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Plea to TdF big-wigs - please scrap the final time trial

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Jul 16, 2010
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Did anyone notice that Contador's in the 9th place in the points classification right now? He could gain a few places after the Pyrenees(I know he won't win it, but it's great to see anyway)

And Andy Schleck(and Contador as well) has a good chance of collecting the Polkadot jersey.
 
ive said it before and ill say it again. The annency itt was the best stage of last years tour. It provided a big shake up in the gc with lance and wiggins overtaking frank, and koleden just missing out at doing just that.

I guess tts in tdf can be interesting if things are close and you have good time checks as you keep trying to work out who is where and how much more time they need.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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I've always enjoyed the TT and the TTT. I suspect the overall lead of the Tour this year would be closer at the end if a team time trial was held.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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TT are very boring but necessary. TTT should be abolished completely: never to be seen again. They can punish a good rider to the level of their team and award a bad rider.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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icefire said:
Check the parcourse of TdF 1983 before complaining :D

Prologue: ITT 6km
2 flat ITTs of >50km each
1 TTT 100kms
2 mountain ITTs: Puy de Dome and Avoriaz

bloody hell that's epic! but would write off pretty much all of the gc contenders.
 
May 27, 2010
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therhodeo said:
Or better yet add another 2 TT's on the front end of the race so its not only climbers who have a chance at yellow.

While we're on it, why not add 5 minute time bonuses to the winners on flat stages? Maybe Cav can with the TdF!:D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Gaul 58 said:
The race we are watching could be quite exciting, the top two guys within 40secs, now within 30secs, of each other.
But it's all over-shadowed by the prospect of one of the two taking out a 4min advantage on the time-trial.
Why not take your time-trial and stuff it into the autumn (or elsewhere) and give us some edge-of-the seat excitement in the Pyrenees.
It's ridiculous that the team with the rider in yellow is carrying the fight... it should be the other way round.

Gaul 58
Strongly disagree.
Many of the past tours in the past decade which have had over 80km of time trialling in them, the margin between 1st and @nd has been quite small. Time trialling is an integral part of the sport and we can't make it harder for climbing tt'ers to win a GT as many of the grand tours now are heavily favoured to the pure climbers. Also need to scrap ttt's over 20km as they are too descisive as the race needs to have the best tatically and strongest rider in the race.
 
A

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Cobblestones said:
I'm not sold on this. My main complaint with the TTT is that it usually swamps the leader board with riders of a single team. Maybe if its really, really short, and you bring big bonus seconds back for sprints, it could work as you say. But I'd rather not have it at the moment.

works fine in the giro
 
Apr 24, 2009
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kurtinsc said:
I think they should add time bonuses back for non-TT stages in the tour.

1. It encourages racing for first rather then "agreements" to help a GC guy get time.

2. If a climber is truly enough better in the mountains... they can pick up seconds through stage wins to build more of a buffer for the TT.

3. It allows sprinters to take yellow early.


How about a variety of TT's.

First... a short prologue.
Then a long and flat TT.
Then a mountain TT (like the one up the Alpe d'Huez a few years back)
Then a cobbled TT... say the last 30km of stage 3.

Sorry-- sounds too much like a tricked up miniature golf course to me.

The race should reveal the strongest overall rider, IMO--which it almost always does--and that includes the ability to time trial (again IMO). As much as I enjoy competition, I don't want to see a lot of gimmicks designed to create an artificial situation--there's too much of that already. 2008 had plenty of "competition", but it was also like choosing the tallest midget, given the quality of the riding.
 
I like a situation where you have two ITTs and a prologue but during the armstrong years and a little before that it was a little much to have two long ITTs of around 50km.

I would love to see a 6-7 km prologue. Then before the first big mountains you have a hilly 50-55 km ITT. Then you go passed the two mountain sections and on the last saturday you have a 30-35 km flat ITT. That way you still have decisive time trialing but the climbers have a good opportunity to defend themselves reasonably.

The final ITT is usually more of a test of form rather than a test of time trial ability so a climber that has gone through the mountains in a good way won't lose as much time as they would if the same TT was set in the first week.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Gaul 58 said:
The race we are watching could be quite exciting, the top two guys within 40secs, now within 30secs, of each other.
But it's all over-shadowed by the prospect of one of the two taking out a 4min advantage on the time-trial.
Why not take your time-trial and stuff it into the autumn (or elsewhere) and give us some edge-of-the seat excitement in the Pyrenees.
It's ridiculous that the team with the rider in yellow is carrying the fight... it should be the other way round.

Gaul 58

This is a good Tour for climbers. It just happens that one of the top two climbers is also a very good TTer. No need to punish him for that, TTs are a Tour tradition. And even if they tried to further engineer a Tour to give you the closest possible margin during the final, decisive stage...it won't always work out. People may want time bonuses to keep it close but Contador has made a living off time bonuses in the past. Coming into a Tour with time bonuses you would think that would be in his advantage.
 
It doesn't really matter who is in yellow now - the facts are that the way the race is set up Schleck needs to attack and gain another minute at the very very least to have any chance at all. That is still suspense and exciting if you ask me! And of course, Contador being Contador, he won't be shy about attacking if he senses any weakness in Schleck so I think we could be set up for a good battle through the Pyrenees.

