Why are TDF riders so damned politically correct?



WINGNUTT

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Jun 13, 2004
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I respect the heritage and tradition of the tour as much as the next guy, but doesn't it go a little far with the unwritten rules of the tour and attitudes of the racers sometimes?? For example, "gifts"... the whole concept of a "gift" has no part of racing - it makes for crappy watching, is bad for the sport, and does nothing for the gift recipient becuase it makes him look like he can't compete - this isn't the special olympics, it's the Tour. Lance had a "no gift policy" this year, but sure looked like he tried to gift one to Landis and possibly even Basso. Also, was just reading in another thread about Ullrich not wanting to attack at a good opportunity because he didn't want to drop his own teammate Kloden. WTF??? Ullrich is the team leader - if he sees an opportunity to make time, then god dammit do it and give us a reason to watch the race. What about no attacking the yellow jersey on the way to Paris. Last time I checked, when the white flag drops in most forms of racing, it's on like Donkey Kong - in in the TDF, it's a picnic with champagne and the riders hugging eachother and whispering sweet nothings in eachothers ears... gimme a break and let's see some racing! How about not attacking the yellow jersey when he has a problem - this is racing, son, if $#!+ happens, fix it and get back to racing. Let's not stop the race while the yellow jersey trues up his wheel and puts on some more chamois cream. It's not fair that the yellow jersey gets this type of benefit, when other color jerseys don't - that's not racing. How about these BS rules about letting a Frenchman win on Bastille Day - what is this a French parade or the Tour de freakin' France?? The list goes on - special rules when there's a birthday, rules about giving away stages when there's been a trajedy, blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate some of this in the name of tradition, but I hope the racing part of the TDF doesn't become obscured any more than it already has.
 

gntlmn

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Jul 28, 2003
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WINGNUTT said:
I respect the heritage and tradition of the tour as much as the next guy, but doesn't it go a little far with the unwritten rules of the tour and attitudes of the racers sometimes?? For example, "gifts"... the whole concept of a "gift" has no part of racing - it makes for crappy watching, is bad for the sport, and does nothing for the gift recipient becuase it makes him look like he can't compete - this isn't the special olympics, it's the Tour. Lance had a "no gift policy" this year, but sure looked like he tried to gift one to Landis and possibly even Basso. Also, was just reading in another thread about Ullrich not wanting to attack at a good opportunity because he didn't want to drop his own teammate Kloden. WTF??? Ullrich is the team leader - if he sees an opportunity to make time, then god dammit do it and give us a reason to watch the race. What about no attacking the yellow jersey on the way to Paris. Last time I checked, when the white flag drops in most forms of racing, it's on like Donkey Kong - in in the TDF, it's a picnic with champagne and the riders hugging eachother and whispering sweet nothings in eachothers ears... gimme a break and let's see some racing! How about not attacking the yellow jersey when he has a problem - this is racing, son, if $#!+ happens, fix it and get back to racing. Let's not stop the race while the yellow jersey trues up his wheel and puts on some more chamois cream. It's not fair that the yellow jersey gets this type of benefit, when other color jerseys don't - that's not racing. How about these BS rules about letting a Frenchman win on Bastille Day - what is this a French parade or the Tour de freakin' France?? The list goes on - special rules when there's a birthday, rules about giving away stages when there's been a trajedy, blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate some of this in the name of tradition, but I hope the racing part of the TDF doesn't become obscured any more than it already has.

I think a lot of the gifting has to do with the psychology of motivating the riders who will not win the GC to go for the stage win knowing that they will have a good chance to be gifted the win. This allows the GC contender to gain an advantage in the race by sucking wheels off a stage winner who is not a threat.

