I just don't understand the Griping.

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Jun 30, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
Apparently, ASO agrees with this line of thinking, otherwise why would they ban earpieces yesterday?
to be fair, though, ASO also thinks it's a good idea to put 70km of descending/flat after the tourmalet, so... consider the source.

just jokin... in general i agree with your main point.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
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?
I have been in the sport for over 20 years.

You are correct, the race was not so formulaic driven. But it also didn't have the money to pay riders the way they do now. Many credit Greg LeMond for the change in the pay structure. But with increased in payrolls meant the sponsers want consistant results.

For Columbia it is a win in every sprint stage. For Asata it is an overall win. They want their people to be exposed to the media as much as they can.

The communication if quicker now and the riders have to be more attentive on where all their team is at any time. But I you look at the reports teams had people on the course 30 plus years ago given the managers info on gaps, riders, how organized things were. It was not uncommon to see team manager cars consulting people on the side of the road, then catch back up, give the info to the rider that was fetching the bottles at that time, and see him spread the info with the other riders while deliverying the bottles.

If ASO was so concerned about the race radios making a difference. Why still have the gap given to the leaders on the chalkboard? That can be seen as much as a difference. New tech is new tech the race will adapt. ASO has tried a grand experiment, it may work out it may not. But there was always communication.

I would say the changes in advertising structures have made more changes. With specialized teams that are trying only for media coverage are more of a problem.
 
Mar 30, 2009
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Well I know I'm getting sick of all the 'I'm bored.....it's too predictable.....someone do something' rubbish. If you want the tour to be exciting, grow some and start putting some money on Cav to win stages. If it's so predictable, get on and enjoy the ride and collect the bucks.

That said, sure Cav seems like easy money right now but the threats of Hushovd and the uphill sprint last night (Not helped by the commentary that everyone from Robbie McEwen to Santa Claus thought it suited Hushovd...I was crapping myself) still made it an awesome stage to me! It was always going to end in a sprint and thats a huge part of the race....so get involved, enjoy it until the mountains or shut the hell up.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Time bonuses and intermediate sprints

It's obvious that ditching time bonuses killed the impetus for intermediate sprints. Instead of sprint teams trying to control the peleton in the first half of he race so their riders could try to score the yellow jersey, they are happy to sit back and wait for the stage win. I feel sorry for the towns on the route who have probably paid a small fortune to make sure they got a prime in their town only to have the peleton roll through the sprint line as if it wasn't there.

GC riders are also less rewarded for taking gambles on escapes, an attack on Stage 8 or 9 could have netted a GC contender valuable time even if they didn't make the finish ahead of the peleton. And we might have seen a fast hill finisher like Andy Schleck or Kirchen trying to mix it up a bit more in the Barcelona finish.

Keep the radios and bring back the time bonuses.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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badboyberty said:
Keep the radios and bring back the time bonuses.
I agree.

As I brought up on another thread, ASO designed this tour in this way because they didn't want a climber to win. They thought by getting rid of the time bonuses, adding the TTT, and the way the an HC climb the Tourmelat had such an easy finish to let people catch up. ASO simply thought that a Sastre or another climber was going to dominate and they made a course that could make them vunerable.

There have been great finishes, but no one is excited about the middle.
 
May 13, 2009
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L29205:

I'm not saying to ban all communication. The yellow moto with chalkboard is fine. If DS's want to stop and talk to observers that's also fine. What might make racing more interesting is to stop the direct link from the DS to the individual riders. I think it's worth a try. Without that Cervelo might have won another stage in the Giro for instance. ;)

You're right about the money, so sponsors want more exposure. I don't see why this should lead to more boring races. Kind of defeats the purpose.

