Time bonus points - to be or not to be - and how?

Oct 10, 2011
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From Inrng.com's blog:
'I can’t make up my mind on time bonuses. I like the way they force riders to sprint, rewarding the lively riders. But I don’t like the artifice they bring to the overall classification. Also they incentivise riders to save energy for the finish line instead of emptying the tank during the climb. I’m happy to see them in the Giro and Vuelta but equally happy they are not in the Tour.'

My opinion:
I think there should be time bonuses on the flat stages but not on the mountain stages.

What do you prefer?
 
Feb 18, 2012
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I don't like them; it encourages GC contenders with fast finishes just to sit on the climbs and gain a few seconds at the end.

It seems a bit pointless to only have them on flat stages - most guys in a sprint or breakaway don't really care about a few extra seconds.
 
Nov 16, 2011
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I like them. They prevent or at least minimize the gifting of stages - something that I really hate to see as a viewer. It also includes sprinting ability as an overall equation to the GC - something that defines a complete rider. After all, GC shouldn't just be about TT or climbing skills.
 
Aug 29, 2012
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I think they should exist, but perhaps keep them very low - 3, 2 & 1 seconds for the end of the stage perhaps.
 
After a serious argument between myself, I decided time bonuses are good. :p
They encourage gc guys to contest the win in the high mountain stages, avoiding (most of the time) they get to the bottom of the final climb completely fresh. 20", however, are too much. Between 10" and 15" are fine.
As for the "artifice" they bring to the GC, let's not forget that the gc IS an artifice. In every stage, if I came in the peloton I have the very same time of the guy who came first (if there weren't gaps), one minute before me ;)
Then if in the next day there's a small gap of 2" between us I'll have the best overall time - is it fair?
 
May 9, 2012
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Without the time bonuses at the Vuelta we wouldn't have experienced one of the most epic GT winning moves in many years. Think about that. (Contador would have lead the race after the ITT, right? :p )

The main argument against bonuses seem to be that it will force the riders to create selection earlier on the course. In fact the bonuses have the same effect, as riders without a good (uphill) sprint will need to drop Purito-types, to avoid them cashing in on the bonus in a sprint.
 
They are not necessary. Rider who has spent least amount of time should be the winner. I don't care about uphill sprints in last 200m. I want to see contenders dropped...
 
Aug 29, 2012
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Eshnar said:
After a serious argument between myself, I decided time bonuses are good. :p
They encourage gc guys to contest the win in the high mountain stages, avoiding (most of the time) they get to the bottom of the final climb completely fresh. 20", however, are too much. Between 10" and 15" are fine.
As for the "artifice" they bring to the GC, let's not forget that the gc IS an artifice. In every stage, if I came in the peloton I have the very same time of the guy who came first (if there weren't gaps), one minute before me ;)
Then if in the next day there's a small gap of 2" between us I'll have the best overall time - is it fair?
The peloton acts as a 'pack' in cycling and if all times were given as absolute times the amount of crashes as EVERYONE sprints for the finish would be huge. There are good reasons for giving everyone in the peloton the same time ! But I am sure you know this ;)
 
brilleaben said:
Without the time bonuses at the Vuelta we wouldn't have experienced one of the most epic GT winning moves in many years. Think about that. (Contador would have lead the race after the ITT, right? :p )
Maybe Rodriguez would have been in the lead after ITT because of longer attacks not uphill sprints? I didn't see Fuentes De stage but other mountain stages were rather dull because Rodriguez thought he can win the race because of bonus seconds. Partly it is route's failure because too many MTFs/uphill finishes means less risky riding.
Since TDF was crap as well then I believe good racing can be expected if 5-6 multiple climb mountain stages are balanced with two ITT (one hilly, one flat).
 
May 9, 2012
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Contador not being in the leaders jersey, is basically the only safe way to ensure exciting racing.
Bonus seconds or not, neither of the two are guarantees of one type of racing. Just compare Giro and Vuelta this year. Rodriguez didn't try long range attacks in Giro, despite no bonus seconds on MTF's. Had he done that once or twice, he probably would have won quite easily I'm sure of.
 
The thing I like the most of GTs, is to watch competition among riders, and the tactics that it could generate as a result of small gaps among them.

La Vuelta 2012 is a great example that time bonuses helps promote competition. An underdog, Joachim Rodriguez, was able to be in the hunt of the red jersey thanks to bonus seconds, he almost won 4 stages. If he wasn't for those bonuses seconds, Contador would have been in red earlier, thus we wouldn't have had his epic attack in Fuente Dé stage.

Additionally, to further more the competition, I'd like to see time bonuses in intermediate mountain climbs, as it's done for intermediate sprints. This would be an big incentive for riders to attack earlier in the stage, instead of waiting for the last climb of the day to do it.

Eshnar said:
As for the "artifice" they bring to the GC, let's not forget that the gc IS an artifice. In every stage, if I came in the peloton I have the very same time of the guy who came first (if there weren't gaps), one minute before me ;) Then if in the next day there's a small gap of 2" between us I'll have the best overall time - is it fair?
Agree with Eshnar, this is a good point for those who defend absolute time as the way it should be. We all know why they get the same time, but it's artificial.

PS: time bonuses in flat stage finishes are close to being useless.
 
cineteq said:
The thing I like the most of GTs, is to watch competition among riders, and the tactics that it could generate as a result of small gaps among them.

La Vuelta 2012 is a great example that time bonuses helps promote competition. An underdog, Joachim Rodriguez, was able to be in the hunt of the red jersey thanks to bonus seconds, he almost won 4 stages. If he wasn't for those bonuses seconds, Contador would have been in red earlier, thus we wouldn't have had his epic attack in Fuente Dé stage.

Additionally, to further more the competition, I'd like to see time bonuses in intermediate mountain climbs, as it's done for intermediate sprints. This would be an big incentive for riders to attack earlier in the stage, instead of waiting for the last climb of the day to do it.

Agree with Eshnar, this is a good point for those who defend absolute time as the way it should be. We all know why they get the same time, but it's artificial.

PS: time bonuses in flat stage finishes are close to being useless.
It definitely worked for the Vuelta this year because of Rodriguez but the Tour seems to have finished with them completely. I like Simon Clarke but to see him win KOM is a bit of a joke. If they are going to have KOM at all it should be done only on the hardest mountain stages and should be fought out by the best climbers.
 
I'd prefer time bonuses at intermediate points within stages.
Particularly KOM points.
Get some GC action before the last climb.

Seems odd to have time bonuses at sprints but not climbs, given sprinters are chasing points.
I think UCI do not cater for it either.
You would need to put 'sprint' point on top of a climb to be able to give seconds there, under current rules (I think).
 
Jul 16, 2010
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I would put time bonuses only on flat stages. Otherwise you're stuck with the boring Cancellara show who wins the prologue and then cruises along for a week in his yellow jersey...

Stages like last year's finish on Mur de Bretagne would also count as a flat stage, so there would be some GC influence, but brought back to a minimal.
 
Riders getting the same GC and stage time for pack/group finishes is also an artuface of the GC. It is valuable for the safety of the riders for sure, but still, not a true reflection of the time spent covering the course.

I like the setup we have now, where some races have them and some do not. The simplest solution, really.
 

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