Make Le Tour Fairer

Jun 24, 2010
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Hi All

I love Le Tour de France but feel that the climbers have had a monopoly on the winner's podium for too long. The sprinters and flat-stage champions can only hope for an inferior green jersey and a few stage victories along the way. At best they might get to wear the yellow jersey for a few days before they hit the hills. But what if all of the mountain stages were compressed into the first week of the tour so the climbers could try to make their gains while the sprinters still had fresh legs. Then the following two weeks would be a hare and hounds style chase across the French countryside with the climbers struggling to maintain their advantage over long range attackers and pure speed merchants. That would put the climbers under a new type of pressure which, frankly, I am not sure they could deal with. Maybe we could even get some new faces on the podium in Paris.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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horrible idea

snooze fest after the first week. no way the spinters can make up the hour or so they'll be down after the first week
 
Ok so a provactive first post - but why not!

The designers of the longer stage races try to strike the balance between the climbers and the rest by how many KM of ITT they put in the race. It's typical for there to be a debate about what that balance should be for the climbers not to be too favoured over the rest of the GT contenders.

It's even a little more complex that that because often the only mountain stages that matter are those that have a mountain top finish.

I am sure I have seen a formula /calculator that tries to show what the balance should be - or maybe I just dreampt that! ;)
 
Jun 21, 2010
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Rooster said:
Hi All

I love Le Tour de France but feel that the climbers have had a monopoly on the winner's podium for too long. The sprinters and flat-stage champions can only hope for an inferior green jersey and a few stage victories along the way. At best they might get to wear the yellow jersey for a few days before they hit the hills. But what if all of the mountain stages were compressed into the first week of the tour so the climbers could try to make their gains while the sprinters still had fresh legs. Then the following two weeks would be a hare and hounds style chase across the French countryside with the climbers struggling to maintain their advantage over long range attackers and pure speed merchants. That would put the climbers under a new type of pressure which, frankly, I am not sure they could deal with. Maybe we could even get some new faces on the podium in Paris.
Chapeau to the Rooster for thinking outside the box. You could eliminate the big mountain stages, but then you no longer have a GT as currently defined. You could also add 70-100 KM ITT stages involving rolling hills with cobbles and/or wind to disadvantage the featherweight climbers. But this might be boring to watch or confusing with time splits at 10 different checkpoints. For better or worse, the high mountains help define cycling in France, Italy, and Spain. So why shouldn't the winner also prove master of these domains?
 

mastersracer

BANNED
Jun 8, 2010
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it's only because climbers somehow became great time trialists. Pure climbers of old rarely had a chance to win the overall GC. How can Contador be considered a "climber" when he beats Cancellera in a time trial? I think we all know how a 130 lb climber does that...
 
Jun 24, 2010
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Why not try a swing away from traditional TTT and include one through the Arenberg forest?
 
Jun 24, 2010
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Thanks for the feedback on this. As long as I have followed the tour I have found the first week or so very boring because we all know that the race doesn't begin until they hit the mountains. The flat stages later in the tour that fall between mountain stages are equally forgettable because everyone is resting - sometimes a nobody will get his fifteen minutes of fame if he gets away from the peleton and is no threat to the GC. The only teams that do any work in the first week are the sprinters' teams. By starting with the mountains:
1. The first week would be worth watching
2. The climbers' time gains will not be excessive or insuperable
3. The climber's teams would have to share the work of the sprinters' teams in chasing down breakaways
4. We would see more combative riding and more breakaway attempts
 
Jun 24, 2010
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In effort to spice up racing it would be interesting if they awarded the most combative rider a 15 sec time bonus, this however then leaves the race in the hands of the officials, we have all seen how that ends up in South Africa of late. But there could be some black and white rules made for selection surely.
 
Jan 7, 2010
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Its a simple fact that the big mountain stages are by far the best and most interesting stages to watch. The flat ones with the sprinters coming out in the last 200 metres are sleep inducing. The only way to make it "fairer" would be more rouler stages that mimic one day events, like PR or the Ronde. The stage that Evans one in the Giro is an example.But overall the higher and harder the better.
 
