Tour de France Tour de France 2022 route rumors thread.

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The wildcard system continues to be one of the worst things in cycling...
But isn't the whole point of the wildcard system to give the organiserers 100% decision power of at least some teams?

I don't understand why people think this is a bad thing.

I would rather watch some French guys with grinta and passion going in hopeless breakaways and attacking left and right than a load of 20yo robots with no charisma winning everything
The Uno-X guys are hardly 20-year-old robots.
 
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I don't understand why people think this is a bad thing.

I would rather watch some French guys with grinta and passion going in hopeless breakaways and attacking left and right than a load of 20yo robots with no charisma winning everything
Meh, I don't really care much about the Uno-X hype so no issue with them being left out but let's not pretend that "French guys with grinta and passion" automatically leads to great racing when instead it leads to plenty of braindead action like Pierre Latour riding 10m in front of the UAE train at stage 17 last year or worse, action that actually damage attractive cycling like Total Energies pacing for UAE at stage 7 for no reason whatsoever or Alaphilippe sabotaging the break at the Loze stage 2020 just trying to get the combatitivity award because Macron was at the race.
 
My main problem with B&B is that the team didn't do awfully well last season and their roster seems worse this year.
But I do like quite a few of their riders, who would be missing from the Tour if they weren't invited.

At least it's clear that ASO regards Uno-X as the third strongest teams with all the other invites they are getting, so if anything happens they should be next in line to a wildcard.
 
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GT organisers have a responsibility to protect the sport in their own country. The Italian teams are the weakest they’ve ever been. The Spanish pro scene has only marginally recovered from the weakest they’ve ever been. This means that bad teams of breakaway fodder have to get wildcards, I get it. But I don’t think that really applies in France at the moment. 3 WT teams and 1 strong PCT outfit are in automatically. French cycling isn’t going to die if the ASO don’t bring both of the 5th and 6th best domestic teams. No French viewer is going to decide that they won’t watch because the 6th best French team isn’t there.
 
Meh, I don't really care much about the Uno-X hype so no issue with them being left out but let's not pretend that "French guys with grinta and passion" automatically leads to great racing when instead it leads to plenty of braindead action like Pierre Latour riding 10m in front of the UAE train at stage 17 last year or worse, action that actually damage attractive cycling like Total Energies pacing for UAE at stage 7 for no reason whatsoever or Alaphilippe sabotaging the break at the Loze stage 2020 just trying to get the combatitivity award because Macron was at the race.
It's fun
 
My main problem with B&B is that the team didn't do awfully well last season and their roster seems worse this year.
But I do like quite a few of their riders, who would be missing from the Tour if they weren't invited.

At least it's clear that ASO regards Uno-X as the third strongest teams with all the other invites they are getting, so if anything happens they should be next in line to a wildcard.
They can be next in line, but I don't see them jumping a French team for a Tour spot if it is up to ASO.
 
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The important thig about the wild card system and the national favourism is that it means a lot of spanish, french and Italian teams gets to ride 1 grand Tour a year, which is what their team is suited to and what keeps those teams alive. The problem for now is that too many teams gets automatic spots to all 3 GT so they have to ride some of them with weak teams while other teams gets to ride no GT.

Uno X has a team that deserves one GT, but they are really not that much better than B&B that it would make sence to pick them over them in the french race. And even if Johannessen is a big talent and Tiller has become a good rider since last year and so on, Bonnamour and Rolland are still clearly more attractive for a race like the Tour De France

And the same with Gazprom in the Giro for instance.

But teams like Arkea, Wanty and Cofidis should not ride 3 GTs, thats the big problem.

So less world tour teams and more wild cards would be a lot better and would mean all the decent teams would get a chance to ride 1 GT a year, and for Uno X with their young team a Giro or Vuelta ticket would have been more suiting than the Tour.
 
