Tour de France 2020 | Stage 1 (Nice - Nice, 156 km)

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I always give Liggett a pass, but this time is just too much. He is disconnected from the sport really. He can't make comments if he doesn't follow cycling anymore. He should do himself and the fans a favor and retire.
He hasn't been on the Australian broadcast for quite a few years now, and I used to like his call but I agree that the time is overdue. His memory has been deteriorating and it seems he isn't as clued in to the sport as he used to be.
 
Occasionally a bike race is won or lost in unexpected scenarios. That's how outsiders sometimes get to win races.
Today we could have ended with a much more interesting GC, even possibly with a big name having crashed out of the race, I get that, but that's happened many times in history and in my opinion one has to live with that in the Tour or any other race, for that matter
Having big favorites with a significant disadvantage to make up for from stage 2 would be much more attractive than having big teams control the race and determine how things happen, with top GC guys hiding behind 4-5 teammates until stage 15 or 16 up to Col de la Loze...
I totally get why JV or INEOS would want a neutralized race today, it's the attitude from teams like Movistar, Arkea or BORA that is much more shocking to me... Today was their chance to put the big teams under pressure and they chose not to.
Obviously it was a very dangerous race yesterday. Almost everybody was afraid to crash badly. That's why they agreed to calm down, not because someone told them to and they did not dare to say anything against it. One would think the numbers of injured riders is enough. Did you want to watch more?
The riders saw the streets up close, and they felt them, so they could make a better informed decision than other people. Amazing bike handlers like van Aert and Alaphilippe crashed, too.
Really I can't understand why people would want more suspense at the price of people being seriously injured. Crashing is part of the sport, yes, and enough of that happened yesterday. Like 50% of the peloton. Even with that agreement. Gilbert finished the race with a broken kneecap. Sivakov fought hard to finish the race. Bennett did. It's not like these guys are cry babies. But there's a limit to what we can expect from them.
Maybe watch some bare knuckle fights instead of cycling...
 
Having big favorites with a significant disadvantage to make up for from stage 2 would be much more attractive than having big teams control the race and determine how things happen, with top GC guys hiding behind 4-5 teammates until stage 15 or 16 up to Col de la Loze...
And of course you have absolutely no way of knowing that will happen.
 
Think yesterday exposed one of the problems with the 3km rule. I haven't watched the crash in detail, but wouldn't be at all surprised if the combination of GC trains just lifting slightly off the pedal at the marker whilst the sprint teams were getting organised led to the pile up.
 
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And of course you have absolutely no way of knowing that will happen.
Well, like any comment made in respect of what can potentially happen, is speculative by nature... I don't prentend to know the future. Should we stop talking about today's stage? We have no way of knowing what will happen either.
 
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Obviously it was a very dangerous race yesterday. Almost everybody was afraid to crash badly. That's why they agreed to calm down, not because someone told them to and they did not dare to say anything against it. One would think the numbers of injured riders is enough. Did you want to watch more?
The riders saw the streets up close, and they felt them, so they could make a better informed decision than other people. Amazing bike handlers like van Aert and Alaphilippe crashed, too.
Really I can't understand why people would want more suspense at the price of people being seriously injured. Crashing is part of the sport, yes, and enough of that happened yesterday. Like 50% of the peloton. Even with that agreement. Gilbert finished the race with a broken kneecap. Sivakov fought hard to finish the race. Bennett did. It's not like these guys are cry babies. But there's a limit to what we can expect from them.
Maybe watch some bare knuckle fights instead of cycling...
Ok, well, I guess my idea of cycling involves
But we can have a reasonable idea.
Of course, and having uneventful races with top GC contenders barely fighting head to head for the whole 3 weeks is not unheard of, in my view.
 
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Sorry about the above post

My idea of cycling involves teams racing for their chances. Everyone should feel free to take as many or as little risks as they felt reasonable to do, but that's not a decision anyone (Tony Martin, Primoz Roglic / JV) should try to impose on others.
I fully agree that yesterday's roads were dangerous, but in my mind it should be anyone's race unless the race organizers neutralize the race. Astana tried to keep the pace up (in my view they weren't acting in a particularly daring way) and had their leader crash, but I would have liked to see other teams keeping the pace up too instead of watching 100 guys soft pedal around the hills of Nice
 
