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Old 07-09-10, 09:25 AM   #1
SunSwingsLow
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Intermediate Sprint Points??

When was the last time any of the green jersey contenders even contested an intermediate sprint?

Seems those intermediates are for a different era of racing thats been long since been over with.

KOM intermediates have a real impact on the polka dot jersey, while sprint intermediates almost never have any impact.

is there anything that can be done to increase green jersey contention at those intermediate points between the contenders?
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Old 07-09-10, 09:50 AM   #2
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Hushovd, last year (2009), padded his lead with intermediate sprints on a hilly stage after Cavendish trash-talked him.

In 2008, I believe Oscar Freire did a similar thing.

Both ended up winning the green jersey.

Last edited by efficiency; 07-09-10 at 09:58 AM. Reason: Freire
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Old 07-09-10, 09:52 AM   #3
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It's mostly an advertising opportunity for PMU I think than anything really to do with the race. Hushovd did earn his green jersey last year in part by winning intermediate sprints though, so the points aren't totally useless.
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Old 07-09-10, 10:02 AM   #4
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Make them worth more points? If the intermediate sprint points added up to the finish line points, riders would be more motivated to be in that breakaway, or to reel in the attacks earlier. As it stands now, you can take all the intermdiate points and not be any better off than finishing 8th place..
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Old 07-09-10, 10:23 AM   #5
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They may be a bit of a holdover from the old "combined" competition. Up until a couple years ago, they had such a thing in the Giro, and Bettini was the master of winning it. It was removed from the Tour quite a while ago - at least 15 years back if I recall correctly.
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Old 07-09-10, 10:43 AM   #6
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They may be a bit of a holdover from the old "combined" competition. Up until a couple years ago, they had such a thing in the Giro, and Bettini was the master of winning it. It was removed from the Tour quite a while ago - at least 15 years back if I recall correctly.
Ahh...that makes some sense.

I think in general it would be dangerous to have the big guns dueling it out on the open road 3 or 4 times in a day anyways. But the intermediate sprints seem to have a very small impact in the grand scheme of the TdF.

Maybe if they put some additional money on them. Like the team that earns the most sprint points in a day gets a $5000 or $10,000 and same for KOM points.
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Old 07-09-10, 10:52 AM   #7
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These points (along with some of the cat 4 climbs) serve as a point where breaks may be launched, either by those contesting the points deciding to keep going or others making a break when they get caught. And they also serve as a place for minor teams to get a bit of publicity.

They are not a hold over from the distant past.
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Old 07-09-10, 01:03 PM   #8
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They are still very relevant to today's race and are indeed contested - except when there's a break up the road taking them all. No one sprints from the peloton for 7th because they're only awarded 3 deep, and sprinters rarely are in breaks because that's not what they do.

For an example, try the deep antiquity of last year's Tour (and btw, come now, if you're so new to racing that last year is before your experience, maybe suggesting sweeping changes isn't a good idea):

After Cav got relagated for irregular sprinting, giving Thor the jersey, Cav as usual talked a load of smack about how Thor and his team had to lobby the officials to get the green jersey because he couldn't beat him in a sprint. Thor went off the front on a mountain stage and took all the intermediate points while Cav was hanging on at the back. This secured the jersey for Thor despite Cav's 6 stage wins.
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Old 07-09-10, 01:11 PM   #9
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After Cav got relagated for irregular sprinting, giving Thor the jersey, Cav as usual talked a load of smack about how Thor and his team had to lobby the officials to get the green jersey because he couldn't beat him in a sprint. Thor went off the front on a mountain stage and took all the intermediate points while Cav was hanging on at the back. This secured the jersey for Thor despite Cav's 6 stage wins.

