The worst Grand Tour you can remember

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Entertainment value is not w.r.t what the main favorite does but what the other contenders do. Indurain and Armstrong eras were completely different in that one could go bonkers in a stage and yet be ok the next day. Nowadays it is not feasible. Besides which today's mentality is to wait for weakness of the main favorite becos if one attacks early, it is difficult to recover.
 
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bajbar said:
The problem is, Froome is a rider without weaknesses. First, the idea of beating him were cobbles. Not any more since 2015. Downhills. Nope. Bad 3rd week - this we are yet to see. Crosswinds - again, he is the best. The best in the TTs (Contador comes close), best in the mountains (not 100% certain, Quintana and Contadro in top shape are equal or better), best team. You cannot create a route that would not suit him.
Not in France. But I guess a very hilly Giro could do the trick.

I don't think the point is making a route that makes Froome beatable anyway.
 
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Eshnar said:
Hugo Koblet said:
Eshnar said:
SeriousSam said:
If you want someone to challenge Froome at the Tour, whatever the solution, flat time trial kms isn't it.
If you just want someone to challenge Froome, putting 8 ITTs and only on mountaint stages of the likes of Lac de Payolle does seem the best option actually. I would go as far as to say he would not win such a Tour.
How about 21 flat stages with time bonuses?
That would work as well. 100%.
Do you see the ease with which people like Thomas, Wiggins, Froome, turn from pursuit riders to time trialers, to mountain riders or cobbled specialists, or all rounders or whatever they want to be for a particular situation.

If Froome spent all his training on gaining a bit more power and perhaps weight to become a sprinter, no one could stop him
 
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SafeBet said:
bajbar said:
The problem is, Froome is a rider without weaknesses. First, the idea of beating him were cobbles. Not any more since 2015. Downhills. Nope. Bad 3rd week - this we are yet to see. Crosswinds - again, he is the best. The best in the TTs (Contador comes close), best in the mountains (not 100% certain, Quintana and Contadro in top shape are equal or better), best team. You cannot create a route that would not suit him.
Not in France. But I guess a very hilly Giro could do the trick.

I don't think the point is making a route that makes Froome beatable anyway.
Did you see the Mur stage last year? Hills would not do the trick
 
Feb 6, 2016
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The Hitch said:
SafeBet said:
bajbar said:
The problem is, Froome is a rider without weaknesses. First, the idea of beating him were cobbles. Not any more since 2015. Downhills. Nope. Bad 3rd week - this we are yet to see. Crosswinds - again, he is the best. The best in the TTs (Contador comes close), best in the mountains (not 100% certain, Quintana and Contadro in top shape are equal or better), best team. You cannot create a route that would not suit him.
Not in France. But I guess a very hilly Giro could do the trick.

I don't think the point is making a route that makes Froome beatable anyway.
Did you see the Mur stage last year? Hills would not do the trick
A properly lumpy route probably would though. I suspect strade bianche would be a problem for Froome, as well.
 
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Cannibal72 said:
The Hitch said:
SafeBet said:
bajbar said:
The problem is, Froome is a rider without weaknesses. First, the idea of beating him were cobbles. Not any more since 2015. Downhills. Nope. Bad 3rd week - this we are yet to see. Crosswinds - again, he is the best. The best in the TTs (Contador comes close), best in the mountains (not 100% certain, Quintana and Contadro in top shape are equal or better), best team. You cannot create a route that would not suit him.
Not in France. But I guess a very hilly Giro could do the trick.

I don't think the point is making a route that makes Froome beatable anyway.
Did you see the Mur stage last year? Hills would not do the trick
A properly lumpy route probably would though. I suspect strade bianche would be a problem for Froome, as well.
This would be awesome; a GT made of 21 punchy, hilly stages, especially with big gravel sections each day.

Someone write to Guillen - he might be up for it.
 
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DFA123 said:
This would be awesome; a GT made of 21 punchy, hilly stages, especially with big gravel sections each day.