GT organisers have a responsibility to protect the sport in their own country. The Italian teams are the weakest they’ve ever been. The Spanish pro scene has only marginally recovered from the weakest they’ve ever been. This means that bad teams of breakaway fodder have to get wildcards, I get it. But I don’t think that really applies in France at the moment. 3 WT teams and 1 strong PCT outfit are in automatically. French cycling isn’t going to die if the ASO don’t bring both of the 5th and 6th best domestic teams. No French viewer is going to decide that they won’t watch because the 6th best French team isn’t there.
Question is whether a sponsor would sponsor a team that does not have semi-automatic Tour exposure built-in.

Edit: sponsor to the same extent that is
 
French teams should be at the tour.

We want to see Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier going in crazy breakaways, Alexis Gougeard being lanterne rouge, and Frannck Bonnamour winning a stage.

Who is UNOx going to send? Halvorsen to get 7th on sprint stages?
Tiller as a strong hilly rouler who can potentially grab a stage and Tobias Halland Johannessen as a top 10 potential GC/mountain breakaway guy. Those two I feel like alone could make ASO happy they invited Uno-X
 
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Uno-X have certainly started this year as if they have a point to prove. I find the idea that it’s preferable to bring along a sixth French team rather than one from a new country completely alien. Particularly when that French team is barely mediocre as a second division team and has been at the last two Tours and done nothing. Nobody thinks that B&B are as good as Uno-X, because they plainly aren’t.

There really is little point in building a good PCT team if you aren’t from France/Italy/Spain or don’t have something approaching a WT budget anyway (Alpecin). Maybe it’s also worth it if you a Low Countries classics team. The division is basically a life support system for uncompetitive teams from three countries,
 
Uno-X have certainly started this year as if they have a point to prove. I find the idea that it’s preferable to bring along a sixth French team rather than one from a new country completely alien. Particularly when that French team is barely mediocre as a second division team and has been at the last two Tours and done nothing. Nobody thinks that B&B are as good as Uno-X, because they plainly aren’t.

There really is little point in building a good PCT team if you aren’t from France/Italy/Spain or don’t have something approaching a WT budget anyway (Alpecin). Maybe it’s also worth it if you a Low Countries classics team. The division is basically a life support system for uncompetitive teams from three countries,
The UCI ranking thinks B&B are better than Uno-X. I would have loved to see Uno-X at the Tour over the French pro conti teams as well, but inviting the 2 teams without starting right that are highest on the UCI ranking is definitely not the outrageous decision some make it seem to be, even when the point system of this ranking is broken. Everyone knows it is broken so you can anticipate for it.
 
The UCI ranking thinks B&B are better than Uno-X. I would have loved to see Uno-X at the Tour over the French pro conti teams as well, but inviting the 2 teams without starting right that are highest on the UCI ranking is definitely not the outrageous decision some make it seem to be, even when the point system of this ranking is broken. Everyone knows it is broken so you can anticipate for it.
I don't think anyone was arguing they should be picked above TotalEnergies. But B&B Hotels just have a very uninspired roster and it's only Bonnamour's exploits from last year's Tour they have to show for themselves. Uno-X have the defending Tour de l'Avenir winner and a very exciting talent pool, generally, plus the race will start in Denmark so there would have been a Scandinavian connection. I think it's lazy by the ASO to pick as they have done and I lament the fact that they are apparently not allowed to have 23 teams in the race like last year.
 
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The UCI ranking thinks B&B are better than Uno-X. I would have loved to see Uno-X at the Tour over the French pro conti teams as well, but inviting the 2 teams without starting right that are highest on the UCI ranking is definitely not the outrageous decision some make it seem to be, even when the point system of this ranking is broken. Everyone knows it is broken so you can anticipate for it.
No, it doesn't. Uno-X outscored them in both 2020 and 2021.

View: https://twitter.com/raulbanqueri/status/1490961543873589248
 
I don't think anyone was arguing they should be picked above TotalEnergies. But B&B Hotels just have a very uninspired roster and it's only Bonnamour's exploits from last year's Tour they have to show for themselves. Uno-X have the defending Tour de l'Avenir winner and a very exciting talent pool, generally, plus the race will start in Denmark so there would have been a Scandinavian connection. I think it's lazy by the ASO to pick as they have done and I lament the fact that they are apparently not allowed to have 23 teams in the race like last year.
Sure, I agree with all of that. Just trying to bring some context to those saying that B&B don't deserve it at all, and only got the wildcard because they are French. If a team is higher ranked than any other team not riding the Tour, nobody can say it's totally undeserving.
 
