one day Spring Classic race. Although Milan San Remo is a great example of a Spring classic that has often ended in bunch sprint.

Are all the spring classics like this? NO! Because their parcours are completely different. You can't expect a Paris Roubaix or Liege style finish in every stage of the Tour. Grand Tours by definition are completely different races. And yes...their make up every year changes to boot. It's a different course every year. You don't get use to the same course year in and year out. Also, as a rider and a team, you must measure your output on a daily basis. You can't go out and blow yourself in a single day if it is going to sacrifice a personal or team goal. That's short term thinking and for anyone to expect them to do that purely for entertainment value shouldn't be watching cycling. You should watch football.

All of these dynamics change how the race is raced by the riders. Yes, radios do as well, but they are one small part of it and most certainly...most certainly not the fly in the pudding that is ruining this Tour or any other.

Perspective is what is lacking here and unrealistic expectations. Teams are teams because they are there to win races. Different teams have different goals. Winning is important not only for the prestige and the ego, but also for the money involved in the prize. This prize money supplements income. The basic rider doesn't get paid a mint for riding. That is also why you don't see teams like Astana and Columbia HTC throwing a man off the front just to 'make the fans happy that something is happening at km 102 marker'. Yes...cycling is a business as much as any other sport. Winning matters. Fans don't pay to see the sport like normal sporting events and thus doing things just to please the fans isn't really a high priority.

Anyway....I think I'm done with this. I am not interested in a long drawn out debate. You can't give people perspective through an internet forum.
 
May 13, 2009
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Bainreese said:
Yes. The question is...have you? I'm not trying to be confrontational here, but I honestly can't see how you can compare a Grand Tour to a one day Spring Classic race. Although Milan San Remo is a great example of a Spring classic that has often ended in bunch sprint.

Are all the spring classics like this? NO! Because their parcours are completely different. You can't expect a Paris Roubaix or Liege style finish in every stage of the Tour. Grand Tours by definition are completely different races. And yes...their make up every year changes to boot. It's a different course every year. You don't get use to the same course year in and year out. Also, as a rider and a team, you must measure your output on a daily basis. You can't go out and blow yourself in a single day if it is going to sacrifice a personal or team goal. That's short term thinking and for anyone to expect them to do that purely for entertainment value shouldn't be watching cycling. You should watch football.

All of these dynamics change how the race is raced by the riders. Yes, radios do as well, but they are one small part of it and most certainly...most certainly not the fly in the pudding that is ruining this Tour or any other.

Perspective is what is lacking here and unrealistic expectations. Teams are teams because they are there to win races. Different teams have different goals. Winning is important not only for the prestige and the ego, but also for the money involved in the prize. This prize money supplements income. The basic rider doesn't get paid a mint for riding. That is also why you don't see teams like Astana and Columbia HTC throwing a man off the front just to 'make the fans happy that something is happening at km 102 marker'. Yes...cycling is a business as much as any other sport. Winning matters. Fans don't pay to see the sport like normal sporting events and thus doing things just to please the fans isn't really a high priority.

Anyway....I think I'm done with this. I am not interested in a long drawn out debate. You can't give people perspective through an internet forum.
You said in your previous post 'that's cycling' which was a terrible generalization, so I called you out on that. For the record, I don't think the fact that the course of the TdF is different each year is of much consequence. Also, the prize money is so small, it will hardly factor in the race tactics. And you haven't really addressed my points on race radio.

Have I watched a spring classic or two? Can you guess from my username?

ETA: Let me also say that stages didn't use to be like that. An escape forming in the first km and staying until the last 5km (if caught) is a fairly new development. It partly comes from the TV coverage. Point in case the Giro, which has 'enjoyed' start-to-finish coverage only during the last years, which coincides with the same kind of development in race tactics.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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You called me out on what exactly? Yes, 'That is cycling' is a generalization. It's also a generalization that in my very first post I 'qualified' and 'requalified' in subsequent posts when I stated the following.

Yes...there are definitely those races that are less predictable and have more attacks and have less bunch sprints and more breakaways....but they have never been the norm in cycling. It has always been a healthy mix of both that and the above.
Of course there are some races and some stages within stage races that differ because of their course or the day's weather situation(as we saw on stage 3) or because a couple riders have are able to get away. But a large group staying together and then having a bunch sprint at the end is what you are going to get half the time.
To which I added...
I guess that was the entire purpose of the thread. If that's boring to you ...ok. But that's cycling.
So if you think you've 'called me out' on something I already said.....ok? ...I guess?.

As far as race radios go, I already addressed that as well in previous posts. Yes, some information that comes across a race radio you wouldn't otherwise get. But that is 'some' of the information you get. While a good portion of what you get over the radios could and has been communicated to the riders without them. I can't explain to you what happens in a race if you've never been in one. I can't explain to you the dynamic. But to really address your 'radios changed the race' issue, let me address what you said point by point.

I think it's really due to race radio.
All this boredom and griping over a radio? Well lets see...

Before, riders tried for example to bridge the gap because escapes were never allowed to go all that far (mostly).
Riders still try bridging gaps with radios. It still happens and has happened in this tour. Further, so you are telling me that escapes were never allowed to get away before radios?(mostly)? Escapes happen with or without radios. Escapes have also succeeded with and without radios....including ones in this very Tour.

So where exactly is the issue with radios and escapes? You don't want an escape to happen(since your example is that escapes weren't allowed to go all that far without them) or you do want them to happen? In which case...since it happens quite frequently with race radios again...what's the problem?


Escapes wouldn't form in the first km.
Escapes happen at different times and for a myriad of different reasons. Sometimes in the first km, and sometimes in 100km in. But again, I'm confused on whether you prefer or don't prefer escapes to happen. Radios are irrelevant to when and whether an escape happens.

