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Tour de France teams increased to 26!?

Jul 23, 2009
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yakko! said:
Prudhomme said he's thought about increasing the Tour teams to as many as 26 - that's insane!

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/2199/Wildcards-for-Tour-de-France-may-increase.aspx

What would they do for stages like Alpe d'Huez or Ventoux no way they could fit everyone, right?

Looks like it will be just a much longer line of riders - tactics would be somewhat more interesting in terms of positioning in the peloton going into a climb or coming towards a sprint finish.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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in France, it is said that the Tour could have 22 teams of 8 riders mainly because there are many new top teams like Radio Shack, Team Sky and now BMC of Cadel Evans
 
yakko! said:
Prudhomme said he's thought about increasing the Tour teams to as many as 26 - that's insane!

http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/2199/Wildcards-for-Tour-de-France-may-increase.aspx

What would they do for stages like Alpe d'Huez or Ventoux no way they could fit everyone, right?

I like it a lot- Just reduce the number of riders per team & we'll get a very competitive race, rather than the current logistic that only favors the two or three strongest teams controlling it
 
yakko! said:
They've always talked about lowering the teams to 8 in the past, but the extra kit is huge (team vehicles, more hotel rooms).

Ya, from the article it seems that the main problem isn't a huge peloton which makes me think 9 rider teams may remain but instead it's finding hotel rooms for all the support staff etc for all the teams that is the problem.

Couldn't they just get caravans or have some DSs sleep in their cars or something...
 
I would love to see teams reduced to only 5 riders. This would make it a much more wide open race and also much more likely that breakaways would succeed on a regular basis. Even GC contenders could possibly ride away on surprising stages to shake things up. Of course, this is only a pipe dream as there is no chance that teams will ever be that small. A one rider deduction to 8 is probably the most likely scenario.
 
Always felt 7 was the optimal size for a team, for the reasons the Highlander notes.

This would make 24 teams a total of 168 riders. Anymore than that, and support is going to be a real issue.

Then again, I also favor having some sections of courses only allowing neutral support vehicles. Paris-Roubaix does this without much incident.
 
Highlander said:
I would love to see teams reduced to only 5 riders. This would make it a much more wide open race and also much more likely that breakaways would succeed on a regular basis. Even GC contenders could possibly ride away on surprising stages to shake things up. Of course, this is only a pipe dream as there is no chance that teams will ever be that small. A one rider deduction to 8 is probably the most likely scenario.

It would also make it a big lottery and also crashes and other abandonements would be devastating to the teams. I don't see it ever going below 8 riders for a GT.
 
The Tour struggling to accommodate 22 teams is an issue that boils down to the followers, rather than those involved in the actual race.
Make the media sleep in mobile homes and the problem goes away.

23 teams of 8 is 184, plus the 2 or 3 extra support teams.
Surely, if they can put together a race of this magnitude, they can find shelter for a couple of dozen extras.
 
Oct 31, 2009
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What kind of changes would they have to make to the course for a larger start field? More start/goals in larger cities? Bigger roads? I wouldn't like that.

What if the highest ranking teams could go with 9 and lower ranking teams with 6 riders, kind of like the worlds? Might be interesting.

I'm not sure that it would solve anything about the wild card selection though. There are evenly matched teams lower in the hierarchy too. They would still have to choose between teams with lower ranking.

Anyways I have trust in the organization. IF they change anything it will probably be well thought through.
 
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well im just pleased this could happen...

i said about three months ago i thought they would shrink the teams and add a couple of extra wild cards... some agreed.. some thought i was mad..

personally im all for it..

id knock them down to 7 and have even more teams myself
 
Some perspective here: back in the mid-80s the starting peloton of a Tour de France was regularly well over 200 riders. In 1987, for instance, there were 23 teams with nine riders apiece! You can read the start list on French Wikipedia:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_france_1987

By the early 90s it was back down to what is now the normal peloton of about 21 teams, the main concern being, I think, safety. But I would be a big supporter of admitting more teams and then reducing the number of riders on each. It would put more viable GC and stage candidates into the race while also making the tactical situation much harder to control. To me it seems like a good alternative to the radio ban as a way to break up formulaic racing.
 
Jul 3, 2009
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26 seems absolutely nuts! especially with the course they designed for next year and all of those complicate cobbley courses early on. I do not see increasing the number of teams increasing the competativeness of the race as if they just take the best 20 or 21 teams in the world, the remaining 5 or 6 slots are not going to bring in truly competitive riders. I think the real issue is safety and 200 seems to be the maximum # of riders they can safely handle. Especially next year I think increasing the size of the field would only serve to **** off the teams and riders. We saw in Milan last year what can happen if the peloton is not happy
 
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Rbudman said:
26 seems absolutely nuts! especially with the course they designed for next year and all of those complicate cobbley courses early on. I do not see increasing the number of teams increasing the competativeness of the race as if they just take the best 20 or 21 teams in the world, the remaining 5 or 6 slots are not going to bring in truly competitive riders. I think the real issue is safety and 200 seems to be the maximum # of riders they can safely handle. Especially next year I think increasing the size of the field would only serve to **** off the teams and riders. We saw in Milan last year what can happen if the peloton is not happy

Uh Oh!......... i see a LA moment coming on the horizon..

personally over the lasd few years the wild card teams have provided more entertainment than the PT teams.. vaconsoleil have been a joy to watch over 2009..
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Always felt 7 was the optimal size for a team, for the reasons the Highlander notes.

