Improving the TDU

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Anonymous

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Without a doubt, this years TDU has seen the gap between the 'sprinters' (Griepel, Hendo etc) and the "climber/allrounders" (Sanchez, Evans, Valverde) get closer than in previous years.

Previously regarded as purely a race for the sprinters, the TDU organisers have been able to attract big names in european stage racing like Evans, Valverde, Sanchez, Armstrong and Periero Down Under, not only for 'training' but with the attraction of more hilly stages to either test the legs or go for a stage win (as was seen in the Wickams Hill/Stirling stage and the Willunga Hill/Willunga stage).

Assuming no outrageous lapping of the field, we would expect Andre Griepel to take out the title this afternoon for the second time in three years.

But with an increasingly european-based field entering the TDU, what can the organisers do to at least give a glimmer of hope for your traditional stage racer to have a crack at the overall title?

Last year, they took the riders over Willunga Hill twice, and this year, some time gaps were created to move Sanchez, Valverde and Evans up the GC.

I still feel, that as it stands, the sprinters are slightly more advantaged here.

Suggestions:

- A short Prologue on the day between the Opening Crit and Stage One
(very unrealistic logistically with TT bikes etc.. not a massive fan of this idea)

- Time bonus at the KOM in the same format as the time bonuses at intermediate sprints
(very realistic option)


- Three times over Willunga hill
(possibly an option)

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Realistically, the middle suggestion is the one I really believe in which will test big sprinters to win overall, but what do you guys think as suggestions to improve the TDU to get rid of the myth that only sprinters will ever come down under to win this race overall (with the stage-racers only coming out just for 'training')?
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Although a prologue of the right distance would add some complications for the best sprinter's GC hopes, it would not make the racing any more exciting. The race needs one or two stages that are longer and hillier, stages that are similar to Amstel Gold or Lombardy.
 
A

Anonymous

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BroDeal said:
Although a prologue of the right distance would add some complications for the best sprinter's GC hopes, it would not make the racing any more exciting. The race needs one or two stages that are longer and hillier, stages that are similar to Amstel Gold or Lombardy.
What about time bonuses for the KOM brodeal?
Just like the intermediate sprints, a 3, 2, 1 bonus for the first over the KOM would make things interesting I reckon

I agree tho, some hillier stages would be great, and I think that given how the hill climbers decided to come out and play this year, I reckon next year (assuming similar route) the climbers will decide to attack more on the stage to stirling up wickhams hill road.
 
BroDeal said:
Although a prologue of the right distance would add some complications for the best sprinter's GC hopes, it would not make the racing any more exciting. The race needs one or two stages that are longer and hillier, stages that are similar to Amstel Gold or Lombardy.
I think the whole idea is that they don't want to go over 150km. No doubt they could do a 220km epic and go over 6 hills, but I'm not sure the teams want that kind of racing in January.

If you can guarantee a class field like this year it might be an option. But if they can't get world class GC riders, they might as well satisfy the big sprinters.
 
May 6, 2009
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Ferminal said:
I think the whole idea is that they don't want to go over 150km. No doubt they could do a 220km epic and go over 6 hills, but I'm not sure the teams want that kind of racing in January.

If you can guarantee a class field like this year it might be an option. But if they can't get world class GC riders, they might as well satisfy the big sprinters.
That is pretty much it. They can make the race ultra hard if they want to, but nobody (the teams) want that. I'm not saying I agree with it, but that is how it is.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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The best thing they can do is take the race out of Adelaide and bring it to Melbourne. Parcours to take on the Dandenongs, Kinglake, Arthurs Seat (Mornington Pen) and Falls Creek. Victoria has a much more variety in terrain and some decent Cat 1, HC climbs.

In return, SA can have the Sun Tour. :)
 
Jun 16, 2009
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unsheath said:
The best thing they can do is take the race out of Adelaide and bring it to Melbourne. Parcours to take on the Dandenongs, Kinglake, Arthurs Seat (Mornington Pen) and Falls Creek. Victoria has a much more variety in terrain and some decent Cat 1, HC climbs.

In return, SA can have the Sun Tour. :)
If they wanted a ProTour round in a place with lousy weather and bad beer they could upgrade the Tour of Britain, no need to move the TdU to Victoria. :p
 
Jun 16, 2009
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hfer07 said:
1-) A small prologue- perhaps a one lengthening 4 to 7 km max.
2-) Week long race with more hilly stages Ala this year's stage 5
3-) some Live video Broadcasting accessibility!!!
today's crit course would be a good for a prologue... a little hilly, and a descent course
 
Mar 18, 2009
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They could make it more hilly by moving to the alpine areas of Victoria and NSW. But it would be a logistical nightmare because of the distances they would have to travel to start each stage, and it would seem that the riders like the fact that they are based in one place for the whole week of racing. So I can see it staying as is.
 
Oct 26, 2009
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I think the TDU is definitely evolving very well - Jens Voigt was correct when he said he used to be a "high quality training camp". (I think that's what he said)
I reckon it's changed just perfectly over the years to suit the riders/teams esp the Europeans etc.
Putting a pro tour event in Jan would have been unheard of a few years ago, but I can't help but think it's a perfect start to the long season that riders now face.
I think Turtur will come up with something slightly different next year, to keep everyone happy. I must admit though, as much as I like seeing a strong Greipel-like sprint, there was nothing better than seeing Greipel finally struggling and short of breath after Willunga stage. Anytime riders are isolated without all their team mates at the end of a stage = fantastic racing!

