Somehow, I can't get excited about it this year



Mansmind

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Aug 3, 2004
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Bro Deal said:
A major problem is that the Alpes are not any better. The stage to Verbier looks slightly easier than the stage to Arcalis. Both climbs are moderate climbs. We are left with the whole race coming down to the ITT and Ventoux. The TTT already eliminated everyone not on Astana with the possible exception of Andy Schleck; but even if the Schlecklet had raging form there is no where for him to take any time except Ventoux.

It is just an increbibly stupid course as far as the GC goes. It looks like it was designed for an old rider. As far as breakaways go, it's gold, though.

While I agree with your observations I think there is another side to consider. Whatever the course may be, there are people whom going to try to win this thing and I don't think that's limited to the Astana group. Due to the course itself I think we may see some unorthodox attacks on stages other than the obvious opportunities. Also the two stages without radios could be exciting as well. Without that instant communication I wonder if the covers will be more spontaneous?

Overall the "fight" for GC has been limited to minimal stages so far which makes it a little less interesting to watch. I'm not sure it's less interesting than already knowing the result after the first mountain series however.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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This tour de france is very poor fare, in my view.

The TDF since 2004 has not been exciting to watch, but 2009 has been the worst TDF to watch thus far.
The stages have been lacklustre and anaemic to say the least.
 

Eldron

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Jan 24, 2002
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limerickman said:
This tour de france is very poor fare, in my view.

The TDF since 2004 has not been exciting to watch, but 2009 has been the worst TDF to watch thus far.
The stages have been lacklustre and anaemic to say the least.

This years course is a bit strange - only a handful of summit finishes and loads of transitonal stages where the biggest climb is miles from the end. There are probably only 4 stages where any time will be made/lost on GC - the rest are either Cavendishe's or a motley crue break away.

It doesn't make for interesting racing...

Fortunately I'm one of those stupid fan that lovs it none the less :D
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Eldron said:
This years course is a bit strange - only a handful of summit finishes and loads of transitonal stages where the biggest climb is miles from the end. There are probably only 4 stages where any time will be made/lost on GC - the rest are either Cavendishe's or a motley crue break away.

It doesn't make for interesting racing...

Fortunately I'm one of those stupid fan that lovs it none the less :D

I'll always watch the big races.............just a bit disappointed with the way the race has gone thus far.
I think the course is to blame.
 

meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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The field is "interesting" to say the least and regardless of what you think about Astana, you have to admit there's some intriguing drama going on there. But the course is ridiculously lame. No good opportunities for someone like Schleck or Sastre to launch any type of meaningful attack. The potential for an interesting TdF was there, but so far, the course has killed it.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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meehs said:
The field is "interesting" to say the least and regardless of what you think about Astana, you have to admit there's some intriguing drama going on there. But the course is ridiculously lame. No good opportunities for someone like Schleck or Sastre to launch any type of meaningful attack. The potential for an interesting TdF was there, but so far, the course has killed it.

It will be interesting to see how Astana can work out, which rider they intend to back as a team.
I would go with the view expressed that they're probably trying to get two podium places.

As regards Sastre - he always paces himself in week one of the grand tours.
His problem though is that neither weeks 2 or 3 provide any real opportunities as you have said.
Ditto Schleck.
Ditto all the main GC riders!
 

Felt_Rider

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Oct 24, 2004
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Perhaps less drugs creates more of a personal challenge and individual pacing issue than past years. Could it be one of the factors along with the course? :)
 

nonns

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Well having read the interviews with Sastre and Evans it sounds like their hearts are no longer in it. I mean Ok they might be right but its hardly the fighting spirit.

Lim was right. Whilst the Tour started off quite exciting (perhaps because its the Tour) its rapidly going downhill. Looks like the show will be down to the Contador/Armstrong fight unless bears get involved :D. Interestingly with the benefit of hindsight it looks like the concept of neutralising the first week to keep everyone in the running hasn't worked at all. It seems to have crushed quite a few spirits. Perhaps the Tour Organisers should have thought of that before letting an all conquering team in like Astana.

