2004 TdF Route Discussion

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Kathrin, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. Kathrin

    Kathrin New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let's discuss the route of next year's Tour de France (or is that going on somewhere already? I'm pretty new to the forums). What do you think of the route? What do you like least / best about it? Which stages will be the decisive ones? Will the route favor any riders?
     
    Tags:


  2. HyperPhreak

    HyperPhreak New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    1
    i think the TT up Alpe'd huez is gonna be good to watch.
     
  3. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    The last week in this years TdF is going to be great, its really been set up for a showdown between the strong men. I'm not sure that 2 time trials in 4 days is a good thing but an uphill time trial on Alpe d'Huez is going to be fantastic. I can't remember when they had tt's so close together, if ever.

    It is going to take a rider of courage to win this year's tour and I'm not sure Lance is up to it.
     
  4. mjolnir2k

    mjolnir2k New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well we are sure to see a very exciting Tour. The layout guarantees that there will be no clear cut winner until the last few days (if then). I love the Alpe d'huez TT stage. Can you imagine the excitement for the fans and the suffering for the riders. Phew!

    One thing I don't care for is the time cut off on the Team TT that limits everyones losses to 2:30 to the winning team. That seems to be blatantly unfair and definitely poses the biggest threat to US Postal as they will not be able to put serious time into rivals and REALLY benefits the teams that have great climbers but poor time trialists. Now these teams can basically take a "rest" day on the TTT and just make sure they come in within the time cut. I think that takes a lot of pressure off of these other teams and gives them a significant advantage. Boo

    Other than that, I think we are looking at one heck of a Tour!
     
  5. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    In my opinion Team Time Trials are the pits they just don't have a place within the race. It makes a mockery of general Classifications. Run them by all means but as a separate competition within the Tours and don't add the time to the individuals, then you won't get a team blanket on the classification board.

    I think I'm going to do a little maths this evening and take the TTT out of the last few tuors and see how it pans out and whether there are many surprises.
     
  6. mjolnir2k

    mjolnir2k New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting, but I have always understood the Tour to be a TEAM event, so it makes sense to have a day where the teams ride as one unit against the clock.

    It will do no good to remove the TTT stage and see who would have won because the teams plan their strategy for the rest of the race depending on the outcome of the TTT. That means that you would have to factor in what change in strategy each team would have made to compensate for no TTT (and you would have to be a mind reader/ psychic to do that).

    My point is that if the Tour wants to continue to have a TTT then don't criple it's impact by limiting time lost. What's the use in that, as it proves nothing and gives a HUGE edge to bad teams. Better to do away with it entirely which would level the playing field.

    Would you say the same if they made a rule that no rider could suffer more than a 2:30 loss on any mountain stage? or no rider could suffer more than a 2:30 loss on an individual TT? both are just as inane.

    Better yet, why not make Lance ride a unicycle as that would be a more honest way to try and get a different winner next year than this veiled rule change.
     
  7. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,130
    Likes Received:
    115
    I've got to agree with Hemplands - the TTT simply distorts the overall results.
    Take 2003 : and not that I begrudge him one bit but Victor Hugo Pena got to wear the Maillot Jeune for 4 days simply because the USPS team had a good time trial.
    (Ullrich, Tyler or Vino never got to wear the Maillot Jeune in the 2003 TDF !).
    I have always throught that it was a distortion - I remember the Panasonic and Renault teams in the 1980's virtually holding the jersey for days on end because of the TTT.

    As regards the route of the TDF for 2004, it's all down to the last week barring accidents and loss of form.
    The route in week 3 is tough - after all they'd have crossed the
    Pyrennes and they then face in to 2 TT in 4 days.
    Not easy.
    But it's guaranteed to be rivetting.
     
  8. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have been doing the beancounting for 2003

    Lance would have only won by 18 seconds from JU
    Vino would have been 2.44 down
    Zubeldia 3.29
    Mayo 4.44
    Tyler 5.32

    I'm going to sit and do the Vuelta ones because they are only won by seconds. It might make very interesting reading.
     
  9. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    I had to do some thinking but there was a gap in the 90's when there wasn't Team Time Trials.

    Read On

    Tour de France 2000 Looks to Past Glories

    Team Time Trial Reappears After 6-Year Gap


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    By Samuel Abt - International Herald Tribune

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PARIS - The organizers of the Tour de France confirmed the rumors Thursday: It's back to the future and back to the Futuroscope, too, in 2000.
    Unveiling the official route for the 87th edition of the world's greatest bicycle race, scheduled July 1 to July 23, the organizers announced that the team time trial, which was last held in 1994, would be reinstituted, as expected. That race has sometimes resulted in significant losses of time for leading riders who were slowed by teammates.


    It definitely didn't cause any problems to the winners during those years

    1995 Indurain
    1996 Riis
    1997 Ullrich
    1998 Pantani
    1999 Armstrong

    So what's the point of including it, its as the Herald Tribune says it resulted in significant losses for leading riders.

    Use it as a showpiece event and not include it in the overall times rather than giving everybody Mickey Mouse scores. This year its going to have as much relevance as flying to the moon.
     
