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Reduce TDF teams to 3 riders!

Old 07-16-16, 11:48 AM
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hobkirk
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Reduce TDF teams to 3 riders!

Sometimes it is fun to be provocative!

I enjoy the minutiae of team dynamic analysis somewhat, but that is more than offset by the race having 170 riders that I will never learn or care about (cruel, I know). I recognize some of the problems, but I am sure there are many more that I've never considered.
  • This would decrease the chances for an unknown rider to rise to the top. But how many riders beyond the top 3 on a team have done that? I admit that I am excluding the temporary "fame" that can be had in a breakaway. [That's a real question: I can't think of any, but I know almost nothing.]
  • Sprint teams couldn't have 6 riders, but there have been no (?) large sprint lead-out trains this year, and I don't think it has significantly changed the results or spectator entertainment If anything, I think it would tend to promote the best sprinter winning.
  • There would be fewer backup riders when one or more of the top riders dropped out.
  • Riders would probably find it more difficult to bond with a teammate? (Only 2 potential mates instead of 8.)
  • IT BREAKS WITH TRADITION IN A V-E-R-Y TRADITION-BOUND SPORT!
But there would be some significant advantages, some of which might offset those "limitations:"
  • There would almost undoubtedly be less crashes. A lot of crashes occur because there are 200 riders in a small space. 60-70 riders wouldn't eliminate the crowd effect, but I'd think it would diminish them.
  • Team budgets would drop, top riders could get more care, etc.
  • Spectating would become more enjoyable, IMO. Race watchers would learn the name of almost every rider.

I'm curious to see your reactions and I will learn from your comments.
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Old 07-16-16, 12:23 PM
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I think there'd just be more teams as the carrying costs would be cheaper, and the riders would gravitate to those they get along best with anyway. Net zero, IMHO.
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Old 11-25-16, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by hobkirk View Post
Sometimes it is fun to be provocative!

I enjoy the minutiae of team dynamic analysis somewhat, but that is more than offset by the race having 170 riders that I will never learn or care about (cruel, I know). I recognize some of the problems, but I am sure there are many more that I've never considered.
  • This would decrease the chances for an unknown rider to rise to the top. But how many riders beyond the top 3 on a team have done that? I admit that I am excluding the temporary "fame" that can be had in a breakaway. [That's a real question: I can't think of any, but I know almost nothing.]
  • Sprint teams couldn't have 6 riders, but there have been no (?) large sprint lead-out trains this year, and I don't think it has significantly changed the results or spectator entertainment If anything, I think it would tend to promote the best sprinter winning.
  • There would be fewer backup riders when one or more of the top riders dropped out.
  • Riders would probably find it more difficult to bond with a teammate? (Only 2 potential mates instead of 8.)
  • IT BREAKS WITH TRADITION IN A V-E-R-Y TRADITION-BOUND SPORT!
But there would be some significant advantages, some of which might offset those "limitations:"
  • There would almost undoubtedly be less crashes. A lot of crashes occur because there are 200 riders in a small space. 60-70 riders wouldn't eliminate the crowd effect, but I'd think it would diminish them.
  • Team budgets would drop, top riders could get more care, etc.
  • Spectating would become more enjoyable, IMO. Race watchers would learn the name of almost every rider.

I'm curious to see your reactions and I will learn from your comments.
Be careful of what you wish for....

Grand Tours to reduce number of Team riders, for the TDF this means they will start off with 168 riders as opposed to 189. See more>>>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...fe7_story.html


The Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Spanish Vuelta organizers said in a joint statement Friday that the number of riders per team will decrease to eight, instead of the nine currently at their three-week races.
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Old 11-27-16, 06:55 AM
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It certainly would make the TTT interesting.

Not sure if simply going to eight riders for Grand Tours will make any difference. I guess we'll find out in 6 months.
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Old 11-27-16, 11:54 AM
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In many ways, reduced team sizes make racing less interesting. A field of ~60 riders won't generate the power to chase down a 5-man break, since teams sand-bag the chase. You also have the alpha riders having to do their own bottle runs, etc.

Without the lead-out train, Sagan wins every sprint. He already wins 30% without having any lead-out support.

The other issue is fatigue on the riders. If they wanted to reduce all/most of the TdF stages to <100 km, then smaller teams make sense and become realistic. But if the current stage lengths, it's not even clear that reducing team size helps. Much of the team is support dedicated to protecting the top riders. The TdF would be pretty boring if there was ~10 min separating the favorites before you ever hit the mountains.

I would have much preferred that they drop the Continental teams (at least for the Grand Tours). You'd have reduced peloton sizes, several high horsepower teams, and enough support to allow the best to shine. The Continental teams are basically just canon-fodder, and their riders have caused way too many high-speed crashes, because they pull inexperienced riders. Granted, the reduced team size will put more riders into the Continental ranks.
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Old 11-28-16, 09:21 AM
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but if you did that, wouldn't you have at least some well-funded teams (Trek?) having two teams (Trek A and Trek B) acting as one large team? just thinking out loud
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Old 11-30-16, 07:49 AM
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I actually liked the 5-man teams they had for the Olympic Road race. I think the crashes were caused by the extremely technical descents, not the the team number.
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Old 11-30-16, 09:32 AM
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Greg LeMond won the 1989 Tour de France, finishing with 3 other teammates.
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Old 11-30-16, 09:41 AM
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you want to improve pro racing...

get rid of race radios.
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Old 11-30-16, 10:31 AM
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What's wrong with racing as it is?The fact that Sky is dominating has everything to do with a talent pool and training. It won't last forever. But there's still plenty of drama.
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Old 12-23-16, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
you want to improve pro racing...

get rid of race radios.


Thank You sir for mentioning what I have been wishing for for years. No radio equals just race. Further imagine if you reduce the convoy of vehicles supporting the racers. Its a bike race that has a terrible environmental impact.
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Old 12-23-16, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
you want to improve pro racing...

get rid of race radios.

yes...Yes...YES!!!!!
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Old 12-23-16, 12:37 PM
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Tour de France will have the usual 9 man teams this year.
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Old 01-04-17, 06:05 PM
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Six per team would be plenty.
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Old 01-04-17, 06:19 PM
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There are the instances when a big wreck will take out 3/4 of a team. So... the more riders, the greater chance someone will still be able to finish. And, I think a few riders have risen through the ranks following a major crash.

I agree that the smaller races would likely be safer. And, the team dynamics of a 3 person team would certainly be different. No longer can the team leader sit in the pocket for the whole race. Perhaps there would be team alliances formed?

But, as a spectator sport... perhaps people wouldn't get so excited for say 10 racers zipping along, then vanishing over the horizon.

One could divide the race up to have multiple race classes, all doing the same course (or similar courses).

Men < 20. Men 20-40. Men > 40.
Women < 30. Women > 30

Thus, one has as many, or more people racing, just not all at the same time.
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Old 01-05-17, 10:50 AM
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I enjoy seeing a large peloton racing, and a greater number of racers participating increases the number of riders we can watch go off the front and showcase some of the great solo efforts or small breakaways that are at the heart of racing. Larger teams give more opportunities for up and coming racers to have their moment in the spotlight and show us what they're made of.

It isn't all about the yellow jersey. If it were, we'd never get to see the great sprinter battles - the whole tour would simply be the same half dozen climbers suffering up interminable switchbacks. I like things how they are, and enjoy seeing a broad range of racing styles and getting to know the younger/newer domestiques.
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Old 01-08-17, 01:29 AM
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I have never thought of bike racing as a team sport. I wish it wasn't a team sport. I would support no radios among other things.
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