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Leaving the Tour for Olympics

Old 07-29-08, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
so what's the point of stage wins then? there wasn't a spot on the podium for most stage wins.
Correct ... but you get to stand alone on the podium at the end of the day. Plus, (and especially with 4 stage wins) you're recognized as the fastest. With a stage win, you WIN. It's not necessarily better than a green jersey ... just depends on what you want. While Erik Zabel was always one of the most accomplished riders in the TdF and won the green jersey more than anyone else, even in the years he won the jersey he wasn't always considered the most dominant sprinter. Back in those days it was often Mario Cipollini who was considered the fastest man in the world. Cavendish reminds me of him very much.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:44 PM
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The point of stage wins is the "podium" for those specific days.

Cavendish may not have a special jersey, but no matter what anyone did after each of his stage victories, nobody could take away them away.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by s1nglespeed View Post
Cavendish was smart -- he recognized that the green doesn't go to the guy with the most sprint stage wins but to the guy with the most points. You can win every sprint stage and still loose the green jersey. In several of his interviews he said he wasn't interested in the green jersey. He recognized that every time you try to chase the intermediate points, it takes a little out of your legs -- power that you won't have for the finish. He was interested in stage wins and showed a maturity beyond his years in not being distracted by the green jersey.
Usually the intermediate sprint points get gobbled up by the break, which typically doesn't include the sprinters, as sprint teams such as Quick-Step, C-A, etc. will try to keep green jersey favorites from getting in the break if attempted. I only saw the jersey contenders get a handful of points this year, where the bulk of Freire's points came from his high finishes.

I read Cavendish's quote as him saying he was so far out of the points comptetition, that he would need to go after the intermediate points.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:00 PM
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This'll be the first time I'll be closely watching the Olympics for cycling specifically...looking forward to checking it out.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:10 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by veloGeezer View Post
alot of times in the primetime coverage, tehy are already past the sprint points when they pick up the race.

the sprint points are the green circles with an "S" on the stage profile. There's also a money prize at those points.

they do that to make the middle of the stage interesting. The InterGiro compettion in the Tour of Italy is based completely on intermediate sprints. It's the second highest paying jersey behind the Maglia Rosa.

When there are time bonuses on the road, too, you can see these intermediate sprints effect the yellow jersey standings in the first week.

Sometimes a local club will take up a collection and put up their own "Primes" or sprint prizes when the race comes through their town. This happens more in the Giro, but I think the last time the Tour went through Belgium a local club did that.

It's just a way for the locals to try and get something exciting going on when the race comes through their town.
I've wondered why they do the prime time coverage the way they do. They skip all the attacks that eventually lead to one group getting away and then spend over an hour with nothing more happening than the lead of the group going up or down by a minute or less.

I'm sure you know, but for others reading this, those intermediate sprints also serve to help get breaks started. Riders may jump off for the bonus and then keep going, or others may jump when the ones who went for the sprint bonus get caught.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:17 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
I've wondered why they do the prime time coverage the way they do. They skip all the attacks that eventually lead to one group getting away and then spend over an hour with nothing more happening than the lead of the group going up or down by a minute or less.

I'm sure you know, but for others reading this, those intermediate sprints also serve to help get breaks started. Riders may jump off for the bonus and then keep going, or others may jump when the ones who went for the sprint bonus get caught.
Now that's a good point. I watched the evening coverage on VS and all they really showed was the start, and then miles and miles of the peleton cruising. I never saw any breakways or intermediate sprints. IMHO, Versus coverage of the TdF was very mediocre. It was a far cry from what I'm used to when ESPN or one of the major networks covers a sporting event.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:26 PM
  #32  
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There is the matter of recovery time. A GC contender might not be able to recover in time. I met a Member of the IOC governing body and he generously explained a few things to me. Among other things he explained some national Olympic committees say devote yourself to the Olympics as your primary goal or forget about it. Some national committees with a wealth of good riders may say either drop out of the Tour early so you will have the amount of time We think you need for recovery or forget the Tour entirely. I had a close friend who was the California Champion in a sport and a very close second to the winner of the World Championships. The USOC said he had to stop working and spend six months touring the US going to one meet after another, at his own expense, if he wanted to be selected for the Olympic team. The IOC has just as rigid a monopoly as the group putting on Le Tour and is a position to be just as (un)reasonable.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:29 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
Cavendish may not have a special jersey, but no matter what anyone did after each of his stage victories, nobody could take away them away.
And to add to those comments - each stage (day) of the Tour De France is considered a prestigious race in its own right, and winning one is as a big a deal as winning almost any other one day race - in fact bigger than most. If your goal is to win the overall tour (the "general classification" or GC competition), you may not care as much about stage wins, but if you are not a GC contender, a stage win is a lifetime accomplishment.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
I watched the evening coverage on VS and all they really showed was the start, and then miles and miles of the peleton cruising. I never saw any breakways or intermediate sprints. IMHO, Versus coverage of the TdF was very mediocre. It was a far cry from what I'm used to when ESPN or one of the major networks covers a sporting event.

