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Points Competition Design Strategy

Old 05-18-15, 11:50 AM
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DiabloScott
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Points Competition Design Strategy

It seems to me the locations of point sprint lines are frequently not very well thought out. If the strategy is to get sprinters to go for the points jersey then why do they put the lines in places where breakaways are likely? Guys going for points don't go in breakaways and guys in breakaways just ignore the points - that's real exciting to see a break roll across the line as if it weren't there. If the strategy is to get breakaways to form by mixing up the flow of the race, then the intermediate spots should be early and weighted heavily. What are these course designers thinking? It almost seems like they give the matter no thought at all.

What's the best strategy for placement of these point sprints? How should intermediate points be weighted relative to finish line points? How would you do it if your objective were to have an exciting competition for the points classification?
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Old 05-18-15, 12:49 PM
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I think the Tour had the right idea when they stopped having 3 different sprint locations with small points totals, but just had one big one. It meant that anyone with serious designs on the green jersey had to compete, and it meant that even with a 4 or 5 man break up the road, there were still points on offer when the peloton came rolling through. On the other hand, it meant the green jersey contenders had to sprint twice a day, so the stage-only guys (Kittel, Greipel) were that little bit fresher when going for the finish.

I have to say, I hope Giant give Degenkolb licence to be more than just Kittel's leadout man this year. I think he and Kristoff could both push Sagan really close for the jersey. We haven't had an actual competition for it in I don't know how long.
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Old 05-18-15, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinste
I think the Tour had the right idea
I do like the idea of trying to separate the points competition from sprinting for stage wins... no points for stage wins - maybe throw in some points on short tough climbs, or close to the finish so the stage winner hopefuls don't go for them. It would be more of an aggressive rider competition, or combative riding trophy.
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Old 05-18-15, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
I do like the idea of trying to separate the points competition from sprinting for stage wins... no points for stage wins - maybe throw in some points on short tough climbs, or close to the finish so the stage winner hopefuls don't go for them. It would be more of an aggressive rider competition, or combative riding trophy.
I think that would mean resurrecting the old red jersey competition.

I think the original idea of the green jersey wasn't that it was a "sprinter's jersey," more that it rewarded consistently finishing at the front, rather than sitting in the bunch. From 1905 to 1912, the winner of the Tour was decided on points before they switched back to time. The rationale for the original "green jersey" was that it rewarded riders for consistency, getting as good a finishing place as possible every day. That evolved into being a sprinter's competition because they turned out to be the more consistent high placers. Personally, I'd rather all stages be scored equally for the points comp, than giving flat stages a premium. The yellow jersey doesn't really reward sprinting at all, but to me the green jersey shouldn't be all about sprinting only.
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Old 05-18-15, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
It seems to me the locations of point sprint lines are frequently not very well thought out. If the strategy is to get sprinters to go for the points jersey then why do they put the lines in places where breakaways are likely? Guys going for points don't go in breakaways and guys in breakaways just ignore the points - that's real exciting to see a break roll across the line as if it weren't there. ?
I think your right about breakaway riders ignoring intermediate sprint points, which makes the whole idea a bit of a joke, so...

Why not eliminate breakaway riders from getting intermediate sprint points and only award them to peloton riders, the riders that care about the points? In other words, if your in the break, there are no intermediate sprint points available to you. They're non-existent to you. If you want those points, stay in the peloton. I'm probably wrong, but I can't remember the last green jersey winner of a tour in a break.

That could be problematic to those that don't believe the green jersey is a sprinters jersey, and I get that to...
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Old 05-20-15, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
I think that would mean resurrecting the old red jersey competition.