Cycutza:

I didn't say the sprint itself is all that predictable (or is even the boring part of the stage). Au contraire. The sprint, or alternatively, the internal fight of the escape on the last kms are the most exciting parts. This year, Cav is very dominant, but that's beside the point.

badboybertie:

Agree. Time bonuses should be kept. Intermediate sprints and low category climbing points are usually gobbled up by the escape. It pretty much neutralizes them. I would support anything which could make the race less formulaic. It might be to bring back time bonuses, a change to intermediate sprints or whatever.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
L29205:

You're right about the money, so sponsors want more exposure. I don't see why this should lead to more boring races. Kind of defeats the purpose.
I believe most sponsors are not in the sport for the long term. They are looking at exposure for their product on the short term and that is it. There are exceptations, Terk, Cervelo, SRAM, Shimano, all of the people that get direct results from their sponsership. But are the people behind Astana really concerned about growing the sport? Is Columbia/HTC concerned that much, one hopes so but cycling is not their direct business? Look at T-mobile, they wanted results and they got them but bailed on the team when they found out the cost (no I am not comparing Columbia to T-Mobile). They are looking for exposure in main stream media. The teams will be forced to make the race what they can in order to get the most exposure.

However, you are also correct this short term goal is destory the long term success of all of cycling.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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At the risk of bucking the trend here...

I don't find it boring. For me it's a three week thing ... I don't need every day to be air punching exciting. For me it's the comination of the slow build and the everyday drama of the race unfolding.

And I have my own set of highlights too many to mention them all but...

Cancellara ripping it up in Monaco
Lance back in the Tour
Cavendish and the Columbia train awsome
BBox all in the ditch
Voeckler winning a stage
Alberto having a go on Arcalis
Thor winning in Barcelona
Sanchez pipping Casar
Fedrigo pipping Pellizotti just ahead of the bunch

And those just off the top of my head. And it's going to get better over the next few days. Can't wait. :D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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180mmCrank said:
At the risk of bucking the trend here...

I don't find it boring. For me it's a three week thing ... I don't need every day to be air punching exciting. For me it's the comination of the slow build and the everyday drama of the race unfolding.

And I have my own set of highlights too many to mention them all but...

Cancellara ripping it up in Monaco
Lance back in the Tour
Cavendish and the Columbia train awsome
BBox all in the ditch
Voeckler winning a stage
Alberto having a go on Arcalis
Thor winning in Barcelona
Sanchez pipping Casar
Fedrigo pipping Pellizotti just ahead of the bunch

And those just off the top of my head. And it's going to get better over the next few days. Can't wait. :D
You forgot Brice Feilleu's introduction to the world of grand tour racing. That was a highlight and a half.
 
Only one comment. I actually did find most all of Miguel Indurain's Tour wins boring.

1991 was good, mostly because of the drama of having PDM drop, then Lemond collapse, which seemed impossible.

1992 was over by the first ITT, and boring after that.

1993 was maybe the most exciting. But it was because Tony Rominger repeatedly attacked Mig and tried to drop him, and was fairly close on GC.

1994 was the most boring, with Rominger crashing out on like Stage 3. It too was then over after the first ITT.

1995 was boring, same result. Horrible, sad crash made it even worse.

Several of Lance's Tour wins were pretty boring too. In 2005 it was over in the prologue after he caught and passed Ullrich.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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I guess this is a beauty in the eye of the beholder thing - I loved watching Indurain - I could watch him all day.

In 1995 I cycled across France just to see him - I saw Lance win after Casartelli crash :( in Limoges

But main event for me was the Lac du Vasiviere time trial. By the way it is a pig of a place to get to on a bike. I cycled from Limoges about 50 km and when I got there I asked a Gendarme in broken french "Oou est depart?" he just pointed up - I hadn't realised it was a mountain lake! 20%+ climb to get up there. But when I finally got there saw all my favs up close and personal JaJa, Zule, Big Mig... awesome :D

Ok so I am a little less than objective about all this - I just think the whole thing rocks - it brings out my inner child.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Bainreese said:
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.
And for that reason alone, the ASO has tried different parcourses for the TdF in recent years. The era of Zabel, Jaja, Cipo, Steels, Abdou, Blijlevens, where the first 10 stages all resulted in a bunch sprint, became so terribly, painstakingly boring that any fan, even newcomers, was totally put off by it.

