Tour de France Difficulty

Mar 15, 2009
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You know as I was reading the doping threads one thing struck me, these guys are doped up to the gills on stuff that actually works whilst in the good old days they rode further on loads of things that barely helped.. Isn't it about time the tour made the dopers work for their win! Surely we need to increase the difficulty of the race significantly.. So here are a few ideas.

This years prologue for example could be harded up, I mean EPO might make you ride faster, recover better but it doesn't make you brave.. So the Prologue should 10-15km down the fastest, most technical descent you can find! Doping might make you fly up hills, might make you fly on the flats but its not going to help when you are literally flying because you missed the turn! This stage would sort out the real (doped) men from the (doped) boys.

I've never quite understood the team time trial. 9 guy riding the same distance one guy does in another stage? Weak... The team time trial should be a full length stage.. thats right doping's not just for the leader anymore. 200KM, at least cat 1 climbs including a climbing finish. This stage will really show which team has the best 'program'. I know you're all picturing it already.

And of course the second time trial needs to be toughened.. Mount Ventoux provides a perfect course with 3 approaches, up from Bedoin down the NW side and rider around and back up from Sault. A good 3 hour time trial is what we need to test these doped up guys.

Of course there are many other stages that need to be stiffened up and one thing I think the TDF can take from other races (I'm thinking the tour of poland) here is multiple laps around some of the hallmark climbs. I can just see the excitement as the crest the tourmalet knowing they've got to do it another 4 times before the final climb! Thrilling!
 
I'm burnt out on all the doping talk, but have to admit your post cracked me up. :)

But if you really want to go back in time, why not look back to the days of Phillipe Thys, Otto Bottechia, Henri Pélissier? Most stages over 300km long, sometimes 400km and close to 500km! Many of the roads cobblestones, and most all of the mountain passes dirt.

Plus, you had to do your own bike repairs - often on 25 pound bikes with 5 speeds (I think the early guys were 1 speed even!).

And, to add to the fun, make the guys "dope" a 5th of whiskey before a stage to "numb the pain", just like the old days.


 
Mar 20, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I'm burnt out on all the doping talk, but have to admit your post cracked me up. :)

But if you really want to go back in time, why not look back to the days of Phillipe Thys, Otto Bottechia, Henri Pélissier? Most stages over 300km long, sometimes 400km and close to 500km! Many of the roads cobblestones, and most all of the mountain passes dirt.

Plus, you had to do your own bike repairs - often on 25 pound bikes with 5 speeds (I think the early guys were 1 speed even!).

And, to add to the fun, make the guys "dope" a 5th of whiskey before a stage to "numb the pain", just like the old days.
Wait! Bicycle racing didn't begin in 1999? Late 1930s saw the first derailleurs used in racing. Before that, they'd use a rear hub with a climbing cog and a cog for the flats. Changing gears meant stopping and flipping the wheel around.
 
Apr 11, 2009
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hoolaparara said:
The team time trial should be a full length stage.. thats right doping's not just for the leader anymore. 200KM, at least cat 1 climbs including a climbing finish. This stage will really show which team has the best 'program'. I know you're all picturing it already.

And of course the second time trial needs to be toughened.. Mount Ventoux provides a perfect course with 3 approaches, up from Bedoin down the NW side and rider around and back up from Sault. A good 3 hour time trial is what we need to test these doped up guys.

Of course there are many other stages that need to be stiffened up and one thing I think the TDF can take from other races (I'm thinking the tour of poland) here is multiple laps around some of the hallmark climbs. I can just see the excitement as the crest the tourmalet knowing they've got to do it another 4 times before the final climb! Thrilling!
All fantastic ideas.:D I heartily endorse them.

We'll have a special dopers' sadists category: the winner gets a really big needle stuck in the behind, courtesy of a German Broom Hilda with a hairy upper lip, or a **** Pound--instead of a nice kiss and jersey on the podium. This will test all the hard men of the Tour.

Also, we could have special knockout rounds where riders are allowed head-butting, jersey grabbing, bike sabotage--a WWF on bikes. Hey, who's complaining about steroids? It will be a positive, family friendly atmosphere. All very credible (no one will need to look the other way). Zomegnan would be jealous of a fine "spectacle" like this.