These days, the gaps between the favorites in TTs seem to be more decisive than back in the day. In Indurain or Armstrong years a 75k TT (as in 1987 or 1989 say) early in the race would have ruined the spectacle from then on but these two turned into two of the best races ever. I suspect that modern tactics and team orgnanisation means that gaps in the mountains are more difficult to forge than they used to be so the TTs are more imoportant.
 
Benotti69 said:
gap is 30secs now, bet by the end of the Pyrenees it's more likely to be a 1+minute to Contador....:)

I'm not suggesting that AS will get that minute! But thats not the point - he still needs it and we don't know for sure whether he's capable of getting it or not.

FWIW I think AC will be in yellow in Ax - reckon he's the strongest even without the TT.
 
Jul 13, 2010
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If Bertie was not such a good climber and such a good TT'er this conversation would be moot.

Look at the race without Contador. Andy Schleck would have 2:45 over 2nd and nearly 3 minutes over 3rd. Imagine going into the final long TT with Andy Schleck having a 3 minute advantage over Menchov, who is a good TT'er. Andy riding his guts out to keep yellow, Menchov riding his guts out to win the TDF.

But honestly with Alberto, Schleck would need 4 minutes over him, and he ain't doing that in the coming stages.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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khodder said:
If Bertie was not such a good climber and such a good TT'er this conversation would be moot.

Look at the race without Contador. Andy Schleck would have 2:45 over 2nd and nearly 3 minutes over 3rd. Imagine going into the final long TT with Andy Schleck having a 3 minute advantage over Menchov, who is a good TT'er. Andy riding his guts out to keep yellow, Menchov riding his guts out to win the TDF.

But honestly with Alberto, Schleck would need 4 minutes over him, and he ain't doing that in the coming stages.

Agreed. It's not the time trial's fault that there is one rider head and shoulders above the others. You cannot design a tour to try and help the weaker riders at the expence of the stronger. For a "classic" tour you need two or three riders of very similar ability or for the obviously stronger rider to have some misfortune.

You can see the planning behind this year's tour: Hope Contador loses at least two minutes to AS on the cobbles. AS to stick with Contador through the mountains and then the TT is short enough to be exciting but potentially the decider.

The number of TTs reduced as a result of Indurain imo but regardless of length or number of TTs it is difficult to argue that the strongest rider did not win in the vast majority of cases over the last 25-30 years.(interestingly in 89 no one mentions Delgado who ought to have beaten both Lemond and fignon but for bad luck and stupidity) It's also true that nearly always the winner is also the best TTer.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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TeamSkyFans said:
works fine in the giro

That is because they are lucky that the guys who had teams who did well in the ttt did badly in the strade bianche and the guys with weak teams did well. TTT"s should always be below 20km's in GT's. It is a spectacle but it eliminates guys who don't have strong teams and the GC is an individual race and should not be altered by a team race.
 
May 26, 2010
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simoni said:
I'm not suggesting that AS will get that minute! But thats not the point - he still needs it and we don't know for sure whether he's capable of getting it or not.

FWIW I think AC will be in yellow in Ax - reckon he's the strongest even without the TT.

my point, not sure it was understood, is that Contador will take 2 mins out of Schleck in the Pyrenees, at least, maybe more if Schleck blows big time, and have a 1+ lead for the TT.

Schleck was suffering yesterday, if that climb was longer the damage would have been greater, so we should see that in the Pyrenees. Also the possiblity that some Spanish climbers will assist Contador, especially if any Radioshack/ex Astana riders are still with Contador.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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SirLes said:
Agreed. It's not the time trial's fault that there is one rider head and shoulders above the others. You cannot design a tour to try and help the weaker riders at the expence of the stronger. For a "classic" tour you need two or three riders of very similar ability or for the obviously stronger rider to have some misfortune.

You can see the planning behind this year's tour: Hope Contador loses at least two minutes to AS on the cobbles. AS to stick with Contador through the mountains and then the TT is short enough to be exciting but potentially the decider.

The number of TTs reduced as a result of Indurain imo but regardless of length or number of TTs it is difficult to argue that the strongest rider did not win in the vast majority of cases over the last 25-30 years.(interestingly in 89 no one mentions Delgado who ought to have beaten both Lemond and fignon but for bad luck and stupidity) It's also true that nearly always the winner is also the best TTer.

Wrong. Delgado arrived to the prologue start 2'40" late. And he lost 4 minutes more in the TTT for lack of sleep because of anxiety. But he was gifted some 4 minutes by the leaders in the stage to Superbagneres when he was allowed to breakaway with Robert Millar. Had he not started that stage at 7 minutes of the GC leader, he would have never gained that time back.

Regarding the number of TTs being reduced, I doubt Indurain has anything to do with it. A few months ago I read in another forum a post by one of the editors of a Spanish cycling magazine summarising a conversation with Vuelta director Javier Guillén. Mr Guillén had evidence that TV audience dropped in TT stages during the 2009 Vuelta. We've seen the result in the course design for 2010. In 2009 there were 2 ITTs (excluding the prologue), both on Saturday. This year there is only one on a Thursday, and the weekend stages are in the mountains.
 
El Pistolero said:
Did anyone notice that Contador's in the 9th place in the points classification right now? He could gain a few places after the Pyrenees(I know he won't win it, but it's great to see anyway)

And Andy Schleck(and Contador as well) has a good chance of collecting the Polkadot jersey.

Seems like a good reason to bring back the all-around jersey.