The Tdf, which has slowly but surely turned into 'the greatest race in the world that really matters' over the past decade, has raised the stakes for anyone involved. Teams, riders, their DS' and the team directors and managers, all want to do well during those 3 weeks in France. Especially the established teams need control of the race, with radios, TVs, better bikes, better medical treatment etc, to safeguard their aspirations. That's what happens when the sport becomes more professional. Because of the high stakes, teams have become overly cautious. Nobody wants to lose the tour, that's the adage.

Compare that to Merckx - the cannibal. He approached every stage in a stage race, as if it were a spring classic. Every day he wanted to win, as evidenced by his ridiculous number of wins in any stage race. He attacked, that was his adage.

And this, it seems, is being confused by many, although the results were often predictable, the development of the race itself, was far from it. That, to me, is cycling, the unpredictable way the race unfolds. The excitement about another attack that stands a chance and the interpersonal competition between GC contenders, where either seems to have the upper hand. That's also what some of the wildcard teams (SKL this year) bring to the race, they are animators, they have nothing to lose, only to gain. They feel they can win a stage, every day, they approach the TdF the Merckx way, they attack.

The only way the organisers can break with this pattern, which it really is, and without lowering the stakes and revenue, is to play around with the parcours. That's why ASO includes early stages where wind and waaiers/abanicos play an important role. That's why last year's opening stage to Plumelec had a 'Valverde' finish. That's why mountains come much earlier in the race this year, as well as last year (the great stage 6 to Superbesse). This year's Giro even had a mountain top finish in stage 4.

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.
At least Miguel rode up a hill with only 1-3 others, instead fo arriving in the grupetto with 35 riders. That means at least someone made it so hard that only few riders, including big mig, could follow.

Now, due to the parcours in the Pyrenees and the wind on Arcalis, as well as the Tdf stakes, no one could or would launch an attack. Afraid of blowing oneself up due to the wind is obviously a good reason to not risk anything. But then, there was nothing were other so called contenders could even try and make a difference in the 2 stages that followed. The tourmalet 70K before the finish, calling it a mountain stage? Verbier is left, and that one top is shallower than Arcalis, a 1 cat climb. Mont Ventoux will probably have the same fate as Arcalis, too much wind to create a real gap.

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.
Not trying to be confrontational, but how can anyone defend races/racing that has nothing to offer, are boring and lack excitement. Some are even regulated as if run by a computer in that teams 'allow 4-5 men' to escape and know how fast they need to go to catch them within the 3k mark. As I said before, that has nothing to do with cycling. I doubt ASO shares your view, and I think I can back that up because they have been altering the terrain since the 10-consecutive-stages-ending-in-bunch-sprints became normal.

If you were to introduce cycling to a newcomer, I doubt you would pull out a video of stage 2,10,11 - sprint stages with no chance for an escape group, or 7,8,9 as 'important mountain stages for the GC'. They followed the pattern of a computer model.

Fans judge and criticise, but both are only possible in relation to what they perceive as superior racing to what they witness now. So much more excitement could have been, but only 'mediocre' racing, stages unfolding in a predictable way and none of it involved GC contenders battling it out, followed. I hope it will change, better today, but I am afraid it'll only be on friday that something happens.

If I had to introduce a newby to cycling, I know what I would show from 2009. Perhaps you missed the Giro, Paris-Nice and the Dauphine. The stakes are lower and the parcours a lot more selective and varied with as a result, excitement ;)

Enjoy the remainder of the TdF
 
Bala Verde said:
And for that reason alone, the ASO has tried different parcourses for the TdF in recent years. The era of Zabel, Jaja, Cipo, Steels, Abdou, Blijlevens, where the first 10 stages all resulted in a bunch sprint, became so terribly, painstakingly boring that any fan, even newcomers, was totally put off by it.