The sprinters would still lose 20 minutes per MTF if you made the climbs ones actually worth their salt. Then the GC would be more or less set with two weeks to go, the only way for people to gain their time back would be with time trials or the 20" time bonus (which has been removed from the Tour) for a stage win. A nonsense.

Also, this is only really a problem with the Tour because the Tour has a formula that it follows/has to follow, since the amount of mountains in France are limited in comparison to Spain and Italy, which have more freedom of how to arrange their national tours.

You would not have any hare-and-hounds situation, because long range attacks seldom pull 20 minutes back on the péloton, which even with all the climbing teams in charge could easily control such a situation. You'd be left with either total irrelevances being given their time to shine while the péloton takes a rest day (cf. Caisse bringing the péloton in 25 minutes behind Lars Boom in the 2009 Vuelta, because he was the best placed rider in the break, over an hour behind) or flat, dull sprint stages whenever somebody in the break was actually a threat.

Terrible idea.
 
Rooster said:
Hi All

I love Le Tour de France but feel that the climbers have had a monopoly on the winner's podium for too long. The sprinters and flat-stage champions can only hope for an inferior green jersey and a few stage victories along the way. At best they might get to wear the yellow jersey for a few days before they hit the hills. But what if all of the mountain stages were compressed into the first week of the tour so the climbers could try to make their gains while the sprinters still had fresh legs. Then the following two weeks would be a hare and hounds style chase across the French countryside with the climbers struggling to maintain their advantage over long range attackers and pure speed merchants. That would put the climbers under a new type of pressure which, frankly, I am not sure they could deal with. Maybe we could even get some new faces on the podium in Paris.
Well... it seems a bit drastic to me!
But some change would be welcome, like non putting 60 km of descent and flat after a very hard climb... or maybe some mountains steeper (like some of Giro and Vuelta).
Maybe you could add some cobblestones and white road, those stages could be very selective, and the teams would need to think twice who bring to race.

PS: btw sorry for my poor english :)
 
The best way to mix things up would be to add a few stages that had moderately hilly finishes like the first stage in 2008 or the strade bianche stage in hte Giro etc. Those are stages that makes the GC interesting without taking the excitement out of the GC. Having some big mtn top finishes in the first week would only give a rider like Contador a five minute lead with two weeks of racing left and that would truely be boring.
 
May 11, 2009
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Hugh Januss said:
By the same token, perhaps we should take the cobbles and wind out of Paris-Roubaix to eliminate the stranglehold that big tough Dutch and Belgian riders have had there.
You mean there are other races besides the Tour?
 
mastersracer said:
it's only because climbers somehow became great time trialists. Pure climbers of old rarely had a chance to win the overall GC. How can Contador be considered a "climber" when he beats Cancellera in a time trial? I think we all know how a 130 lb climber does that...
Yeah, you put a Cat 3 cllimb in the middle of the route and the climber barely holds on to his lead at the finish (3 seconds from 45 seconds). And let's not forget that this climber has always done well in ITTs. :rolleyes:
 
Mar 22, 2010
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Climbing said:
Well... it seems a bit drastic to me!
But some change would be welcome, like non putting 60 km of descent and flat after a very hard climb... or maybe some mountains steeper (like some of Giro and Vuelta).
Maybe you could add some cobblestones and white road, those stages could be very selective, and the teams would need to think twice who bring to race.

PS: btw sorry for my poor english :)
I have seen sloppier English by people whose native tongue is english. Nothing to apologize for in this post.

More mt top finishes please! Maybe add a little length to a time trial, like 50-60k.
 
Jun 23, 2010
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Not allowing radios is a great way to spice up the race. Riders and teams been riding for years like robots. Its has taken instict, chance and down right good racing of the screens of the grand tours for years !! Certain teams claim it ain't safe? Yeah thats because it suited that teams 'buy up all the best riders and hog the front of the race' style :confused: Boring!
 

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