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Thread: 3km Finish Rule

  1. #1
    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    3km Finish Rule

    There was a suggestion (by Tyler Hamilton, I believe) that the tour start taking the official times for a predicted sprint finish 3km from the “finish”. The times for all of the riders would be taken at the 3km point, but the stage winner and points would be awarded at the true finish.

    The advantage would be that GC contenders and their teams could ease up at 3km without fear of loosing time, but the sprinters could still duke it out for the stage win. There could be a rule for time to finish the last 3km (within 30 seconds or 1 minute of the winner, barring crash) to keep everyone riding up to the end.

    It seems there is too much that can happen in the last kilometer of a stage that isn’t a measure of a rider’s physical ability or skill, but rather the luck of the rider. Certainly, a good team can help keep the GC riders in a good position, but is that really what should determine the TdF champion? Wouldn't it be more exciting to see Tyler challenging LA in the mountains instead of going home due to a crash in a stage that shouldn’t have affected the GC riders?

    Personally, I can't think of any disadvantage. What are your thoughts?

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

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    i say: there's no rule that says that tyler must stay in the pack. meaning: if the risk of staying in the pack and getting hurt is so great, it may be worthwile to trade in a couple of seconds and stay safe by not finishing in the bunch. i understand that seconds can determine a race (8 by lemond), but i think it's up to the rider. i don't like the proposed 3 km rule.

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    Elitist Jackass Smoothie104's Avatar
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    Was he suggesting that the time be taken at 3km, or was he suggesting that the "crash = no time penalty" zone be moved back to 3km?

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    Senior Member shaharidan's Avatar
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    it sounded like he was saying to take the time at 3km, but it wasn't really clear. he was basically saying he felt the organizers could do some things to make finishes of the flat stages safer and he was just throwing out a suggestion. it was one of those quick interviews at the start or end of the stage.
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    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    He was saying that they should move to 3K the point where if you crash you're still given the same time as the group you're in.

    As crazy as these bunch sprints are getting, it's not a bad idea.

    There are other pressing safety issues.
    i may have overreacted

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    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laggard
    He was saying that they should move to 3K the point where if you crash you're still given the same time as the group you're in.
    That's not what I recall, or at least not what I was proposing I think Tyler was stating that the official time be taken 3km from the finish so that the GC riders and their teams (dozens of riders) could ease up and let the sprinters have their space.

    Moving the same time crash zone back would reduce the risk of crashing, just the time penalty if you crashed. Changing where the official time is taken should reduce the risk of crashing for all of the riders including the sprinters.


    Quote Originally Posted by hair07
    i don't like the proposed 3 km rule.
    Why not? What aspect of the race would be diminished besides the frequency, number of riders involved and impact of the crashes? The cameras don’t even show the GC riders when the sprint is happening; I don’t think you would notice if they came in 30 seconds later.

    Right now, the sprint stages have no bearing on the GC riders other than injuring them if they crash.

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

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    G'day,

    haven't heard this suggestion before.....it sounds a little loopy to me. If a rider doesn't want to be involved in the sprint, there is ample opportunity not to. All riders in the front pack at the 1km mark are given the same time anyway. You just need to cruise across the line at the back of the bunch...stay out of the sprinters way!. Tyler would do better to go to "Bike handling 101"...is there a worse bike handler in the pro ranks? (maybe cadel Evans?),

    cheers,

    Hitchy

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    Senior Member dwatson's Avatar
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    That rule would be right up there with the new TTT rule. Maybe some people should get stronger teams and worry about rule changes. Don't get me wrong Tyler is a great rider, but he needs to find away to stay on his bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitchy
    G'day,

    haven't heard this suggestion before.....it sounds a little loopy to me. If a rider doesn't want to be involved in the sprint, there is ample opportunity not to. All riders in the front pack at the 1km mark are given the same time anyway. You just need to cruise across the line at the back of the bunch...stay out of the sprinters way!. Tyler would do better to go to "Bike handling 101"...is there a worse bike handler in the pro ranks? (maybe cadel Evans?),

    cheers,

    Hitchy

    Alex Zuelle used to fall off all the time when it rained and his glasses fogged up.

    I remeber one TDF (1995??) when Jacky Durand crashed, got up started chasing and crashed again on a tight left-hander....nearly got run over by the Castorama team car. Looked painful.....but funny to watch.

