Does last stage matter?

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by QBA, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. QBA

    QBA New Member

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    Hi

    Guys I’m following the tour of France but I’m not quite clear about all the rules yet, so I hope some of you tour of France experts could help me out here.

    I thought that the last stage was going to be a stressful one for Armstrong, because Basso with 4’40” and Ullrich 6’21” were going to attack to try to make up the difference and take the tour from Lance, so I woke up early to see the battle and to my dismay all I see is a joy ride
    And everyone congratulating Lance for his 7th victory.

    Did the contenders give up the fight at the last stage because they know they can’t make up the time to catch Lance?

    Or there is another rule I didn’t know of?

    Thanks.

    Alex
     
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  2. Lonnie Utah

    Lonnie Utah Banned

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    I think it mattered for Vino today.....

    Alex,

    There is a gentleman's agreement that there is no attacking until Paris.

    L
     
  3. QBA

    QBA New Member

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    Thanks, Lonnie Utah

    What do you mean by is a gentleman's agreement ?

    This people train the whole year for this and on the last stage where they have their last chance to improve their time and win the tour they say to Armstrong, go ahead you take the win?
     
  4. WINGNUTT

    WINGNUTT New Member

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    Nobody attacks the yellow jersey on the last stage - tradition.
     
  5. spokeking

    spokeking New Member

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    QBA

    In the Tour, the last stage is traditionally Ceremonial. The winner is ultimately decided in the final time trial. There is some attacking that goes on when the peloton reaches Paris, but it is mainly the sprinter's teams who are going for points in the Green Jersey competition.

    The team of the yellow jersey will be watchful not to let any top GC Contenders get off the front. Also, the stage is flat, so there won't be any major time gaps anyway.

    Cycling has lots of unwritten rules, gentlemen's agreements, and codes of conduct that the riders and teams adhere to.
     
  6. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    ...of which riders like Hincapie don't follow.
     
  7. wolfix

    wolfix New Member

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    People in this forum seem to really dislike Hincapie...... But maybe today I realized the reason for it. My girlfriend made a comment today that "That Hincapie is cute. Most cyclists are not very good looking." So , that's the reason there are Hincapie haters out there. The Hincapie haters are jealous of his good looks.
     
  8. JRMDC

    JRMDC New Member

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    QBQ, first, welcome to TdF fandom! Second, you have much to learn. That is OK, but you do have much to learn. Third, whatever information source told you that the last stage was going to be stressful for Armstrong, ditch that information source, ban it from your eyes forever! They are clueless, CLUELESS about cycling!

    Correct that they know they can't catch Lance. On a flat stage like today, one cannot open up several minutes of time gaps over one's major competitors. As a result, it has become mostly ceremonial.

    Today was a bit of an exception, as Vinokourov was able to jump from 6th to 5th by winning the stage (3rd would have been sufficient to jump up).

    The stage was also not fully ceremonial for the sprinters, as the green jersey was still up for grabs. In fact, Vinokourov pulled off quite a coup by jumping ahead of the sprinters to win today.


     
  9. dasnootz

    dasnootz New Member

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    Something like that... A couple years back I went to his website, and he had pictures of a barechested George walking his pitbulls... straight out of a gangsta rap video.

    http://www.hincapiesports.com/

    No dogs, but the main page is pretty funny.
     
  10. spockroyaltea

    spockroyaltea New Member

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    that's funny cuz i don't find hincapie to be attractive at all. i really dont like his chin.
     
  11. Tonto

    Tonto New Member

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    In 1979 Joop Zoetemelk, who was 3 minutes behind Bernard Hinault, attacked on the Champs Elysees but Hinault was too strong and after the two of them fought it out in a breakaway, Hinault won the stage and the Tour. Zootemelk failed a drugs test afterwards and was docked 10 minutes.....he still finished second overall.
    While we're at it, there was the incredible final stage in 1989 when Greg Lemond took the yellow jersey from Laurent Fignon by only 8 seconds, in a final day time trial which finished on the Champs Elysees.
     
  12. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    I agree. I think Bob Roll summed it up pretty good yesterday. It was an all out race in the last stage until Greg Lemond beat Fignon in the last stage in Champs. The fans who were primarily French of course were so distraught that they picked up their bags and left the area angered by the outcome . Leaving Greg alone to find his trophy in a box and to rifle through yellow jerseys to find his Maillot Jaune. :)

    Le Tour committee decided to make the last stage a ceremonial stage to prevent a 1989 fiasco (in the TDF eyes) from happening in the future. I think this ceremonial finish only applies to GC riders. Sprinters and in Vino's case, free agents can race for points and stage wins.
     
  13. JensCph

    JensCph New Member

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    I'd think that if the top 2 contenders in the GC were 10 seconds or less from each other, the stage would not be ceremonial. It just hasnt happened recently (if ever), not counting the TT finish.
     
  14. whiteboytrash

    whiteboytrash New Member

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    In 2003 Armstrong lost 9 seconds to Ullrich on the last stage.... why ? He was at the pack of the peleton chatting and missed a break in the peleton in the last 200m....... Ullrich had no idea that this had occured but the time lose stood....

     
  15. tinks

    tinks New Member

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    Really? I don't find Hincapie attractive at all. You'd have much more reason to be jealous of Ullrich, Basso or Valverde :eek:
     
  16. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    What exactly did they do? It seems Vino didn't read the rulebook. Would you not consider him a GC rider?
     
  17. spockroyaltea

    spockroyaltea New Member

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    he wasn't attacking lance, he was attacking levi.
     
  18. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    So, it gets more complicated; these (?unwritten?) rules protect only the MJ from attack on the final stage, and not all high GC riders?
    I must say, it seems to me that the only factor protecting high GC riders on the final stage is the perceived, and almost certainly real, futility of attempting a sustained breakaway on the flat, and not any chivalrous notions.
    Big money mostly makes the decisions, and if Team X's sponsors thought that Team X could stage a coup on that stage, then Team X's manager would be under considerable pressure to arrange it.
     
  19. JensCph

    JensCph New Member

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    Its just a new unwritten tradition. Its more or less to respect that if you are behind by 3 minutes or so after racing 3 weeks, you dont really deserve to win it. If you were to gain that time on the last stage, it could only be due to a crash, and that leave you with a very bitter tasting MJ. Actual breakaways from the peleton by GC contenders just wont and cant happen on that last stage.

    The only thing that you can really concider are the bonus seconds as well as any minor gap you can get in the final rounds. But we are only talking seconds here.
     
  20. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    On the contrary, if you are behind LA by only 3 minutes after three weeks, you certainly deserve a chance at winning it!
    I agree with "can't". I think it's simple pragmatism - why ride your bum off if it isn't going to get you anywhere?
    My point is simply that I think there is less chivalry there than the dreamy-eyed romantics would wish to read in to it.
     
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