1) the morning coverage had start to finish coverage of key stages if you wanted to watch it or TIVO it.

2) Lets see ESPN, ABC, or CBS, produce 21 days of coverage of an event that spans over 2100 miles of countryside. Oh yeah, we did see ESPN, ABC, and CBS provide coverage in the 80's and 90's and it sucked.

3) If you didn't see any intermediate sprints for green jersey points or KOM points you weren't paying attention. You may not have noticed too much because as alluded to above, the day's breakaway often takes the sprints points, and depending on who's in the break, the sprint may not be hotly contested.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
Now that's a good point. I watched the evening coverage on VS and all they really showed was the start, and then miles and miles of the peleton cruising. I never saw any breakways or intermediate sprints. IMHO, Versus coverage of the TdF was very mediocre. It was a far cry from what I'm used to when ESPN or one of the major networks covers a sporting event.
I think you'll watch more knowledgeably next year - it took me a long time to catch on to some of the subtleties and I still have lots of gaps in my understanding after intermittently watching for 10 or 12 years. The TV coverage bounces back and forth between the peloton and any the breakaway groups and at the bottom of the screen the scrolling text tells you what the gap is.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
2) Lets see ESPN, ABC, or CBS, produce 21 days of coverage of an event that spans over 2100 miles of countryside. Oh yeah, we did see ESPN, ABC, and CBS provide coverage in the 80's and 90's and it sucked.
For starters, HD is at least par for the course with ESPN, ABC, etc. in modern times.

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Old 07-30-08, 06:25 AM
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Are the sprint points taking simply by whichever rider passed the intermediate point first regardless of whether he was solo or in a group, or by definition do the sprint points need to be taken by a sprinter who is engaged in a sprint competition with other riders to earn them?
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Old 07-30-08, 06:33 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
For starters, HD is at least par for the course with ESPN, ABC, etc. in modern times.
But HD requires different camers. If you watch the NFL, only national games get HD. Games that are only televised in a local broadcast get standard def because HD camers are still expensive. Imagine having a helicopter and how many motorcycles riding around France with expensive HD camers on them. I think not.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
But HD requires different camers. If you watch the NFL, only national games get HD. Games that are only televised in a local broadcast get standard def because HD camers are still expensive. Imagine having a helicopter and how many motorcycles riding around France with expensive HD camers on them. I think not.
So you're equating the Tour's international coverage with a locally televised football game?
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Old 07-30-08, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I think you'll watch more knowledgeably next year - it took me a long time to catch on to some of the subtleties and I still have lots of gaps in my understanding after intermittently watching for 10 or 12 years.
+! ^^^^^ I've been following the Tour for well over 30 years and I learn new stuff all the time! And especially from some of the people here, thanks for all your insight.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:45 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
But HD requires different camers. If you watch the NFL, only national games get HD. Games that are only televised in a local broadcast get standard def because HD camers are still expensive. Imagine having a helicopter and how many motorcycles riding around France with expensive HD camers on them. I think not.
i live in the new england area and the pats come out in crystal clear HD..is there something i'm missing?

actually all new england sports are in hi def except for MLS
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Old 07-30-08, 11:56 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by veloGeezer View Post
alot of times in the primetime coverage, tehy are already past the sprint points when they pick up the race.

the sprint points are the green circles with an "S" on the stage profile. There's also a money prize at those points.

they do that to make the middle of the stage interesting. The InterGiro compettion in the Tour of Italy is based completely on intermediate sprints. It's the second highest paying jersey behind the Maglia Rosa.

