Stages vs overall?

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Aug 18, 2009
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I'd maybe set winning the GC as equal to winning say 4 stages in terms of the prestige. A GC win may be decisive or close-run, but if you're winning that many stages, you're clearly one of the strongmen of the race.

Thinking about Cav or PhilGil winning all stages relevant to them - that's a big deal because if a GC guy did the equivalent they'd CrUsH the overall, like Bert in the 2011 Giro. More than simply getting the win. Obviously the physical demands are different. Anyway I think winning GC < winning e.g. every sprint stage.

From the point of view of the spectator also, a load of stage wins beat a cagey GC win IMO.
 
May 9, 2012
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In terms of secondary GC placement vs. stage wins, I'd say Voeckler had a far better Tour '12 than Zubeldia/Brajkovic/Evans.
But stage wins are also different in prestige and Cav winning 5 stages would give him zero significant prestige in my book.
 
Bernie's eyesore said:
I'm not denying it's extremely dull but the sprints field is top class, the GC field is only of 2.2 standard.
yea, the GC field is rather poor, but winning the overall this time requires pretty hard work with at least 2 decisive stages. It will not be a random winner imo. It will be "strong" candidate in solid form in the end.

Well, the dullness thing is probably more a personal taste (some like bunch sprints), but to qualify for a "good" win, the stage needs to have some challenges for the sprinter. A little kicker with 10-20km to go, some smaller roads with bends/turns, a couple of roundabouts as part of the finale etc.

A flat highway sprint where the winner can sit in a train for 10km and kick for 200m in the end and take the win ain't particularly meaningful. Just my opinion.
 
Apr 16, 2011
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I think anybody who wins seven more stages in a GT than the overall winner could claim to have shone brighter. I think 4-6 stages can be seen as close depending on the race. But, in most of these cases, either there is a very imbalanced field (HTC) or the organizers really clowned about a bit. This is my impression from the one's I've watched.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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OK in 2009 Berto won 2 stages as well as the GC though. If you cancel out 2 stage wins on either side you have achievements about as remarkable as each other IMO. Trying to compare pears to lemons, but, that's the point of the thread.
 
taiwan said:
OK in 2009 Berto won 2 stages as well as the GC though. If you cancel out 2 stage wins on either side you have achievements about as remarkable as each other IMO. Trying to compare pears to lemons, but, that's the point of the thread.
So if Cav had won 3 more stages (5, 12 & 14) he would have had a better Tour than Contador? :confused:
 
Aug 18, 2009
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If he had won 3 more stages he would have broken the record for stage wins in a single Tour. So yes he would have had a better Tour than Contador. Or will you not be impressed by Cav until he challenges the GC ;)
 
Aug 18, 2009
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You're basically saying that there is nothing a sprinter can do in his career to equal a GT winner. It's not a satisfactory answer to the OP, you're totally dismissing the value of (flat) stage wins.

It isn't always that hard to win a GC if you're simply that much better than the competition. See the '11 Giro.
 
I'm not dismissing it. It does have a value, although a very small one compared to winning the GC of the Tour.

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If a rider last year had won stages 7, 10, 11, 16 & 17 (the way Rasmussen usually did), then that would be more impressive than the final GC.
 
Jun 18, 2012
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Basically, as others have said there's nothing that equals a GC victory in a stage race, especially a Grand Tour.

But there's more to the race than the GC, and many different types of riders, otherwise the races wouldn't have points, mountain, combo, or youth categories. You also have riders and teams who come into a race with the goal of winning one of the "lesser" categories or simply winning a stage. These riders/teams have no hope of a GC victory, so it's not even a consideration. So, a sprinter winning the points classification is (for the sprinter and his team, at least) equal to an all rounder winning GC.

I think a more interesting question is at what point in GC (or any of the other category, for that matter) placing are stage wins more important? So, what's better of these: 1 stage win, 10th GC or 0 stage wins 2nd GC? Actually, I think there's already a thread about that somewhere in here...
 
Aug 18, 2009
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IMO it's just bias toward particular types of rider. The point is to compare dissimilar achievements and find a point of equality, not effectively say that the overall is infinitely more important.

Of course there will be an objective answer to the question, because sponsors (and I suppose team managers) have to quantify the value of victories.
 
taiwan said:
You're basically saying that there is nothing a sprinter can do in his career to equal a GT winner. It's not a satisfactory answer to the OP, you're totally dismissing the value of (flat) stage wins.

It isn't always that hard to win a GC if you're simply that much better than the competition. See the '11 Giro.
Bingo, you got it. Sprint stage wins are the Europa League of pro cycling even less so.

I would say a mountain stage win in a GT is at least equal to 3-5 bunch sprints. People will struggle to remember one bunch sprint from another barely weeks after an event(unless like the Abdu 91 stage) but many people will remember epic mountain stages for years. Even medium mountain stages have more value than a bunch sprint.

In terms of GC, you would need to win 10+ bunch sprints to even get anyway near the GC winner.

