Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-14-09, 10:01 AM   #1
alexdrozd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ct
Bikes: Giro 26, Giant FCR1
Posts: 100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tour de France question

Please educate me. I know the race is a team sport and the riders all have their "jobs" to do on the team. But is it predetermined who on the team (unbeknownst to us) is supposed to win and everyone else should just do their part to make that person win?

If the answer is yes, why would anyone join a team knowing they can't win individually?

If the answer is no, how do the teammates figure out how to support one another if they are all fighting to win individually?
alexdrozd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 10:34 AM   #2
Robert Foster
Banned.
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Southern california
Bikes: Lapierre CF Sensium 400. Jamis Ventura Sport. Trek 800. Giant Cypress.
Posts: 3,498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The simple answer people will join a team to support a team leader or leaders for money. It is the job they are paid for and the one they are expected to do. Still on some teams there are more than one strong rider and the team will support one or all of them to see if they can’t give them the best chance of winning the race overall. The complete answer would take too long.
Robert Foster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 10:35 AM   #3
BluesDawg
just keep riding
 
BluesDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia
Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL Comp frameset (custom build), 2015 Zukas custom road, 2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB, 1980ish Fuji S-12S
Posts: 13,245
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
As you said, each rider has his job to do based on their talents and abilities. There are a limited number of riders who have the right mix of skills and strengths to compete for the overall GC win. Others may be sprinters who try to win the flat stages with the help of other teammates who try to deliver them to the front in time for the sprint finish. Others may try for stage wins on breakaways when doing so will not hurt the team's GC contenders. Some riders are simply there to serve the others. They are professionals and that is their job.

Many teams only have one GC contender and everyone knows they will work for him. Other teams may have two or more possible GC contenders. Usually one of the contenders will emerge as the most likely to win and the rest of the team will fall in line to support him.
This can get complicated when two or more riders on a team stay equally matched throughout the tour. The team director will have to make a decision at some point or he can let them fight it out on the road.

It can get especially complicated when one of the contenders might be one of the owners of the team that the team director will work for next year.
BluesDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 11:17 AM   #4
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace
Posts: 6,540
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Same principle as football. Not everyone gets to carry the ball across the goal line but the overall goal is a team win. For most teams (except for Astana this year) it is very clear who the GC contender is-and normally it is just one rider.
jppe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 11:17 AM   #5
Hermes 
Elite Rider
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 9,746
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
Professional riders need to make a living and are paid. Like most employees, they are recruited and selected for their talent / star power which is then applied as part of a potential winning strategy across many races for the year and attracting sponsors.

Pro cycling teams are not investments per se. There are no ticket sales, TV rights, property rights, or anything that has residual value. All the money is spent and there is no revenue. Sponsors treat pro cycling as a cost of advertising. So in reality, there are no shareholders in the way that there are in sports franchises which have revenue and residual value.

An individual or company could take the lead in forming a team with the idea of generating sales of equipment through advertising. Cervelo Test Team is a prime example.

If you want to know the workings of a pro cycling team, get Bruyneel's book "We Might as Well Win". He discusses the questions you ask in detail. And the team director knows each racers' power numbers, training and track record as well as their mental toughness.

The TdF is a long race over 3 weeks. A lot can happen and the final week can be very tough on riders. On the surface, Astana looks like they have 3 or 4 GC contenders. In reality, they may have only one. However, allowing the controversy keeps Astana's name front and center.

Last edited by Hermes; 07-14-09 at 11:55 AM.
Hermes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 11:19 AM   #6
av8torjim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Bikes: Look 555, Lapierre X-Lite Team Carbon
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Why are there 3rd and 4th string quarterbacks in the NCAA and NFL? Why do some people sit the bench at a major college basketball program when they could be stars in lesser programs? Why are there several classes of minor league baseball? Most of the lesser talents realize they don't stand a chance winning a major event. They get an opportunity to earn a living doing something they love and get many of the benefits of being associated with the stars and their teams. No one wins in cycling without team support. Just look at today's stage. As good as Cavendish is, he's nowhere without a teammate to put him in position to win.
av8torjim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 11:21 AM   #7
maddmaxx 
Small Member
 
maddmaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
Posts: 7,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 172 Post(s)
It gets even more complicated when one realizes that the "team" has more than the 9 riders represented in the TDF. There may be other riders taking part in other events at the same time. There may be developmental riders awaiting their turn at the brass ring. Being picked from the overall squad to actually be part of the TDF 9 is still quite a feather in the cap of the younger riders, even if their whole race is spent bringing water bottles from the car to the lead riders.