Do you think HTC would have allowed that had Cav not gotten regulated?
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Old 07-09-10, 02:01 PM   #10
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They either take it easy and go for the beginner sprint points, or spend their effort on the advanced sprint points. The intermediate sprint points are in no-man's land I think.
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Old 07-09-10, 02:15 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure that within the last 5 years there was a time where sprinting for the intermediate points on hte last stage was at least a talking point. I tried to look it up and could not find it. But a problem there is that I'm also pretty sure one rider needed them to have any reasonable chance, the other just needed to not lose any and then not losde huge in Paris. All you need to do to accomplish that is make sure a break of 3 or more goes away. If it is 5 or 6 there is almost zero chance you will see anything in the results. There will likely be a rider from the team that is 'defending', but he will let others get the points. He does not need them , it makes no difference to him who gets them as long as it is not teh guy competing with his teams sprinter for Green.



And yes this is an example of the kind of implicit deals that get struck in a Grand Tour.
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Old 07-09-10, 02:57 PM   #12
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A couple years back Vino jumped a place on the final day due to time bonuses, but I think it was the bonus at the finish line that did it. We might not be thinking of the same thing.

fwiw - Winning the intermediate sprint does give your team a chunk of change.

800 euro for first, 450 for second, 300 for third.
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Old 07-09-10, 04:56 PM   #13
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Do you think HTC would have allowed that had Cav not gotten regulated?
No way was Cav following Thor over the mountains. Even if HTC marked him with someone else and stole some points, Thor's going to end with more points then Cav at the end of the day.

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I'm pretty sure that within the last 5 years there was a time where sprinting for the intermediate points on hte last stage was at least a talking point. I tried to look it up and could not find it. But a problem there is that I'm also pretty sure one rider needed them to have any reasonable chance, the other just needed to not lose any and then not losde huge in Paris. All you need to do to accomplish that is make sure a break of 3 or more goes away. If it is 5 or 6 there is almost zero chance you will see anything in the results. There will likely be a rider from the team that is 'defending', but he will let others get the points. He does not need them , it makes no difference to him who gets them as long as it is not teh guy competing with his teams sprinter for Green.
I'm not sure I buy this. If only one guy is defending points, then the other rider is still going to get some for being second in an intermediate. It doesn't matter how big the break is; if their are only two riders concerned with points, they will be getting some.
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Old 07-09-10, 06:05 PM   #14
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No way was Cav following Thor over the mountains. Even if HTC marked him with someone else and stole some points, Thor's going to end with more points then Cav at the end of the day.



I'm not sure I buy this. If only one guy is defending points, then the other rider is still going to get some for being second in an intermediate. It doesn't matter how big the break is; if their are only two riders concerned with points, they will be getting some.
You are not getting it. You are thinking the riders in the break are the guys contending for green. I felt that was pretty clear in my post. Get a break off the front with a few guys, all non contenders for the Green. No points left when the pack gets there. And when you try to find any evidence based on what is available 5 years later it si hard to find. All that is reasonably easy to find is the results, which often do not even show a rider from any of the teams with a green jersey contender as they do the work and are happy as long as the points get swallowed before teh other teams contender gets there. Often such a break stays off for more than one spring point, letting others get teh glory helps keep the group working together.
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Old 07-09-10, 08:06 PM   #15
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You are not getting it. You are thinking the riders in the break are the guys contending for green. I felt that was pretty clear in my post. Get a break off the front with a few guys, all non contenders for the Green. No points left when the pack gets there. And when you try to find any evidence based on what is available 5 years later it si hard to find. All that is reasonably easy to find is the results, which often do not even show a rider from any of the teams with a green jersey contender as they do the work and are happy as long as the points get swallowed before teh other teams contender gets there. Often such a break stays off for more than one spring point, letting others get teh glory helps keep the group working together.
Yes. If a rider is in contention for the green is in the break, the team with the green jersey (Cervelo) will go to the front and track him down. To defend, send non-contenders in the breaks the gobble up the points. Otherwise, the green wearer runs the risk of losing the points to a contender like Cavendish, Petacchi, McEwen. For example, Hushovd and Cervelo will want breaks to get out on the road to gobble points. Or Thor himself may try to go out on stages with decent climbs in between points because he can out climb most of the sprinters. And he knows that Cavendish is looking to be back on form and can make it to Paris.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:56 PM   #16
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You're right, I was totally reading that wrong. Sending out a break with no green jersey contenders would effectively wipe out the points.
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