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Final stage as formality... only TdF, or is it all stage races?

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Final stage as formality... only TdF, or is it all stage races?

Old 03-01-07, 02:28 PM
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superslomo
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Final stage as formality... only TdF, or is it all stage races?

I didn't get to see the final stage of the ToC, but I was wondering whether stage races generally share the kind of gentleman's agreement that the TdF seems to show, where riders don't contest the GC leader on the final day, and don't attack for the overall win on the ride into Paris.

Is that a pecularity of the race itself, or is it a common practice of stage racing in general??
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Old 03-01-07, 02:46 PM
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Watch the final stage of the 1989 Tour de France and see how much formality that one was. Levi was attacked by Danny Pate on stage 7. At one point, Pate had a 3 minute lead over Levi, and was 2'31" behind Levi.
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Old 03-01-07, 02:51 PM
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Definitely not in the ToC. There was a good breakaway that nearly stayed away, and potentially could have shaken up the GC.

Also, probably not the case in most other 1 week stage races.

I'd say it's usually the case in the grand tours since the GC leader has a big enough lead and team to prevent any long breakaway from succeeding.
Maybe I'm confused, but didn't Vino move up a spot on the final day a couple years ago in the TdF by picking up some bonus time in an intermediate sprint?
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Old 03-01-07, 03:01 PM
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I think it was in '05. IIRC, he picked up time in the intermediate sprint and then took the stage win and got another time bonus. There was some contraversy because the officials had originally said they were doing away with the final time bonus because it had been raining and they didn't want it getting too dangerous on the slick cobbles.

I think Vino wound up moving up to 5th and bumped Levi down to 6th?
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Old 03-01-07, 03:29 PM
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I know about '89 in the TdF, but it was a little bit weird as it was an ITT, right? I can see that being an all-bets-off scenario, but generally it seems like the GC leader doesn't get attacked on the stage through the Champs Elysees.
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Old 03-01-07, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pizza Man
Definitely not in the ToC. There was a good breakaway that nearly stayed away, and potentially could have shaken up the GC.
That breakaway never had a chance. They could have reeled them in easily at any given point in time.
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Old 03-01-07, 04:43 PM
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It's a bit of a problem in the Tour de Georgia because it reduces an already short stage race by one more day. The way to get around it, and make it MUCH more exciting, is to make the last day a TT.
Won't happen, I know. But otherwise, yes, I feel that it's largely ceremonial in the shorter stage races that I've seen here in the US.
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Old 03-01-07, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselDan
Watch the final stage of the 1989 Tour de France and see how much formality that one was. Levi was attacked by Danny Pate on stage 7. At one point, Pate had a 3 minute lead over Levi, and was 2'31" behind Levi.
Or 1968 or 1975. It is as much a formality as the last minute of a basketball game. In other words if the 'game' is out of reach it is just played out, if still in doubt it is played hard.
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Old 03-01-07, 07:05 PM
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+1 On the GC leader usually leading a team that can handle challenges on the last day. That is why he is the Leader by that time. But I have been around bike racers and teams long enough to know that racers are so competative that if they thought they could do it, they would.
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Old 03-02-07, 11:06 AM
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I think the size of the GC lead factors into whether a final flat stage is truly competitive for GC. If the lead were only 5 seconds heading into Paris, I think things might be different.
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