Someone write to Guillen - he might be up for it.
As long as we're indulging in pipe dreams, how about going medieval on the riders. Start in Nancy, cross the Planche des Belles Filles and go through the Massif Central and the Puy de Dôme, have additional finishes at Collada de Gallina, Col de Laquets, Ventoux from Beduin and then Malaucène (less wind would perhaps mean more attacks), then go through Madone, Finestre, back through Agnel and few new apline climbs and finish stage 20 up a freshly gravel-tracked Col d'Herpie. Bike companies should love a chance to showcase their new "adventure" offerings, but without it giving the heavier riders to much of an advantage. No stages under 190km but the prologue, MTT and an TTT just to make the miles add up and rider selection impossible. Make it so Sagan is fighting Valverde and Uran for the win and the green jersey at the Champs. Basically going through France and hitting every bump you can find except for a couple of sprint and transition stages. Someone has surely done something like that but better in the race design thread. Then we'd give Quintana and Nibali and maybe guys like Vuillermoz or Kruijswijk (have to google that every single time) a better chance. The potential for punctures on the dirt and gravel would add an extra equipment choice issue and a measured sprinkling of randomness.

But of course then the action would end up being back-loaded to the last 10km and the third week, and everyone would be up in arms about how boring the rest of it was. Life is but a series of trade-offs.

P.S. This stage, if anyone needed reminding, emphasizes that unless you only care about GC, this Tour has really delivered, IMHO.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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carton said:
DFA123 said:
This would be awesome; a GT made of 21 punchy, hilly stages, especially with big gravel sections each day.

Someone write to Guillen - he might be up for it.
As long as we're indulging in pipe dreams, how about going medieval on the riders. Start in Nancy, cross the Planche des Belles Filles and go through the Massif Central and the Puy de Dôme, have additional finishes at Collada de Gallina, Col de Laquets, Ventoux from Beduin and then Malaucène (less wind would perhaps mean more attacks), then go through Madone, Finestre, back through Agnel and few new apline climbs and finish stage 20 up a freshly gravel-tracked Col d'Herpie. Bike companies should love a chance to showcase their new "adventure" offerings, but without it giving the heavier riders to much of an advantage. No stages under 190km but the prologue, MTT and an TTT just to make the miles add up and rider selection impossible. Make it so Sagan is fighting Valverde and Uran for the win and the green jersey at the Champs. Basically going through France and hitting every bump you can find except for a couple of sprint and transition stages. Someone has surely done something like that but better in the race design thread. Then we'd give Quintana and Nibali and maybe guys like Vuillermoz or Kruijswijk (have to google that every single time) a better chance. The potential for punctures on the dirt and gravel would add an extra equipment choice issue and a measured sprinkling of randomness.

But of course then the action would end up being back-loaded to the last 10km and the third week, and everyone would be up in arms about how boring the rest of it was. Life is but a series of trade-offs.
Both of these are great ideas. The medium mountain stages have been consistently the most interesting parts of the Vuelta, so Guillen should be up for it. We clearly live in an era where the traditional Alps/Pyrenees climbs just aren't interesting enough, because they're so easy for a mountain train to control or for a power climber to TT up. But hilly stages might encourage a return to the days of all-rounders, especially with time bonuses; imagine Sagan doing a Maertens in this hypothetical Vuelta. Also might see GC riders going for the cobbled classics as practice.
 
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saganftw said:
maybe its just selective memory,but i dont remember indurain years and armstrong years to be as boring as SKY era because when it eventually came to the very best armstrong nor indurain had 3 guys in front of them...even with guys like heras and landis i dont remember them having so much control over how the stage was raced - the results were the same,but the racing was there even tho it was dominated by one man on the paper

funny thing my dad feels the same way
US Postal were the worst years.

We actually had similar discussion with friends on club rides. Exactly same topics.
 
See how Etixx Quick Step forced the peleton to ride today - You are BMC, Trek or OBE then you make Sky work on the flat - Do this as often as possible and then you could weaken the Sky train which is full of climbers - You won't help yourself if you ride flat stages or flat stages of climbs at 35km phr.
 
Any of the races, where top contenders were relegated. Giro 69 Merckx, Tour where Festina, were not allowed to start, the race Rasmussen was asked to leave, 2006 tour, Basso, Vino Astana, Ulrich not allowed to start, Floyd wins, then lose, to a far lesser athlete. Pretty much takes all the joy out of the GTs, for myself.
 
