What would happen if ...

What would happen if an international match was setup between, let's say, Belgium and The Netherlands. Each national team had 8 riders, the route was 100 kilometers long, and the winner would be the team with the first man to cross the finish line.

Would the teams attack massively from the start - or the opposite? Would it be interesting to watch?
 
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Would the teams attack massively from the start - or the opposite?
I guess the tactics heavily depends on the route and the squads of the teams. If one team have a clear favourite for the final kilometers, it makes sense for them to control and for the other to make things chaotic. If there's no clear favourite, then it gets more complicated.
I guess it wouldn't be super interesting most of the because what are the options?
  • a long solo with a winner known long before the finish
  • a 2-men sprint for the line
  • 95km of nothing happens and the strongest rider in the last 5 kms takes the win.
Not very inspiring options.

It's very theoretical as of now but I guess after just a few races the teams would figure out what tactics make the most sense and since a race with just 2 teams is much less complicated than a race with 20 teams, I guess it would be less interesting most of the time.

I'm trying to think how I would try to play this out if I were a DS. If I have the favourite for the last kilometers, then I want him to be there for the last kilometers. If I'm against a clear favourite, I want my rider to jump away as early as possible. So what happens? An attack? But then again if you know the other team will make a move, you'll always want to have a rider covering that move. If you have a favourite in the bunch, don't work in the move, unless you have a stronger guy than the other one, then 50-50 work would be beneficial. But then the weaker rider won't work with the stronger one and out of two equal ones one will also not work if the other refuses to co-operate. So presumably they'll be caught every single time until someone miscalculates how strong their rider is compared to the other one. You can try to attack with more than one rider but it's then the same story.
You can try to force attacks until the other team is too tired to chase anymore. It'll work if you have a clearly stronger team, because the other team will presumably have to burn 2 riders to bring back your one rider and they'll run out of riders to chase eventually, you end up 2 on 1, 3 on 1 or something like that against their strongest guy.

If there's enough hard terrain, the strongest rider should just attack as early as possible and most likely he will never get caught. That's perhaps what you want to do if you have the strongest guy. It actually works on flat too. So perhaps the most likely scenario is that the first few kilometers will look like those GT stages where everyone wants to be in a break but evenetually one strongest guy will ride away. Unless the first part is flat and the finish mountainous or the other way around.

I don't know for sure. My bet is that it would be fun to watch for the first time but as a regular feature it would quickly get boring. It could produce the occasional classic under right circumstances but on a bad day it would be thoroughly uninspiring and perhaps there would be many of those "bad days" should this become a regular feature.
 
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I find it interesting to ponder who would win GT's if it was every man for himself (no teams).
I would suspect a lot of shifting aliances. For example; if Rider A and Rider B are on the attack together, and Rider A is still in the GC, while Rider B has lost significant amount of time, it would make sense for them to work together, so Rider A takes time on his rivals, while Rider B wins the stage, sort of like what already happens frequently.
But of course they'll also have to factor in riders C, D, E, F, G, H, I J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, Æ, Ø, Å, and so on...
 
I would suspect a lot of shifting aliances. For example; if Rider A and Rider B are on the attack together, and Rider A is still in the GC, while Rider B has lost significant amount of time, it would make sense for them to work together, so Rider A takes time on his rivals, while Rider B wins the stage, sort of like what already happens frequently.
But of course they'll also have to factor in riders C, D, E, F, G, H, I J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, Æ, Ø, Å, and so on...
Only 26 riders are allowed to start your race ;)
 
What would happen if an international match was setup between, let's say, Belgium and The Netherlands. Each national team had 8 riders, the route was 100 kilometers long, and the winner would be the team with the first man to cross the finish line.
Evenepoel would win.
And we'd discuss for a few months whether this win could translate to Monument success in the future.
 
What would happen if an international match was setup between, let's say, Belgium and The Netherlands. Each national team had 8 riders, the route was 100 kilometers long, and the winner would be the team with the first man to cross the finish line.

Would the teams attack massively from the start - or the opposite? Would it be interesting to watch?
I think it would be rather boring to watch.

2 teams in a heads up "match" makes cycling far more simple, with far less variants.

IMO unless you use very tough terrain, like cobbles or mountains, nothing much would happen for the first 80K.

I'd rather watch a 100K TTT, with 4 man teams, like in the good old days - and if you want, that could be done "Hammer style", so that they are all starting with small time gaps ((or even at the same time), as long as drafting is illegal :p
 
I'd rather see a throwback Tour de France with national teams as a one off, the dynamics would be interesting.
That would be so cool - though obviously mostly for people in the top 10-12 countries - a guy like Carapaz would be up the creek without a paddle ;)

Maybe a week long stage race world championship would be possible - say 1 ITT, 3 puncheur stages and 3 big mountain stages - but with how the racing calendar is these days, and how much the "real" rainbow jersey means to everyone, it's not terribly realistic.
 
