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Worst TdF Route in How Long?

Jun 24, 2009
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Zzzzzzzzzzzz......

I have to agree. How do you call it a Mountain stage when it's downhill to the finish for approx. 20+ miles?! What's the point of the mountains then, punishment?
 
Apr 18, 2009
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Didn't the '96 stage to Pamplona have a long flat bit at the end?

I don't think it's really comparable, as that had more climbing than tomorrow's does, and it was also something like 100k longer! Still, it was noteworthy, because instead of coming together on the flats, the frontrunners gained time. After that many mountains, the second group, which included Indurain, had simply run out of helpers and were tired themselves.

So... *theoretically* it's possible: you have to really blow the race to pieces and make it so that any potential help is minutes back, and that you have a small but strong and motivated group up front.

I don't see that happening tomorrow, though.
 
Have to agree that the routemaster did poor job with the mountains this year. Ventoux is cool but the other mountain stages are just poor. With stage 9 routemaster did nice job! With avoiding all the big climbs there that is... Why oh why didn't he put the finish atop of the Luz Ardiden ? Or go to south where there's peyresourde and superbagneres. Even Saint Lary-Soulain was close to put the finish there.

Stage 17 would be off the hook if they'd go other way around. After Roselend and Saisies take the road to le Grand Bornard and climb Colombiere, Romme and Araches from the other direction and from Araches to Plaine-Joux where the finish would be.
 
May 12, 2009
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Logistically the mountain-top stages can be harder and more expensive to pull off. So I understand a bit from an economics standpoint why they don't end there.
But it does make for less exciting racing. At least try to have less of a downhill before the finish. Absent a crash, I am starting to think this will go Ventoux.
 
BroDeal said:
I may not even wake up tomorrow to watch the stage. Two days in the high mountains on a weekend, and this is what we get? Stages that offer no opportunity for the GC.

It really looks like the organizers designed the route for an old man.
+1...............

For me since 1983. That was the year when I started to watch the Tour.
 
I read a quote from prudhomme in a mag the other day where he says he wanted the result to be in the air come ventoux which in a way it will but really it reduces the race to two major stages and a few where 20 seconds or so can be won like stage 7.

The other thing that seems strage to me is to go to the trouble to make sure it will be close and include some big climbs (hence tomorrows stage) and then throw in a TTT that kills off a lot of the exciting GC men.

Perhaps it is made for an old man but I still think a young man will win. It would be nice if dreams were shattered on Ventoux, that would make me forgive old prudhomme a bit.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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BroDeal said:
I may not even wake up tomorrow to watch the stage. Two days in the high mountains on a weekend, and this is what we get? Stages that offer no opportunity for the GC.

It really looks like the organizers designed the route for an old man.

yep.

3 things i took note of.

1. Astana will no way lose this tour
2. Conta will no way lose this tour
3. I can't recall one Giro stage as boring as these stages have been (especially 7)
 
Jul 3, 2009
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Do you think that if Astana were not so dominant that we would have all this complaining about the route? ASO's idea was to set up a single decisive stage (much like what ended up happening last year.) They wanted for a pack of riders to ALL be within a minute of so going into the Ventoux stage; they simply never imagined they would ALL be on the same team. I think the route was conceived with good intentions and may even work out the way they want (with Lance, Alberto, Levi, Klodi, A Schleck and maybe Kreuzinger or one other within 60 -90 seconds of each other on Ventoux). What makes it suck is that NOBODY has illustrated that they can beat Contador to the top of a mountain.
 
Bikes... roads... mountains... corners... sprints... cross winds... sastre... schleck... contador... chateaux... kelly... sherwin... cavendish... hausler... farrer... crop circles... parades... yellow... green... red spots... dogs... vikings... crashes... break aways... Tourmalet... Ventoux... painted roads... motor bikes... yellow cars... podium girls...

It's July and it's the Tour - it's exciting - stuff happens - it's more exciting!

Maybe I am easily pleased but I love every minute of it - I watch it three times every day once at 5am and once at 11pm.

Bring it on :):):)
 
Rbudman said:
Do you think that if Astana were not so dominant that we would have all this complaining about the route? ASO's idea was to set up a single decisive stage (much like what ended up happening last year.) They wanted for a pack of riders to ALL be within a minute of so going into the Ventoux stage; they simply never imagined they would ALL be on the same team. I think the route was conceived with good intentions and may even work out the way they want (with Lance, Alberto, Levi, Klodi, A Schleck and maybe Kreuzinger or one other within 60 -90 seconds of each other on Ventoux). What makes it suck is that NOBODY has illustrated that they can beat Contador to the top of a mountain.
Yes. I did not like it from the beginning.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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What is this, Le Tour or a Sportive event?

I finally found the time to go through the official Tour guide and I was left muttering. I know it's nice in sportive events to put the big hills early so the participants can get over them while they've still got decent legs, but in a grand tour, stage after stage.:confused:

Can ASO please hire RCS sport to plan le Tour's route in future? They'd do a much more interesting job of it.
 
180mmCrank said:
Bikes... roads... mountains... corners... sprints... cross winds... sastre... schleck... contador... chateaux... kelly... sherwin... cavendish... hausler... farrer... crop circles... parades... yellow... green... red spots... dogs... vikings... crashes... break aways... Tourmalet... Ventoux... painted roads... motor bikes... yellow cars... podium girls...

