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TDF aint what it use to be, where are the summit finishes?

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Sep 21, 2009
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Race Radio said:
Are we counting the Luchon stage next year as a summit finish? This has the chance of doing some damage to the GC guys. The final climb is a solid one, about 3,500 feet of vertical. Is is then less then 10km, all steep downhill, to the finish. This stage could be the sleeper.

Not technically a summit finish. But I agree there can be gaps. Balès and Pailhères have been great findings in recent years.
Mountain Goat said:
Whilst I'm also dissapointed with 3 MTFs, I have to say that the riders will learn from what happened last year. Stage 17 was awesome, and 3 people survived in an epic battle with large time gaps.

As long as the stage finishes with a descent (rather than a descent plus 25k flat) then the stage can potentially become more interesting and exciting.

I've been looking back at the 2007 Tour (one of my favourites) and the time gaps were HUGE when there were descent finishes. This was mainly due to guys like Rasmussen and Soler ripping it up, but I think descent finishes can add to the amount of attacks in a stage, because a rider has to put in huge time on the uphill, to hold that lead in the downhill.

That said, 5 MTFs in 2001, 2002 is pretty darn impressive battles ala Ullrich, Armstrong, Beloki...

I'm actually liking this tour route the more I see it, as long as the riders realise they have to attack!!

Have to agree with pretty much the entirety of your post! Well said.
laziali said:
3. Di Luca. Everyone knows he's been doping for ages so no real credibility in his ride. (Good "evil eyes" stare though).

So you were bored everytime you saw Di Luca ride? Anyway, if he was doping and he looked like he was gonna die on some of those stages, what was Denis 'out for a Sunday ride' Menchov doing?!

laziali said:
Compared with some of the recent Giros with the Cunego/Simoni/Salvodelli battles 09 was pretty lame.

Fair enough, it was probably the best GT this year. This and the Vuelta were better than the Tour anyway.
I have to agree with Mountain Goat. I think it isn't so much the MT finishes, as much as difficult mountain stages that we need more of. Having shorter stages won't keep riders from doping - track sprinters dope. Riders are stronger, better trained, bikes lighter, equipment better, and doping is more refined.

The 2010 Tour should be better than 2009 (sans the first week), but we could easily have seen 2 more difficult mountain stages, plus a 50km TT, and a 20km TTT in the first week. That, would have made things more interesting.
Jun 20, 2009
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luckyboy said:
Fair enough, it was probably the best GT this year. This and the Vuelta were better than the Tour anyway.

No argument on that one. Let's hope the 2010 Tour offers some real tension rather than just the endless "do Lance and Bertie hate each other?" saga.
Apr 15, 2009
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I think you are all missing one big point in the whole MTF conundrum boys and girls.

What makes a mountain stage?? to me it takes the route, good mountains before the MTF and contenders who show the willingness to attack. All we've had for ten years is the Lance way, controlled to the last mountain, mtn domestics take the rider to 1.5 to 2km from the finish and said contender bursts from there. Let's face it, Berto's attack from 5km out on Verbier and Sastre's attack on Alpe D'Huez the year before were were the only two time a contender has stamped on it in the last few years, everything else has been a last man standing attritional wheelsucking grind, not really fun to watch.

Robert Millar attacked, Chiappuci attacked, Bugno attacked, Rimoger, Merckx, Hainault need I go on.

All very well having MTF's if the contenders are willing to push them to their maximum value
We've actually discussed that very concern quite a bit Weatherman. One of the topics that comes up in regards to race radio, and team size discussions.

But yes, I agree with you, most of us do. Teams leading back really to Banesto and Indurain; though perhaps USPS "perfected" it, with domestiques who prepare their entire season to do pulls in a train for 150km a day, for three weeks a year, and that's all they really do.