Yeah, the tour is all about how to conserve energy by not breaking the wind yourself, except when you have the opportunity to reap a huge reward from doing so. The domestiques are the unsung heroes of the Tour. I bet if you measured the energy consumption of the domestiques that lead the way most of the time, like for example, George Hincapie, you would find that it is much higher than the Tour leaders. Do you agree with me?
 

mareblu

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Mar 16, 2004
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WINGNUTT said:
I respect the heritage and tradition of the tour as much as the next guy, but doesn't it go a little far with the unwritten rules of the tour and attitudes of the racers sometimes?? For example, "gifts"... the whole concept of a "gift" has no part of racing - it makes for crappy watching, is bad for the sport, and does nothing for the gift recipient becuase it makes him look like he can't compete - this isn't the special olympics, it's the Tour. Lance had a "no gift policy" this year, but sure looked like he tried to gift one to Landis and possibly even Basso. Also, was just reading in another thread about Ullrich not wanting to attack at a good opportunity because he didn't want to drop his own teammate Kloden. WTF??? Ullrich is the team leader - if he sees an opportunity to make time, then god dammit do it and give us a reason to watch the race. What about no attacking the yellow jersey on the way to Paris. Last time I checked, when the white flag drops in most forms of racing, it's on like Donkey Kong - in in the TDF, it's a picnic with champagne and the riders hugging eachother and whispering sweet nothings in eachothers ears... gimme a break and let's see some racing! How about not attacking the yellow jersey when he has a problem - this is racing, son, if $#!+ happens, fix it and get back to racing. Let's not stop the race while the yellow jersey trues up his wheel and puts on some more chamois cream. It's not fair that the yellow jersey gets this type of benefit, when other color jerseys don't - that's not racing. How about these BS rules about letting a Frenchman win on Bastille Day - what is this a French parade or the Tour de freakin' France?? The list goes on - special rules when there's a birthday, rules about giving away stages when there's been a trajedy, blah blah blah. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate some of this in the name of tradition, but I hope the racing part of the TDF doesn't become obscured any more than it already has.

Hahaha....I agree! you made me laugh a little bit. You sounded a little funny that's all. Regarding one of your points, I too had the same question about not racing against the yellow jersey at the last stage. Uhm, who knows????

And about Bastille Day? Is this a rule? I actually thought Virenque happened to be the one working the hardest on that stage. Was he simply allowed to win? wow! this is news for me :eek: :eek: :eek:

Thanks for the info! :cool:
 

WINGNUTT

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Jun 13, 2004
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gntlmn said:
I think a lot of the gifting has to do with the psychology of motivating the riders who will not win the GC to go for the stage win knowing that they will have a good chance to be gifted the win. This allows the GC contender to gain an advantage in the race by sucking wheels off a stage winner who is not a threat.
Perhaps this explains it to some extent, however, a gifted stage win really is not a win - it's just a trophy. It also tends to make some genuine wins questionable in the eyes of the spectator (did Basso REALLY win a tour stage??).

Yeah, the tour is all about how to conserve energy by not breaking the wind yourself, except when you have the opportunity to reap a huge reward from doing so. The domestiques are the unsung heroes of the Tour. I bet if you measured the energy consumption of the domestiques that lead the way most of the time, like for example, George Hincapie, you would find that it is much higher than the Tour leaders. Do you agree with me?
I do agree with you - I'm sure their power output is much higher on an aggregate basis. Perhaps there is an appropriate place in the tour for gifted wins among members of the same team, but you also have to recognize that this concept of gifted wins doesn't pop up in other forms of racing, especially among members of opposing teams. Any time there is a gifted win, I can't help but feel that as a spectator, I've been robbed - that wasn't a race, that was a Christmas present!
 

WINGNUTT

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Jun 13, 2004
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mareblu said:
Hahaha....I agree! you made me laugh a little bit. You sounded a little funny that's all. Regarding one of your points, I too had the same question about not racing against the yellow jersey at the last stage. Uhm, who knows????
Glad you enjoyed the post :)

And about Bastille Day? Is this a rule? I actually thought Virenque happened to be the one working the hardest on that stage. Was he simply allowed to win? wow! this is news for me :eek: :eek: :eek:

Thanks for the info! :cool:
I'm not sure if this is one of the unwritten rules or not. I've heard before that it is, but have not watched enough tours to confirm it. I have to believe that there is some truth to it, especially if the Frenchie out front is not a GC contender.