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    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitchy
    All riders in the front pack at the 1km mark are given the same time anyway. You just need to cruise across the line at the back of the bunch...stay out of the sprinters way!. Tyler would do better to go to "Bike handling 101"...is there a worse bike handler in the pro ranks? (maybe cadel Evans?),
    Actually, that's not true. You won't get the same time if a time gap of one or two seconds opens up in the pack crossing the finish line. Case in point, the uphill finish that Lance gained 7 seconds on Levi and Tyler. Your interpretation of the rule is what Tyler is suggesting!

    This rule isn't just for Tyler, but for the dozen's of other riders that have gone down in the last kilometer. Lance went down last year and this year in mass sprints, does he need a better team or better bike handling skills? A guy goes down in front of you and the best bike handler in the world is going to crash on top of him. It's pure luck that Lance came away relatively unscathed and others had to drop out of the race. Is this how a rider should win or lose the TdF Personally, I'd rather see them duke it out in the Alps than 75 places back in a mass sprint.

    I've heard people here say they don't like the rule, etc., but I would like to hear one good criticism rather than calling it "loopy"

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murrays
    It's pure luck that Lance came away relatively unscathed and others had to drop out of the race.
    -murray
    I would bet that Hamilton doesn't know how to fall. It can't be PURE luck. Some riders probably know how to brace themselves better and more quickly.
    Though a lot of it is luck...

    Turning the race off at 3km would make no sense to me. There would be no motive to attack and try to get a time gap. But moving the crash rule back to 3km makes sense.

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    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent_dube
    .
    Turning the race off at 3km would make no sense to me. There would be no motive to attack and try to get a time gap. But moving the crash rule back to 3km makes sense.
    Exactly.
    i may have overreacted

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    Is the crash rule at inside 5km at the Giro? I thought that is what it was but I don't recall for sure.

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    Mad Town Biker Murrays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brent_dube
    There would be no motive to attack and try to get a time gap. But moving the crash rule back to 3km makes sense.
    How many meaningful time gaps have been created by attacks in the flatter sprint stages?? The rule could certainly be used on a stage by stage basis; it wouldn’t apply to steeper uphill finishes (where Lance got a few seconds on the others last week), but would be applied on flat stages.

    Again, I would rather see the GC contenders win on skill rather than luck. We can’t take all the risk out, but the most serious crashes all seem to occur in the last few kilometers.

    -murray
    "I feel more now like I did than when I first got here"

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    It happens, where a rider breaks free. Even when it doesnt, it changes the race when riders try to. And if a group of sprinters gap the field at the finish, they deserve to get those seconds.

    It's like telling the field how the stage "should" end. Like declaring in pre-race... 'this stage must be for bunch sprinters'

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    Senior Member glenghillie's Avatar
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    okay, this may just be a stupid question, but wouldn't taking the official time aqt 5k simply move the sprint back. Sure they would still go tot the finish, but if time is the issue for the person, instead of king of the mountain, best sprinter, or best rookie rider, that would move the distance to make up time back.

    So you would sort of have 2 spints, one for the time and a second for the stage.

    I know I am just barely a novice at this, but has this occured to anyhone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glenghillie
    So you would sort of have 2 spints, one for the time and a second for the stage.

    I know I am just barely a novice at this, but has this occured to anyhone else.
    Good point.
    You could have GC riders attacking from the field to hit the 3km to go banner with a split from the field. The sprinters teams wouldn't necessarily stop them if they knew they would reel them back in by the actual finish.

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    But the sprinters teams would try to real them back if they didn't want to lose time. As I understood what Hamilton was suggesting; Take the official time gaps at 3k, all points and the actual stage winner awarded at the finish line. The GC guys could ease off and let the sprinters teams have at it without worrying about keeping close to them so a 2 sec gap doesn't open up and they lose some time.

    Personally, I think it is part of the race. Deal with it, make your decision based on how you perceive the risk and decide where you want to be. Drop to the back of the peloton with your team and get to the outside and take the risk that you may lose 10 sec on some of the sprint stages. They already have the rule about if there is a crash that holds up the rest of the peloton that everybody gets the same time

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    Lance Hater Laggard's Avatar
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    Ultimately I agree with Paniolo. It's part of the race. You choose to take the risks.

    A more important problem is the increasing amount of road furniture and roundabouts. I remember two serious crashes caused by those stupid markers in the middle of the road.

    One more thing: If cities can't supply at least 2k of straight road at the finsh, they should not be allowed to host a finish. These turns at 500k to go are just stupid.
    i may have overreacted

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