I think the original idea of the green jersey wasn't that it was a "sprinter's jersey," more that it rewarded consistently finishing at the front, rather than sitting in the bunch. From 1905 to 1912, the winner of the Tour was decided on points before they switched back to time. The rationale for the original "green jersey" was that it rewarded riders for consistency, getting as good a finishing place as possible every day. That evolved into being a sprinter's competition because they turned out to be the more consistent high placers. Personally, I'd rather all stages be scored equally for the points comp, than giving flat stages a premium. The yellow jersey doesn't really reward sprinting at all, but to me the green jersey shouldn't be all about sprinting only.
I tend to disagree. Frankly, I barely look up for the intermediate sprints. Generally you've got the green jersey guy (Sagan) and a few mid-level sprinters from second tier teams popping out for a half-hearted sprint while all the pure sprinters are sitting in and waiting for the final. I'd prefer to do away with intermediate sprints entirely and make the green jersey for the best sprinter. Heavily weight the flat stages over the hilly stages and give far more points to the first one over the line than the second, third, etc. It seems ridiculous to me that the guy who failed to win a single stage would win the green jersey by a landslide.
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Old 05-20-15, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by shinyandfree View Post
I tend to disagree. Frankly, I barely look up for the intermediate sprints. Generally you've got the green jersey guy (Sagan) and a few mid-level sprinters from second tier teams popping out for a half-hearted sprint while all the pure sprinters are sitting in and waiting for the final. I'd prefer to do away with intermediate sprints entirely and make the green jersey for the best sprinter. Heavily weight the flat stages over the hilly stages and give far more points to the first one over the line than the second, third, etc. It seems ridiculous to me that the guy who failed to win a single stage would win the green jersey by a landslide.
I'd sooner give it to the guy who fights for podium spots every day than the guy who wins stage 3 and 5, but takes a day off in the grupetto on stage 4 because a couple of Cat 3 ramps close to the finish are too hard for him.
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Old 05-20-15, 01:45 PM
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There should also be a reworking of the KOM jersey. It's usually gobbled up by some random person who sets out on a very mountainous day to take a ton of points on the early climbs of the stage. It should be HEAVILY weighted toward the final climb or two. I remember when Richard Virenque would pick his one stage and ride off in front, gathering a ton of points, then not even try for the win on the final climb. He won the jersey multiple times in a row doing this, and it means nothing.
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Old 05-20-15, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
There should also be a reworking of the KOM jersey. It's usually gobbled up by some random person who sets out on a very mountainous day to take a ton of points on the early climbs of the stage. It should be HEAVILY weighted toward the final climb or two. I remember when Richard Virenque would pick his one stage and ride off in front, gathering a ton of points, then not even try for the win on the final climb. He won the jersey multiple times in a row doing this, and it means nothing.
They made the problem you point out much worse by limiting the number of riders who get point on each climb. Now a small break going out and doing what yuo describe on just one (high number of climbs) day is almost enough for the KOM. The big winner that day just has to do decently after that.

If more riders got points the real climbers would still be getting points leading the other elite riders over the top of the intermediate climbs and at the finish while the cherry pickers would still likely get shut out at the end of the stage. (Or if not have to work hard to pick up their points at the stage end, and the is still better than now). And since there are usually 2 or 3 days with lots of climbs it would even out. riders picking up 20-25 points a climb compared to 10-15 for the guys in the main group don't fare as well if next big set it is a different group of cherry pickers and the rest again fighting for those 10-15 points.

It might still well go to someone who makes a base on one day, but he will need to either do that 2 or 3 times or pick up significant placing when not off the front.
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Old 05-20-15, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cthenn View Post
There should also be a reworking of the KOM jersey. It's usually gobbled up by some random person who sets out on a very mountainous day to take a ton of points on the early climbs of the stage. It should be HEAVILY weighted toward the final climb or two. I remember when Richard Virenque would pick his one stage and ride off in front, gathering a ton of points, then not even try for the win on the final climb. He won the jersey multiple times in a row doing this, and it means nothing.
The Tour gives double points for summit finishes. That was a big reason Majka, with his 2 summit stage wins, was able to overhaul Purito, who was trying to hoover up the early points, for the KOM jersey last year. I'd like to see them extend that to any final climb over 1000m in the last 20-25km of the stage, because anyone who leads over the top of the Tourmalet isn't going to ease up on the descent into Bagneres/Luz St Sauveur.
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Old 05-29-15, 07:33 PM
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The Tour of Belgium is trying something new.

It's called the Golden Kilometer, and it consists of 3 sprint points in one kilometer, giving the riders 6, 3 and 1 second bonuses.

The idea is to make the payoff so tempting, that the peloton will really go after the 10 available seconds. It hasn't really panned out yet in the first 2 stages, because there were breakaway riders out there to grab all the points, but is interesting and it can work if there is no breakaway.
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