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Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

View Poll Results: Why the slow speeds in this year's Tour de France?
The riders are relatively clean this year -- & slow. 15 23.81%
There is no dominant leader this year -- everyone's tentative. 13 20.63%
The peloton is unified in taking a couple of rest days. 9 14.29%
All of the above. 19 30.16%
None of the above. (Please explain.) 7 11.11%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-12-07, 03:57 PM   #1
FlashBazbo
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Slower speeds at TdF: Why?

There have been a couple of stages go over the longest of the time estimates. Very slow for a Tour de France. Why do you think it is?
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Old 07-12-07, 04:23 PM   #2
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Headwinds.
Strategy.
The commentators said that today's 'uphill' finish was 78kph !
It's still the first week, dont' jump to conclusions.
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Old 07-12-07, 05:47 PM   #3
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less dope. easy.

but im sure there are still some planing on auto-transfusions the day before the alps.
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Old 07-12-07, 06:35 PM   #4
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Not enough breakaways, and only CSC chasing. There was only one very slow stage... it being the longest, and there not being that many yet makes a big difference.
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Old 07-12-07, 07:00 PM   #5
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Well,

Stage 3 or 4 (cannot recall immediately) was right after a significant crash the day before. I think there was a feeling when a small group broke that they were all not going to challenge for anything, and the entire peleton kind of took the day off.

I am not convinced yet that the Peleton is clean until all test results come back (and even then I will not be completely convinced). However, I think there are some signs. Boonen broke on a relatively easy hill. I know he is not a climber, but I was even surprised at this. I just do not see him breaking on that hill in prior years. Any other opinions?
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Old 07-12-07, 07:13 PM   #6
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Drugs, or lack thereof.

Mark my words, this will be one of the slowest, if not the slowest, Tour in modern cycling.
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Old 07-12-07, 07:16 PM   #7
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how bout protesting a ridiculously long and pointless flat stage? why not make true sprinter stages and just start the tour with a bunch of short, circuit type races? why send the sprinters 240 km?
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Old 07-12-07, 07:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by deadly downtube
how bout protesting a ridiculously long and pointless flat stage? why not make true sprinter stages and just start the tour with a bunch of short, circuit type races? why send the sprinters 240 km?
Interesting idea. As it stands the TDF GC seems heavily in favor of climbers. Would it make more sense to have several 80-100km flat stages in the mix to favor the sprinters.
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Old 07-12-07, 07:41 PM   #9
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Drugs, or lack thereof.

Mark my words, this will be one of the slowest, if not the slowest, Tour in modern cycling.
Ya, if Floyd goes down there will not longer be a feeling that you can get away with it. If everyone is clean everyone will need more recovery time and some stages will be slow. However, there was a strong headwind on the one slow stage.
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Old 07-12-07, 07:47 PM   #10
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I think the problem with that stage was the fact that it was 240km of nothing by flat. It was like a long RAAM ride for christ sake.

And I agree, the TdF is geared towards climbers. However, the Classics are geared towards sprinters, and at least in the TdF there is a Points Competition to give clydesdales like Boonen some reason to ride.

I think a Crit would be a fantastic addition, but, tradition is important with the TdF, and to throw in Crits would (a) go against tradition and (b) risk injuries to the actual GC contenders needlessly.
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Old 07-12-07, 07:49 PM   #11
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slow? well try to ride at 43 km/s average during 4 or 5 hours...if it was flat i might agree but today's stage it had 2 big hills for example, and the sprint was uphill at over 70 kms/h thats freaking fast.

As somebody said also, still mountain stages to come, less dope (probalby thats why not italians doing their stuff this year?, sorry for the generalization.) i dont think they are going slow at all. If it was like that for sure vino and his guys would had been abled to chase the main peloton and they simply couldnt. The main bunch was flying going uphill dude...

cya
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Old 07-12-07, 07:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadly downtube
how bout protesting a ridiculously long and pointless flat stage? why not make true sprinter stages and just start the tour with a bunch of short, circuit type races? why send the sprinters 240 km?

because all those miles serve to drain the collective tank of the peloton and gc men. In the scope of three weeks how a rider handles all those miles is a big part of winning the various jerseys.

these guy's sprints are that much more impressive knowing they are coming after 200+km in the sadle.
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Old 07-12-07, 08:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by VT Biker
And I agree, the TdF is geared towards climbers.
compared to the other grand tours, the tour favors time trialists more than anything. the vuelta and giro regularly go over more and steeper mountains than the tour, and in the last 15+ years the only pure climber to win the tour was Pantani. all the other winners (Lance, Jan, Indurain, Riis, LeMond) were time trialists first, but also managed to be good climbers.
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Old 07-12-07, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadgator
compared to the other grand tours, the tour favors time trialists more than anything. the vuelta and giro regularly go over more and steeper mountains than the tour, and in the last 15+ years the only pure climber to win the tour was Pantani. all the other winners (Lance, Jan, Indurain, Riis, LeMond) were time trialists first, but also managed to be good climbers.
+1

I do think there is less dope.
It is a 3 week race, so maybe the peloton was content to ride recovery for a day.
There is no exceptionally strong GC contender, so they want to let things play out.
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Old 07-12-07, 08:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultraman6970
slow? well try to ride at 43 km/s average during 4 or 5 hours...if it was flat i might agree but today's stage it had 2 big hills for example, and the sprint was uphill at over 70 kms/h thats freaking fast.

As somebody said also, still mountain stages to come, less dope (probalby thats why not italians doing their stuff this year?, sorry for the generalization.) i dont think they are going slow at all. If it was like that for sure vino and his guys would had been abled to chase the main peloton and they simply couldnt. The main bunch was flying going uphill dude...

cya
On average for the Tour, yes, they have been very slow. For common national-level pros, they have been fairly quick -- but this isn't some national-level weekend race. At least twice, they have exceeded the allowed television time (although the networks have extended, thankfully). Compared to the historic norms for similar terrain and distance, this year's Tour is slow -- and it has taken the Tour officials and the networks by surprise.
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Old 07-13-07, 07:10 AM   #16
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No one gives a rat's ass about stage speeds - only about results. If they can get away with going slower, they will.
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Old 07-13-07, 11:35 AM   #17
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The slower speeds in the long flat stages have nothing to do with doping or not. It is purely a matter of tactics. No teams wanted to take the front and up the pace, so it was slow. The same thing happens in amatuer races all the time. Slower speeds in the mountians and/or time trials could indicate less doping, but it will never be a meaningful indication since there are so many other factors (tactics, weather, stage difficulty and order, crashes, yada yada yada).
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