The Tdf, which has slowly but surely turned into 'the greatest race in the world that really matters' over the past decade, has raised the stakes for anyone involved. Teams, riders, their DS' and the team directors and managers, all want to do well during those 3 weeks in France. Especially the established teams need control of the race, with radios, TVs, better bikes, better medical treatment etc, to safeguard their aspirations. That's what happens when the sport becomes more professional. Because of the high stakes, teams have become overly cautious. Nobody wants to lose the tour, that's the adage.

Compare that to Merckx - the cannibal. He approached every stage in a stage race, as if it were a spring classic. Every day he wanted to win, as evidenced by his ridiculous number of wins in any stage race. He attacked, that was his adage.

And this, it seems, is being confused by many, although the results were often predictable, the development of the race itself, was far from it. That, to me, is cycling, the unpredictable way the race unfolds. The excitement about another attack that stands a chance and the interpersonal competition between GC contenders, where either seems to have the upper hand. That's also what some of the wildcard teams (SKL this year) bring to the race, they are animators, they have nothing to lose, only to gain. They feel they can win a stage, every day, they approach the TdF the Merckx way, they attack.

The only way the organisers can break with this pattern, which it really is, and without lowering the stakes and revenue, is to play around with the parcours. That's why ASO includes early stages where wind and waaiers/abanicos play an important role. That's why last year's opening stage to Plumelec had a 'Valverde' finish. That's why mountains come much earlier in the race this year, as well as last year (the great stage 6 to Superbesse). This year's Giro even had a mountain top finish in stage 4.



At least Miguel rode up a hill with only 1-3 others, instead fo arriving in the grupetto with 35 riders. That means at least someone made it so hard that only few riders, including big mig, could follow.

Now, due to the parcours in the Pyrenees and the wind on Arcalis, as well as the Tdf stakes, no one could or would launch an attack. Afraid of blowing oneself up due to the wind is obviously a good reason to not risk anything. But then, there was nothing were other so called contenders could even try and make a difference in the 2 stages that followed. The tourmalet 70K before the finish, calling it a mountain stage? Verbier is left, and that one top is shallower than Arcalis, a 1 cat climb. Mont Ventoux will probably have the same fate as Arcalis, too much wind to create a real gap.



Not trying to be confrontational, but how can anyone defend races/racing that has nothing to offer, are boring and lack excitement. Some are even regulated as if run by a computer in that teams 'allow 4-5 men' to escape and know how fast they need to go to catch them within the 3k mark. As I said before, that has nothing to do with cycling. I doubt ASO shares your view, and I think I can back that up because they have been altering the terrain since the 10-consecutive-stages-ending-in-bunch-sprints became normal.

If you were to introduce cycling to a newcomer, I doubt you would pull out a video of stage 2,10,11 - sprint stages with no chance for an escape group, or 7,8,9 as 'important mountain stages for the GC'. They followed the pattern of a computer model.

Fans judge and criticise, but both are only possible in relation to what they perceive as superior racing to what they witness now. So much more excitement could have been, but only 'mediocre' racing, stages unfolding in a predictable way and none of it involved GC contenders battling it out, followed. I hope it will change, better today, but I am afraid it'll only be on friday that something happens.

If I had to introduce a newby to cycling, I know what I would show from 2009. Perhaps you missed the Giro, Paris-Nice and the Dauphine. The stakes are lower and the parcours a lot more selective and varied with as a result, excitement ;)

Enjoy the remainder of the TdF
+100...excellent job Bala. I couldn't have summed it up better.
 
May 19, 2009
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L29205 said:
I agree.

As I brought up on another thread, ASO designed this tour in this way because they didn't want a climber to win. They thought by getting rid of the time bonuses, adding the TTT, and the way the an HC climb the Tourmelat had such an easy finish to let people catch up. ASO simply thought that a Sastre or another climber was going to dominate and they made a course that could make them vunerable.