As far as sending the race to Victoria? Couldn't think of anything more pathetic . . .
 
unsheath said:
The best thing they can do is take the race out of Adelaide and bring it to Melbourne. Parcours to take on the Dandenongs, Kinglake, Arthurs Seat (Mornington Pen) and Falls Creek. Victoria has a much more variety in terrain and some decent Cat 1, HC climbs.

In return, SA can have the Sun Tour. :)
In in return Melbourne will attract a Sun Tour quality field.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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I saw an interview with one of the organizers, and he said that they didn't want to change the character of the race: The fact that the race was a "sprinters'" stage race suited him fine. Though the race is unique in that aspect, I think that making it a PT race added more color and flavor, so I watched it this year for the first time and enjoyed it. Of course, the hilly day was my favorite.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Cycling is a fast growing sport in Australia . still nowhere near the supporters as the Footy so we need to put on a show for now.

That is something that draws the crouds and keeps them entertained but one them old dirt roads that head up the mountains will all be sealed and we will have a big tour.

A time trial in TDU wont work you will loose the croud.

The atmosphere is what makes it you cang go up to Armstrong and talk to him even ask him what pills he is on today. he wont tell you but you cant do that anywhere else.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I think the best way to make it better would be to make it the Tour Down Under not the tour of South Australia. Aus has 6 other states for those not in the know about the geographical layout of Australia.

Only then should it be called the Tour Down Under
 
Jun 16, 2009
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El Imbatido said:
I think the best way to make it better would be to make it the Tour Down Under not the tour of South Australia. Aus has 6 other states for those not in the know about the geographical layout of Australia.

Only then should it be called the Tour Down Under
While we're at it, let's move the Herald Sun Tour out of Victoria, then it might have some blue skies and we can call it the Sun Tour.

Problem for SA Tourism is "Tour of South Australia" is clunky and "Tour of Adelaide" would make it sound like it all happens in suburbia. Anyway can you imagine what a mess a six state "TdU" would be, 800-1000km transfers and having to choose between holding it during the wet season in the tropics, or the grey drizzling season in Victoria. It'd be worse than the "America Tour" that some madman tried to raise funds for recently.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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badboyberty said:
While we're at it, let's move the Herald Sun Tour out of Victoria, then it might have some blue skies and we can call it the Sun Tour.

Problem for SA Tourism is "Tour of South Australia" is clunky and "Tour of Adelaide" would make it sound like it all happens in suburbia. Anyway can you imagine what a mess a six state "TdU" would be, 800-1000km transfers and having to choose between holding it during the wet season in the tropics, or the grey drizzling season in Victoria. It'd be worse than the "America Tour" that some madman tried to raise funs for recently.
You make some pretty good points there Berty. I guess i hadn't really thought out what i was saying. But maybe, maybe one day we could do something like that. Make it 9-10 days spread it out over a bit better terrain. (I don't mean go all over Aus but just vary the terrain abit, maybe go a bit in Victoria or New South Wales). Get some parcours for all types of riders just not the sprinters.

I guess what i'm saying is confining it to Adelaide is really selling it and Australia a bit short of what it is capable. And it gets boring too.
 
Calm down. The TDU is a training camp. Nothing more. The teams have asked the organisers not to make it too tough. They don't want mountains in the race - not that is any in Australia. In addition the organisers pay for all the airfares of the riders, support staff and for the transport of bikes and equipment. There will never be a TT or a prologue as it would mean they would have to pay for another load of bikes to be sent to Australia. Turtur as already stated as such. We should also understand if the airfares and transport weren't paid for no one would turn up. Just the locals and Aussie Pro's who are spending the offseason in their home country. The TDU is not a race and we shouldn't pretend that its anything else. What Pro would want to spend 26 hours on a plane for a flat 5 day race through the flat plains of South Australia? None.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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thehog said:
Calm down. The TDU is a training camp. Nothing more. The teams have asked the organisers not to make it too tough. They don't want mountains in the race - not that is any in Australia. In addition the organisers pay for all the airfares of the riders, support staff and for the transport of bikes and equipment. There will never be a TT or a prologue as it would mean they would have to pay for another load of bikes to be sent to Australia. Turtur as already stated as such. We should also understand if the airfares and transport weren't paid for no one would turn up. Just the locals and Aussie Pro's who are spending the offseason in their home country. The TDU is not a race and we shouldn't pretend that its anything else. What Pro would want to spend 26 hours on a plane for a flat 5 day race through the flat plains of South Australia? None.
Is this you trying to be funny? Better tell Valverde, Greipel, Evans, LL Sanchez and HWSNBN that they weren't actually racing all week. If you haven't watched a race for five years it's best to look at the race reports before putting your foot in your mouth.

The only thing you're right about is the logistics issues preventing the dragging of TT bikes down here for a prologue. It's not a training camp and your not an insider or an expert so you shouldn't pretend you're anything else. What insider would spend 25 hours a day flat on a computer to promote a scoop that never eventuates.
 
Unfortunately, the TDU will remain a warmer, flatter version of the February Tour of Californias.
Virtually impossible, to beef up too much, given the distance and fact that the Southern Hemisphere is out of synch with the rest of the calander.
Were Langkawi promoted to PT status, I am not sure that the Genting Highlands would remain part of the parcours.

Best they can do, is to look to "tweak" the course, with either climbing repetitions, or a new hill.

badboyberty said:
Is this you trying to be funny? Better tell Valverde, Greipel, Evans, LL Sanchez and HWSNBN that they weren't actually racing all week. If you haven't watched a race for five years it's best to look at the race reports before putting your foot in your mouth.
I'm afraid the Hog is more or less right, in that while it may appear to be eyeballs out racing, it's taking place at fitness levels that are a fair way off peak.
Riders don't want Alpe D'Huez in January, for this reason.
 

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