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?