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The worst Grand Tour you can remember

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Aug 6, 2015
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Tour 2010. This tour was the moment that uci and aso banned the most talented gt rider of all time. They didn't want contador to beat the seven wins of armstrong in le tour.
 
So what do yo guys think could theoretically be done to make the Tour more interesting? I have a few ideas:

Structural changes:
- A limit on team salaries: This would even out the teams, so that we won't have one team much stronger than every else.
- Reduce the size of the teams: Smaller teams would make the race harder to control both on mountain stages and on flatter stages. It might also reduce the number of crashes in the peloton, particularly towards the end of the stages. 6 man teams sounds good.
- Bigger time bonuses: I'm very unsure of this one. Theoretically, I don't like the idea of time bonuses. I also don't know what impact it would have on the racing. It might be the case that the riders would wait even longer to attack in the hope that they would get time bonuses. The idea though is that you force the not so strong finishers to attack from further out and reward attacking riding.

Route changes:
- Reduce the number of sprint stages: I think there should be a few stages for the sprinters, but completely flat stages are really boring. Get rid of some of the number of sprint stages and in in some more classics-type stages, or at least make the sprint stages somewhat interesting by including some hills.
- Spread out the mountain stages: Having three mountain stages in a row only reduces the will to attack on the first or second mountain stage. The riders are not willing to risk they GC position by blowing up on the next stage(s).
- Don't have an ITT right after a mountain stage: The same argument as above. The riders seem to save energy for the ITT.
- Don't have the hardest stages at the end of the Tour: Again same argument as above. Most riders tend to peak for the third week, making the racing dull in the first two weeks. And again many riders aren't willing to risk anything in early stages because they know the hardest stages are still yet to come.
 
Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
So what do yo guys think could theoretically be done to make the Tour more interesting? I have a few ideas:

Structural changes:
- A limit on team salaries: This would even out the teams, so that we won't have one team much stronger than every else.
- Reduce the size of the teams: Smaller teams would make the race harder to control both on mountain stages and on flatter stages. It might also reduce the number of crashes in the peloton, particularly towards the end of the stages. 6 man teams sounds good.
- Bigger time bonuses: I'm very unsure of this one. Theoretically, I don't like the idea of time bonuses. I also don't know what impact it would have on the racing. It might be the case that the riders would wait even longer to attack in the hope that they would get time bonuses. The idea though is that you force the not so strong finishers to attack from further out and reward attacking riding.

Route changes:
- Reduce the number of sprint stages: I think there should be a few stages for the sprinters, but completely flat stages are really boring. Get rid of some of the number of sprint stages and in in some more classics-type stages, or at least make the sprint stages somewhat interesting by including some hills.
- Spread out the mountain stages: Having three mountain stages in a row only reduces the will to attack on the first or second mountain stage. The riders are not willing to risk they GC position by blowing up on the next stage(s).
- Don't have an ITT right after a mountain stage: The same argument as above. The riders seem to save energy for the ITT.
- Don't have the hardest stages at the end of the Tour: Again same argument as above. Most riders tend to peak for the third week, making the racing dull in the first two weeks. And again many riders aren't willing to risk anything in early stages because they know the hardest stages are still yet to come.
Mainly this.
 
Good ideas. I think we should look at 8 man teams before even thinking about 6 man teams in GTs.
¨
Its also very difficult to spread out the mountain stages. I think they have done decently so in this year's Tour with Massif Central, Ventoux and Jura, but you need to slot multiple consecutive days in the mountains in due to geograpgy. Its just how it is. But you could reduce the days in Alps and Pyrenees in favour of of hard Jura/Vosges/Massif stages,
 
I really can't say this year's Tour is bad. It's been really entertaining so far, I'm not regretting a moment watching it, but I'm not so optimistic about the coming week.
It won't make the worst GT of this Tour, surely, but something like the worst third week of a GT is a realistic option.

I can't say what GT is the worst I remember.
Plenty of unfulfilled expectations throughout the years has been, but less then excitement I've experienced.
This Tour has a potential to represent an exact ratio of thrills and disappointments of last twenty years of GTs.
There wasn't much excitement in years of domination, and now we're at the point where Froome's imposing domination. If Quintana (or someone else, for the matter of fact) saves this Tour, he could be saviour of the years to come.
 
Re: Re:

StryderHells said:
Valv.Piti said:
RedheadDane said:
Giro 2011

Sure, the racing was good, but the tragedies overshadowed it.
And the stupid aftermatch as well.

Giro 2011? One of the best I can remember.

Giro 2012 the worst, then Tour 2012, Vuelta 2011.

What was good about the 2011 Giro? That route was absolutely horrible and rightly so Zomegan got fired after it.