Great thread! ;)

*ROFLMAO The CN censorship filter thought I was using a dirty word when referring to the former head of WADA's first name. Some might agree! Not me. Ha, ha, ha!
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Force them to make their own EPO too. Give them a couple of Chinese hamster ovaries and some lab equipment at the start of the race.
 
Apr 11, 2009
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Yes, a home science fair, where they can all play a nice game of hide and seek (like some of these winter team-building exercises). A real nice meeting of minds with the UCI, WADA officials.

A nice reception afterwards, with some spiked drinks for those in a litigious frame of mind.
 
hoolaparara said:
You know as I was reading the doping threads one thing struck me, these guys are doped up to the gills on stuff that actually works whilst in the good old days they rode further on loads of things that barely helped.. Isn't it about time the tour made the dopers work for their win! Surely we need to increase the difficulty of the race significantly.. So here are a few ideas.
I know this is a joke post, but I have had the above thought. I think the drugs make it easier for a nine man team to control the peloton. I would like to see teams shrink to seven riders. It would also solve the problems and controversy around team selection since there could twenty-five or twenty-six teams invited. I think it would also make the racing a lot more interesting.

Six riders per team would be wonderful chaos.
 
Not going to bother searching for links, but I'm pretty sure it was discussed about 2-4 years ago doing this very thing. Dropping teams to 8 riders, with some people advocating teams of 7 riders. Not sure where the idea went, only that it died. I'd be all for it, by the way.

And sticking on the "let's try it" side of this thread, I'd love to see a TTT that's over a tough climb, or very technical course. Or held on something like Stage 15 over halfway through the GT.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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For the Queen stage I say we fly them all to Nepal where the have to climb Mount Everest on a tricycle with no oxygen bottles.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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Sounds great having a TTT over a few mountain passes in the TDF however I can see one major problem that could in fact see drugs being even more of a problem. The problem is the sprinters and non-climbers in the teams would have some SERIOUS pressure on them and I wouldn't be surprised if they relented to drug taking in quite a substantial fashion to have any chance of staying with the climbers over the hills...Just imagine tho Armstrong yelling at his domestiques up the climbs to get their arses into gear, now that would make for good tv viewing!!

Alpe d'Huez said:
Not going to bother searching for links, but I'm pretty sure it was discussed about 2-4 years ago doing this very thing. Dropping teams to 8 riders, with some people advocating teams of 7 riders. Not sure where the idea went, only that it died. I'd be all for it, by the way.

And sticking on the "let's try it" side of this thread, I'd love to see a TTT that's over a tough climb, or very technical course. Or held on something like Stage 15 over halfway through the GT.
 
May 6, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I'm burnt out on all the doping talk, but have to admit your post cracked me up. :)

But if you really want to go back in time, why not look back to the days of Phillipe Thys, Otto Bottechia, Henri Pélissier? Most stages over 300km long, sometimes 400km and close to 500km! Many of the roads cobblestones, and most all of the mountain passes dirt.

Plus, you had to do your own bike repairs - often on 25 pound bikes with 5 speeds (I think the early guys were 1 speed even!).

And, to add to the fun, make the guys "dope" a 5th of whiskey before a stage to "numb the pain", just like the old days.


And if you are wearing arm warmers, or a rain jacket etc. you have to leave it on and not take it off and put it in the team car. Once it's on, it stays on. That's what used to happen back in the old days.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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This is an excellent idea!

They should rearrange the jerseys too.

The Polka Dot jersey should be given to the rider who has the highest hemotocrit during the Tour. Each 'dot' is a % - 60% is 60 dots.

The Green jersey to be awarded for the rider who is trying to ride the Tour clean.
 
Jun 17, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Golden years.

I think the ASO should give it a try for one year, go back to the old days. Think about it. What a great thrill that would be. And it would generate an enormous amount of interest.

I think it was Henri Desernage that while scoping out a mountain stage drove up the mountain, got stuck in snow so started walking spent the next 5-6 hours walking through a blizzard to get through the pass and nearly died of hypothermia, when asked if the stage was possible said basically 'No Problem'

Now that would be fun, move the TDF to February and watch them climb Ventoux in 2m snow !!!
 

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