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Old 07-19-11, 12:29 PM   #1
Glades2
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Individual Tour Cyclists

When was the last time the TDF allowed individual riders - it's fun to watch, but the truth is that these are the same guys we see the other 9 months of the year, and in Tour history there was a time when individual racing cyclists did complete...

At the least, perhaps TDF organizers should allow Olympic cyclists consisting of individuals or small contingents from the various countries to compete, as well - it would certainly give the Tour a lift...

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Old 07-19-11, 01:17 PM   #2
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No it wouldn't.

The last tiem there wer eindividuals in hte TDF was 1937, the same year as deraileurs were allowed. That was also a time before support was even close to what it is now.

The last thing the TDF needs is more bodies, esp ones that are apt to be unready for Tour riding.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:25 PM   #3
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At first blush, I like the idea of individuals on the tour if there were a qualifying method that would allow an individual entry. I doubt that it'll ever happen in my life time however.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:48 PM   #4
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The big issue is support. Its not cheap to ride in grand tour. Just the logistics alone would create a big problem for an individual rider. Even an individual rider is going to need daily support. Think about the bike maintenance, food, travel all over France (and neighboring countries in some years), etc. That takes money. There's more to it than just riding in the race.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:51 PM   #5
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In 1933 an individual got on the podium of the TDF, so some of them were actually very good riders. Actually in 1933, Guiseppe Martano (riding as an individual) would have won the TDF if it was not for the time bonuses that were awarded to stage winners (2 minutes).

The individuals had to pay for their own meals, hotels, and arrange for their own travel. It must have taken an amazing commitment.

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Old 07-19-11, 10:00 PM   #6
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Not the TDF, but how about Fred Birchmore. I think he was the most famous "individual" in a bike race ever!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_%28bicycling%29
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Old 07-20-11, 07:12 AM   #7
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Individual...

Thanks for the comments - I agree that the logistics of supporting one rider in a GT would be a problem (and expensive) but again if that's no longer possible perhaps the Olympic solutiion would work, since countries could at the least afford the expense of sending a qualifying contingent or sole participant...

In these post-Armstrong years the Tour could use something to increase it's popularity - the crowds this year seem average to slightly below average (as with all sporting events due to the ongoing recession in many countries), but that aside it would definitely increase the Tour's excitement level if they allowed riders who are not associated with "the usual" professional teams that are seen throughout the year...

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Old 07-20-11, 09:40 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comments - I agree that the logistics of supporting one rider in a GT would be a problem (and expensive) but again if that's no longer possible perhaps the Olympic solutiion would work, since countries could at the least afford the expense of sending a qualifying contingent or sole participant...

In these post-Armstrong years the Tour could use something to increase it's popularity - the crowds this year seem average to slightly below average (as with all sporting events due to the ongoing recession in many countries), but that aside it would definitely increase the Tour's excitement level if they allowed riders who are not associated with "the usual" professional teams that are seen throughout the year...

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How would having a no name rider who will not be there at the end of a stage and whose only chance to get mentioned at all except perhaps in a hopeless early break make the tour more exciting?
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Old 07-20-11, 10:06 AM   #9
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How would having a no name rider who will not be there at the end of a stage and whose only chance to get mentioned at all except perhaps in a hopeless early break make the tour more exciting?
It wouldn't. It would only add to the danger.

If you want to see individual guys you don't get so see on a regular basis, you should check out RAAM. It doesn't get much coverage, but it's fun to follow.
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Old 07-20-11, 04:26 PM   #10
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It wouldn't. It would only add to the danger.

If you want to see individual guys you don't get so see on a regular basis, you should check out RAAM. It doesn't get much coverage, but it's fun to follow.
And your chances are better of meeting one of the riders someday. My local social club at least used to schedule a century or near century at least on one and often both of the weekend days. We got a fair number of riders showing up who wanted to do centruy a week or the like. But one time we got the defending womens RAAM champion show up for one of the ones through the mountians. Nice lady and since the routes of shorter rides did not split off for a few miles it meant a lot of people ended up riding with her for a few miles and most did not even know it.
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