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Old 07-04-11, 06:53 PM   #1
seypat
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Idea for a stage. Your thoughts

People,

I don't really care to see the contenders getting helped along by their team mates. I would rather see the racers exposed by themselves racing for their lives. So..... here is a stage I would like to see.

22 groups of 9 (or what is left) with a rider from each team sent out in staggered times to race the stage. The times would be staggered enough where the domestiques could not drop back and help their GC contender for fear of a time drop from the race. Then we would see what the riders are made of!

Your thoughts
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Old 07-04-11, 07:00 PM   #2
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Terrible idea.
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Old 07-04-11, 07:24 PM   #3
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Laggard,

I really, really like the Lance hater in you sig. I'm one myself.

Now just tell me why you think my stage would be terrible. I'm not looking for debate just some reasoning behind a yea or nay.

I just get tired of watching a GC contender get in trouble only to be brought back by his team. I would much rather see 198 riders fighting for a stage at the end instead of 3 or 4 leadouts slinging their rider to the front. That's all. Then we have to listen to how great which ever slingshot rider crosses first is instead of the mules that got him there with a chance to win.
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Old 07-04-11, 07:33 PM   #4
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Because cycling is a team sport.
__________________
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Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.
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Old 07-04-11, 07:43 PM   #5
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It's a team sport and there are already time trials in place where riders have no one to help them but themselves.
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Old 07-05-11, 03:43 AM   #6
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personally? still waiting for another overly dangerous switchbacking mountain road(s)
downhill individual time trial. i'd settle for it as a team time trial...
mr. giro angelo z. always gives me hope...
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Old 07-05-11, 04:59 AM   #7
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mr. giro angelo z. always gives me hope...
Don't get your hopes too high...

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/is-g...t-to-be-sacked

Apparently, the challenging stages he creates (and which I love, personally) have gotten him in a spot of bother.
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Old 07-05-11, 05:50 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses.

I've always thought of cycling as more of an individual sport similar to distance running. If you are trying to determine the strongest, fastest, etc. then the competitor must be on his own. But from what I am reading here is that it is a team sport. So my bad!

The downhill mountain individual TT does seem like a great idea however!
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Old 07-05-11, 04:40 PM   #9
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People,

I don't really care to see the contenders getting helped along by their team mates. I would rather see the racers exposed by themselves racing for their lives. So..... here is a stage I would like to see.

22 groups of 9 (or what is left) with a rider from each team sent out in staggered times to race the stage. The times would be staggered enough where the domestiques could not drop back and help their GC contender for fear of a time drop from the race. Then we would see what the riders are made of!

Your thoughts
You realize there is a reason they came up with official teams don't you? Because riders would work with some riders and not others. Even to the point of over the top methods of blocking riders.

So how would you create the groups and how would you score things? I assume no riders from the same team in each group of 9. So yuo have come up with a stage where any rider with a mechanical is done, any top GC contender in a group with riders mainly from his rivals is done.

In short it looks like you want to turn a major part of the GC race into luck or the ability to buy help from other teams.

Giving the rich teams even more of an advantage.
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Old 07-05-11, 05:00 PM   #10
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What about implementing an overall time cut? It might allow breaks to succeed in later stages.
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Old 07-05-11, 05:15 PM   #11
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I've always thought of cycling as more of an individual sport similar to distance running.
Do you consider distance running to be an exciting spectator sport?
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Old 07-05-11, 05:22 PM   #12
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Do you consider distance running to be an exciting spectator sport?
Speaking of distance running, in any of the longer track events the vast majority of those who move on are based on placing within a heat, not time. That is because it is fairly common for one heat out of 3 or 4 to have all the fastest times, not because that heat was better, but because it was less tactical or had the one run from the front runner.
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Old 07-05-11, 06:46 PM   #13
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Or we could just cancel the race entirely, put everybody in a wind tunnel, and divide that number by their functional threshold power or power/weight ratio, then have the winners do a charity group ride to the Champs Elysees.

Long and short-term, planned and improvised; Tactics make the race interesting. This is why people are interested when a human can beat a computer designed to win chess matches, and not interested in two computers playing each other in chess.

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Old 07-05-11, 07:23 PM   #14
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Well I see we are getting some discussion.

Note that I did say just 1 stage!

I think what bothers me is that this is supposed to be about who is the best rider in a particular race. Because in the end it is the individual who receives the honors or the criticisms. And yet, you could argue that the individual's success or failure is based more on the strength of his team and less on his own talents. We talk about how great (fill in the blank) is, or what a choke artist (again fill in the blank) is. And yet it is the team that is mostly responsible for their success or failure. Now I am being told it is about other things.

