The Big Fat Silly Honest Tour de France 2022 Q&A for Beginners

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So, is it a team sport now or an individual sport?
It's simply both. The whole team might ride to get one rider on the podium, but in the end only that one rider will stand there, be named the winner and worshipped by the fans.

What is a break-away? Sounds separatistic.
There are some riders at the start who are pretty good, but they will, most likely, not win the overall classification. They are still trying to get something out of this Tour: a stage win, some tv time for them and their sponsor, a tactical advantage for their team. So they attack and try to get away from the main field (peloton), usually at the beginning of the stage. If they are strong enough and on the other hand not good enough to pose a threat for those riders who really want to win the whole Tour, the teams will let them go at one point, because they can't keep every single rider under control over the whole stage.

If the break-away riders are lucky the remaining peloton, afterwards, is not strong enough, not united enough or simply too stupid to catch them later. Unless a wonder happens that's only possible on a stage with certain ups and downs though. On an entirely flat stage with broad roads a full peloton has an enormous advantage though and will most likely catch the break riders who have put their noses into the wind the whole day easily before the finish.

Does every team have an official captain?
No. There is no official captain like in football. The team might have a dedicated leader, a rider they think has the best chances for a podium, and they might decide that it's best to go all in, use all other riders as helpers. They might also go with a two leaders or a trident approach. They might also not really have a leader but see who the strongest of them is during the race. Or, they intentionally forget about the overall and concentrate on stage wins and some tv time for their sponsors. Maybe for instance they have a great sprinter who can win a few stages and the sprinter's classification.

What does a helper do, actually? Are they really necessary?
Depends. If you want to win the whole Tour, it's pretty tough without helpers. Especially if you're a favourite and people try to act against you. Isolate you. Attack you repeatedly. Use your bad day. Then helpers can help you close the gaps, meaning, they ride in front of you, put their noses in the wind, and you can follow them and do not have to spend nearly as much energy as you would have to if you had to fight against the wind on your own. (You can't imagine the benefit of a slipstream at those speeds.) They might also bring you drinks and clothes from the team car, so you don't have to drop back and spend energy to come back to the top, they can help to bring you back to the main field if you have had an unforeseen incident. Yes, as a candidate for a good placing the overall classification, it's really important to save energy... But helpers can also play other tactical roles, they can control the stage for you, so some random outsider doesn't get away, they help you with positioning.

A sprinter usually needs a lot of helpers, first to control the flat (sprinter's) stages – bring back the break of the day – then to position you well in the sprint and give you a good slipstream before you start your real sprint. They will also help you get over the mountains within the time limit (a certain percentage of the winner's time), which is not always easy to make if you're a sprinter, meaning you have, by default, quite a bit more muscles and hence weight than the mountain goats.
Even if I knew the benefit of slip stream I didn't understand the why until I read this post! This whole thread is golden! Thank you! :hearteyes::hearteyecat::hearteyecat::hearteyecat::hearteyecat::hearteyecat:
 
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From the Roglic thread: we're in a long discussion about why a rider goes home immediatly after getting injured. Anyone know the answer? :)


Recovery can be managed by team ..technically...more so than being w family ..not as structured. But as I always say..I am an observer ..a jabroni...but have always wondered why they immediately leave. May be rule I don't know about.
 
So, when was the last GT in which no riders of the "Big Three" (Italy, France, Spain) countries won a stage?
I know there are still three stages to go, but I'm kinda struggling to think of anyone who could win any of the three remaining stages.
 
Reactions: noob
So, when was the last GT in which no riders of the "Big Three" (Italy, France, Spain) countries won a stage?
I know there are still three stages to go, but I'm kinda struggling to think of anyone who could win any of the three remaining stages.
I thought it might have been the 1926 TDF.
But no, an Italian named Bartolomeo Aimo won a stage then.
So my guess is it's never happened before.

But isn't the real 'Big Three' in cycling = Belgium, Italy and France. Spain = the best of the rest.
 
New-ish cycling fan here with a question.

Obviously the yellow Jersey is the most prestigious and the white Jersey is the least prestigious, but is there a generally accepted answer as to which is the more prestigious Jersey between the green and polka-dot?

Also, I kinda wish the white Jersey couldn’t be won by a current or former TdF champion. Feels like it should go to the best young rider “of the rest”.
 
New-ish cycling fan here with a question.

Obviously the yellow Jersey is the most prestigious and the white Jersey is the least prestigious, but is there a generally accepted answer as to which is the more prestigious Jersey between the green and polka-dot?

Also, I kinda wish the white Jersey couldn’t be won by a current or former TdF champion. Feels like it should go to the best young rider “of the rest”.
If you are a sprinter, green, if a climber, polka-dot.;) Although they say green is the most prestigious after yellow. However, personally I find the polka-dot to at least be on equal footing.
 
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So, when was the last GT in which no riders of the "Big Three" (Italy, France, Spain) countries won a stage?
I know there are still three stages to go, but I'm kinda struggling to think of anyone who could win any of the three remaining stages.
Ganna is hot favorite for the ITT - There is a reason he has been invisible in the last week.
 
New-ish cycling fan here with a question.

Obviously the yellow Jersey is the most prestigious and the white Jersey is the least prestigious, but is there a generally accepted answer as to which is the more prestigious Jersey between the green and polka-dot?

Also, I kinda wish the white Jersey couldn’t be won by a current or former TdF champion. Feels like it should go to the best young rider “of the rest”.
Green for some reason is more prestigious, especially nowadays. Probably because the polka dots are often won by someone who was originally going for GC, and only for mountains jersey when he already lost too much time for a good position, or even "by default" by the yellow jersey winner. Green usually gets targeted from the beginning.
I think the points scoring/ profile of stages needs to be changed for the dots to become more important again.
 
It
Green for some reason is more prestigious, especially nowadays. Probably because the polka dots are often won by someone who was originally going for GC, and only for mountains jersey when he already lost too much time for a good position, or even "by default" by the yellow jersey winner. Green usually gets targeted from the beginning.
I think the points scoring/ profile of stages needs to be changed for the dots to become more important again.
It used to be with guys like Heras, Theunisse and Virenque, the Polka-dot jersey could actually go for mtf stage wins, even in the Yellow Jersey group. Nowadays it seems more like a consolation prize for the second tier climber who gets in enough breaks to accumulate mountain classification points, rather than a first rate climber also aiming high on GC, which has considerably lessoned the notion of "best climber" in the race associated with the jersey. That's because the general level is so much higher today that a top tier climber looking for a high GC can't waste Energy trying to get enough mountain points to earn the polka-dot jersey. Whereas in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s both were still acheivable.
 

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