The peloton wouldn't know what happened in the escape, who's working, who's not, if they work together or attacking each other.
Here is your single best point. This information isn't communicated in a non radio race...or at least...it isn't unless you have someone from the team yelling from the roadside some of this info. Which....happens all the time in non-radio races. We do this in Pro-1-2 races here in the states and they do it in Europe as well.

Do you get as much information? Is it as efficient of a communication? No. Definitely not. But it still happens. Time gaps still are communicated. And frankly...who's working isn't really as important as how many riders are in the break. If it's two riders in the break I don't care if its two of the strongest riders in the world, they can't outrun a 100 rider group behind them if there isn't as much time given and people put in the work. That's why whether radios are there are not the race dynamics in the peloton still have to be contended with. Are people going to help work to keep the break within reason? Who has a rider in the break and isn't going to do the work? Etc etc. That has much more to do with whether a break is successful or not than whether they have an earpiece in their ear with their DS yelling at them.

Completely different racing then and now. If all you've ever watched is TdF after the introduction of race radio, then, yes, that's what you expect.
Certainly radios have added something to the race. If they hadn't it wouldn't be an issue right now. But have they completely changed cycling? No. Races without radios play out much the same way as races with radios. Are radios a factor? Yes. Are they the fly in the pudding? No. If they didn't have them would the info that they get be completely shut off? Nope.

So I assert again, the Tour being boring has nothing to do with race radios or anything else. Certainly you can argue the aspect of a sport just like people in American football argue that Referee calls by looking at the instant replay has taken something from the game. It's really not even academic. The dynamics of what makes the game the game....are still there. Same with cycling.
 
Apr 20, 2009
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Bainreese said:
Yes...cycling is a business as much as any other sport. Winning matters. Fans don't pay to see the sport like normal sporting events and thus doing things just to please the fans isn't really a high priority.
Absolutely right! We don't pay, so we don't get to say. In any other sport the fans can vote with their wallet. They don't really owe us anything, They race for the results and we get to watch.. for free.
 
May 13, 2009
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Bainreese said:
You called me out on what exactly? Yes, 'That is cycling' is a generalization. It's also a generalization that in my very first post I 'qualified' and 'requalified' in subsequent posts when I stated the following.





To which I added...

So if you think you've 'called me out' on something I already said.....ok? ...I guess?.

As far as race radios go, I already addressed that as well in previous posts. Yes, some information that comes across a race radio you wouldn't otherwise get. But that is 'some' of the information you get. While a good portion of what you get over the radios could and has been communicated to the riders without them. I can't explain to you what happens in a race if you've never been in one. I can't explain to you the dynamic. But to really address your 'radios changed the race' issue, let me address what you said point by point.


All this boredom and griping over a radio? Well lets see...


Riders still try bridging gaps with radios. It still happens and has happened in this tour. Further, so you are telling me that escapes were never allowed to get away before radios?(mostly)? Escapes happen with or without radios. Escapes have also succeeded with and without radios....including ones in this very Tour.

So where exactly is the issue with radios and escapes? You don't want an escape to happen(since your example is that escapes weren't allowed to go all that far without them) or you do want them to happen? In which case...since it happens quite frequently with race radios again...what's the problem?



Escapes happen at different times and for a myriad of different reasons. Sometimes in the first km, and sometimes in 100km in. But again, I'm confused on whether you prefer or don't prefer escapes to happen. Radios are irrelevant to when and whether an escape happens.


Here is your single best point. This information isn't communicated in a non radio race...or at least...it isn't unless you have someone from the team yelling from the roadside some of this info. Which....happens all the time in non-radio races. We do this in Pro-1-2 races here in the states and they do it in Europe as well.

Do you get as much information? Is it as efficient of a communication? No. Definitely not. But it still happens. Time gaps still are communicated. And frankly...who's working isn't really as important as how many riders are in the break. If it's two riders in the break I don't care if its two of the strongest riders in the world, they can't outrun a 100 rider group behind them if there isn't as much time given and people put in the work. That's why whether radios are there are not the race dynamics in the peloton still have to be contended with. Are people going to help work to keep the break within reason? Who has a rider in the break and isn't going to do the work? Etc etc. That has much more to do with whether a break is successful or not than whether they have an earpiece in their ear with their DS yelling at them.



Certainly radios have added something to the race. If they hadn't it wouldn't be an issue right now. But have they completely changed cycling? No. Races without radios play out much the same way as races with radios. Are radios a factor? Yes. Are they the fly in the pudding? No. If they didn't have them would the info that they get be completely shut off? Nope.

So I assert again, the Tour being boring has nothing to do with race radios or anything else. Certainly you can argue the aspect of a sport just like people in American football argue that Referee calls by looking at the instant replay has taken something from the game. It's really not even academic. The dynamics of what makes the game the game....are still there. Same with cycling.
If you want to qualify a statement you make, you should do it right then and there, not ten posts earlier or later. People might miss it otherwise.

About the escape comment: you're twisting my words. I never said anything about whether I do or don't want to see an escape. You're setting up a strawman.

Fact is almost any flat stage at the TdF nowadays follows the same pattern:
1) the escape forms in the first kms
2) it is often allowed to go quite far ahead
(This discourages anybody else from trying to bridge, it also helps cement the escape)
3) At the last possible opportunity, the chase starts in earnest (or on the odd occasion, not).

Check that against race reports from 20 years ago. It wasn't so formulaic then.

I think race radio facilitates this tactic because (among all the other information) riders will get very precise up to date news on the gap and how it increases or decreases.

Apparently, ASO agrees with this line of thinking, otherwise why would they ban earpieces yesterday?
 
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