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gazr99 said:
Fernandez said:
Contador out of contention at the first stage, Porte also loosing time for a flat tire, SKY controlling the race as always, no GC battle at all, Quintana looking bad at the moment, the madness of yesterday in Ventoux... I find this TdF hard to watch at the moment.
The only positive thing I find is Sagan and some of the stage winners.
The GC is actually quite competitive not just Froome vs Quintana like everyone expected. Yates and Mollema are within a minute, Porte looks good and we haven't hit the time trial yet
And how did this view turn out 3 days later?
 
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Pantani_lives said:
Top 10 of the worst GTs:

1. Tour 2005
2. Tour 2004
3. Tour 2003
4. Tour 2002
5. Tour 2001
6. Tour 2000
7. Tour 1999
8. Tour 2016
9. Tour 2015
10. Tour 2013

Those who haven't seen the Tour before 1999 simply have no idea what this race is supposed to look like. Back then you didn't know beforehand who was going to win. When Rominger or Chiappucci attacked, Indurain had to chase them down by himself, dropping Bugno in the process. There was suspense for yellow in the mountain stages of the final week. There was a sportive battle between individuals.

Since 1999 this race has been killed by US Postal and their carbon copy Team Sky. When five of the ten best climbers are in the same team it's like watching a bad movie, when you secretly hope that one of the bad guys is going to win but you know it's not going to happen. Henao, Poels and Landa are cowards. If they were the leader of another team this race might be worth watching. If one rich team can buy all of them to become helpers of the "hero" it turns the Tour de France into bad entertainment, unbearable to watch.

I don't blame ASO. I think they have the same feelings and they're trying to design a course that gives attackers a chance. UCI is something else. They have favored US Postal and Team Sky with their decisions, so they are part of the problem.
Seriously dude, what the hell are yo smoking? :surprised: If you didn't even like the 2003 Tour, maybe road cycling simply is the wrong sport for you.
 
I would start the Tour with a tripple mountian stage ...maybe the 2nd stage should be this

I have a feeling and I think it is valid that riders who do wellinthe first stages hang on better that riders who come from behind and there is the psycholigical advantage of being in the leading 10 that is hard to shake for most

So let Quintana and Contdor and whoever put time into froome first and not be on the back foot (if they can) by having their favourite terraine first
Take SKY out of their comfort zone
 
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carton said:
Sure, there are things you can do, and Libertine and Tonton have great suggestions. But GC-wise, you've got to cut ASO some slack. They've basically phased out flat time-trialing the last two Tours give everyone not named Christopher a chance. They've gone heavier than ever with the descents this year just to try that out. But the dominant GC contender is on the strongest team and they've been able to maintain a stranglehold on the race. I don't think it's only a matter of parcours. As Yates said today, when Poels is doing 450 watts at front attacking becomes moot. Froome has simply been the only guy who hast been able to drop his own team so far.

And beyond Mortirolo it gets gimmicky. On Angrilu in particular riders are just grinding up at their own pace, it's not attacking climbing but sheer W/kg. And also, the man who paced the top two GC guys up the Zoncolan last time the Giro went up was none other than Wout Poels.

At least ASO's has had better luck with the way they've tweaked the green and the polka dots.


The biggest issue is not the course it’s one team that can ride at such a tempo that no one can attack for longer than 20 seconds before they get drawn back in again. If it was possible a rider could try a longer range attack or something similar but it’s simply not possible. Because Froome now already has a lead he doesn’t really to do much more himself, just make sure the team keeps it at 440 watts for each mountain stage and no one will get too far away. If they somehow do, Froome has enough flat end power to chase them and attack himself.

It’s rather pointless, the only real interest will be in the mountain ITT and the final stage sprint. Can’t see much else happening.
 
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thehog said:
It’s rather pointless, the only real interest will be in the mountain ITT and the final stage sprint. Can’t see much else happening.
In theory, sure. But riders aren't machines. Stuff happens, in life, but specially in mass-start cycling events. We saw the yellow jersey take a jog up Mont Ventoux not a week ago. Quintana has much better odds than the last guy who won a Tour de France as a teammate of an in-form Alejandro Valverde had at any point in the race.

And, again, there's more to the Tour than the GC battle, methinks.
 
