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Old 07-28-08, 10:50 AM   #1
save10
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autobus/gruppetto speed

does any one know how fast the sprinter guys in the gruppetto are climbing during the last HC climb of a stage? The broadcast sometimes mentions the leaders speed. I've always wondered this.
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Old 07-28-08, 11:46 AM   #2
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You could do some math. The elimination time on a mountain stage is up to 118% of the winner's time.

So with a 5 hour stage time, the autobus needs to be in within about 50 minutes of the stage winners time. So on stage 17 if you started L'Alpe say 15 minutes down, you'd have a cushion of about 30-35 minutes. Which means you'd have to climb at about 60% of the leader's speed.

Based upon personal observation, I'd guess around 8mph to be typical for the Autobus on the big climbs. Of course it varies depending on the situation.

They pretty much have it to a science and go only as fast as they have to. Also if the bus has enough passengers, they can finish outside the time limit, and still not be eliminated.
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Old 07-28-08, 12:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
You could do some math. The elimination time on a mountain stage is up to 118% of the winner's time.

So with a 5 hour stage time, the autobus needs to be in within about 50 minutes of the stage winners time. So on stage 17 if you started L'Alpe say 15 minutes down, you'd have a cushion of about 30-35 minutes. Which means you'd have to climb at about 60% of the leader's speed.

Based upon personal observation, I'd guess around 8mph to be typical for the Autobus on the big climbs. Of course it varies depending on the situation.

They pretty much have it to a science and go only as fast as they have to. Also if the bus has enough passengers, they can finish outside the time limit, and still not be eliminated.
Sorry, doing the math will not work. The whole point of the autobus is that the Tour (actually by rule) will not eliminate 1/4 of the riders or so. If the Sprinters stay in a group they all stay safe.

EDIT: Oops. sorry, see you already mentioned this.

I do think they have the politics down to almost as much of a science as they have the timing of the catch on flat stages. Even when they have enough passengers they don't want ot go slow enough to upset the organizers.
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Old 07-28-08, 12:23 PM   #4
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They are going slow enough to hop off the bike and take pictures with the family. They are going slow enough to get a helmet with a camera to film the last few kilometers of the climb.
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Old 07-28-08, 01:57 PM   #5
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But they're still going fast enough to drop virtually everyone on bikeforums whenever, however they want.
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Old 07-28-08, 03:53 PM   #6
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Not sure if this has been mentioned before, apologies if it has, but it seems to put the quality of the pro riders into context...

The L'Etape du Tour sportive this year was run on the same course as Stage 10 (Pau to Hautacam). The Etape winner finished in 5hrs 38ms. Mark Cavendish (dead last on the real stage) finished in 4hrs 54... The autobus occupants are bad climbers only in relative terms...

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Old 07-28-08, 05:48 PM   #7
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fast enough to not get eliminated
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