Agree the the 2012 versions of the Giro and Tour were straight up like watching paint dry
The Giro 2011 might have been horrible for the riders and the staff, but not for the viewers. It was almost all mountains with the main contenders.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Pippo_San said:
Tour 2006. We've been robbed of the most incredible duels of the last 20 years.
Yeah, but we still had the Monzine stage and it still was fun to watch.
On the other hand I'm still butthurt about the 2007 Tour de France.
 
Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
So what do yo guys think could theoretically be done to make the Tour more interesting? I have a few ideas:

Structural changes:
- A limit on team salaries: This would even out the teams, so that we won't have one team much stronger than every else.
- Reduce the size of the teams: Smaller teams would make the race harder to control both on mountain stages and on flatter stages. It might also reduce the number of crashes in the peloton, particularly towards the end of the stages. 6 man teams sounds good.
- Bigger time bonuses: I'm very unsure of this one. Theoretically, I don't like the idea of time bonuses. I also don't know what impact it would have on the racing. It might be the case that the riders would wait even longer to attack in the hope that they would get time bonuses. The idea though is that you force the not so strong finishers to attack from further out and reward attacking riding.

Route changes:
- Reduce the number of sprint stages: I think there should be a few stages for the sprinters, but completely flat stages are really boring. Get rid of some of the number of sprint stages and in in some more classics-type stages, or at least make the sprint stages somewhat interesting by including some hills.
- Spread out the mountain stages: Having three mountain stages in a row only reduces the will to attack on the first or second mountain stage. The riders are not willing to risk they GC position by blowing up on the next stage(s).
- Don't have an ITT right after a mountain stage: The same argument as above. The riders seem to save energy for the ITT.
- Don't have the hardest stages at the end of the Tour: Again same argument as above. Most riders tend to peak for the third week, making the racing dull in the first two weeks. And again many riders aren't willing to risk anything in early stages because they know the hardest stages are still yet to come.

Some great ideas here. I would get even more radical with the Tour de France, to try to give a much wider range of riders the incentive to go for the win - how it used to be, where the winners were often great all-rounders, not always the best climbers as they are now.

I'd reduce the number of mountain top finishes to 1, maybe maximum 2 per race. And also have only one really hard mountain stage. There can be other challenging high mountain stages as well, but with fairly significant flat or rolling section at the end. Also, max of two consecutive days in high mountains. There should be roughly 100km of mostly flat or rolling TTs. No mountain TTs ever. There can be also be a decent mix of flat and classic type stages - ideally with reduced teams and no radios to make them difficult to control.

The only thing, imo, that can really make both flat and mountain stages more interesting, is if riders other than climbers have a genuine chance of winning the race. Then climbers would then have to attack early and have to attack hard on the mountain stages to distance the non-climbers as much as possible. 25km in the valley at the end of most mountain stages will give non-climbers the opportunity to limit their losses a bit more, while encouraging moe action on the climbs themselves. Non-climbers also have the chance to claw back time in the TT, and by attempting to split the peloton on the flat, rolling or medium mountain stages.

As long as the race is catered towards climbers with strong teams, then it's going to be dull. Because they have no incentive but to race against other climbers in the mountains - usually just trying to gain 30 seconds on a last 3km attack - while neutralizing every other type of stage.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
DFA: Thats what they tried in 2012 more or less (at least some of the ideas). It turned out pretty badly, but it was probably due to a mix between Sky being super dominant and some of the stages being pretty trash.
Yeah, that was the closest route, but it was still a bit of a half measure. I think it was still very climbing friendly overall, with a couple of flat time trials thrown in. Basically perfect for Wiggins. They had about five mountain top or descent finishes - still massively in favour of climbers. It basically had the worst of both worlds - too easy for the lightest climbers to really do much, but still too hard for anyone apart from the best ten climbers to do anything. So it basically turned into Wiggins v Froome.

What we need is something is one hard mountain stage in the Alps and one in the Pyrenees - counter-balanced by two long, flat time trials. Then a lot of in between stages - like the one from Andorra to Revel this year, or Ardennes/Strade Bianche type stages which give climbers, puncheurs and rouleurs a chance to be aggressive and take time.
 
Less stages in the Alps and Pyrenees is a good idea. 7 this year is well and truly over doing it, especially considering the stage that they are also riding today in the Jura. But only one stage in each main mountain range is probably running it a little thin. What happens if one of those stages is cancelled due to poor weather? You run the risk of a Cancellara winning the Tour De Suisse type of situation, and nobody wants that.

But get back to two proper ITT's. Both long and mostly flat. The first one a day or two before the first main mountain range. Two stages in the Alps and Pyrenees could be enough. The first of both of those two stages can be a MTF, guaranteeing a selection. The stages on the day after can be tougher overall, but descent finishers. Give us one of these stages of 220 kms with 4 or 5 HC/Cat 1 climbs for a true queen stage. With a traditional 50-60 km ITT on the penultimate day, a Tom Dumoulin with 2015 Vuelta climbing legs (apart from stage 20) might be in the GC mix.
 