In some respects, the question is similar to why anyone would want to be the third string punt returner for the Kansas City Chiefs.
maddmaxx is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 11:46 AM   #8
alexdrozd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ct
Bikes: Giro 26, Giant FCR1
Posts: 100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So, I guess the short answer is yes, it is predetermined.

The exception being if you have more than 1 strong rider the team director either chooses one or let's them fight it out on their own as BluesDawg said.

Thanks for clearing it up for me.
alexdrozd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 12:26 PM   #9
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexdrozd View Post
So, I guess the short answer is yes, it is predetermined.


Thanks for clearing it up for me.
Plans do not always work out. Riders get sick- have accidents- get caught out when a break occurs and so lose time- the rest of the team is not up to standard but one rider gets a lucky break.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 12:42 PM   #10
badger1
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Bikes:
Posts: 2,580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
An interesting discussion. All good points, though I don't think it's so much a matter of 'lesser/greater' talents, or of 'predetermination', for that matter, as it is simple differences, albeit pitched at a very high level. It's easy to forget that the career rouleur on a pro road cycling team has, through a combination of genetic gift + training, the ability to ride a bike 20 to 30,000 miles a year (training and racing) at speeds which the 'rest of us' can only dream of. Then there are those who excel in the specialist disciplines: sprints, climbs, and time trials. They get towed along by the rouleurs, so they can do their thing when the time comes, and win stages. Then there are those very, very few who combine the endurance of the rouleur with being really, really good at both climbing and time trialling (without necessarily being the best at either of those two specialist disciplines, though they're usually right up there in one or the other): those are the GC contenders. In one sense, as pointed out above, the lowly rouleurs are absolutely key -- the big names can do nothing without them.
badger1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 01:01 PM   #11
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Bikes:
Posts: 6,786
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 129 Post(s)
The biggest issue missing from this discussion is that pro cycling includes more than the Tour de France. A lot of these non-leader guys ARE team leaders in other races and win other events through out the year.

Lance helped Levi win in California; Levi helps Lance in France.
DiabloScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 03:51 PM   #12
reverborama
Broom Wagon Fodder
 
reverborama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Minnesota
Bikes: Fuji Supreme; Kona Wo; Nashbar road frame custom build; Schwinn Varsity; Nishiki International; Schwinn Premis, Falcon Merckx
Posts: 1,231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Also, keep in mind that there are many races within the race. Some teams don't have a legitimate GC guy. Take Columbia HTC for example. Michael Rogers is a fine rider, but he won't be on the podium. They are competing for stage wins and the Green Jersey. They also have Tony Martin who is a strong rider for the White Jersey.

Other teams like BBox or Skil Shimano are hoping to get a couple of guys into breakaways that survive and win a stage that would normally be taken by a stronger team. That's already happened a couple of times.

What happens to Astana next year will be really interesting. If they play their cards right they could have the top 3 or 4 finishers this year. Lance wants to start his own team, Alberto is talented enough to have his own team (and a rumor is that he will with the help of an F1 guys). Levi and Andreas could be the stars of other teams, too. The lineup in next year's TdF will see some big changes, I think.
reverborama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-09, 04:52 PM   #13
t4mv
ES&D
 
t4mv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Roadieville, USA
Bikes: 3Rensho, Merlin XL, Melton custom, Michael Johnson tandem, Look 481SL, Pedal Force RS
Posts: 1,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by reverborama View Post
... The lineup in next year's TdF will see some big changes, I think.
Man, I sure hope so!
t4mv is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:05 PM.