It's July and it's the Tour - it's exciting - stuff happens - it's more exciting!

Maybe I am easily pleased but I love every minute of it - I watch it three times every day once at 5am and once at 11pm.

Bring it on :):):)
Im a sucker for the whole spectacle too. But Pyrenees were neutered, if you ask me.
.
 
180mmCrank said:
Bikes... roads... mountains... corners... sprints... cross winds... sastre... schleck... contador... chateaux... kelly... sherwin... cavendish... hausler... farrer... crop circles... parades... yellow... green... red spots... dogs... vikings... crashes... break aways... Tourmalet... Ventoux... painted roads... motor bikes... yellow cars... podium girls...

It's July and it's the Tour - it's exciting - stuff happens - it's more exciting!

Maybe I am easily pleased but I love every minute of it - I watch it three times every day once at 5am and once at 11pm.

Bring it on :):):)

I agree all those things are good and they collectively mean watching the Tour will always be worthwhile ... but when you know something has the potential to be "great" and not just "worthwhile" I actually find it quite disappointing.

Sometimes sporting events of all types live up to the hype and sometimes they don't. Accepting that is part of being a sports fan. The frustrating thing about this year's Tour, however, is that it's not like it's failed to live up to its potential because of some accident of fate. It is purely because the Tour organisers have designed an awful course and and included an early team time trial.

What makes it even more disappointing is that the field this year is considerably more interesting than usual because there is a unique mix of:

Last year's contenders: Sastre, Evans, Menchov
A potential great who didn't ride last year: Contador
The most successful Tour rider ever coming out of retirement: Armstrong
A bevy of young talents threatening to step up: Schleck, Martin, Kreuziger.

What a waste ...
 
May 6, 2009
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I would have made a mountain TT from Sainte-Marie-de-Campan to La Mongie. 13km of pure effort. Alberto Contador would probably still win it.
 
Mar 20, 2009
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longrun said:
Tour routes this year are designed so French riders can win in breakaways.:cool:

How many mountaintop finishes this year? Not enough!:mad:
Uhhh... A Frenchman won on a mountain top finish on stage 7. Yeah, that stage was a set-up for a French rider to win. Both Voeckler and Feillu deservedly won stages after being in long breaks. You make no sense...
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Am I the only one who doesn't mind breakaway finishes because they add another level of interest to a race along with the jersey battles. Even when it's a mountain stage breakaway, it's interesting to see if people like Felliu can stay away. Or even last night in the last five k's, I loved that chase.

So even if the route has made the GC battle boring, it has done heaps to make the individual stages interesting, which I think is hugely important.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Timmy-loves-Rabo said:
yep.

3 things i took note of.

1. Astana will no way lose this tour
2. Conta will no way lose this tour
3. I can't recall one Giro stage as boring as these stages have been (especially 7)

+1.... I was glued to the Giro this year. Di Luca's form and motivation was amazing, and the route was set up perfectly for his epic battle with Menchov.

And yes... for me... this is the worst tour route that I have seen... :mad:
 
To answer the OP's question, I can't. Though in 1992 the first ITT at Luxemborg was so long and flat that Miguel Indurain put 5 minutes into everyone else, and the Tour was over. In 1994 Indurain's biggest threat, Tony Rominger, crashed out on like stage 4 and the Tour was over. Heck, in 2005 when Lance passed up Ullrich in the prologue the Tour was over. Those years were more boring than this.

We will change our minds some in the last week to some extent. But there's also the very real possibility that we'll get through the ITT at Annecy and the top four riders will all be on Astana as we head to the Ventoux.

As I said in the other thread, the Giro's stages weren't that hard, however, they were designed so the GC riders came out of hiding much more often. They did this by having a lot of uphill finishes. Not necessarily mountain top finishes, but enough to stir things up. This route, by comparison, is lame. Let's hope the lack of race radios stir things up.

The Barb said:
What makes it even more disappointing is that the field this year is considerably more interesting than usual because there is a unique mix of:

Last year's contenders: Sastre, Evans, Menchov
A potential great who didn't ride last year: Contador
The most successful Tour rider ever coming out of retirement: Armstrong
A bevy of young talents threatening to step up: Schleck, Martin, Kreuziger.
In a perfect world we'd have more riders though that like to attack. Such as Basso, Rasmussen, Ricco, Landis, Valverde, Kohl, Vinokourov, Heras, Peipoli, etc. By these guys are "dopers", so no tickee. :(
 
There were a few duffers in the '80's. 2002 was, I seem to recall, bemoaned by Virenque for it's lack of decent climbs. Alpe's call is good, too.

However, when you think we now have another 2 or 3 stages, without a hill of note..........

Like watching paint dry.

To think I complained bitterly, when the RCS chopped the top 5 kms off the Blockhaus.:eek:
 
Buninyong Bunny said:
Am I the only one who doesn't mind breakaway finishes because they add another level of interest to a race along with the jersey battles. Even when it's a mountain stage breakaway, it's interesting to see if people like Felliu can stay away. Or even last night in the last five k's, I loved that chase.

So even if the route has made the GC battle boring, it has done heaps to make the individual stages interesting, which I think is hugely important.

I am sure many of the riders and teams who were never going to contend for GC thought all there christmases had come at once with stages like today and some of the others we have seen. It's certainly a different way of running the Tour!
 

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