There have been great finishes, but no one is excited about the middle.
if they didn't want a climber to win, why did they put Mt. Ventoux on the second to last stage?

they didn't want a climber to get full control of the race until the end. They've achieved their purpose.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
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.
It ....was....in....the....same....post....the ....statement...was .....made.

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.
No, I'm saying the statements you made were conflicting. You complain that radios have nullified breaks...but then say that before radios breaks weren't allowed to get much time for success.

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).
And yet....today's stage shows you exactly what my words have said from the beginning. You get a healthy mix of everything. Today's stage is at least the second in this tour where the breakaway was a success.
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.
As I have said from the beginning, radios are a help. They simply aren't the only thing that makes this happen and it doesn't happen all the time. As your concession regarding time bonuses has already demonstrated. There are a lot of factors. Your initial post placed the blame solely on radios. That is the issue I took with you. Now that you have demonstrated an ability to allow for the fact that 'radios aren't the only fly in the pudding' as I've been saying from the start.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
And for that reason alone, the ASO has tried different parcourses for the TdF in recent years. The era of Zabel, Jaja, Cipo, Steels, Abdou, Blijlevens, where the first 10 stages all resulted in a bunch sprint, became so terribly, painstakingly boring that any fan, even newcomers, was totally put off by it.

The Tdf, which has slowly but surely turned into 'the greatest race in the world that really matters' over the past decade, has raised the stakes for anyone involved. Teams, riders, their DS' and the team directors and managers, all want to do well during those 3 weeks in France. Especially the established teams need control of the race, with radios, TVs, better bikes, better medical treatment etc, to safeguard their aspirations. That's what happens when the sport becomes more professional. Because of the high stakes, teams have become overly cautious. Nobody wants to lose the tour, that's the adage.

Compare that to Merckx - the cannibal. He approached every stage in a stage race, as if it were a spring classic. Every day he wanted to win, as evidenced by his ridiculous number of wins in any stage race. He attacked, that was his adage.

And this, it seems, is being confused by many, although the results were often predictable, the development of the race itself, was far from it. That, to me, is cycling, the unpredictable way the race unfolds. The excitement about another attack that stands a chance and the interpersonal competition between GC contenders, where either seems to have the upper hand. That's also what some of the wildcard teams (SKL this year) bring to the race, they are animators, they have nothing to lose, only to gain. They feel they can win a stage, every day, they approach the TdF the Merckx way, they attack.

The only way the organisers can break with this pattern, which it really is, and without lowering the stakes and revenue, is to play around with the parcours. That's why ASO includes early stages where wind and waaiers/abanicos play an important role. That's why last year's opening stage to Plumelec had a 'Valverde' finish. That's why mountains come much earlier in the race this year, as well as last year (the great stage 6 to Superbesse). This year's Giro even had a mountain top finish in stage 4.



At least Miguel rode up a hill with only 1-3 others, instead fo arriving in the grupetto with 35 riders. That means at least someone made it so hard that only few riders, including big mig, could follow.

Now, due to the parcours in the Pyrenees and the wind on Arcalis, as well as the Tdf stakes, no one could or would launch an attack. Afraid of blowing oneself up due to the wind is obviously a good reason to not risk anything. But then, there was nothing were other so called contenders could even try and make a difference in the 2 stages that followed. The tourmalet 70K before the finish, calling it a mountain stage? Verbier is left, and that one top is shallower than Arcalis, a 1 cat climb. Mont Ventoux will probably have the same fate as Arcalis, too much wind to create a real gap.



Not trying to be confrontational, but how can anyone defend races/racing that has nothing to offer, are boring and lack excitement. Some are even regulated as if run by a computer in that teams 'allow 4-5 men' to escape and know how fast they need to go to catch them within the 3k mark. As I said before, that has nothing to do with cycling. I doubt ASO shares your view, and I think I can back that up because they have been altering the terrain since the 10-consecutive-stages-ending-in-bunch-sprints became normal.

