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Old 05-31-05, 07:43 AM   #1
nikos
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Last stage a victory ride, why?

I never really understood why the last stage of the Giro/TDF is set up for the victory ride? Yes, I love sprint finishes, but when you have 1st and 2nd place 28 seconds between them - and the race is finished before the last stage, thats tough to tune in for. I would like to see some part of the last stage be aggressive in terms of riders being able to shake up the general classification. Maybe, it was just a great race all around (Giro) that made for a non competitive last day.
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Old 05-31-05, 09:18 AM   #2
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It's kind of like the NFL.
When your team is down by 14 points near the end of the 2nd quarter, they "take a knee" and kill the remaining 34 seconds on the clock rather than try to score points.

So much for doing whatever it takes to win.

I hate that mentality.
Nothing you say will make that one sound logical.

As for bike racing, the Tour de Georgia ended with a small margin, too. Why bother with the last stage if you're not going to at least make an attempt to breakaway? Even if it's just for show.
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Old 05-31-05, 09:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikos
I never really understood why the last stage of the Giro/TDF is set up for the victory ride? Yes, I love sprint finishes, but when you have 1st and 2nd place 28 seconds between them - and the race is finished before the last stage, thats tough to tune in for.

Well it wasn't exactly really over at the start of the stage. In fact, it was over at the start of the last lap of the "crit" portion of the race, which is when the officials certified the times.

This seems to be more of a cultural rule among the riders which, as someone else pointed out before, draws big penalties from your peers if ignored.
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Old 05-31-05, 10:06 AM   #4
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What's Simoni going to do though? Depending on where the bonus seconds are, he either needs to win some intermediate sprints or the final. There's no way Discovery's going to let that happen and since Gilbo is no sprinter, he's out of luck.
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Old 05-31-05, 10:14 AM   #5
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That's the miracle of the 1989 Tour de France.... the last day TT into Paris would have been blah if Fignon had a large lead, but he had a lead that was just vulnerable and LeMond (and technology ) were able to pull that one out the hat.

However, think of most grand tours where the leader is up by several minutes. That last day TT would be anti-climatic. The "parade" style last stage at least lets the riders get competitive for the fans in the ultimate finishing location.

I agree, though.... it would be fun to see riders within striking distance attempt to make a break for it and make the whole day interesting.... but the leader's team would quickly reel in any serious threat quickly, so it's highly unlikely to happen.

Way to go, Paolo!
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Old 05-31-05, 11:19 AM   #6
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I understand that Simoni wouldnt be involved with a sprint finish, but considering its usually a climber that wins out, why have it as a sprint finish. Noone gets away on sprint finishes, but put some climbs in the mix and its a fun thing to watch!
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Old 05-31-05, 12:33 PM   #7
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That's the miracle of the 1989 Tour de France.... the last day TT into Paris would have been blah if Fignon had a large lead, but he had a lead that was just vulnerable and LeMond (and technology ) were able to pull that one out the hat.

However, think of most grand tours where the leader is up by several minutes. That last day TT would be anti-climatic.
Maybe, but the battle could be between 2nd and 3rd place which could still make a final day TT exciting. I'd rather have a final day TT than the current "parade day." Or how about a final day team time trial? Would that be cruel or what!?
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Old 05-31-05, 12:57 PM   #8
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It's a gift for the winner and his team... a day to celebrate in the peleton with all the other riders that he has just spent 3 weeks with... a time for congratulations, high fives and slaps on the back... and a glass of champagne in the peleton.. not great to watch but nice for the winner. it's bad form to try even try to do a sneeky move because you are not giving him his day in the saddle to celebrate and gloat a little... disrespectful.
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Old 05-31-05, 01:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Moonshot
I'd rather have a final day TT than the current "parade day."

Of course the Vuelta does this. And three (four?) years ago, Sevilla was ahead going into the final ITT stage, and lost overall by about 25 seconds as I recall.
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Old 05-31-05, 05:13 PM   #10
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It's a gift for the winner and his team... a day to celebrate in the peleton with all the other riders that he has just spent 3 weeks with... a time for congratulations, high fives and slaps on the back... and a glass of champagne in the peleton.. not great to watch but nice for the winner. it's bad form to try even try to do a sneeky move because you are not giving him his day in the saddle to celebrate and gloat a little... disrespectful.

100% correct.
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Old 05-31-05, 05:47 PM   #11
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Time trials are not much fun to watch. A 'normal' stage insures at least a nice sprint finish. Remember in the last 5 years the Green Jersey has been decided on the last day. A fianl stage in Paris is also a nice reward for the sprinters who have made it over the mountians.

Imagine the crowds, or more the lack thereof with gaps of 3 or 4 minutes between the top 3 going it. Contrast that to the crowds as things are now.

Lemonds win in 89 was great, but imagine if the final time trial was the next to last stage and you had Lemond and Figneon seperated by 6 seconds with two intermediate sprints with time bonuses and also the final spint time bonuses and possible gaps. What a spectacle huge crowds in 3 different places.

The 'unwritten rule' that makes the last day a parade is don't make riders work for nothing. All that is off if things are close enough that someone can get the time needed. Some day it will happen.
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Old 05-31-05, 06:21 PM   #12
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Doesn't bother me at all. Stage 19 of this year's Giro was epic. The stage 19 TT in the 2003 TdF was epic, even if Jan went for a swim. In a three week race, there's going to be hotly contested stages that are mmmm good and stages where the peloton takes a nap.
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Old 05-31-05, 06:22 PM   #13
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yeah.....how can a rider jump on the back of a moto with his bike over his shoulder for a few km's in a final stage TT???