Go back to the good old days when the riders had no radios. The teams were based around countries. Everyone should ride a Tour bike with the same technology. The teams should be allowed a certain mix of rider (sprinters, puncheurs et al). Salalries should be standardised and fixed depending on age experience palmares and suchlike (they could still be big depending on ones record) and teams should be allowed to spend only so much). I know it would be easier said than done but at least it would mean that the playing field might be levelled a weeny bit.




Make it about the people not the bikes.
 

TheDarkLord

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Dec 24, 2007
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limerickman said:
It will be interesting to see how Astana can work out, which rider they intend to back as a team.
I would go with the view expressed that they're probably trying to get two podium places.
Podium places or not, there is a big rivalry between LA and Bertie. LA has already said that he will not ride for Bertie [unless he "proves" himself to be the strongest]. IMO, the Hog will always choose LA over Bertie, especially considering that both LA and the Hog may be out of the team when Vino returns.
 

IH8LANCE

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Nov 10, 2006
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Geoff Vadar said:
To be honest its because of people like you (uneducated, immoral, slightly mentally retarded) that the sport is where it is. People like you crying out for 'entertainment' that is beyond natural physical limits. Just so you can sit on your couch and punch your fist in the air and go 'yeah yeah destroy them'.

Instead of appreciating 10-12 of the worlds most elite cyclists riding together on the very edge and barely being able to break each other by more than a few metres you want guys destroying fields and riding like 'robots' and smashing the opposition.

People who cannot appreciate the small nuances of competition at the elite level dont deserve to comment.

I love this post. It's so old-school snobbish and elitist. I can almost see your nose-hairs fluttering as you snort with indignation. Well done, old man.

In the meantime, I'm all for men going beyond their natural physical limits on bicycles for my entertainment. I feel the same way about women in ****.
 

Eldron

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Jan 24, 2002
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I'm all for stages where the final climb is 1/HC and it's between 10 and 40km from the finish - a few other 1/2/3 climbs thrown in along the way makes it even better - what were they thinking putting huge climbs 70km from the end?
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Eldron said:
I'm all for stages where the final climb is 1/HC and it's between 10 and 40km from the finish - a few other 1/2/3 climbs thrown in along the way makes it even better - what were they thinking putting huge climbs 70km from the end?

i think the idea is not have too many mountain top finishes, so that riders are not blowing the field to pieces.

There are still over 160 riders left in the race as of now.

Normally the numbers riding would have been whittled down a bit by now, in prior years.
 

Eldron

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Jan 24, 2002
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limerickman said:
i think the idea is not have too many mountain top finishes, so that riders are not blowing the field to pieces.

There are still over 160 riders left in the race as of now.

Normally the numbers riding would have been whittled down a bit by now, in prior years.

I'm a big fan of attrition rates - if 90% of the field finishes (and this includes big sprinters!!) then the parcours was too easy. If they're worried about the sprinters increase the % of the winners time they have to finsh in.

Maybe it's just me - I love Paris-Roubaix and any tough spring classic...races are supposed to be about the best of the best not designed to allow all and sundry to finish...
 

randochap

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Oct 21, 2008
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I love bikes and cycling of all kinds.

Growing up in the UK, my first heroes were Tom Simpson, Jacques Anquetil and namesake Raymond Poulidor.

I still love the Tour. It remains the most exciting and demanding sporting spectacle in the world. I care little for the tabloid side shows, either in the press or on the internet. The real show is on the road.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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randochap said:
I love bikes and cycling of all kinds.

Growing up in the UK, my first heroes were Tom Simpson, Jacques Anquetil and namesake Raymond Poulidor.

I still love the Tour. It remains the most exciting and demanding sporting spectacle in the world. I care little for the tabloid side shows, either in the press or on the internet. The real show is on the road.

There is definitely something about the 1960's and cycling which is very evocative, for sure.

The jerseys, the bikes, and the riders, from that era look really classy.
Loved the Peuguot jereys and bikes of that era.
 

nonns

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Jul 10, 2006
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Eldron said:
I'm a big fan of attrition rates - if 90% of the field finishes (and this includes big sprinters!!) then the parcours was too easy. If they're worried about the sprinters increase the % of the winners time they have to finsh in.

