<Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Now we have something / quite-a-lot to discuss and celebrate.

Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Brucey » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:11 pm

I think it is fairer to say that whoever pays the piper calls the tune, and that the TdeF organisers will try to eliminate what they (or their sponsors) consider to be 'boring racing' via route/stage selection even if they don't want to be seen to actually favour one rider over another (which they have certainly done in the past). In the past they have eliminated the team time trial and altered the proportion of time trial and/or mountains to avoid a repetition of what some might find a 'boring race'.
Introducing a mini- Paris Roubaix into the TdeF is an obvious way of favouring others over riders like Froomy who have a bit of a history of coming off. That it happened before he even got to the cobbles (because it was raining) is just a happy accident for the race organisers I suppose.

The commentators were saying that there hadn't been that many crashes and that the stage was a worthy inclusion into the race; if it had stayed dry, maybe. But the truth was different to that.

Any stage where about 40 riders come off (as happened yesterday) and have to see the doctor isn't really a very good idea IMHO. It turns the race into too much of a lottery.

cheers
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby nicmarsh » Thu Jul 10, 2014 9:46 pm

Each year as the major tour routes are published there's all the chat about who it does and doesn't suit but I don't think it is ever quite that predictable. Don't imagine anyone expected Nibali to do so well yesterday, but he's a great bike handler who wants to win and as he said "its all bike racing!" There were others too who did well and who wouldnt have been expected to and those that actually enjoyed it, some regretting their under inflated tyre choice, losing time on the 'smooth' ..... perhaps unfortunate that the weather made it tougher than expected but the efforts made by all were fairly extraordinary.
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Jezrant » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:48 pm

Nothing wrong with making the TdF less boring. A stage with cobble sections in the TdF will always divide opinion. Some riders and team managers (e.g. Riis) were in favour of it; others weren't. Some riders rode the stage brilliantly; others didn't. Not sure about the figure of 40 riders having to see a doctor and, anyway, a wet mountain stage can cause more spectacular crashes and worse damage to the GC than what happened on Stage 5. Should mountain stages be removed too because the leader may hurt himself?
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Brucey » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:23 am

well over 40 to see the doctor on stage 5 was reported on the ITV coverage, and if they had that many in on every mountain stage, they would soon do something about it.

Paris Roubaix is a tough race in its normal incarnation but it is normally run differently to the way stage 5 was, e.g.

- they run further before the first pave section
- the first pave section is usually wider than the one they used

and both things allow the field to break up more easily once they are running on the pave.

In fairness the tour organisers were unlucky (or lucky...) because of the rain and the largely tailwind conditions.

cheers
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Jezrant » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:33 am

Some valid points, but the tellie commentary you refer to sounds like an exaggeration, part of the sensationalism that you otherwise seem to criticise. The fact of the matter is only one rider abandoned the race in Stage 5, before the cobbles, and ostensibly due to a crash in the previous stage. If Froome hadn't withdrawn, would you still feel the same way? Cobbles are brutal, as is the whole race, but the organisers can't be blamed for the rain and they did remove a couple of sections before the start. IMHO, including some cobbles in a northern stage makes the race less boring and adds an interesting historical dimension.

cheers
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Brucey » Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:39 am

well the '40 to see the doctor' thing was reported the following day, after the dust had settled. I dunno if that makes it more or less likely to be sensationalism.

Although it was reported that only Froomy had abandoned on stage 5, I think there were several others who didn't make the stage 6 start.

I don't disagree with much of what you say either. I guess we'll find out if they think this is how the TdeF should be in future when they announce next year's route.

In general terms I think that crashing should be a risk rather than a near-certainty. I wonder how many riders in this years TdeF will not have crashed at some point by the end of the race?

cheers
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Jezrant » Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:06 pm

According to the Tour's website, there was only one rider who did not start in Stage 6, Lampre's Richeze.

Cobbles have appeared several times in the TdF, although Stage 5 was pretty epic. They may not appear again next year, just as a particular col might not either, but you can be sure they will be back again another year. But maybe you're right. Maybe they are too risky for too many riders and shouldn't be part of the Tour. I dunno now. But did you not find the cobble sections ... gripping?

cheers
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Brucey » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:43 pm

maybe once every 20 years is about right.... they were included in the 1980s once but I don't remember them since then.

It was exciting, no doubt about it. Confusing, too, but exciting, and it will make for an interesting race later on. I do wonder if the price was a little too high; maybe it wouldn't have been If it had stayed dry.

BTW on stage 6 one crash was caused because the road surface was simply smooth and worn out; they must have known this because they had 'repaired' the road by using tar and chippings on the inside of the bend, on the apex only. On the outside of the corner, or in the braking zone, it was just as slippy as anywhere else.... :roll:

About half or more of the abandons since stage 5 (including several today) are because of injuries that were sustained in the last couple of days; about two days after a prang the chickens come home to roost ache-wise and riders realise that they can't carry on.

cheers
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby RickH » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:02 pm

Brucey wrote:maybe once every 20 years is about right.... they were included in the 1980s once but I don't remember them since then.

They featured in 2010 (article). Don't know if there were any others - I remembered it (but had to check what year) for Lance Armstrong losing time there.

Rick.
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Brucey » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:15 pm

Paul Sherwen just reiterated that there were 41 'official crashes' (whatever that is) on stage five.

Maybe I'm thinking of the last wet TdeF visit to the pave?

cheers
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby nicmarsh » Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:44 pm

Today's finish in Nancy is known to be tricky. If you want to see the riders coming off bikes on a wet finish YouTube the last time the tour visited there in 2005. Nasty stuff
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Bicycler » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:41 pm

At the end of the day most of the crashes weren't on the pave. Just a lot of crashes in the wet weather this year.
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Brucey » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:07 pm

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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby Jezrant » Fri Jul 11, 2014 8:24 pm

Just shows how divided opinions are. The last word given to Robbie McEwen sums it up for me:
Robbie McEwen (three-time green jersey winner, 12-time Tour stage winner): ”Sux 4 some riders but whatever the consequences of today’s #TDF2014 stage – that was the most exciting race I’ve ever watched #hopeallOK.”
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Re: <Spoilers> Rain.... [SPOILERS]

Postby nicmarsh » Sat Jul 12, 2014 2:06 pm

if you haven't read it elsewhere its been confirmed that Froome has fractures in left wrist and right hand; suspect he was riding with one of those before he went down in the rain before le pave. enough to limit anyones bike handling....ouch!
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