Tour de France Tour de France 2020

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Which begs the question, why have it? I mean it's entertaining, sure, but a drag race up a 20% grade would be entertaining, too.

Every stage is supposed to count towards something more than that stage, either the yellow, the green, or the polka dot. A TTT that's adjusted so differences between teams are minimized doesn't do that. If the concern is that some individual riders would get an unfair advantage or disadvantage, then don't count the times towards the overall at all.
The time adjustment made no difference. The discussion was about whether the measure was appropriate or not.
The stage itself had always produced GC relevant development.
 
I don't know on why a GT race should be all about climbers, that is typically a stage or two in a GT race, where everything gets decided. Classic TT belongs to a proper GT race, or it is heavily biased towards climbers. In this years TDF edition, TT really isn't a TT. It has a bit of TT and the rest is climbing. Saying TT is boring. I just don't get that, hence i won't comment.

P.S. Riders, such as Quintana, they will get a proper shoot, due to the lack of TT. At least that is a plus, as in general Quintana deserves it.
 
The GT is not about climbers but about anything that gives them ratings. If mountains gives them ratings they will put more of that. If Pave gives them ratings, then they will keep putting it. If 8-10 flat stages in the first 2 weeks kills the ratings they will get rid of that. Same with the long pan flat ITT. We live in a new era of television. We now can watch the whole stage. I would have given anything in the 80's to watch those complete mountain stages.

One of the reasons that the climbers cannot compensate even small differences that they lose in the TT is because mountain stages have gotten weaker. They have their reasons. One of them is clinic which I won't discuss here. But the other reasons is to keep the race very close until the end. Not sure if I like that but they do it for the ratings and television as well.
 
I don't know on why a GT race should be all about climbers, that is typically a stage or two in a GT race, where everything gets decided. Classic TT belongs to a proper GT race, or it is heavily biased towards climbers. In this years TDF edition, TT really isn't a TT. It has a bit of TT and the rest is climbing. Saying TT is boring. I just don't get that, hence i won't comment.

P.S. Riders, such as Quintana, they will get a proper shoot, due to the lack of TT. At least that is a plus, as in general Quintana deserves it.
Plus Quintana at his best is a competent TTer able to limit his losses and stay in the GC picture. He is far superior to the likes of Purito and Frank Schleck against the clock.
 
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If the concern is that some individual riders would get an unfair advantage or disadvantage, then don't count the times towards the overall at all.
I have been arguing this since before i could walk. There is a team classification, if there must be a TTT in a GT, have it count toward that, not toward individual classifications.

The GT is not about climbers but about anything that gives them ratings. If mountains gives them ratings they will put more of that. If Pave gives them ratings, then they will keep putting it. If 8-10 flat stages in the first 2 weeks kills the ratings they will get rid of that. Same with the long pan flat ITT. We live in a new era of television. We now can watch the whole stage. I would have given anything in the 80's to watch those complete mountain stages.

One of the reasons that the climbers cannot compensate even small differences that they lose in the TT is because mountain stages have gotten weaker. They have their reasons. One of them is clinic which I won't discuss here. But the other reasons is to keep the race very close until the end. Not sure if I like that but they do it for the ratings and television as well.
If it's all about the ratings, and the ratings favor mountain stages, then as a result climbers usually have the advantage, whether fair/correct or not. Hence nobody should complain when there is a GT with a few more ITT km's in them. By the way, climbing ITT's count as well, imho. The reason why i find them interesting to watch, is because void of tactics or domestiques, each rider tries to give his best. There's no calculating or waiting for the right moment to attack etc, only pacing and trying to get to the finish as fast as possible.
 
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Fitting one proper TT in the middle wouldn't change much in that regard, ratings. An average flat stage surely can't be more exciting, compared to a TT.
I don't have a problem with that.

However the placement of the TT at the end favors the climbers IMHO. And that's probably what the organization was looking for. Make them attack and make the gap before they get to it. The other way around would put them at bigger disadvantage.
 
Yes, of course, it favors climbers. After 3 weeks of racing, TT specialists don't have much dynamite in their legs anymore, and in addition they will be racing (TTing) uphill, most of the time. This year for sure the organizer didn't want to give any advantage at all, to great TTers.
 
The GT is not about climbers but about anything that gives them ratings. If mountains gives them ratings they will put more of that. If Pave gives them ratings, then they will keep putting it. If 8-10 flat stages in the first 2 weeks kills the ratings they will get rid of that. Same with the long pan flat ITT. We live in a new era of television. We now can watch the whole stage. I would have given anything in the 80's to watch those complete mountain stages.

One of the reasons that the climbers cannot compensate even small differences that they lose in the TT is because mountain stages have gotten weaker. They have their reasons. One of them is clinic which I won't discuss here. But the other reasons is to keep the race very close until the end. Not sure if I like that but they do it for the ratings and television as well.
Exactly. And short TTs (even TTTs) are fine because host cities like them. It's extended exposure. Only a few posters on obscure message boards care if a race results in a "rightful winner" or "true champion" or whatever. Races exists for the purpose of entertainment and that's it. And not just about the racing. Viewers want to see 12 different chatauex, not the same chateau 180 times.
 
As I said I actually enjoy the TTT IF the team is competent in doing TTTs. If they are going to be in the race, they should be like la Vuelta does them, first stage and short.
Dunno if it's necessary to have them always on the first stage. But... no later than stage 4. As we saw in the Tour a few years ago; stage 9 is... problematic. Anything later? Not gonna work!
 