That would be so cool - though obviously mostly for people in the top 10-12 countries - a guy like Carapaz would be up the creek without a paddle ;)

Maybe a week long stage race world championship would be possible - say 1 ITT, 3 puncheur stages and 3 big mountain stages - but with how the racing calendar is these days, and how much the "real" rainbow jersey means to everyone, it's not terribly realistic.
As proven last year, you don't need a team when other teams do the work for you.
 
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That would be so cool - though obviously mostly for people in the top 10-12 countries - a guy like Carapaz would be up the creek without a paddle ;)

Maybe a week long stage race world championship would be possible - say 1 ITT, 3 puncheur stages and 3 big mountain stages - but with how the racing calendar is these days, and how much the "real" rainbow jersey means to everyone, it's not terribly realistic.
He'd have Narvaez to help him on the flat/hilly terrain, Caicedo and both Cepeda's for the mountains but yes, that wouldn't be fair for those who come from countries that aren't exactly big cycling nations.
The internal fighting for leadership on some teams would be fun to watch.:D
 
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That would be so cool - though obviously mostly for people in the top 10-12 countries - a guy like Carapaz would be up the creek without a paddle ;)
Carapaz would be fine with Narvarez, Caicedo and Cepeda :)

It would be really fun, have the biggest countries with teams of 7 or 8 riders and then smaller countries with smaller teams to make up a peloton of about 180 rider.
 
Carapaz would be fine with Narvarez, Caicedo and Cepeda :)

It would be really fun, have the biggest countries with teams of 7 or 8 riders and then smaller countries with smaller teams to make up a peloton of about 180 rider.
I agree it would be fun - though I disagree on the difference in team sizes.

If it is a stage race, everyone needs to start with the same number of riders, but then maybe limit the competition to "top 20 ranked nations + 3 wildcards", or something like that.
 
I agree it would be fun - though I disagree on the difference in team sizes.

If it is a stage race, everyone needs to start with the same number of riders, but then maybe limit the competition to "top 20 ranked nations + 3 wildcards", or something like that.
The dynamicy would be interesting.
Slovenia would have the 2 strongest riders and a strong team for the flat and hilly stages, but only Polanc and Novak for the mountains, maybe they'd even have to bring old man Brajkovič to help out. One of the 2 leaders would have to attack while the other one follows wheels, otherwise some of the other teams might outplay them by playing the numbers game.
I could totally see the UK going for a train approach with Thomas as the sole leader instead of actually using their numbers (their strength on the mountain stages would be scary) while the Colombians would probably do exactly the opposite and have everyone ride for himself.
 
The dynamicy would be interesting.
Slovenia would have the 2 strongest riders and a strong team for the flat and hilly stages, but only Polanc and Novak for the mountains, maybe they'd even have to bring old man Brajkovič to help out. One of the 2 leaders would have to attack while the other one follows wheels, otherwise some of the other teams might outplay them by playing the numbers game.
I could totally see the UK going for a train approach with Thomas as the sole leader instead of actually using their numbers (their strength on the mountain stages would be scary) while the Colombians would probably do exactly the opposite and have everyone ride for himself.
Think you are forgetting Mohoric ;) - and actually Tratnik climbs well enough, that he could be used like Ineos use Ganna.

Also, both Ineos and JV had numbers on Pogacar in the mountains last year - and it didn't matter :cool:
 
I'd love to draw teams for one race.

Pot 1: Roglic, Pogacar, van Aert, Carapaz, Valverde, Alaphilippe, van der Poel, Bernal, Bennett
Pot 2: Vlasov, Porte, Démare, Schachmann, Fuglsang, Caruso, Yates, Almeida, Sagan
Pot 3: Woods, Gaudu, G Martin, Ewan, Landa, Mas, S Yates, Carthy, Philipsen
Pot 4: Ulissi, Nizzolo, Merlier, van Avermaet, López, G Bennett, Thomas, D Martin
Pot 5: Sénéchal, Asgreen, Chaves, Mollema, Pedersen, Ackermann, Küng, Evenepoel, Bilbao
Pot 6: Stuyven, Matthews, I Izagirre, Wellens, Colbrelli, Quintana, Soler, Kragh Andersen, Ganna
Pot 7: Hirschi, Hayter, Kwiatkowski, Vingegaard, Aranburu, Laporte, Kuss, Ballerini, Urán
 
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