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Old 11-24-07, 07:58 PM   #1
NotAsFat
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A TDF TT I'd Like to See

Distance of at least 80 miles, course laid out with a mixture of flats and tough climbing. All riders required to use their regular mass-start road bikes and no aero equipment.

The idea is to simulate a long solo break. That's the reason for no aero equipment. 80 miles gives you enough distance that you can work in an interesting mix of climbing and flats. It also is long enough that riders have to carefully manage their power output. Can't just run at LT until you drop.

If you got the mix of climbing and flats right, neither the pure climbers nor the TT specialists would dominate the stage, and it would give the GC men a chance to strut their stuff. In short, it would be a real "race of truth".
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Old 11-24-07, 08:18 PM   #2
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The GC men already dominate the TTs. Off the top of my head, Hinault, Lemond, Indurain, Armstrong, Ullrich, Landis, and in 2007 Leipheimer and Evans, all dominated TdF TTs and were GC men.
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Old 11-24-07, 08:48 PM   #3
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50 more miles and no areo equipment will only make it even more boring to watch and the time gaps even more insurmountable for climbers in the GC picture.

where are you going to find 40 miles uphill to keep the climbers in the picture?

the TDF tt stages have to be looked at the context of the entire race.

an 80 mile TT would make EVERY other stage irrelevant
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Old 11-24-07, 09:13 PM   #4
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Yeah finally a TT where riders have to carefully manage their power output!!

Oh wait, you have no idea what you are talking about.
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Old 11-24-07, 09:30 PM   #5
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As others have said...this is pointless. The rest of the race would be damn near inconsequential for anyone other than the top 3 contenders.

I hate to say this, but do you actually race bikes or watch bicycle racing?
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Old 11-24-07, 09:54 PM   #6
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that is what one-day classics are for, not the TDF
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Old 11-24-07, 10:02 PM   #7
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The GC men already dominate the TTs. Off the top of my head, Hinault, Lemond, Indurain, Armstrong, Ullrich, Landis, and in 2007 Leipheimer and Evans, all dominated TdF TTs and were GC men.
And lots of GC men aren't strong in "normal" (short and flat) time trials. Valverde and Pereiro immediately come to mind. A longer, hillier course would shake out most of the TT specialists, leaving only guys who were true GC contenders.

It would be a great opportunity for any rider wanting to prove he has the legs and lungs to be a team leader. Anybody finishing top ten in a stage like this would have to look good to a team looking for a GC leader or co-leader.

The longer distance, and mixed terrain give much more opportunity for strategy than the typical short, flat TT course. And finally, forcing all riders to occasionally ride what amounts to a long solo break might encourage top riders to do it more often.
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Old 11-24-07, 10:03 PM   #8
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heh.
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Old 11-24-07, 10:22 PM   #9
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that would be a tight way to ruin the race.
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Old 11-24-07, 10:31 PM   #10
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So much for a stage race.
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Old 11-24-07, 10:56 PM   #11
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50 more miles and no areo equipment will only make it even more boring to watch and the time gaps even more insurmountable for climbers in the GC picture.
If you balance the course with enough climbing, the climbers will do okay. The typical short, flat TT course is as bad for climbers as it gets. I don't see how adding a bunch of categorized climbs are going to hurt them. And ditching the aero equipment makes it about who can ride, not who spent more time in the wind tunnel.
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Where are you going to find 40 miles uphill to keep the climbers in the picture?
They've done all-mountain time trials before. It shouldn't be too hard to find 20-30 miles of mostly flat going into 30-40 miles of cat 3 and 4, followed by 10-20 miles with a cat 1 or 2.
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the TDF tt stages have to be looked at the context of the entire race.

an 80 mile TT would make EVERY other stage irrelevant
If one rider managed to pick up 5-10 min on the stage (which I think would be unlikely), the rest of the race would be one breakaway by his competitors after another. His team wouldn't get much help chasing them down, either. The Tour would stop being a friggin' chess game and once again be about who's the fastest mother in the peleton.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:29 AM   #12
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If one rider managed to pick up 5-10 min on the stage (which I think would be unlikely), the rest of the race would be one breakaway by his competitors after another. His team wouldn't get much help chasing them down, either. The Tour would stop being a friggin' chess game and once again be about who's the fastest mother in the peleton.
In a TT that long I am SURE you would have time gaps of 5-10 minutes easily. And no, it would not be one breakaway of competitors after another, because, as always, the leader's team would control the race. If a "competitor" decided to go, they would have the option of letting him hang out to dry, or sending a domestique to chase him down. It would be suicide for a "contender" to try to make up a 5-10 minute time gap (Yeah, yeah, the Floyd thing was an exception), because other "contenders" wouldn't let it happen. In the end, the breakaway would be nullified as usual.

In addition, the "Fastest mother in the peleton?" Define fast. Sprinters take the flat stages. Climbers take the mountain stages, and TTists take the TTs. When it comes down to it, the fastest time wins. Sounds like the "fastest mother" already does win.

Very bad idea. Instead, take your idea and make it a one day TT of it's own. In a grand tour it simply has no place.
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Old 11-25-07, 05:23 AM   #13
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They haven't had TT's that long since the early 60's IIRC.

