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Old 07-30-09, 03:57 AM   #1
deepakvrao
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Question regd last stage of TDF [probably stupid]

Why did commentators say on the second last day that the standings were decided? Is it a tradition that standings will not be contested on the last day? Then what about the sprinters? I know this must be really dumb but this is the first cycling event that I am following. I never even saw the last day telecast.
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Old 07-30-09, 05:19 AM   #2
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Why did commentators say on the second last day that the standings were decided? Is it a tradition that standings will not be contested on the last day? Then what about the sprinters? I know this must be really dumb but this is the first cycling event that I am following. I never even saw the last day telecast.
It would be almost impossible to make up/take any time from anyone in the general classification on the last stage (too flat). So it's basically understood that it's a celebratory parade until they get to Paris, after which the sprinters' teams light it up on the Champs-Elysees for one of the biggest sprinter's prize in cycling.
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Old 07-30-09, 08:11 AM   #3
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So it's not contested because it almost certainly wouldn't work and it would piss everybody off - but it could happen. Ullrich said one year if he thought it was possible then he would try. Also Lemond came from second to win once when the final stage was a time trial - they never did that again.

And the green jersey competition is absolutely still up for grabs on the final day.
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Old 07-30-09, 09:06 AM   #4
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The last day is traditionally a celebratory ride into Paris and then a sprint on the Champs Elysees. Sprinters may gain or lose points, but the GC is considered done.
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Old 07-30-09, 09:30 AM   #5
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Maybe the top 3 GC standings are done, but in recent years there have been changes in the top 10 on the Champs-Élysées. In 2005, Vino won the sprint and moved up from 6th to 5th in the GC (passing Leipheimer). They used to give time bonuses for the sprint which did encourage some GC riders to go for it, but not this year.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:02 AM   #6
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One thing to add. To win any jersey one must finish. It was not that long ago that Abdu had enough of the lead in the green jersey that he did not need any points in PAris to win, but hit a policeman during the sprint.

Moderatly happy ending. He was able to walk his bike across the finish line. But he was out for months after that. And if he had not crossed the line no Green.

The thngs decided is not unlike other sports. At some point a lead can not be overcome. This is typical for the GC in the major tours. But some year it will be seconds and a stage like this years with a small climb is enough to break up the peleton if GC leaders are attacking all out.

The Tour organization has planned pretty well. If it is close there is a chance for a break that gets the needed seconds. If not close it is a sprinters stage, but the hairpin turns in hte circuts provide just enough of a counter advantage to a break to give it a chance and some drama. And when all that plays out to nothing there is still a sprint that every sprinter cares about very very much.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:24 AM   #7
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Think of it as the 4th quarter and your team is up by 7 touch downs. There's 1:42 left in the game and the losing team has the ball. Sure they might score one more touchdown, maybe two (if your team fumbles a time or two) but the game has pretty much been decided. Sometimes it's a little closer but usually the last stage is more of a a coronation ceremony with some fireworks at the end.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:06 AM   #8
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One thing to add. To win any jersey one must finish. It was not that long ago that Abdu had enough of the lead in the green jersey that he did not need any points in PAris to win, but hit a policeman during the sprint.

Moderatly happy ending. He was able to walk his bike across the finish line. But he was out for months after that. And if he had not crossed the line no Green.
Actaully today, with the 3km rule, I believe he would have still won the Green jersey.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:15 AM   #9
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Actaully today, with the 3km rule, I believe he would have still won the Green jersey.
Even with the 3 km rule, a rider has to finish legally. The rule just means he won't lose time.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:26 AM   #10
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Even with the 3 km rule, a rider has to finish legally. The rule just means he won't lose time.
asgelle, I think for once you're wrong on a rule question.

U.C.I. 26.027 states in pertinant part:

"If as the result of a duly noted fall in the last 3 kilometers, a rider cannot cross the finishing line he shall be placed last in the stage and credited with the time of the rider or riders in whose company he was riding at the time of the accident"

Thus, to the extent the UCI rule governs, you would not not be DQ'd from a disabling injury in the last 3km of the final stage.
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Old 07-30-09, 11:40 AM   #11
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Actaully today, with the 3km rule, I believe he would have still won the Green jersey.
I think you are right. But of course 3010 meters out...

I would not be surprised if Abdu's case was one of the reasons the rule was changed. And for stages before the last it looks like as long as the rider can start the next day he is OK. That also is good, he takes a nasty crash in hte last 3kms and he can be checked out carefully.
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Old 07-30-09, 12:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
Why did commentators say on the second last day that the standings were decided? Is it a tradition that standings will not be contested on the last day? Then what about the sprinters? I know this must be really dumb but this is the first cycling event that I am following. I never even saw the last day telecast.
Flat stages only tend to affect the GC standings if there is a big crash, or if something like crosswinds break the race into multiple packs. Otherwise, it's near impossible for a GC contender to gain any time on rivals, because of the way drafting works. Time trials effect the GC because they ride alone, each to the individuals ability. And mountain stages effect the GC because they're much more difficult than flat stages (causing the weaker and stronger to separate) and mostly because on a mountain climb, drafting is far less significant of an aid than it is on a flat road. A weaker rider can't just ride in the draft of a stronger rider up a mountain like they can on a flat road.
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