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Old 07-16-04, 05:46 PM   #1
bboseley
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Newbie - I got questions!

I am new to bicycling in general and to the Tour de France in particular. I am absolutely fascinated by the race, the racers, and the strategy. That’s where my problem comes. I have seen each stage four times, and am beginning to pick up on some things, but is there an online primer for newbies?

I know there are lots of “races” within THE race – but why do some riders with no chance at anything go out on breakaways? Also, is there ever a stage when no one breaks out? AND, if the lead is say 2 minutes, why should they be reeled in?

This has to be the greatest sporting event ever. So glad I got into it and cycling.
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Old 07-16-04, 05:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboseley
I know there are lots of “races” within THE race – but why do some riders with no chance at anything go out on breakaways? Also, is there ever a stage when no one breaks out? AND, if the lead is say 2 minutes, why should they be reeled in?
Riders with no chance at winning the overall race go out on breaks in an attempt to win a stage. Stage wins are prestigious and are the high point of most riders careers.

Breaks will not be allowed to succeed if there's a rider who's a danger to a potential high GC rider. Breaks are also reeled in so that the sprinters will have a chance to win.

There are stages where no break happens.
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Old 07-16-04, 07:36 PM   #3
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Bob Roll has a book called the Tour de France Companion that gives a really good explanation of the Tour. It covers history, strategy, and everything else you could ever want to know.
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Old 07-16-04, 09:38 PM   #4
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the long season by bruno schull also explains a lot about the tour while the author speaks about his own season.
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Old 07-16-04, 09:41 PM   #5
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From the information I gathered, this is what I have come to. It's for the money. The sponsors like it when the team uniform gets tv coverage and publicity. So they give reward to the sprinter who gets stage win, and breakaway riders to less extent. I guess it depends on how long the breakaway lasts.
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Old 07-17-04, 06:21 PM   #6
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As stated above, there's a lot of guys that are trying to make a name for themselves. I found it interesting in Lance's book (It's not about the bike) where he pointed out that each of these guys is trying to make a living (and maybe feed a family) by riding. Why not give someone else a chance at a stage win if they're not a threat? Not only is it a good race strategy, but it's an honorable thing as well.

Another reason some riders attack is to try and limit the amount of time you will lose by, so in the end, your overall standing looks better. This helps in negotiating salaries next year.
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Old 07-17-04, 08:54 PM   #7
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there are lots of reasons to send a non-contender off in a break.

the domestiques on a team will sometimes be positioned forward early on with the anticipation of their team's contender chasing down or joining the breakaway later on. they get up there and hey! they've got a buddy there to help them.
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Old 07-17-04, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demoncyclist
Bob Roll has a book called the Tour de France Companion that gives a really good explanation of the Tour. It covers history, strategy, and everything else you could ever want to know.
Awesome book, someones I wonder if Bob actually wrote it or not, how did he manage to write while his hands were flapping around?
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