In 1985 and 1987 the Tour had TT's of around 75km. Hinault destroyed the field in 85 (Roche 2nd at 2.5minutes) and Roche won well in 87 (beat Mottet by nearly a minute).
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Old 11-25-07, 08:41 AM   #14
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Jens Voigt would win every time. Not that that's a bad thing....
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Old 11-25-07, 08:57 AM   #15
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...The idea is to simulate a long solo break... .
If you really want to make this capability relevant, then take out the TT's altogether! Now that would be an interesting TDF strategically.
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Old 11-25-07, 11:12 AM   #16
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If you really want to make this capability relevant, then take out the TT's altogether! Now that would be an interesting TDF strategically.
You are right, no tt's would guarantee GC men on solo breaks in the flat stages. Well i guess they would have to try then get reeled back in by the teams.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:15 PM   #17
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In a TT that long I am SURE you would have time gaps of 5-10 minutes easily. And no, it would not be one breakaway of competitors after another, because, as always, the leader's team would control the race. If a "competitor" decided to go, they would have the option of letting him hang out to dry, or sending a domestique to chase him down. It would be suicide for a "contender" to try to make up a 5-10 minute time gap (Yeah, yeah, the Floyd thing was an exception), because other "contenders" wouldn't let it happen. In the end, the breakaway would be nullified as usual.

In addition, the "Fastest mother in the peleton?" Define fast. Sprinters take the flat stages. Climbers take the mountain stages, and TTists take the TTs. When it comes down to it, the fastest time wins. Sounds like the "fastest mother" already does win.

Very bad idea. Instead, take your idea and make it a one day TT of it's own. In a grand tour it simply has no place.
If the leader's team could always "control the race", the guy who won the prologue would win the GC in Paris. If a 10-15 man break went with 4-5 of the leaders competitors, their teams wouldn't chase, and any domestique that goes with the break would be a null factor. If he tries to slow the break down, just drop his @$$. Those teams could make a deal with the sprinters' teams - send your guys with us, we'll pull them to the finish, they can sprint head to head for the stage win and the points, we don't care about that. We just want to make time for our guys against the GC. Work with us, we'll work with you. Screw us and you'd better hope you never, ever, need our help.

I think it would be a good one day event, too. But the reason for doing it in a stage race is that it would force more aggressive riding by the contenders. The grand tours have become too much like a grand master level chess game, competitors just trying to pick up tiny advantages in each stage - 5 seconds here, 15 seconds there. I miss the days when guys like Coppi and Merckx would ride away from the peloton just 'cause they were feeling good that day and saw a chance to put the race away. Landis' ride to Morzine, even though it was DQed, showed us a kind of drama in the TdF that we hadn't seen in years.
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Old 11-25-07, 12:28 PM   #18
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You are right, no tt's would guarantee GC men on solo breaks in the flat stages. Well i guess they would have to try then get reeled back in by the teams.
Take away the Radio's.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:04 PM   #19
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I'd like to have the TTT back and a mountain time trial.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:05 PM   #20
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Take away the Radio's.
Can you imagine? (and yes, I know it is a recent development, so most of us CAN imagine, but I mean, really, think of the poor sprinters' teams)
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Old 11-25-07, 01:14 PM   #21
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Take away the Radio's.
And it would make absolutely no difference.
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Old 11-25-07, 01:33 PM   #22
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You are right, no tt's would guarantee GC men on solo breaks in the flat stages. Well i guess they would have to try then get reeled back in by the teams.
One way to cut down on that would be to ban team radio nets. The DSs know exactly how far ahead the break is, how fast it's going, how fast the peleton is going, AND they can instantly communicate the results of their calculations to their teams. If they had to send messages up via domestique, it would at least slow their communications down and make it harder for them to run down the break exactly 8.2 k (or whatever distance they chose) from the finish.
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Old 11-25-07, 02:13 PM   #23
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Can you imagine? (and yes, I know it is a recent development, so most of us CAN imagine, but I mean, really, think of the poor sprinters' teams)
**** the sprinters' teams. Damn wheelsuckers.
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Old 11-25-07, 06:32 PM   #24
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And it would make absolutely no difference.
doubtful.

without radio the only info the riders get is that guy on the back of the motorcycle running back and forth doing time splits, and whatever the domestique was told while picking up bottles. Thats much less information, so the riders would have to use their gut more.

The impact on strategy is not necessarily obvious, but certainly there.
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Old 11-25-07, 06:40 PM   #25
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doubtful.

without radio the only info the riders get is that guy on the back of the motorcycle running back and forth doing time splits, and whatever the domestique was told while picking up bottles. Thats much less information, so the riders would have to use their gut more.
Except the riders are smart enough to know when the critical moves are being made and can easily send someone back to the car to talk it over, just like they can keep sending someone back to see how to adjust as things play out. So while communication between DS and riders might be slowed down somewhat, the important information will still be communicated. Also, contrary to what some believe, these riders are professionals and can calculate how to time a catch. Watching a race in real time, it's easy to see just how much time there is to adjust to situations. Though I'm not talking about the instantaneous decisions like jumping on an attack for which the radios don't help even now.
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