Re:

gregrowlerson said:
Less stages in the Alps and Pyrenees is a good idea. 7 this year is well and truly over doing it, especially considering the stage that they are also riding today in the Jura. But only one stage in each main mountain range is probably running it a little thin. What happens if one of those stages is cancelled due to poor weather? You run the risk of a Cancellara winning the Tour De Suisse type of situation, and nobody wants that.

But get back to two proper ITT's. Both long and mostly flat. The first one a day or two before the first main mountain range. Two stages in the Alps and Pyrenees could be enough. The first of both of those two stages can be a MTF, guaranteeing a selection. The stages on the day after can be tougher overall, but descent finishers. Give us one of these stages of 220 kms with 4 or 5 HC/Cat 1 climbs for a true queen stage. With a traditional 50-60 km ITT on the penultimate day, a Tom Dumoulin with 2015 Vuelta climbing legs (apart from stage 20) might be in the GC mix.
Yes, I agree with this. Two long, flat ITT's like in the 90's would be awesome.
 
Re:

yaco said:
Since when should a GT not have a bias towards climbers - You'll have a boring race with few mountains.
Since they became really dull. Nowadays anyone can look at the TdF route before hand and pick out four or five stages where there might be significant GC action. The other 15 or 16 offer nothing from a GC perspective.

It's not about having fewer mountains, it's about using them differently. Have the same amount of mountains, but put them at the start of stages not the end. Let the climbers get the advantage early on in stages and then see if they can fend off the peloton and rouleurs for the last 50km on rolling or flat terrain.

At least the route will then be raced, rather than what we have now: 150km of soft pedalling, before a train driving a pace so hard up a mountain that no-one can attack, followed by a leader trying to gain 30 seconds in the last 3km.

Giro and Vuelta are fine - they can stay with the advantage for climbers as they are more unpredictable. But the Tour has jumped the shark long ago. Teams here are too strong, so the race is basically always decided on one or two mountain stages, and occasionally a TT - then it's over. Before the mid 80s all-rounders used to be favourites for the Tour; but now domestiques are too strong - they allow a lightweight climber to completely control the race on the flat - which is what makes it so dull.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Re: Re:

Hugo Koblet said:
gregrowlerson said:
Less stages in the Alps and Pyrenees is a good idea. 7 this year is well and truly over doing it, especially considering the stage that they are also riding today in the Jura. But only one stage in each main mountain range is probably running it a little thin. What happens if one of those stages is cancelled due to poor weather? You run the risk of a Cancellara winning the Tour De Suisse type of situation, and nobody wants that.

But get back to two proper ITT's. Both long and mostly flat. The first one a day or two before the first main mountain range. Two stages in the Alps and Pyrenees could be enough. The first of both of those two stages can be a MTF, guaranteeing a selection. The stages on the day after can be tougher overall, but descent finishers. Give us one of these stages of 220 kms with 4 or 5 HC/Cat 1 climbs for a true queen stage. With a traditional 50-60 km ITT on the penultimate day, a Tom Dumoulin with 2015 Vuelta climbing legs (apart from stage 20) might be in the GC mix.
Yes, I agree with this. Two long, flat ITT's like in the 90's would be awesome.

A prologue as well, please. Riders like Kittel don't intend to respect the leaders' jersey, and having 200 riders who could all take yellow makes the first few sprint finishes phenomenally dangerous.
 
Re:

gregrowlerson said:
Less stages in the Alps and Pyrenees is a good idea. 7 this year is well and truly over doing it, especially considering the stage that they are also riding today in the Jura. But only one stage in each main mountain range is probably running it a little thin. What happens if one of those stages is cancelled due to poor weather? You run the risk of a Cancellara winning the Tour De Suisse type of situation, and nobody wants that.

But get back to two proper ITT's. Both long and mostly flat. The first one a day or two before the first main mountain range. Two stages in the Alps and Pyrenees could be enough. The first of both of those two stages can be a MTF, guaranteeing a selection. The stages on the day after can be tougher overall, but descent finishers. Give us one of these stages of 220 kms with 4 or 5 HC/Cat 1 climbs for a true queen stage. With a traditional 50-60 km ITT on the penultimate day, a Tom Dumoulin with 2015 Vuelta climbing legs (apart from stage 20) might be in the GC mix.
Sure, I certainly think there should be more than 1 stage in the Alps and Pyrenees. But perhaps only 1 hard multiple mountain stage in each. Other days there could have one or two climbs, preferably in the first half of the stage - giving climbers the chance to attack if they are strong enough, but making them really work for it - rather than encouraging them to just sit and wait for the last 5km before doing anything.