"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - 2 amateur questions about Tour
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07-15-03, 12:13 PM
I'm a recreational cyclist. But I thoroughly enjoy watching competitive cycling. But most of my watching only comes during the month of July on OLN with the Tour (a little bit of watching of the Giro in June). I enjoy the coverage but it often raises more questions for me. As such, some of you might find the following questions I have as ridiculously basic. But any response would be greatly appreciated:
1) OLN never really spends time covering the starts. Are they really not worth watching? Usually the live coverage just starts about 20-30k into the stage and all that is shown about the start are clips of riders slowly getting started and an old fat French man in a car in the front waving a white flag to signal the start. I'm guessing there must be more to it than this. Specifically, is there not some predetermined order as to who lines up where? Does the clock start when they cross the line or when the Frenchman waves the flag?
2) Support vehicles. Is there some predetermined order of where they line up in relation to the riders? Or is it just a free for all? Also, I recall hearing that support vehicles cannot distribute food/liquid during the first 30k(?) or the last 20k(?) in the Tour. But does that prohibit them from being near the riders at all in the the first and last sections of the stages in case of blown tires or other equipment problems?
They have explained a little bit about these things on OLN.
1) The guys in the jerseys get to start at the front, yellow, green and polkadot. I am not sure how they line up behind, local races here are first come, first serve, not sure about Le Tour.
2) The cars line up behind the riders in position based on the team classification.
Sorry for you guys that you dont get the life coverage from the tour that we get in Europe (at least two TV-Channels are reporting live...) Seems like Cycling isnt so famous in your country?
To your questions:
1) A french TV-Station presents the pictures exclusive (dont know their name though), so all other depend on what they show... Guess why Virenque is so often shown...
2) The support vehicles drive in order of the best placed driver in the teams. At the moment US-Postal (1. Armstrong), Telekom (2. Vinokurov), Euskatel (3. Mayo) etc.. They are allowed to carry 5 complete bikes, five wheels for the back and four for the front (sorry, dont got the right english words right know). They can only drive to their cyclist after "Radio Tour" allows it. Not sure about the food/liquid thing though, but they are allowed to take them from fans at their own risk...
Thanks to the "Official German Tour de France Programm" :beer:
..and excuse my bad english, schools a while ago now... ;)
07-15-03, 02:25 PM
Thanks, Styk and Yogu.
Wow. So they can take food/drink from fans without penalty but cant take from their team cars during the early/late parts of the race?...interesting. What's to prevent a team from planting "fans" in the crowd to pass out food/drink during those parts of the race then? It just seems like there are a lot of rules that would be so easy to bend or ignore. Take, for example, Armstrong's "shortcut" to avoid Beloki... from what I read, it sounded like he did not get penalized because of the circumstances; but does that mean there is a rule preventing that "shortcut" under normal circumstances?
Just a curious amateur very interested in rules affecting strategies.
There are indeed enough rules, exactly 31 paragraphs..
They would have penalized Armstrong if he had an advantage, but he hasnt, he drove on were he was before the incident with Beloki.... We got also a speech in Germany"No accuses, no judge"...
-The thing about distributing food etc..
You maybe get it wrong. The support vehicles can distribute food from the 50 kilometer to 20 kilometer to the finish.... You just turned it, i guess :)
07-15-03, 03:41 PM
I've already seen a team give drinks to its riders within 20k to go, after learning about that rule a couple days ago.
07-15-03, 05:42 PM
The Daily Peleton (http://www.dailypeleton.com) has a daily article on the Tour De France called the Jambon (ham) report. It's the Tour from a lady's point of view including fashion reports of the teams' outfits, who looks cute on the podium, and other such things.
07-16-03, 01:08 AM
Styk is right, the lineup depends on how early a rider arrives at the start. For example, Ullrich is always a little late and even missed the neutralized start on stage 8.
07-16-03, 05:06 AM
This is a link to cycling news' Tour FAQ's. Pretty good info.
Tour FAQ (http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2003/tour03/?id=features/FAQ)
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