In terms of a GT, sprint stages are the filler before the real racing starts. Honestly how many people bother following the first week of a GT if it is all flat finishes.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Why pay Cavendish £££££££ if sprint stages are pretty much worthless? To win the Scheldeprijs? Cycling snobbery.
 
Mar 9, 2013
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pmcg76 said:
Bingo, you got it. Sprint stage wins are the Europa League of pro cycling even less so.

I would say a mountain stage win in a GT is at least equal to 3-5 bunch sprints. People will struggle to remember one bunch sprint from another barely weeks after an event(unless like the Abdu 91 stage) but many people will remember epic mountain stages for years. Even medium mountain stages have more value than a bunch sprint.

In terms of GC, you would need to win 10+ bunch sprints to even get anyway near the GC winner.

In terms of a GT, sprint stages are the filler before the real racing starts. Honestly how many people bother following the first week of a GT if it is all flat finishes.
Me I follow it a GT is interesting in the first week you no:rolleyes:, crashes etc and some GC riders losing time, everyone likes the climbs which is normal but you do no if 1 sprinter wins 5 stages that is not easy?. You are beating the best riders in your discipline.:D
 
Mar 9, 2013
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taiwan said:
Why pay Cavendish £££££££ if sprint stages are pretty much worthless? To win the Scheldeprijs? Cycling snobbery.
I agree like the dude saying sprint stages are like the Europa league, well Amstel Gold and Fleche Wallone must be the equivalent of Europa league just because their not Monuments.:rolleyes:
 
to the OP:

Each team sets up their goals according to their capabilities: A successful TDF for Codofis, FDJ, Eurocarp,EE, and in general-teams without a strong GC contender- is measured by the stage wins they can get, whereas teams as SKY, Saxo will always value success only on "podium" spots, rather than stage wins-not that they aren't aiming for some victories, but they do seek overall GC above anything else...
 
Mar 9, 2013
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Bernie's eyesore said:
I'm not denying it's extremely dull but the sprints field is top class, the GC field is only of 2.2 standard.
I agree look at Cav he beat big rivals, last year by his standards was not great in the TDF but he still won just as many sprints as anyone else without a team really dedicated. The sprinting field is so close these days and such a high standard that if you win multiple stages in a race with Sagan, Greipel, Cav and Kittel etc is a excellent performance.
 
Lets talk about the difficulty of the GC vs stage wins. Out of 198 riders, only one will win the GT. The probability for winning GT is 1/198. Out of 198 riders, 21 are going to win stages. The probability for winning a stage is 21/198. The probability of winning three stages is 1.42339E-06 which is lower than that of GT. However it can also be looked at in another way. There are 10 flat stages which can only be won by 22 sprinters (assuming a sprinter per team and no breakaway wins). Now the probability for winning a stage is 10/22. The probability of winning four stages is 6.0514E-09. I am not so sure of the math:p
If one looks at the probability of GC stage by stage like remaining at the front in flat stages, not losing much time in mountains, blasting the TTs then there might be a different value.
 
There's a 10.8 % chance to win a stage. Not 21/198. Remember that if a rider wins several stages, there will be less than 21 riders who win a stage.

I have also used 184 riders.
19 world tour teams.
4 (?) wild card teams.
8 riders per team.

If there were 198 riders, the chance would be 10.087 %
 
Jun 18, 2012
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pmcg76 said:
In terms of a GT, sprint stages are the filler before the real racing starts. Honestly how many people bother following the first week of a GT if it is all flat finishes.
This actually cuts to the reason I don't enjoy stage races (especially grand tours) nearly as much as one-day races. In any given grand tour, out of 21 racing days, there are generally only 5-6 days with real implications for the general classification. Two or three of those are chronos, which aren't particularly interesting to follow, except to check times after everyone's done. That leaves three or four mountain stages where we can actually expect interesting tactics or bold riding on the road. Sometimes there's a surprisingly interesting stage or two in terms of GC, but not usually. And there are usually some guys that have a bad day on a stage that wasn't expected to have really GC implications, but those guys weren't going to win it anyway.

So, the only way to enjoy the whole of a grand tour is to enjoy each stage as a race on it's own. If you enjoy the bunch sprints, then that first week of flat stages is awesome. The big-name sprinters are generally ready, they have full team support, and enough of them are in it in the last half-k for a great finish. You really can't say the same for any of the other stages.

Sorry for that tangent.
 
Viking said:
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So, the only way to enjoy the whole of a grand tour is to enjoy each stage as a race on it's own. If you enjoy the bunch sprints, then that first week of flat stages is awesome. The big-name sprinters are generally ready, they have full team support, and enough of them are in it in the last half-k for a great finish. You really can't say the same for any of the other stages.

Sorry for that tangent.
Luckily the Giro delivers a route which on paper includes the potential for GC action in the first week this year. Of course the riders must deliver the show.

Otherwise I agree about the Tour narrative.
 

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