Sorry about the above post

My idea of cycling involves teams racing for their chances. Everyone should feel free to take as many or as little risks as they felt reasonable to do, but that's not a decision anyone (Tony Martin, Primoz Roglic / JV) should try to impose on others.
I fully agree that yesterday's roads were dangerous, but in my mind it should be anyone's race unless the race organizers neutralize the race. Astana tried to keep the pace up (in my view they weren't acting in a particularly daring way) and had their leader crash, but I would have liked to see other teams keeping the pace up too instead of watching 100 guys soft pedal around the hills of Nice
In general I agree, there should not be social pressure coming from the guys who have an interest in keeping the race controlled for other reasons.
But I don't think that was exactly the way it was here. I think people agreed that Jumbo has the strongest team here, and that therefor they have some responsibility (and the possibilites) to do so.
The problem also with letting the riders each for themselves decide how much they want to risk is that some riders, domestiques especially, might not want to race that hard, but be pushed by their teams and wishes of sponsors, to go over the top. If the peloton in general agrees that the conditions are extremely dangerous, that can really help to protect not only the "big leaders", but the other riders, too.
 
A race can only be neutralized by the commissaires, and as such everyone was free to race as hard they wanted to yesterday. The flip side is that teams and riders are free to disapprove of racing and voice their disapproval, and further to sanction the behaviour of others if they want to - as long as the sanction is within the rules. It's fair to be against what can be seen as moralism from riders who want the race to slow down, but to meet it with moralism of how it may be allowed but is improper and falsifies 'true racing', would need justification of why one type of moralism is fair and another isn't.

Some teams and riders benefit from chaos and opportunism, while others benefit from controlled racing decided by strength. It is only natural that one tries to impose the conditions that match one's interests.

To complain about that is a testimony of one's own weakness and failure to impose the conditions one prefers.

...

Added for clarification: Complaints about lack of racing should thus be directed at the cowards too afraid of others' disapproval and sanction so that they dared not to go for it. I don't feel the least sorry for the opportunity that they lost, as they themselves are responsible for that.
 
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Some are saying this might be the cause for the crashes, it was part of the marketing caravan that rides in front of the riders
"Specifically, the soap X-Tra Total threw soap bombs that were left on the Highway.With the rain, the track was transformed into a skating rink "

 
What some of us don't like about what Tony Martin did yesterday, is that it was hypocritical. Most of us can agree, that if the Tour is raced in a fairly controlled manner, coming down to a few MTF's and an ITT, then it is very likely that either Bernal, Roglic or Dumoulin win the race. Jumbo hold two of those three cards. And Luke Rowe (who was also acting a little as a self appointed patron of the peloton) is a teammate of Bernal.

If teams like Astana race 'by the book', then they might get a 7th or 8th place finish in Paris for MAL. I am not suggesting that their tactics to attack on that descent last night were at all sensible. Firstly, MAL is not known as a strong descender. Secondly, there was a lot of flat road to the finish after the descent, making it incredibly difficult to retain any lead gained on the descent. That isn't the point of this argument though.

Jumbo have a very strong team, and Tony Martin is included within that. Tony is an excellent judge of pace (look at his amazing record in ITT's); there is probably nobody better to have racing alongside of you as a guide for the best pace to race at. It shouldn't particularly matter to him and his team if Astana go off the front and try to gain time. Obviously though, IF more teams go off the front, then the more potentially chaotic the race becomes, which is what the STRONG team does not want.

Let's say that 10 secondary GC contenders attacked on that descent, and that they put the hammer down so much that they gained 2 minutes (on the soft pedalling peloton), but in taking those extra risks, 5 of those riders crashed. Even then those 5 survivors still have 30 or so kms of flat road in which to hold off the peloton. They are probably unlikely to gain any time.

However, some might consider a rider such as MAL to be a 0% chance of winning the Tour De France if it is raced predictably. But if it is unpredictable....well, some chance is better than no chance. Anyway, in short, each rider and team is free to race as safely (or aggressively) as they choose, and any criticism of the racing situation being too dangerous should be directed at the race organisers (who can after all stop the stage, or at least put a yellow light on it for a period).

P.S. I personally cannot fathom what those riders put themselves through. I would never have the courage to do what they do. But that isn't an argument that they shouldn't take risks, that they shouldn't have the opportunity to take risks. This is the Tour De France. There are others willing/wanting to take their place.
 
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Another thing: I really, really don't hope that showing the sprint from the helicopter live is going to be a thing.
Disagree strongly, unless the argument is that downdraught is an issue (which I have not heard riders complain of) I find the overhead view much more informative in terms of relative speed, identifying riders, lines taken, width of spaces,: everything I would want to know about how the final few hundred mertes play out.
 

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