2010 Giro d' Italia: Stage 5 - Novara - Novi Ligure - 168 km

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by steve, May 13, 2010.

  1. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    Just watching the clips (had to follow Velonews updates on my phone at work), that last corner may have saved the break's bacon.
     


  2. Andrija

    Andrija Member

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    @Chavez
    If you want to see the winner, then the flat stages are all about last kilometer or so. But the same conclusion can be applied to mountain top finishes too.
    There's much to be seen during the every stage... No matter if it's flat or mountainous.
    Regarding racing, you can watch the work of teams and read their ambitions in given stage or the entire race. You can pay attention on cooperation of teams and their relations. If that's obvious and boring, you can always watch the scenery and get the picture of the region the race is going through... Places, roads, natural parks... Better commentators always have interesting data about cycling (and general) history of the region... You'll get full picture of what exactly you're watching.
    TV coverage of cycling is far more than a sport. Just pay attention on TV production and realisation. That's why Tour of California hired European crew.
    But, as we've seen today, there's much to be seen just on the road and why the escape held off the bunch.
     
  3. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

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    Even as a racer who favors a sprint finish, I have to agree that the long, flat stages are a waste of time (IMO)...As a spectator, I'd much rather see a series of 2hr, somewhat technical crits in planned cities along the route as there will be much more racer attrition and action than in these long flat stages...Agreed that it was good to see a break succeed for once...
     
  4. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    Um, yeah, this wasn't exactly my FIRST race here. Flat stages are generally the same - break splits off, GC team keeps them within a reasonable time limit; sprinter teams move to the fore in the latter stages to chase down the break (unless one of their riders is IN the break), ideally catch somewhere within the last 5 km, then it's all about the sprinters' teams jockeying for position.

    I've seen it before, and while the last 500 m are usually pretty great to watch, the rest is fairly unremarkable, unless the peloton is getting cut to shreds by wind or road furniture.

    And I don't have TV coverage for most cycling events anyway, so the point is more or less moot.
     
  5. Eldrack

    Eldrack New Member

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    I would agree that flat stages are fairly boring BUT

    1) You need them in the race to keep it raceable. By this I mean, if every stage was a mountain stage the GC riders would die and half the field wouldn't enter the race.

    2) You've got to give the sprinters some stages to win!

    3) They work to transition the race between the areas of mountains that give interesting GC stages.

    I'd be well up for most of the flat stages being kept short, like todays one (only 100 miles). That cuts down on the length of boring preamble.

    'Flat' stages with a couple of bumps in them to keep things interesting are good, if the bumps are put in the right place. One or two near the beginning to launch a break and a couple at the end to give riders a chance to attack in the finish (like MSR).

    So whilst a lot of flat stages are boring a good race designer can make them a lot less dull to watch. I think they are necessary to the grand tours and should be kept, the race organisers just need to get a little bit more creative.

    Oh, and 1-2 hour crits are actually quite good for the on the ground spectators, so one or two of them each GT would be fine as well.
     
  6. pennstater

    pennstater New Member

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    I like all your suggestions, especially adding a few hills to keep a stage interesting. Also, how about more stages with cobble sections or, for example, a stage like the one coming up on Saturday (stage 7) which has dirt/gravel sections to liven up the stage.

    Not every flat stage is dull, such as the one today, but they can get rather stale after a while if each stage ends in a sprint finish.

    I also like the idea of randomly selecting riders to make a bike change for a certain time period during a stage. For example, 2 people on each stage are picked before the race begins. The two unlucky riders will have a designated section of the stage where they must ride a tandem bike together, for about 10-15 km. That would be entertaining. And we don't have to stop at just two riders.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

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    Yeah, I thought the short distance was a plus for today's stage. That also might help the break - they have 25-30 miles less on their legs at the end of the stage - would Arashiro have enough gas to take those crucial pulls at the end of a longer stage? Maybe, maybe not.
     
  8. Maxiton

    Maxiton New Member

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    I agree that they need to add more variety in flat stages: unpaved roads, cobbles, and whatever else they can think of. OTH, arbitrary bike changes and forced tandem riding sounds, to me, a little contrived. On the other other hand, though, I do like the idea of entire one day races done on tandems. I believe they used to do that in velodromes (maybe they still do?) but the speeds got entirely too high and too dangerous. Sounds like fun.

    From what I saw, they really have to thank Arashiro, if they haven't already, for his magnificent and rather selfless pulls. (Strong words but I think they're warranted.) He made the difference in today's outcome. I'm hoping we see more of that guy.

    EDIT: So the above got me thinking, or rather googling. Apparently, tandem racing is alive and thriving, at least here in North America. It would be cool to see a pro team racing tandems on the Continent. Can you imagine a Cancellara and some other powerhouse, racing on the same bike? That could be seriously entertaining.
     
  9. steve

    steve Administrator
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    That could be the future of road racing ;)

    View attachment 12098
     
  10. pennstater

    pennstater New Member

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    "The Saxo Bank tandem of Cancellara and Porte just showed the rest of the tandem field a clean pair of wheels. They're really stamping on the pedals" - Future Phil Liggett quote
     
  11. Maxiton

    Maxiton New Member

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    "Well we knew they could ride, but today these boys are showing how it's done. Just look at them, they are absolutely flying on those hills like two angels on the express train out of Hades. Poetry in motion."

    - the rest of the quote
     
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