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

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icefire said:
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.

And if LeMond hadn't had the technical advantage in the TTs, or if Fignon hadn't had a saddle sore in the final TT that zapped him of some of his power...

Delgado would've likely not been exhausted by the time the Alps rolled around and put time into both of them, because there is no arguing that he was not the strongest climber in the race out of the GCers. LeMond was actually b@tching at the time because Fignon wasn't chasing Delgado back, and the reason he (LeMond) had to let Delgado was because he didn't have the team to chase. By the way, Delgado did not break away with Millar, but attacked much later in the stage and then caught up with Roberta and Mottet.

Considering that he actually recorded the 12th fastest time in the prologue, and beat Fignon in 2 of the TTs, and LeMond in one of them. He was exhausted due to his own stupidity and would not have lost that 4 minutes in the TTT, which was a freak occurence. It's a moot point.
May 26, 2009
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Big Doopie said:
the tours of the 60s and 80s were fashioned for the french champions of the time -- anquetil and hinault who both excelled at TTing.

just like the giro is often shaped for the italian champ of the time -- see saronni and moser's wins.

That's nice.. but you don't realize that Hinault actually made the biggest gap in the mountains. An example:

1982: Winnen and Breu win three mountain stages with about a minute or two on Bernard Hinault... and are massacred in the mountain stages the days after. Winnen (fourth in 1982) lost more time in the mountains that year than in the TT. Even in 1985 and 1986 Hinault was excellent in the mountains. Only Lemond could challenge him.

Hinault was like Merckx: he was great on any territory (yes Hinault won bunchsprints as well).

On a related note: Both Fignon and Lemond, great TT specialists won mountainstages left and right. And Miguellon was regular as a clock in the mountains. he would let others win, but he never cracked (I remember one tiny hunger pang when Vanzella dropped him when they chased Claudio and even then he kept it close). Only when Riis and jan ravaged him did Miguel crack in the mountains.

The bottom line: the TdF winner always deserves it. Keep the TT... the strongest will win anyways.