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So how would you create the groups and how would you score things? I assume no riders from the same team in each group of 9. So yuo have come up with a stage where any rider with a mechanical is done,
The groups could be created in any number of ways. They could be random or even placed by the team managers for "matchups." Just 1 rider from each team in each group. The stage would be scored on individual time. The riders would be riding as in a regular stage. All I would be trying to accomplish is a stretching of the field like what happened on the bridge climb in stage 3. Except this time there is no team to help a guy out if he falls behind. The groups still would have mechanical support from the team cars.

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any top GC contender in a group with riders mainly from his rivals is done.
You'll have to explain this one to me. The rider controls his own destiny. If the group he is in is not going the pace he likes well he can strike out on his own. He can either slow down or attack at a faster pace. Either way he can strike out on his own. Remember, he has a guy on a radio in his ear telling him what to do anyway. But now it is up to him and him only. I think it would put a real mental strain on the GC contenders. And that is what I am looking for. No sitting in the catbird seat through the stage then taking all of the glory at the end.

Of course what I am probably thinking about is a full stage individual TT with the emphasis on just finishing. Except you have to ride it with your rivals right next to you.
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Old 07-05-11, 07:58 PM   #15
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You'll have to explain this one to me. The rider controls his own destiny. If the group he is in is not going the pace he likes well he can strike out on his own. He can either slow down or attack at a faster pace. Either way he can strike out on his own. Remember, he has a guy on a radio in his ear telling him what to do anyway. But now it is up to him and him only. I think it would put a real mental strain on the GC contenders. And that is what I am looking for. No sitting in the catbird seat through the stage then taking all of the glory at the end.
Yeah, because the other 8 riders in his group who don't give a crap about time are going do anything but sit in the catbird seat....

Seriously, stupidest idea. Ever. Let it die.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:02 PM   #16
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How about an American football game where the quarterback has no offensive line to protect him. He has to run the ball across the field and score touchdowns by himself.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:23 PM   #17
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How about an American football game where the quarterback has no offensive line to protect him. He has to run the ball across the field and score touchdowns by himself.
?

Not a good analogy.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:29 PM   #18
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People,

I don't really care to see the contenders getting helped along by their team mates. I would rather see the racers exposed by themselves racing for their lives. So..... here is a stage I would like to see.

22 groups of 9 (or what is left) with a rider from each team sent out in staggered times to race the stage. The times would be staggered enough where the domestiques could not drop back and help their GC contender for fear of a time drop from the race. Then we would see what the riders are made of!

Your thoughts
I don't think it would work. Because when you have one person from each team in each subgroup they are all going to be seeking to draft and not pull to give themselves a better chance at the end of the race. So there is no incentive for any of them to go all out. So they are just going to play with each other to jockey for position in the pace line. The very physical dynamics of bike racing lead to the team racing strategies. These tactics weren't just invented in a vacuum. They evolved from the real conditions of the road. The ITT is the real test of truth but is somewhat more boring (on TV) to watch. The only way for what you describe to take place would be if the race course were so wide that it could accommodate all racers at the same time to have their own lane to stay in and enough distance between them that aerodynamic interactions did not take place. The only place I can see this happening is at an off road race in the desert where all racers start at the same time. But not in a bunch and may not draft. They just go straight ahead first one across the finish line wins.

Last edited by Hezz; 07-05-11 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 07-05-11, 08:59 PM   #19
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How about an American football game where the quarterback has no offensive line to protect him. He has to run the ball across the field and score touchdowns by himself.
Every time someone accuses football fans of being afraid to do to their own sport what they want to cycling or soccer, I reference the addition of the forward pass and adding the 2-point conversion. There probably isn't a bigger rule change in all of modern sports bigger than adding the forward pass. And I'm glad for it.

Although I don't necessarily agree with the OP's idea, I don't think change is intrinsically bad, even huge change.
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Old 07-05-11, 09:23 PM   #20
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I don't think it would work. Because when you have one person from each team in each subgroup they are all going to be seeking to draft and not pull to give themselves a better chance at the end of the race. So there is no incentive for any of them to go all out. So they are just going to play with each other to jockey for position in the pace line. The very physical dynamics of bike racing lead to the team racing strategies. These tactics weren't just invented in a vacuum. They evolved from the real conditions of the road. The ITT is the real test of truth but is somewhat more boring (on TV) to watch. The only way for what you describe to take place would be if the race course were so wide that it could accommodate all racers at the same time to have their own lane to stay in and enough distance between them that aerodynamic interactions did not take place. The only place I can see this happening is at an off road race in the desert where all racers start at the same time. But not in a bunch and may not draft. They just go straight ahead first one across the finish line wins.
Finally an informative response instead of the usual "bad idea" without the reasons why. Now I am learning something!