This would make 24 teams a total of 168 riders. Anymore than that, and support is going to be a real issue.

Then again, I also favor having some sections of courses only allowing neutral support vehicles. Paris-Roubaix does this without much incident.

Looking good to me too.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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dimspace said:
personally over the lasd few years the wild card teams have provided more entertainment than the PT teams..

Yep, I think there are a lot of great teams out there who would animate things, especially with a reduced number of riders per team. I will add my vote to see more teams with 7 or so riders per team.
 
dimspace said:
well im just pleased this could happen...

i said about three months ago i thought they would shrink the teams and add a couple of extra wild cards... some agreed.. some thought i was mad..

personally im all for it..

id knock them down to 7 and have even more teams myself

Well, I certainly remember that thread.;)
The magnificent 7 was the number originally suggested.
As you say, some for it, some against it.

I'm all for maxing the wildcard element as they are the most likely to throw up something unexpected and liven up the dull, transition stages.
 
Sep 22, 2009
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I can't think there would be any issues around safety if the number of riders increased.

Hopefully it would mean less riders per team, and over time better riders having a team of their own. I'd like to see some people like Kloden get their own teams.
 
ingsve said:
It would also make it a big lottery and also crashes and other abandonements would be devastating to the teams. I don't see it ever going below 8 riders for a GT.

I like chaos much more than the controlled races that we have been seeing. However, for that same reason, I think teams would protest any reduction in riders because they don't really like leaving anything up to chance. If there were reductions in team size, I can already see if a break works and the yellow jersey changes hands, then some DS will be complaining that if his team just had one more rider than the outcome would have been totally different.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Then again, I also favor having some sections of courses only allowing neutral support vehicles. Paris-Roubaix does this without much incident.

I particularly like the Paris-Roubaix because of the high number of incidents. But what do I know?
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Then again, I also favor having some sections of courses only allowing neutral support vehicles. Paris-Roubaix does this without much incident.

Yeah, but you forget the support guys at the end of every cobble stretch.

OT: I like lowering the number down to 8 or 7, which would make decisions much more difficult for teams, and thus more interesting.
 
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im wondering how much difference it would actually make having 2 riders dropped for each team... how many teams actually utilise all 9 riders seriously...

columbia would be effected, with a train 2 riders lighter, but apart from that, each team has two disposable riders..

as a side note and i dont know why, but riders who quit the tour last year.. ive no idea what relevance this has... but i did it anwya..

skil - Piet Rooijakkers (st5) Piet Rooijakkers (st6) Kenny Robert van Hummel (st17)
Agritubel - David Lelay (st8) Eduardo Gonzalo Ramirez (st8) Romain Feillu (st12)
Caisse - Oscar Pereiro Sio (st8), Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (St12)
quickstep - Jurgen Van De Walle (st3), Tom Boonen (st14)
Saxo - Kurt-Asle Arvesen (st11) Jens Voigt (st16)
AG2R - Vladimir Efimkin (st14) Cyril Dessel (st17)
Eskatel - Koldo Fernandez (st8) Alan Perez Lezaun & Amets Txurruka (st19)
FDJ - Sébastien Joly (st7)
Lampre - Angelo Furlan (st12)
FdJ - Jérôme Coppel (st12)
Milram - Peter Wrolich (st13)
Astana - Levi Leipheimer (st13)
Cervelo - José Angel Gomez Marchante (st17)


anyway.. 7 riders.. i think the key effects would be...

a) teams would have to decide on their focus, GC, Pts, stage wins etc, as there probably wouldnt be enough depth to go for both.. this certainly leaves the sprinters teams in a predicament, and i think we could almost see the tour split in two with 8 or 9 teams contesting the GC and maybe 5 or 6 contesting the points competition.. unless someone like Hushovd is willing to go for the pts on his own without team support..

b) The addition of more wild card teams would undoubtedly make things more exciting, more riders attempting to breakaway and get stage wins, and with this, i think its highly likely that more breakaways would be succesful... how many of the big teams are going to be willing to commit 4 or 5 riders to chasing down a breakaway when the team is only 7 strong.. that for me makes much more exciting and unpredictable racing

c) however, i think some of the other grand tours could be weakened, with two lesser riders perhaps missing out on tour spots they are likely to be moved to the giro or veulta squads perhaps diluting the quality of those tours..

d) i can see the tour being ruined a bit as it almost splits in two with the gc contenders in the main feild, and the wild cards, pro cont teams left to attack for stage wins, or form the grupetto on mountain stages..

i think there would have to be some sort of countermeasure to control teams being wiped out early on as well.. for instance the cobbled sections this year, bad weather we could see crashes galore.. perhaps if a rider crashes and is forced to retire in the first 7 days, a replacement can be brought in, to prevent situations where in the first week a team is reduced to 3 riders or something, (lets face it very often in crashes its one team that bears the brunt of it)

im talking rubbish.. :D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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22 teams will be the max. 26 is totally unrealistic. 9 riders . Don't fix something that isn't broken.
22 teams of 9 riders would make 198 riders. Seems like a lot but i think the tour could cope.
 

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