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  1. #1
    Senior Member FrederickH's Avatar
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    Spectator help during the TDF?

    While watching the TDF these past three weeks, I was wondering what kind of "roadside" help the spectators were allowed to give the riders. Are there any rules that prohibit the fans from rendering aid to the riders as they wait for their team cars?
    Last edited by FrederickH; 07-24-11 at 10:00 PM.
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    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I don't think any help is allowed from spectators and I know riders can be dq'd if they get pushed. Of course, if a rider is way off the back and suffering the officials may look the other way.

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    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    How about the one rider waving back the motorcycle cam crew the other day? That's got to be bothersome, too.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Not the TdF, but in the 2004 Tour de Georgia when Mario Cipollini came by me near the top of Brasstown Bald, a fan beside me was yelling his name and cheering. Cipo rolled right up to us and said "don't yell, poosh!" and the fan obliged, grabbing the back of his saddle and ran, pushing him for several yards. From what I heard from others, it was one of many pushes Mario got on that climb.
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    On the Eurovision broadcast Sean Kelly said that one advantage to wearing the green jersey in the mountains is that it is readily recognizable and fans love to offer a helpful push. There's not much DQ risk for the sprinters; the Tour wants them to stay in for the Paris finish.

  6. #6
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Didn't Contador push off or swipe at a spectator that was being too "helpful"?
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    Senior Member FrederickH's Avatar
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    There was a photo of him (I'll try to find it) punching that guy...... the fan was dressed like a doctor! Found it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0W__FNIGwA
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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john View Post
    I don't think any help is allowed from spectators and I know riders can be dq'd if they get pushed. Of course, if a rider is way off the back and suffering the officials may look the other way.
    I believe it's more likely that they'll be fined. Each day there are several riders fined for differnt kinds of infractions. To be disqualified you'd likely need to have a bigger infraction.
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    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Not the TdF, but in the 2004 Tour de Georgia when Mario Cipollini came by me near the top of Brasstown Bald, a fan beside me was yelling his name and cheering. Cipo rolled right up to us and said "don't yell, poosh!" and the fan obliged, grabbing the back of his saddle and ran, pushing him for several yards. From what I heard from others, it was one of many pushes Mario got on that climb.
    Oh yeah. Good ol' Sideshow Mario!

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  10. #10
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrederickH View Post
    There was a photo of him (I'll try to find it) punching that guy...... the fan was dressed like a doctor! Found it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0W__FNIGwA
    Tour of California 2009 - Lance Armstrong shoves an idiot who was waving a giant syringe into a snowbank.

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  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Outside assistance is Frowned upon if not banned on all the UCI tours. Many occasions where a "Helpfull" spectator has given a shove to a rider and sent him off balance and even caused a crash. Depends on how high up the rider is- and how tired the rider is- but friendly gestures by the public will be declined and avoided as much as possible. The commisars do not like it.
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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrederickH View Post
    There was a photo of him (I'll try to find it) punching that guy...... the fan was dressed like a doctor! Found it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0W__FNIGwA
    I didn't see the guy holding a syringe in Contador's face---he should have stopped the bike and given him a big cleat mark.....
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  13. #13
    Senior Member FrederickH's Avatar
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    Does this also apply to any mechanical help that a spectator may give?
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    How they can fight their way up those mountains with a bunch of idiots waving flags and signs in their faces beats me. Personally, I would want to shove them all off the mountain.
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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrederickH View Post
    Does this also apply to any mechanical help that a spectator may give?
    Wondered about this myself but Mountain Biking where regs state "No outside asistance allowed"- I have seen a rider DQed for taking a spare tube from a spectator in a round of a UK championship.
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    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The guy is playing doctor in surgeon scrubs. He put the end of the stethoscope near AC's chest like he was checking his heart beat. Not cool.
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  17. #17
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    The riders will not take water bottles from fans - no telling what may be in the bottle.

    Biggest help fans can provide and are allowed is cheering at a safe distance and providing newspaper to riders just before long, cold downhills.

    Officials would likely turn a blind eye to mechanical help even if it is banned by the UCI/race organization. Of note, in the old days, racers were not even allowed mechanical help from their team; they had to carry their own spare tire and tubes, etc.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    The riders will not take water bottles from fans - no telling what may be in the bottle.

    Biggest help fans can provide and are allowed is cheering at a safe distance and providing newspaper to riders just before long, cold downhills.

    Officials would likely turn a blind eye to mechanical help even if it is banned by the UCI/race organization. Of note, in the old days, racers were not even allowed mechanical help from their team; they had to carry their own spare tire and tubes, etc.
    I have seen a few times when I rider went down or had a mechanical where the bike could be fixed without help from the team car or neutral support where a fan would push start a rider. Exactly like the team mechanic would do. Very well doen.

    Of course this was 5-10 years ago.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    The riders will not take water bottles from fans - no telling what may be in the bottle.

    Biggest help fans can provide and are allowed is cheering at a safe distance and providing newspaper to riders just before long, cold downhills.

    Officials would likely turn a blind eye to mechanical help even if it is banned by the UCI/race organization. Of note, in the old days, racers were not even allowed mechanical help from their team; they had to carry their own spare tire and tubes, etc.
    I think they still should, you flat, you pull a spare out of your back pocket, lever off the tire, swap, and use an inflator to get back on the road. Yes it could come down to who can fix a puncture faster.
    The only on course help they should be able to receive is a spare tube from another rider. The only time a team mechanic should be able to help a rider on the road, is if the rider in last place has passed. Not to make it bad for the rider, but for the safety of other riders.

  20. #20
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    At chaingate in 2010, a spectator was approaching to help get Andy's chain back on, but had to dodge out of the way of riders.

    I remember seeing Voeckler take a bottle of water from a spectator on one of the 2011 mountain stages to pour onto his head and neck for cooling. Also, a spectator gave him a push-start from his parking lot excursion during that 1 descent where he misjudged 2 corners. I remember seeing spectators provide a few push-starts to riders who had fallen off for whatever reason during Le Tour.

  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogster View Post
    I think they still should, you flat, you pull a spare out of your back pocket, lever off the tire, swap, and use an inflator to get back on the road. Yes it could come down to who can fix a puncture faster.
    The only on course help they should be able to receive is a spare tube from another rider. The only time a team mechanic should be able to help a rider on the road, is if the rider in last place has passed. Not to make it bad for the rider, but for the safety of other riders.
    I think the team and neutral support vehicle system they have in place works pretty well.
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