If you were to introduce cycling to a newcomer, I doubt you would pull out a video of stage 2,10,11 - sprint stages with no chance for an escape group, or 7,8,9 as 'important mountain stages for the GC'. They followed the pattern of a computer model.

Fans judge and criticise, but both are only possible in relation to what they perceive as superior racing to what they witness now. So much more excitement could have been, but only 'mediocre' racing, stages unfolding in a predictable way and none of it involved GC contenders battling it out, followed. I hope it will change, better today, but I am afraid it'll only be on friday that something happens.

If I had to introduce a newby to cycling, I know what I would show from 2009. Perhaps you missed the Giro, Paris-Nice and the Dauphine. The stakes are lower and the parcours a lot more selective and varied with as a result, excitement ;)

Enjoy the remainder of the TdF
Bala, I think you make some great points...and I appreciate the fact that you don't focus your blame on just one factor like radios. It shows a more even handed approach to your critique and that I can definitely have a conversation with.

#1. Yes, the Tour has evolved into something beyond what the rest of cycling is with regard to the promotion, spectacle, and importance to teams/sponsors etc. I definitely agree with this. And that, to some extent, has unbalanced the Tour. But where I differ from some of you is on two important points. A.) No amount of complaining is going to change the spectacle of the Tour. It has become what it has become and to change it means to take it back to the obscurity it was in before it became the financial spectacle. That is something that will be very hard to do given the interests involved. B.) Just because it is the Spectacle doesn't mean we still don't get excitement and if we don't get excitement every moment of the race it isn't necessarily a bad thing. Yes, the Giro and even the Vuelta routes look to have been much better designed this year. But there have been years where those races have been yawners too. What's more, when you have a person that dominates either the mountains or the sprints...you have people out there complaining that it's the same guy winning all the time. What exactly do you do about that? That isn't a radio problem, or a route problem. That just means you have a dominant rider.

I find your example of Eddy flawed however. Yes, Eddy went out to win every race and every stage he could. However, cycling fans hated him for his success. So how can you use Eddy as a positive example to your position when his racing caused exactly the controversy and complaining that I'm denouncing? One fan went so far as to actually punch Eddy on a stage.

Races are sometimes predictable and sometimes they aren't. You can predict certain things because of the course, the teams, the riders involved, etc. But even today...and especially today as an example, no one could have predicted the winner. Yet they used radios. It's still the spectacle of the Tour. It's still got all the flaws in it that it does. Yet the race outcome was different than what anyone expected.

Yet I will come back around and agree with you. The best way to make things better is to play with the course. I also think Cobble and the others, despite my like of actual time, are right in suggesting they bring back the sprint bonuses. It makes the intermediate sprints and the race finishes worth more.
 
Its all Cipos fault, he was the first sprinter to really come to the Tour with a dedicated lead-out train. Cipo actually quit his first tour because of a lack of bunch sprints, from late 80s to the Cipo era, bunch sprints were not as controlled which made it more exciting but once Cipo started bringing his train, things changed for the worse and race radios dont help matters. In general, I dont watch the first week anyway as it is always dominated by sprint finishes.

However, overall, the quality of a Tour is based on the overall GC competition and mountain stages, this year has been a dud so far. Like many earlier posts, I agree the TTT has screwed the GC race up completely and having one team so dominant is total crap, unless the last week is even more action packed than 89, then this years race will have been a complete dud, luckily I am not watching it live.

The route is definitely very important, for some reason the Tour organisers are less adventerous than the the GT organisers, last years route was excellent even if it was decided on one day but there was lots of guys in contention. Imagine this years participants in last years route, now that would be exciting.

