teamless tour de france

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by Bianco, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. Bianco

    Bianco New Member

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    Is it just me? I'd like to see the Tour de France be an individual sport.
    Disband the teams.. everyman for himself..


    When exactly did team play come into the picture?
     
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  2. Roadrash Dunc

    Roadrash Dunc New Member

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    What an awful idea!
     
  3. keydates

    keydates New Member

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    That would be incredibly hard. Harder than it is now. Both logistically (180 some cars to follow 180 some riders) and physically.
     
  4. mocka58

    mocka58 New Member

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    How about national teams? That would be an interesting concept. I doubt it would be entirely successful though. Trade team allegiances would probably still influence the race.
     
  5. PiledHigher

    PiledHigher New Member

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    Read some history, individual, national teams, all been tried before they got to the current format.

    They made it a team sport because it naturally work's that way given the benefits of cooperation between individuals.
     
  6. mocka58

    mocka58 New Member

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    Thankyou, but I didn't actually need that pointed out to me. I know it's been tried before but it doesn't take away from the fact that it would make it a more interesting race for some of us although it would not be popular amongst the trade teams in the very commercial world we live in.
     
  7. PiledHigher

    PiledHigher New Member

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    How would it be more interesting, maybe 10 guys would bother. That or there would be all kinds of cheating going on.
     
  8. mocka58

    mocka58 New Member

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    Well it would be interesting to see Armstrong leading a team not as strong as US Postal. It would be interesting seeing a strong Italian team in behind Ivan Basso etc. As for cheating, well collusion happens in every bike race, and a Tour de France with national teams would be no different to a Tour de France with trade teams.
     
  9. Frihed89

    Frihed89 New Member

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    Correct me if i am wrong, but were there not Tours when Merckxx led from start to finish? I don't think he needed a team.
     
  10. Craig Walsh

    Craig Walsh New Member

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    Yeah but he was a freak of nature.
     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The TDF has had national teams, trade teams and people racing as individuals
    at various times throughout it's history.

    The question is - teamless TDF.

    Excepting the fact that legislation would need to be passed by the UCI, I think that a return to individual racing would negate the "strong team"
    premise from Renault 1983 through to Banesto 1990's through to USPS in
    2000's.
    As an event, I think the TDF has suffered because the "team" aspect is now almost as important as the leader for whom they are all working.

    I would like to see riders race as individuals.
    Not taking anything away from the TDF winners but it is impossible to really ascertain the degree of help a rider gets (or doesn't get) from his team.
    There are arguments for and against but in general, I prefer to see racing stripped down to it's barest.
    I would also like to see instant communication between manager and rider (earpieces) being banned too.
     
  12. Perro Loco

    Perro Loco New Member

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    I have come to the opinion that teams should be de-emphasised. In the Veulta and the giro you tend to see more long ranged attacks by leaders than in the tour because teams are not as strong, though still much less than in the past- say pre 90s tours. As opposed to banning teams- how about reducing their size? Say 6 or 7. Maybe next year the Veulta could try this as they seem to be the more innovative tour.
    The more I think about this the more I like this idea (decreased team size).
    Less help in chasing down attacks, more people will try long range attacks, but still enough help available for water bottles etc..
    What does anyone else think?
    Riders might protest (fewer riders get in the tours or have to work harder)
    I can't think of any real good reason not totry this, except that 9 riders has been the way it's been for a while.
     
  13. Bianco

    Bianco New Member

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    I'm with limerickman. no team, no radio. you against the masses, and acts of god.
     
  14. Roadrash Dunc

    Roadrash Dunc New Member

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    How utterly boring.

    Everyday would be like the Olympic road race but worse , because you wouldnt event have 2 guys of the same country working together.
    I dont think you folk who want this have thought it through.The tactics and nuances of team bike riding make 3 week tours exciting.
    Watching a prologned Triathalon would see interest in the sport plummet.

    Thankfully , due to sponsorship , it will never happen.That and the fact the UCI and the TdF organisers arent as daft as some of you people.
     
  15. Perro Loco

    Perro Loco New Member

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    It will never happen-Teamless- because of sponser issues. However reducing team size would change the complexion of the race significantly. Reducing to seven would even make it safer. A reduction in team size would weaken teams abilities to chase and make individuals attack more further out.