The Bilbao/Bordeaux start with early Pyrenees also works for a different format - head up into the Central Massif for the second weekend, finishing stage 9 near a city with an airport/TGV station. Then transfer to the north/northwest of Paris somewhat akin to in 2013, for a second week starting with the main TT directly preceding the cobbles stage. This is preferably followed by a hard hilly stage into somewhere like Charleville-Mezieres or just Épernay again en route to the Vosges to close out the second week, possibly with a northern Jura stage like Porrentruy 2012 on stage 15. This leaves you with enough time for a big Alpine finish. It's the single most realistic way to put the cobbles between the mountains, which is imo the best place for them, but also the hardest to fit into a route.

This also works with a southeastern start. Here's an example using exclusively real stages from the past 10 years, with the Grand Départ in Nice. Plenty of ASO favourites and short mountain stages for added realism...

Stage 1 (ITT, I know the original stage was a TTT but we aren't doing that here obviously)


Stage 2


Stage 3


Stage 4


Stage 5


Stage 6


Stage 7


Stage 8


Stage 9 (this is far from ideal in terms of both cycling and logistics but a result of the constraints)


Rest day

Stage 10


Stage 11


Stage 12 (only cobbled stage not to approach from the wrong direction, would work better here than as used in 2018 though)


Stage 13


Stage 14


Stage 15 (every decent PBF stage starts from the Alsace...)


Stage 16


Rest day

Stage 17


Stage 18


Stage 19


Stage 20


Stage 21 - take any parade

Note some of the stage distances - certainly the Épernay and Nancy ones back to back should have a similar effect to Le Creusot this year if raced properly. A real route should, at a minimum, have stage 9 head north (probably to the Clermont-Ferrand area) and put Chévrères before PBF. Oh, and some slightly less clunky transfers between stages 17, 18 and 19 wouldn't hurt either.
You'd get Chévrères before PdBF if you had the two uphill finishes of 2014 in the Vosges at the end of your second week. For your third week, I'd transfer to Lyon on the rest day and do stage 15 of 2020, then stage 8 of 2021, stage 11 of 2012 and finally stage 18 of 2020. Certainly the last two as the best finishing combo. I considered the Megève MTT on the Thursday, having skipped the GC MTF.
 
You'd get Chévrères before PdBF if you had the two uphill finishes of 2014 in the Vosges at the end of your second week. For your third week, I'd transfer to Lyon on the rest day and do stage 15 of 2020, then stage 8 of 2021, stage 11 of 2012 and finally stage 18 of 2020. Certainly the last two as the best finishing combo. I considered the Megève MTT on the Thursday, having skipped the GC MTF.
Can't get to the Vosges earlier than stage 15 without ditching the TT on stage 10, so I would have to cut the Porrentruy stage for that to happen. Which is comfortably the best mid-mountain option at any point in the race, and therefore IMO worth sacrificing Chévrères for.

Porrentruy (much like PdBF) is also inconveniently located for a transfer to Lyon, not being near an airport, although the TGV might be an option. Even if you make it happen, I'm not the biggest fan of that Grand Colombier stage, I also feel like it backloads the race too much as it means the three hardest mountain stages are all in the final week. Plus, I wanted to bait ASO a little with the short mountain stages.

Stage 11 of 2012 and stage 18 of 2020 to close out the race is an option I remember considering, but I decided against it because it would mean there isn't be a single pure descent finish in the race. No Col du Mollard detour on the La Toussuire stage in 2012 would have made me change my mind, though, perhaps even if the 2017 Chambéry stage took the shortest route between Grand Colombier and Mont du Chat by descending into Culoz from the former. As it is, I think there's little to separate the two options, and so there's definitely an element of personal preference in my decision.
 

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