When there are time bonuses on the road, too, you can see these intermediate sprints effect the yellow jersey standings in the first week.

Sometimes a local club will take up a collection and put up their own "Primes" or sprint prizes when the race comes through their town. This happens more in the Giro, but I think the last time the Tour went through Belgium a local club did that.

It's just a way for the locals to try and get something exciting going on when the race comes through their town.

There used to be an intermediate sprint jersey competition in the TdF but they merged it with the Points jersey. The Green jersey has been won by non sprinters in the past since points are awarded on every stage but I think Hinault is the last GC rider to win it.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
Are the sprint points taking simply by whichever rider passed the intermediate point first regardless of whether he was solo or in a group, or by definition do the sprint points need to be taken by a sprinter who is engaged in a sprint competition with other riders to earn them?
Whomever crosses the line first gets top points, second gets second place points, etc.

Sometimes a sprinter's team will send somebody up on a breakaway to take those points or be in a position in a breakaway to take the intermediate points so when the peloton gets to the intermediate line there is no reason for anyone to sprint for it and burn energy.

Hincapie got a few seconds of time bonus by coming in second on an intermediate sprint and it gave him the Yellow Jersey for a day or so.
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Old 07-30-08, 12:06 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
But HD requires different camers. If you watch the NFL, only national games get HD. Games that are only televised in a local broadcast get standard def because HD camers are still expensive. Imagine having a helicopter and how many motorcycles riding around France with expensive HD camers on them. I think not.
2007 Tour de France to be broadcast in high definition television

After conducting tests in 2006, France Televisions will be broadcasting the 2007 Tour de France in high definition television format. Tour organizer A.S.O. made the announcement yesterday in the Paris suburb of Roissy, with representatives of pro teams in attendance ahead of the start this weekend of Paris-Nice. HDTV tests during 2006 included coverage of the Criterium International in March and Paris-Tours in October.
Say again? The tour, as well as last year's, is HD. Versus is the bad guy here, as they chose *not* to pay for the HD stream. I'd be willing to shell out a few bucks for the month of July, just to watch it in high def.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:16 PM
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I can understand Mark heading out early. His team was cool for letting him head out early. This will give him time to rest. Train specifily for track. And get his head focused on getting gold. He kicked butt in four stages. I am sure he will remain a key team member and maybe next year make it to Paris. No Olymics to conflict with, so he can burn out in the mountains and strain through the TT and hopely show us how a real sprint is done in Paris. Lets face it a win there is hard with the high speed, and tight racing of the pack. You won't see brake aways and everyone wants to come in first.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
For starters, HD is at least par for the course with ESPN, ABC, etc. in modern times.
Covering a football game in a stadium is just not analagous to covering something the size of the TDF across 2100 miles of countryside.

Not only is the event strung out over 2100 miles, you've got 188 racers often spread out in groups seperates by miles. It's much easier to catch the action of 22 people seperated by no more than 100 yards. There simply aren't enough cameras to catch everything. Nor enough room on the TV screen to show it all.


In the 1980's CBS, and ABC tried to cover the TDF with their own cameras. We ended up with a bunch of "John Tesch" shots of spinning bicycle wheels to show the majesty of the race, and precious little actual coverage of racing.

When the Networks decided it was extremely difficult (not to mention cost prohibitive) to shoot the race with their own video feed, they started broadcasting the French television feed. That's the first time you really got actual coverage of the actual racing, and it eclipsed what CBS, ABC, and ESPN, did on their own by an order of magnitude.
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Old 07-30-08, 01:52 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Covering a football game in a stadium is just not analagous to covering something the size of the TDF across 2100 miles of countryside.
That's beside the point. The [presumably] French crews who filmed the event did a great job. You quoted my comment about HD, so in assuming that's still the issue, the problem is not the logistics of capturing the event on film but simply using the modern equipment. As someone else said they did, and VS just didn't spring for the connection.