The ideal Tour, short prologue, mountain top finish on stage 5, TT around stage 8, a few days in the Pyrenees with at least one mountian top finish.
Medium transition stages, 3 Alps stages including mountain TT, Paris.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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I know someone eluded to this earlier - and that is the role of the sponsors and TV in 'modern' Tours.

But, I also do think we look back at the 70's & 80's with a little too much nostalgia - when I first started watching it was Jean Paul Van Poppel who was the dominant sprinter.

I think a large part of the problem is the fact that the Tour is just soooo big and is disproportionate to everything else in cycling.
For a sponsor seeking exposure or indeed an individual rider a Tour stage win now counts as a bigger attraction as to almost every other race except the very top Classics.
Also with many sponsors concerned about the global market this puts a bigger emphasis on the Tour.
Sastre & Menchov are probably on comparable salaries - but I would hazard a guess that Sastres single Tour victory earns him a lot more in endorsements etc than Menchov's 3 GT wins.
Would LA be the massive sports personality in the US if he won 7 Vueltas?

Back in the day - the stages didn't really kick off until the helicopter popped over head to announce the start of the live feed.
But such is the pressure on teams and riders in the current system the first hour of the race is crucial to getting in that break.

The sponsors are interested in exposure - TV time = publicity.
So too are the ASO - its a numbers game! This year they have gone for a climatic finish and I still believe its going to be an exciting Tour.

Agreed, cycling fans don't pay to watch the sport but if the numbers are down - as I would suspect, then I think next years Tour could be quite different.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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But cycling fans do pay to watch the sport, in their support of broadcast sponsors and team sponsors. If those sponsors weren't seeing a return on their investment, they wouldn't be sponsors.

If the numbers are down, that will affect both sets of sponsors. So there is an indirect, but very real connection between the sport and the fans.

Also, keep in mind that the Tour is the only exposure that a lot of people have to cycling. In that respect it is unique as a race, something like the Kentucky Derby is to horse racing. So it will receive a disporportionate amount of attention from the sponsors.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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TrapperJohn said:
But cycling fans do pay to watch the sport, in their support of broadcast sponsors and team sponsors. If those sponsors weren't seeing a return on their investment, they wouldn't be sponsors.

If the numbers are down, that will affect both sets of sponsors. So there is an indirect, but very real connection between the sport and the fans.

Also, keep in mind that the Tour is the only exposure that a lot of people have to cycling. In that respect it is unique as a race, something like the Kentucky Derby is to horse racing. So it will receive a disporportionate amount of attention from the sponsors.
Man its hot in here - someone turn on the AC! Trapper John - as a fellow physician ;) - your response is absolutely the same as mine. While I said the fans don't pay - I meant as regards turnstiles or season tickets, to see the event. As consumers, yes of course we pay! We always will!!
Thats why I said the numbers dictate a lot of the selection.

One final observation - this is purely a personal viewpoint, but I think some here might have experienced it too.
I enjoy a lot of sports and abot 10 years ago I was quite the F1 fan - I would watch all the events, i knew all the drivers and teams and even went to a race in Spain. Then they changed the rules and the races were pretty much decided in the pits. I haven't watched a race in years and only know a few of the very top drivers - I heard its better now but....
There have been a lot of great suggestions on this thread and I hope that the powers that be are quicker to react than F1 was.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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mambo#5 said:
if they didn't want a climber to win, why did they put Mt. Ventoux on the second to last stage?

they didn't want a climber to get full control of the race until the end. They've achieved their purpose.
Sorry for the late reply. I try to keep up when I can. I think Ventoux is the hope that will keep the true climbers out of the middle climbers stages. They will sit back and will ignore anything other than where the Yellow jersey is and let the other serious climbes before Ventoux go simply because of Ventoux is still out there. They can and will lose minutes in the last ITT. The serious climbers, in my opinion can not be sleeping just becuase of Ventoux. I think that is the is the ASO plan. Let the Climber be hurt but not so bad that they have to panic and do anything serious before Ventoux.

You maybe very correct. I hope it is.
 
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