    It seems most of us agree a teamless tour will never happen- anybody else think reducing team size might make things more interesting?
     
  16. Roadrash Dunc

    Roadrash Dunc New Member

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    I concede a reduction to 7 men from 9 may actually make things more 'exciting' although it good be argued it wont make any great difference.But removing teams per se is completely stupid.

    However , you are messing with peoples careers and livlyhoods then.I wouldnt want to be the one who told the 2 who miss out on a major tour - teams already have to tell a dozen people they are missing out.All this will do is cut another 2 or 3 people per team , making pro bike racing even harder to get involved in.
    Here in Britain we struggle to get quality riders onto Div 1 European teams , we dont want any more hurdles.Bradley Wiggins , Gold silver and bronze medalist at the Olympics couldnt even get into the Credit Agricole team for a major tour this year.
    In fact , i'd rather see more riders given a chance.
     
  17. Bianco

    Bianco New Member

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    I agree that a teamless tour won't happen, even if I beg.... but boring? no way.
    It used to be an indy sport, was it boring then? You'd have a lot more back-stabbing, a lot more handshake deals gone awry... i'll help you if you help me. Pseudo teams would develop because its understood that we'll ride faster together than apart. But these "teams" would consist of opponents, and could change on a daily basis. The only reason the TdF is exciting is for its drama factor. The olympic road race was an extremely boring course, it seemed the entire pack finished in 4th.

    Part of the reason I started musing on this was... I was wondering if Lance would still be champion without his Postal Squad.
     
  18. Roadrash Dunc

    Roadrash Dunc New Member

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    Yes he probably would if thats the question.

    He has proved he is strongest in the TTs , Mountain stages and has a fair turn of speed for sprints (although he wouldnt want to contest many)
    He gets obvious help on the tough stages from his team , but its all relative.

    Honestly , it would be like wathcing triathalons.You dont have all the underhand deals going on in triathalon (apart from a few tugs in the water) just some very fit people racing the same old way week in , week out.

    You said the Olympic roadrace was a boring course thats why the pack finished 4th : well thats what will happen on just about every flat stage in the Tour with no teams.In fact , the Olympic course had twists and turns to encourage break-aways which is exciting on flat stages.
    Heaven knows how dull a standard TdF flat stage would be with no team orders.You wouldnt have anyone able to put the hammer down to try to split the peloton on a bad day like CSC did in the North this year or like USPS tried when Mayo got stuck on the cobblestones.

    Seriously bad idea.If it wasnt , and would make the sport more exciting , you'd have heard the organisers approaching sponsors by now to try to make it happen.But team sports/events are always more exciting than individual events , thats a fact.
     
  19. derKaiser

    derKaiser New Member

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    But just the opposite would happen. Fewer riders means more teams. If every team (21 of them) in the Tour this year cut two riders, there would be six more team invited (42/7 = 6). Instead of bringing no-talent domestiques to the Tour, this new format would allow for more of the best riders to show up and lead their own teams. Maybe Wiggins could catch a ride to the Tour with another team.

    But also keep in mind that Wiggins didn't medal in the road race or time trial...but on the track. The Tour isn't meant as a showcase for track riders, nor is it meant as a gateway to the sport of cycling. It's the premier event, and should be reserved for the premier riders.



     
  20. Roadrash Dunc

    Roadrash Dunc New Member

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    The roadrace in the Olympics is omewhat of a lottery - lets forget avout talking about that.

    TTing over that distance is also something only the best have a chance of winning - usually team leaders.

    The track is actually a rather good place to find promising young riders and see what they are capable of.Chris Boardman wouldnt have made it anywhere near the TdF without the track , admittedly his discipline was a longer distance that made team directors sit up and take notice.
    But when you see the Aussy teams do so well and the amount of Aussies in the major Div1 teams , there has to be a connection.
    Cutting the teams to 7 might make room for newer riders in a new team but im not convinced : you'd still have those domestiques ahead of you in the pecking order fo a new team otherwise someone like Wiggins would be the domestique already.
     
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