That would be no fun at all.
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Old 05-31-05, 09:03 PM   #14
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Remember when Simononi (however you spell his name) launch an attack on the last stage of the Tour de France? USPS ran him down. If Simoni (not the same guy) attacked, Savodolli and Disco would have gone after him. You can't really gain that much. As for a final stage TT, remember Fignon?
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Old 06-01-05, 12:54 PM   #15
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The TDF finishes with several laps of the Champs Elysees. It is always exciting as the attacks go out and are chased down. The green jersey usually comes down to that last sprint. It's not as if there is not competition. These guys have averaged over 100 miles per day of hard riding for 18 days. Would riding hard for another 100+ miles make the victory more satisfying for you? As long as everyone knows that the race for gc is decided after the penultimate stage, ie after 18 stages instead of 19, does that make it any less valid?
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Old 06-01-05, 02:02 PM   #16
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I agree they need to get applause for the great racing. I was just stating the point that 28 seconds between 1st and 2nd, it would have been neat to see a tough climb or two....in which the teams are not always going to have the legs to catch the break off riders, such as Simoni (28 seconds behind). Sprint finish is great, but not really the riders in contention for the win. However, your point makes sense, cant keep adding stages. If the lead was more, this topic would most likely not be on the board. I just loved watching the race this year, really close competition and hard riding.
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Old 06-01-05, 04:27 PM   #17
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The TDF finishes with several laps of the Champs Elysees. It is always exciting as the attacks go out and are chased down.

Thanks.
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Old 06-01-05, 05:04 PM   #18
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One other thing is that finishing second or third in a major tour is still a big deal. The odds of gaining time by attacking the last day are very slim. The odds of blowing up and then losing time are still slim, but much greater. If the person behind you is close on time trying to make up 28 seconds can mean disaster. Just look at what happens when a break gets caught on other stages.

Of course both Merckx and Hinault were known to attack on the last stage of the Tour. That is why some of us like them. (Much as I hate to say that about Hinault, I have never forgotten 86).
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Old 06-01-05, 07:57 PM   #19
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rain man hit the nail on the head. everyone in the peleton knows that, if they have some amount of time to make up, the last stage to get it done is the penultimate one. i agree with others; i would also like to see a TT on the last day. maybe it wouldn't be a cliffhanger, but maybe it would. other than that, all the racers know the next-to-last day is their last chance to change things
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Old 06-01-05, 08:10 PM   #20
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I'm probably being naive but it seemed like Lampre as a whole was much stronger than Discovery at the end of the race. What if the entire team attacked, formed a paceline and tried to get enough of a cushion that Discovery couldn't counter. Even if they lost riders, it seems that Simoni had some strength on his side. I don't think the rest of the peloton would have tried to help Salvodelli chase down the break. It seems like it would have been worth a try.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that the race was won by an American team. It just seems like the worry of doing something that is "bad form" takes precedence over trying to win.
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Old 06-02-05, 09:12 AM   #21
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To me the last day becomes a fantasic event when it hits the Champs Elysees.
For many domestics and sprinters, this is the last chance in the event, to snach some type of glory as they win the final stage in front of one of the biggest viewing audiences. They deserve their chance after working their back sides off to ensure those guys in 1st, 2nd and 3nd get to sip their champagne.
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Old 06-02-05, 10:14 AM   #22
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Just how is an entire team supposed to attack? Individuals do it by timing things very well and basically getting free before anyone else can react. This does not work with an entire team. The move is pretty easy to see coming. Even if it was somehow pulled off it is almost a sure thing at least a couple of the team will not make it.

Then you have all of Discovery trying to pull the move back. For a while they might get little or no help. But there were at least a couple of true sprinters left. Any stage victory is a big deal, the final stage most of all. Those teams will wait and let Discovery do as much of the work as possible, but they can not win the stage if there is a group off the front.

A counter attack of a break might work, but breaks are rare on the last stage. Why? In part because of the prestige of a final stage win. Also there is no reason for a team to save anything for the next stage. Where the teams of the sprinters will decide the energy expended to chase a break down is not worth it in a 'normal' stage because the change of reward is better tomorrow, they will chase things down on the final stage as there is no tomorrow.

And again if the whole team tries a break, works its collective ass off and then gets caught there is no one left to pace their man to the finish and minutes could be lost (And don't think that the teams of the riders in 3rd and 4th won't push to get their men a better final position).
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Old 06-02-05, 01:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith99
...And again if the whole team tries a break, works its collective ass off and then gets caught there is no one left to pace their man to the finish and minutes could be lost (And don't think that the teams of the riders in 3rd and 4th won't push to get their men a better final position).

I agree with this too... the chances of something going wrong are much greater than something going right... on a flat stage it's too hard to control all the conflicting interests of all the teams in the race. it's not just the teams of the riders in 1st and 2nd that have a stake in this, it's the 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. down to 10th place probably.. plus the sprinters teams who have a last chance to get a final victory, plus the opportunist who can manage to get away in the melee who can possibly gain by an entire team blowing up in a failed, misguided attempt to gain 30 seconds... it's too risky... better to go home with your 2nd place rather than having that evaporate into 10th place... on a very selective circuit it makes sense but not a flat stage... much better to make your stand in stages where you feel you can really make a difference, and control the situation more. Do you think Lampre really stands a chance of staying away with all of Petacchi's blue train breathing down there necks? I don't think they would get more than 50 metres gap before they got chased down.... then they'd have to deal with they shame of making such a dumb a** move.
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Old 06-08-05, 06:53 PM   #24
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hey nikos... you'll like the Tour de Suisse this year... the final stage has 3 Hors Category climbs.. and look at Stage 6... a 50km climb that starts from 10k in and a 30k climb to the finish... Ouch!!
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