Why did ASO help Astana?



serpico7

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Sep 18, 2006
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I don't get it - the organizers want a good Tour, right? So knowing that Astana was coming into the Tour with, by far, the best team, why did ASO not limit the time gains on the TTT?

That basically turned the Tour into LA v. AC, and eliminated everyone else. Don't get me wrong, LA v. AC provides some intrigue, but it would have been even more interesting if so many of the other contenders weren't effectively eliminated in stage 4.
 

slovakguy

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Mar 17, 2006
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wish i could agree with the premise, but this tour is shaping up just like the last decade or more of tdfs. let others wear the yellow and suffer the attacks, while usps-discovery-astana (et al) stayed back and waited for the time trial/mountain stage to jump up on the gc. aso change the course, but these tactics/riders/ds seem to form the core of the problem.
 

serpico7

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slovakguy said:
wish i could agree with the premise, but this tour is shaping up just like the last decade or more of tdfs. let others wear the yellow and suffer the attacks, while usps-discovery-astana (et al) stayed back and waited for the time trial/mountain stage to jump up on the gc. aso change the course, but these tactics/riders/ds seem to form the core of the problem.
Right, and ASO knows all this, so why set the TTT time gap rules in such a way that favors Astana and eliminates all the contenders that are not on strong TTT teams?
 

Mansmind

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serpico7 said:
Right, and ASO knows all this, so why set the TTT time gap rules in such a way that favors Astana and eliminates all the contenders that are not on strong TTT teams?

You wouldn't consider Garmin a strong TTT team? or several others for that matter. I don't see how the TTT favored Astana specifically.. although I do agree that the TTT certainly eliminates multiple teams from serious contention. I just don't think it was pointed at Astana in particular.
 

Tech72

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Nov 29, 2003
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You've effectively described how GT's are ridden and won, ie. Indurain, Pantani, LA, etc, etc. It's not particularly exciting but it's called smart riding. The most time is gained in the ITT's or mountains, period. Get the team to safely deliver the leader to the best position, then let the star rider put the screw in. Why the hell would you attack like a maniac at every opportunity or ride in yellow and have to control every move then run out of steam when it really matters?

People (rightfully) blast doping but on the other hand expect the racers to ride and attack like rabit wolverines at every turn. We had those types of spectacular exploits in past Tours, but we also know what drove those engines as well....
 

Tech72

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slovakguy said:
wish i could agree with the premise, but this tour is shaping up just like the last decade or more of tdfs. let others wear the yellow and suffer the attacks, while usps-discovery-astana (et al) stayed back and waited for the time trial/mountain stage to jump up on the gc. aso change the course, but these tactics/riders/ds seem to form the core of the problem.


You've effectively described how GT's are ridden and won, ie. Indurain, Pantani, LA, etc, etc. It's not particularly exciting to watch but it's called smart riding. The most amount of time is gained in the ITT's or mountains, period. Get the team to safely deliver the leader to the best position, then let the star rider put the screw in. Why the hell would you attack like a maniac at every opportunity or ride in yellow and have to control every move then run out of steam when it really matters?

People (rightfully) blast doping but on the other hand expect the racers to ride and attack like rabit wolverines at every turn. We had those types of spectacular exploits in past Tours, but we also know what drove those engines as well....
 

DV1976

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Sep 29, 2004
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Mansmind said:
You wouldn't consider Garmin a strong TTT team? or several others for that matter. I don't see how the TTT favored Astana specifically.. although I do agree that the TTT certainly eliminates multiple teams from serious contention. I just don't think it was pointed at Astana in particular.
If anything the Tour organizers should have known that a TTT plays into the hands of Bruyneel's teams. I dont think (correct me pls if I am wrong) that any of his teams has finished lower than second in a TTT. And they have "killed" quite a few tours like that. So it was a given that they would gain lots of time over teams like Silence, Cervelo or even Saxo (the gap wouldnt have been bigger if it wasnt for Canc). They should have included a long ITT more like 2 years ago and ditch the TTT.
 

serpico7

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DV1976 said:
They should have included a long ITT more like 2 years ago and ditch the TTT.
I don't think they should ditch the TTT, but they should have stuck with the rules that limited time gains on the TTT stage.

After stage 4, the race quickly boiled down to LA v. AC, and after stage 15, it's AC and no serious contenders, given the time gaps. BORING.
 

guncha

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Jun 20, 2005
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serpico7 said:
I don't get it - the organizers want a good Tour, right? So knowing that Astana was coming into the Tour with, by far, the best team, why did ASO not limit the time gains on the TTT?
I think it is stupid to have 60km TTT and win it by 3 minutes and to have only 1 minute at the end. ASO decided to have 40km TTT with real time which is more fair to a stronger and a weaker team.
 

Tech72

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serpico7 said:
I don't think they should ditch the TTT, but they should have stuck with the rules that limited time gains on the TTT stage.

After stage 4, the race quickly boiled down to LA v. AC, and after stage 15, it's AC and no serious contenders, given the time gaps. BORING.


Going by your logic, why doesn't the organizers also limit the time difference (loses) for "climbers" vs "sprinters" on a mountain stage? That way, there's more riders still in contention for the overall with only a few days left. It would make for fantastic, all out racing all the way to the final week. It wouldn't reflect the true nature of racing but would equalize the field for a better show, no? That's what you're basically proposing with your logic of limiting time loses.

Certain riders excel on certain terrain, just as certain teams will excel at certain disciplines. Bruyneel's teams have been successful at the TTT because he hires riders with certain abilities and fields a team that is competitive. There's nothing holding back any other directors from doing the same. So to penalize a team because they are good is simply against the very nature of sport.
 

serpico7

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Tech72 said:
Going by your logic, why doesn't the organizers also limit the time difference (loses) for "climbers" vs "sprinters" on a mountain stage? That way, there's more riders still in contention for the overall with only a few days left. It would make for fantastic, all out racing all the way to the final week. It wouldn't reflect the true nature of racing but would equalize the field for a better show, no? That's what you're basically proposing with your logic of limiting time loses.

Certain riders excel on certain terrain, just as certain teams will excel at certain disciplines. Bruyneel's teams have been successful at the TTT because he hires riders with certain abilities and fields a team that is competitive. There's nothing holding back any other directors from doing the same. So to penalize a team because they are good is simply against the very nature of sport.
Bring in a salary cap, and then I'd agree with your argument. The way it is now, you've got a few big money teams, and many teams that cannot hope to compete, even when they have strong GC riders, like Evans, b/c they get blown out in the TTT.
 

EmPat

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Dec 9, 2006
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Hmm... salary cap. That idea has merit. Watch the big guns throw the toys out of the cot then (big spending F1 teams certainly did). Might even have some of them start a rebel league like F1 too.
 

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