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carton said:
thehog said:
It’s rather pointless, the only real interest will be in the mountain ITT and the final stage sprint. Can’t see much else happening.
In theory, sure. But riders aren't machines. Stuff happens, in life, but specially in mass-start cycling events. We saw the yellow jersey take a jog up Mont Ventoux not a week ago. Quintana has much better odds than the last guy who won a Tour de France as a teammate of an in-form Alejandro Valverde had at any point in the race.

And, again, there's more to the Tour than the GC battle, methinks.
Well the Sky riders certainly look like machines. True, there has been some interesting incidents which have amounted to nothing. Long stages with Sky sitting on the front doesn't make for exciting viewing. There's been two MTFs, both of which have fizzled. One had its result re-constructed to fit so it dampened the day even more.

I thought the UCI were trying to grow the sport, not turn it into a TTT around France for one team.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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52520Andrew said:
One way teams could try to take out the dominance of Sky on a stage is to try to do something similar to what Chaves did in the Giro and have the team come up and ride flat out to drop as many guys as possible in a short amount of time instead of over an entire climb.

As for the best route to try to disrupt the way things are, probably a 2015 type route without the crosswinds and have the Pyrenees similar to this year.
Not going for wins and refusing to breakaway and push early is one of the worst things about current day cycling. If you did this to Froome for 2-3 days straight, he will crack, but everyone wants top 10's to justify their bullcrap money that they probably don't deserve anyway. They'd rather get a 5th and lose than risk going for yellow and crapping out.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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The Tour needs to ride over the entire route of Paris-Roubaix and then over the route of Tro-Bro Leon. Sky can't control classics, so make a chaotic Tour.
 
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El Pistolero said:
The Tour needs to ride over the entire route of Paris-Roubaix and then over the route of Tro-Bro Leon. Sky can't control classics, so make a chaotic Tour.
Agreed challanging courses are awesome, but run the risk of making the tour less competitive, giant time gaps, and eliminations, unless tows, and blatant drafting are allowed.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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El Pistolero said:
The Tour needs to ride over the entire route of Paris-Roubaix and then over the route of Tro-Bro Leon. Sky can't control classics, so make a chaotic Tour.
+ you'd see more GT riders riding cobble-classics as preperation, hopefully trying to win it when they're at it, especially if they'd add in an Tour de Flanders stage.
 
Eshnar said:
Tonton said:
More ITT, flat, come on. I lived the BigMig years. Stage 9 and the race is over. Luxembourg anyone?
Since you lived in those years you should have realized that Chiappucci was never gonna attack on the Saises, had he not gotten 5 minutes in Luxembourg.

Pantani was not gonna attack on the Mortirolo if he was at less than 30" from Berzin. Indurain was not gonna follow him if he could say the same.

Pantani also was not gonna attack on the Galibier if he wasn't at 3' from Ullrich.

But we live in the Froome era now, where things have improved a lot. Now we get to stage 9 and the race is...over? But on the GC the gaps are smaller and it looks good I guess.
Nice racing indeed, but you give examples of guys fighting for second place though, if you except '98 and the miracle at L2A.

Man, if it wasn't for Virenque and his quest for a podium, I would have stopped watching at some point during the BigMig years. The guy was an animal. I remember watching the Luxembourg ITT. Game over. Every year, before the mountains even began, the best climbers (Pantani, Virenque) were 4, 5, 6 minutes behind. And he'd follow in the mountains. BigMig didn't have a train, like USPS and Sky, but always a couple of very strong, Porte-caliber helpers, such as Bernard, De Las Cuevas, Gorospe...

So yes, it looks better. Had "the decision" not been made, it would be even better. But not that much better: Sky is a steamroller, even great teams like Astana and Movistar look pale in comparison. When they attack, they are the ones who eventually explode.

I don't know man...it's messed up. Maybe a Tour du Benelux, with back to back monuments and classics. Echoes would love it :) .
 
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El Pistolero said:
The Tour needs to ride over the entire route of Paris-Roubaix and then over the route of Tro-Bro Leon. Sky can't control classics, so make a chaotic Tour.
To be fair of all the GC contenders id say Froome wouldn't be that inconvenienced compared to some others.
 

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