Maybe it's just me - I love Paris-Roubaix and any tough spring classic...races are supposed to be about the best of the best not designed to allow all and sundry to finish...

Well as seemingly the fans are now shooting the riders the attrition rates ought to go up. Perhaps they should set up machine gun posts at the top of the climb. Forget hot spot sprints. Lets talk real elimination!!! :D That might hot things up a bit.
 

thebluetrain

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Jul 31, 2004
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nonns said:
Well as seemingly the fans are now shooting the riders the attrition rates ought to go up. Perhaps they should set up machine gun posts at the top of the climb. Forget hot spot sprints. Lets talk real elimination!!! :D That might hot things up a bit.

IED's on the road in intervals, as well as, snipers in church towers.
 

Tech72

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Nov 29, 2003
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nonns said:
Well having read the interviews with Sastre and Evans it sounds like their hearts are no longer in it. I mean Ok they might be right but its hardly the fighting spirit.

Lim was right. Whilst the Tour started off quite exciting (perhaps because its the Tour) its rapidly going downhill. Looks like the show will be down to the Contador/Armstrong fight unless bears get involved :D. Interestingly with the benefit of hindsight it looks like the concept of neutralising the first week to keep everyone in the running hasn't worked at all. It seems to have crushed quite a few spirits. Perhaps the Tour Organisers should have thought of that before letting an all conquering team in like Astana.

Go back to the good old days when the riders had no radios. The teams were based around countries. Everyone should ride a Tour bike with the same technology. The teams should be allowed a certain mix of rider (sprinters, puncheurs et al). Salalries should be standardised and fixed depending on age experience palmares and suchlike (they could still be big depending on ones record) and teams should be allowed to spend only so much). I know it would be easier said than done but at least it would mean that the playing field might be levelled a weeny bit.




Make it about the people not the bikes.


Are you thinking straight?

Go back to the good old days when the riders had no radios.
A: It's the only one of your points that makes any sense.

The teams were based around countries.
A: This is your idea to equalize and level the field? Are you on medication? It will be a complete tilting of the scale. Do you really think the teams will be on a more equal level when we have teams like Italy, Spain, France (ok, maybe not the French), Belgium, Netherlands, etc. racing against the likes of Poland, Norway, Uzbeckastan, Portugal, etc, etc??

Everyone should ride a Tour bike with the same technology.
A: Same with clothing, shoes, helmets, gloves, etc. I suppose? What a stupid idea. Do you really think the TdF is being won simply by the guy with the best bike?? Bikes don't win Tours, the riders do....Part of the excitement of the Tour is all the new equipment we get to see. It's also an important venue for testing and marketing for the equipment manufacturers. You're basically suggesting that making everyone ride the same logoless, black carbon frames with all black accessories and the same Dura-Ace groupset will improve the excitement factor? Besides, are the teams really using that much "different" technology? They're all human powered bicycles, their differences are a non-factor in the race.

The teams should be allowed a certain mix of rider (sprinters, puncheurs et al).
A: Aren't they allowed that right now? Teams are assembled with certain objectives. As such, they include a mix of riders with certain strengths to accomplish those objectives, be it the GC, the green jersey, polka dot, stages or to just be seen in breakaways.

Salaries should be standardised and fixed depending on age experience palmares and suchlike (they could still be big depending on ones record) and teams should be allowed to spend only so much).
A: Aren't salaries right now based on those very things you mentioned? The rider who wins alot or wins big races or has a valuable role in the team gets to be retained by the team at high salaries?

I know it would be easier said than done but at least it would mean that the playing field might be levelled a weeny bit.
A: Artificially equalizing the teams goes against the very nature of sports. Everyone on a team does their best to achieve a certain goal, which in sports means to win. You also suggested to not invite a team (ie. Astana) because they are perceived as "too strong"? Your logic suggests that all superior riders and teams should be penalized in some way in order for the weaker riders and teams to have equal footing. Why even race then? On that note, at the next World Championships ITT, I propose that the UCI do not invite Cancellara because he is too damn good at the event and crushes the competition....

You must either be a government employee, a union worker or a Commie who hates the notion of achievements through competition.
 

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