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I like TTTs as well, if the riders know how to do it with each other they are like synchronized swimmers. But in GTs they can be really annoying.
To me it's one of the fascinating sides of cycling that it's this weird mixture of a team sport and an individual sport. But TTTs in stage races favour teams to ride passively, and I don't think cycling is comparable with other sports in that regard. Passive/ active means something different in different sports.
 
I once suggested that if you want to have TTTs--really long, interesting ones that fully count--you could use power measurements when riding at the front of the team to determine the individual riders's contributions. That suggestion was reasonably panned for being too complicated. But with all the technology we have now, I wonder if this could be pulled off.

Of course it would lead to conflicts. A good climber who is a poor TTer would want to minimize his GC losses by riding in front more, but that would hurt his team's performance. But since the important contribution of the TTT is supposed to be towards the individual overall, that shouldn't bother teams much. Surely the team would trade some loss of their overall time for a better performance by their main man.

Also, you could specify a limit to how much time a designated GC contender could ride in front. That would ensure that every GC contender was being judged fairly, particularly on teams like Ineos, that might have multiple contenders. A rule like that would have the effect of evening out team TTT performances, because teams with the best TTers, who weren't necessarily GC contenders, wouldn't be able to maximize their performance. But I think that effect would still be less than the notion of fixed time gaps.
 
2 long ITTs with a prologue TT can be balanced by proper mountain stages. See 2007. Despite > 100 km of flat ITT, the race was very much a climber's tour.

Could even do 2 dead flat 60 km ITTs, plus a 65km TTT like in the 1990s. Add a prologue. Balance it out by a stage like Saint-Jean De-Maurienne to Sestrieres. 5 climbs over the Mollard, Galiber, Montgenevre, Finestre, Sestrieres
 
The dramatic reduction of TT kms in GT's is a little perplexing. The perception seems to be that they a) produce too large a time gaps, and that b) they are boring to watch. Well, to me, the fact that they are likely to produce significant time gaps make them automatically more interesting to watch than the majority of stages.

Who wasn't somewhat enthralled by the penultimate long ITT's in 2003, 2007 and 2008?

With a lot of TT kms there is a feeling that a 'climber' therefore cannot win the Tour. But it doesn't matter if you have 200 kms of ITT in the Tour, Rohan Dennis isn't going to win the race (as long as you have at least a couple of MTF's). It will be someone who can climb too. Someone like Roglic, or Dumoulin, or maybe even Thomas or Bernal. Who wouldn't want to see a 50 km flat ITT on the penultimate stage where the situation was something like Bernal 60-90 seconds ahead of the other aforementioned riders? And don't forget that in last years Tour, Alaphalippe actually won the ITT. Okay, so it wasn't that long, and it wasn't that flat; but it sure wasn't a prologue MTT either.

There is no reason why (at least in every second or third edition) you cannot have a prologue, a medium length hilly ITT, and a long flat ITT in the same race. 80-100 kms in total. That might be your template. In other years you change it up. The most climber friendly Tour should be something like a medium length lumpy ITT and a MTT (there should almost always be at least 2 TT'S in a GT imo). Very occasionally you might have 2 long flat ITT's. Let's face it; the 2012 Tour still would have been boring even if there had been only 1 of those in the parcours.

The 'traditional' long flat ITT should probably be towards the end of the race. As we saw in 2008 (and to some extent maybe in 2007), recovery can play almost as big a role as ITT ability.

In this year's actual race, if Bernal is 60-90 seconds ahead going into the ITT, then on that course, he will probably retain yellow. On that course the only way that the ITT will be really exciting, is if the time gaps are very close. And if they are then it will likely mean that the rest of the race hasn't been very exciting at all.

As for the team time trials, I like the idea of them being held only sparingly - a bit like the cobbles - but when it is included, that it is significant. None of this 20 km parade BS. 50-80 kms; in the first week (obviously), with no limited time gaps; all real time gaps are counted. In such an edition you might have less ITT kms, but have some very significant mountain stages. Therefore, there is still a decision to make for the final couple of positions on the team; "Do I pick mountain domestiques or time trial specialists?"

P.S. The French didn't care about forcing Virenque to only focus on the KOM in the late 90's and early 00's because of the amount of TT kms. Why do they care now? And Pinot can TT reasonably well at times. As for Bardet, he shouldn't be in the GC conversation.
 
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1999 first week stage winners:
Prologue: Armstrong
Stage 1 - flat stage: Kirsipuu
Stage 2 - flat stage: Steels
Stage 3 - flat stage: Steels
Stage 4 - flat stage: Cipollini
Stage 5 - flat stage: Cipollini
Stage 6 - flat stage: Cipollini
Stage 7 - flat stage: Cipollini
Stage 8 - ITT: Armstrong

Boy, that sucked. Anybody who thinks routes were better back then is out of their mind or has really selective memories.
This is the area that the Tour has really improved in during the Prudhomme era. Lumpy stages, also sometimes done as a hilltop finish, in the first week. Stages where it is possible, even sometimes likely, for a real contender to lose 20 seconds or so.

Having said all of that, looking at the profiles again for this years' race, I still think that almost nothing might happen until stage 13. It is more back ended then I first thought.
 
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