  10. Shnerpals

    Shnerpals New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I cannot wait for the moutain stage time trial! it will be great to see who is really the best climber...i want to see if anyone will be able to actually pass the person in front of them, that would be incredible...I find the new TTT rule crazy and its definately going to change things in the future...I think the route is going to make for one of the most exciting tours especially with so many talented riders going for the yellow jersey! as a Lance Armstrong fan im going to be super nervous but very excited to see if anyone can step up and take the yellow away from him...im hoping not but i guess i wont know until the last day!
     
  11. Allen H

    Allen H New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    It certainly seems like the 2:30 limit on the TTT is designed to help the GC contenders on less deep teams, and make sure a deeper team like US Postal or T-Mobile can't open a bigger "gap" on any of the others in the GC field.
     
  12. Kathrin

    Kathrin New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree absolutely!

    So I guess we all agree that the uphill TT will be a real highlight and that the new rule for the TTT pretty much sucks.

    How do you like the new rule for the polka-dot jersey? I think it's great as it will prevent riders collecting all those points in an early breakaway.
    How about the stages in the massif central? They will probably be very unpredictable, in my opinion. Do you think anyone will be able to take advantage of them with regards to the GC?

    And what about the inclusion of the pavé sections early on? Flirting with disaster as there are many crashes in the first stages of the Tour anyway?
     
  13. HyperPhreak

    HyperPhreak New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    1
    whats the new polka dot jersey rules??
     
  14. Kathrin

    Kathrin New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
    The most points will be awarded for the last mountain climbs in a stage, so now the real climbers, who are still strong at the final ascents, will have a change again to win the polka-dot jersey.
     
  15. davek

    davek New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Aple d'Huez time trial will be amazing, but the following day they have to face the mother of all alpine stages - 212km over five biiiig climbs - Glandon, Madeleine, Tamie, Forclaz, Croix de Fry.

    The team TT sucks completely, new rules or not (and the new rules won't make any real difference to the likes of Ullrich and Hamilton anyway). The TdF is not a team event in the same way that, say, football is a team sport - it's a lot more like F1, where the team is serving the needs of the team leader. The GC doesn't go to the best team, it goes to the best individual, but the team time trial is like giving that individual a head start.
     
  16. Shnerpals

    Shnerpals New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I love the TTT a and it is definately needed! the TdF is very much a team sport and the only reason why Lance or anybody succeeds as an individual is because of the team...If Ullrich had a bad team that didnt ride specifically for him he would be lost and never be able to get 2nd or 1st...sure the team isnt the one who wins the event but thats why they have individual TTs...i also think the new rules could make a huge difference! if any of the top contenders have a team that isnt as skilled as the others they could lose significant time to them! or say Ullrich crashes and slows his team down so that they lose 3-4 minutes to lance...laance wont gain anything from that even though he should...thats the one thing about the tour that is unlike any other sport is that illness and injury do not change time...you dont get cut any slack when anything could happen and i think that the new TTT will make that day and maybe the race less exciting than usual...
     
  17. hemplands

    hemplands New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    [If Ullrich had a bad team that didnt ride specifically for him he would be lost and never be able to get 2nd or 1st

    In 1997 when Ullrich won the tour there wasn't a team time trial. Neither was there one in 95, 96, 98, 99, and who won those years, Indurain, Riis, Pantani & Armstrong.
     
  18. Shnerpals

    Shnerpals New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didnt mean that w/o a TTT Ullrich wouldnt get 1st or 2nd i meant that if he did not have a strong team that supported him he wouldnt...I think the TTT is important because it shows just how strong those teams are and gives them a time to shine and show the real reason why these people are winning...and that with the new rule restricting the amount of time a competitor can gain it will change the overall strategy of the team and make the whole idea of a TTT less exciting than when competitors could gain major time.
     
  19. davek

    davek New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    0
    Consider cycling as a team sport in the same way that cricket or baseball are team sports. In each you have whole team units but within that unit you have individuals who specialise in the different disciplines of the sport - bowlers/pitchers, batsmen, fielders, and so on. Likewise, you have different roles within a cycling team - leader, sprinter, domestique, etc. You don't pick a cycling team based on how good they all are at time trialling. Getting the whole team to perform a time trial together is like asking every member of a baseball team to have a go at pitching and then base the overall score on the performance of the worst pitcher.

    Where I'm sure we'll agree is that the new rules are an ugly fudge. The Tour organisers need to get off the fence - either they think the TTT is a good thing, in which case there should be no time restrictions, or they think it's a bad thing, in which case they should drop it from the race.

    Everyone knows that the strength of his team is part of the reason why Lance has been able to win the last five TdFs and you don't need a team time trial to prove it. On the other hand, I believe that without the team time trial last year then Ullrich might very well have won - so maybe last year's win really should be given to the team?
     
  20. Shnerpals

    Shnerpals New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    It would be different if the TTT was all uphill or all sprinting but it isnt...the course is designed so anyone could ride it. So it is testing how well the team works together to ride faster than the other teams...you pick a cycling team based on the ability of the riders...if a rider is good at climbing but horrible at riding flats why would they pick that person to be on their team...you pick a rider based on their ability to be all around good as well as having a particular strength...I do agree with you that if there was not a TTT last year Ullrich may have won the race depending on if Lance changed his strategy because of it...
     
Loading...
Loading...