This is understandable however, because I'll bet more people watch a locally televised football game in one city than people nationwide who watched the TdF. I guarantee if TdF had a chance at the ratings of the Indy or Daytona 500, we'd be able to watch it in IMAX quality. Money talks...

And as for my previous comment about my dissatisfaction of VS coverage, I wasn't referring to their videography, but rather their overall analysis and presentation. Bob Roll spoke to the audience as if everyone watching had the same knowledge of the sport as he did. As a first time viewer, I would have found some John Madden-like X's and O's analysis to be helpful in understanding the basic things like how the teams work together, how points are scored, different strategies, etc. Also, some other things like a *constant* ticker at the bottom showing the relationship of the yellow jersery and breakaways to the peloton would have been nice, as well as more frequent updates, like they do in a NASCAR race. I know they had something like that, but if you turned on the channel halfway through the stage, it took a long time to get caught up.

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Old 07-30-08, 04:08 PM
  #48  
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For 99% of all pro riders, a TDF stage win will be the highlight of their careers.

As far as dropping out mid-way, Peta and Cipo did it every year and took very little flack for doing so.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:47 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
There used to be an intermediate sprint jersey competition in the TdF but they merged it with the Points jersey. The Green jersey has been won by non sprinters in the past since points are awarded on every stage but I think Hinault is the last GC rider to win it.
Yup Hinault was the last. You can probably count the guys who EVER finished in the top 3 for GC and EVER won a Green Jersey on one hand.
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Old 07-30-08, 07:20 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by RiverHills View Post
That's beside the point. The [presumably] French crews who filmed the event did a great job. You quoted my comment about HD, so in assuming that's still the issue, the problem is not the logistics of capturing the event on film but simply using the modern equipment. As someone else said they did, and VS just didn't spring for the connection.

This is understandable however, because I'll bet more people watch a locally televised football game in one city than people nationwide who watched the TdF. I guarantee if TdF had a chance at the ratings of the Indy or Daytona 500, we'd be able to watch it in IMAX quality. Money talks...

And as for my previous comment about my dissatisfaction of VS coverage, I wasn't referring to their videography, but rather their overall analysis and presentation. Bob Roll spoke to the audience as if everyone watching had the same knowledge of the sport as he did. As a first time viewer, I would have found some John Madden-like X's and O's analysis to be helpful in understanding the basic things like how the teams work together, how points are scored, different strategies, etc. Also, some other things like a *constant* ticker at the bottom showing the relationship of the yellow jersery and breakaways to the peloton would have been nice, as well as more frequent updates, like they do in a NASCAR race. I know they had something like that, but if you turned on the channel halfway through the stage, it took a long time to get caught up.
1) Did you actually watch the race? As for your "ticker" it was there. There was a constantly running graphic showing the lead the break had on the peleton, and showing where the leaders in the KOM, Green points, and Yellow jersey was (that's what those little jersey icons were on the bottom of your screen.

2) VS is a cable channel broadcasting to an audience that presumably has some interest in, and knowledge of bike racing. While they do a lot to try to explain things, the level of simplicity you're asking for would be mind numbingly boring to most of the audience.

Taking your football analogy, ESPN assumes its viewers have more football knowledge and the broadcast is at a higher level, than it is on network TV, particulary for games with a mass audience, such as the Superbowl.

3) The TDF is a multi layered onion, with numerous levels going on at once. You're not going to fully understand it jsut bywatching once. Keep watching and you'll learn more and find more levels to appreciate it on.

4) from your comments, you apparently did not even understand that the race is won on total elapsed time. I'm sorry but if you know that little you're not in a postion to criticize the coverage. It would be like me going to watch Soccer coverage of the Euro Cup in Europe and complain that they didn't explain how off sides or yellow cards work.

I don't mean to discourage you from enjoying the Tour. Rather I would encourage you to watch and learn. I just think it's absurd to say the coverage sucked because they haven't dumbed it down to the level of Nascar on Fox.
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
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