Just to be clear, in my stage the riders would not just be racing in their group. Their time would be up against every other rider in the race. So the incentive should be there to do your best. Just like a TT. However, as some of you have pointed out there might be some wheel sitting by domestiques.

Maybe what I am looking for is a stage like today's (#4 in case midnight gets here before I finish typing) as an ITT. A stage based on stamina and duration and speed. A stage with a little bit of everything so it doesn't favor one type of rider over another. Put them out there and let them have a go at it. Then let the cream rise to the top.

I have learned a few things. (Mainly that I guess my idea sucks!) I don't think I will look as hard at the great ones (GC contenders) as I did before. They will still be the headliners, but what I am reading here is they are not the reasons I should be watching the race.

Thanks again for the discussion.
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Old 07-06-11, 02:38 AM   #21
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Don't get your hopes too high...

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/is-g...t-to-be-sacked

Apparently, the challenging stages he creates (and which I love, personally) have gotten him in a spot of bother.
fart. there goes christmas...forever.
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Old 07-06-11, 07:58 AM   #22
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Hezz made the point I was going to make. All you have to do is watch a break away just before it is caught to understand the dynamic of five guys from five different teams trying to win a race.
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Old 07-06-11, 08:08 AM   #23
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Let's make a stage and take the high-tech expensive equipment out of the equation, how about a stage riding vintage steel bikes or even 35-pound steel-rim junkers . . .
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Old 07-06-11, 12:01 PM   #24
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Finally an informative response instead of the usual "bad idea" without the reasons why. Now I am learning something!

Just to be clear, in my stage the riders would not just be racing in their group. Their time would be up against every other rider in the race. So the incentive should be there to do your best. Just like a TT. However, as some of you have pointed out there might be some wheel sitting by domestiques.

Maybe what I am looking for is a stage like today's (#4 in case midnight gets here before I finish typing) as an ITT. A stage based on stamina and duration and speed. A stage with a little bit of everything so it doesn't favor one type of rider over another. Put them out there and let them have a go at it. Then let the cream rise to the top.

I have learned a few things. (Mainly that I guess my idea sucks!) I don't think I will look as hard at the great ones (GC contenders) as I did before. They will still be the headliners, but what I am reading here is they are not the reasons I should be watching the race.

Thanks again for the discussion.
I would not say that your idea sucks. It just might be harder to carry out than you think. Also, after a few years of following pro cycling there is one thing that I have learned. It's not possible to have a race course that doesn't favor certain riders. That's one of the reasons they have varying terrain over several days. For instance, no one is going to beat FC on a flat long or medium length ITT unless he is sick or out of form. In the same token AC destroyed FC a couple of years ago in a hilly gradually uphill ITT. The issue is that there are biochemical and physiological variations in the racers. One body type will be better suited to a certain course profile than another will be. Witness PG who is very dangerous on a long hilly course with a long gradual uphill finish. But in the big mountains he will fall way behind from the top GC guys after a few big category 1 and tougher climbs.
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Old 07-06-11, 12:54 PM   #25
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What about implementing an overall time cut? It might allow breaks to succeed in later stages.
That has been in place for decades.

But you are touching on what I consider a major contributer to the problem. Too many teams, too many riders. When there were fewer riders it seemed that breaks with some of the cream could stay away. But with so many more riders this never seems to happen anymore. I think it is too many riders to help in a chase.

Look at stage 19 of the 1969 tour. The same stage was stage 19 within the past 2 years and no fireworks, but back then the peloton was splintered partway up the next to last climb. One group of 8 including at least 2 who would podium followed by a group of about 12 and the peloton (or what was left of it) behind them. And already a gap of minutes between each group.

Why? I contend because there were fewer teams, and fewer riders so there were not 3 or 4 teams who still had GC hopes in the Peleton to work together to bring everyone back.

The result was almost what the OP is hoping for, except it is 2 naturally formed groups of top riders. Oh and with each group having motivation to go fast as a group, yet each rider also having motivation to place best at the end. (There were highly placed riders in each group, the gap would make a huge difference in final placing).

I think similar things might happen if somehow such groups managed to form. The Question is how to accomplish that. Perhaps time bonuses, sizeable ones, on intermediate cat 1 and HC climbs. Hmm, how about instead of a fixed set of bonuses for placement a setup where the clock starts ticking once the first rider goes over and then everyone else can lose up to 1 or 2 minutes? (E.g the loss is limited, but potentially big).
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