+1 agree.....paris-nice is where all the main contenders start checking there form......Hibbles said:I've always thought of Paris-Nice as the first major race of the season. TDU is a glorified training camp, and Het Volk is the final warm-up to tune up the fast-twitchers.
The question was which race opens the season. Not necessarily the first major race.Hibbles said:I've always thought of Paris-Nice as the first major race of the season. TDU is a glorified training camp, and Het Volk is the final warm-up to tune up the fast-twitchers.
Some aussies and internationals I would say do take it seriously and want to have good form. Also teams like BMC are going to have to take it seriously if the want a tour spot. Though Het Volk is when the real hard racing starts to happen. So Down under is the official start but Het volk is when it starts to get really serious!Thoughtforfood said:+1
The race in Australia is nice, but it is winter in the northern hemisphere and no amount of pomp and circumstance will make the TdU more than a warm up act. Same went for the ToC in its old time slot.
+1Moondance said:Omloop 'Het Nieuwsblad,' everything before is just practice.
Good points, but for me the TDU shows which teams and riders are really targeting the early classics. It also shows which teams are going to try something new in the year to come and in the case of Katusha last year and Sky/BMC this year, a chance to find out how well the team gels together on the road. Training camps aren't always the best indicator of these types of things and TDU gives plenty of time for teams to work on any issues before major European races later in the year.miffed said:Id have said TdU is the first road race I care enough about to go out of my way to watch highlights of and the first race I actually care about who wins is Het Volk. So which is the start of the year? TdU probabl,y but the result tells you nout about whats going to happen for the rest of the year whereas Het Volk gives some idea of form.