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Beginning Of The End Of Pure Sprinters In TDF?

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Beginning Of The End Of Pure Sprinters In TDF?

Old 07-24-18, 10:24 AM
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colnago62
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Beginning Of The End Of Pure Sprinters In TDF?

Very suprised at how many pure sprinters are out at this point. M. Scott team didnít even bring a sprinter this year. One less person teams and tougher, punchier climbs with a lot more resistance to the legs. Could this be the end for the pure sprinter in the tour?
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Old 07-24-18, 11:29 AM
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Very good topic for discussion.

Certainly possible but not likely, I think.

This year there are not many pure sprint stages, but the parcours is different every year.

Also, Peter Sagan is a force in cycling, but no force will last forever. He has a lock on the green jersey whenever he is allowed to race, so sprinters can only race for stage wins …. And the final sprint, on the Champs Elysees, will be sparse this year because of the climbs, but next year might be entirely different.

Another issue thi8s year was that the time limits were very short. Sprinters weren’t allowed to coast quite so much.

Next year might see eight flat sprint stages and fewer intermediate stages.

Not sure, though. The race changes constantly. I notice this year there are more short stages … a few years ago the trend in Grands Tours was deadly long stages, some with five or six high-category climbs ….but it turned out that no one raced on those stages. The climbers were too afraid of burning out, so they didn’t attack until the final two km of the final climb, and usually whoever had the lead would just mark their opponents, so nothing much happened.

Maybe there will be more short, steep stages …. In which case time limits might have to stretch some.

Or maybe “pure” sprints will become much more rare, I don’t know.

As with many sports, the TV product becomes more and more important. Sprint stages are fine for networks which only cover the last hour, but for those networks which cover the while stage …. Some sprint stages are just dull (like the super-long flat stage this year.)

Another issue is that a team pretty much has to choose to support a sprinter or support a GC contender. Teams cannot do both over three weeks. The sprinter needs a lot of strong, muscular lead-out teams, and GC contenders need a lot of skinny climbers.

Part of Sky’s success is that they are entirely focused on GC, and they don’t mess about with hiring anyone who cannot pull like a horse up a hill. Quick Step is a stage/sprint team, and good at it …. But not really in the GC. They can apparently keep their sponsors on board with their wins in monuments.

Teams that have more limited budgets can’t really choose so many options—maybe a good sprinter whio can wheel-surf, but a good sprinter (Caleb Ewen is the perfect example) will leave a team which won’t hire a dedicated lead-out squad.

At the same time no GC threat can possibly be mounted without several dedicated climbing lieutenants—so no good GC rider would want to stay on a team which didn’t provide a solid chance to win.

The GC squad can still hope for stage wins if they cannot get up in the GC—but in any Grand Tour there are only maybe three or five stages where the breakaway will be allowed to escape (depending on how tight the GC is.)

If there were three or four more riders with a fair chance at a high GC finish this year, all those huge breakaways would be half that size, because no one would join the break if they needed to support their GC rider, and the GC teams wouldn’t let anyone get up the road.

So …. A sprint team can bring a few climbers and hope for a few sprint wins and a few lucky breakaway stages …. But take away the sprint stages, and the teams have a lot fewer options ….

This is where losing that one extra rider makes a difference. One less rider, which means more often your breakaway specialists will be tired when you need them.

Fewer sprint stages—fewer chances to get Some kind of publicity for the team.
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Old 07-24-18, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by maelochs View Post
very good topic for discussion.

Certainly possible but not likely,

another issue is that a team pretty much has to choose to support a sprinter or support a gc contender. Teams cannot do both over three weeks. The sprinter needs a lot of strong, muscular lead-out teams, and gc contenders need a lot of skinny climbers.

Part of skyís success is that they are entirely focused on gc, and the uci doesn't want to bust anyone for doping .

.
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Old 07-24-18, 12:43 PM
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The tour route changes every year. Some years favor the sprinters more, some years less.

I think this year, though, many of the sprinters were being real dolts. How do you not come better prepared to get over the mountains? It's ridiculous.
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Old 07-24-18, 01:42 PM
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Does anyone here really believe that the peloton is now PED free? AFAIK, no one has tested positive for PEDs yet.

Does anyone here believe that that everyone is racing clean?
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Old 07-24-18, 01:51 PM
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I think I read something in USA Today to that effect.

I dunno, but I agree that the sprinters never get an chance to win the overall race, and as a sprinter-type rider (AKA "non-climber") this seems really unfair to me. They could easily set up the race so a sprinter wins it, just eliminate most of the mountains.
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Old 07-24-18, 02:28 PM
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[QUOTE=Colnago Mixte;20467107 They could easily set up the race so a sprinter wins it, just eliminate most of the mountains.[/QUOTE] yup .... no reason not to give up a large portion of the fan base and alienate a large portion of the rider base.

The way it works .... as I understand it .... to win a GC a rider has to be an all-around rider with exceptional endurance.

Climbing is part of riding. Leaving out that portion of cycling would be ... a different sport.

Look at the monuments,, the one-Day Classics. A lot of those go to sprinters and puncheurs .... those races favor powerful riders who can accelerate dozens of times, and kick it hard for the win at the end. Some of them favor sprinters who can climb a little, a lot of them favor pure sprinters ... and looking at the lists of winners, a lot of sprinters win those races.

Stage races are designed to test every kind of riding sklll ... and even some of them favor climbers and others, more powerful riders.

it is only in Grands Tours that climbing generally decides the race ... or time-trialing. And that is because in a sprint, it is hard for Any rider to again more than a handful of seconds .... which means in a grand Tour, a different rider would hold the jersey after every stage, and the overall win would be pure luck, whoever had the best last day.

On the climbs, people can lose or gain a lot of tiem .... so definite winners and losers emerge.

To use cycling parlance, sprint stages are not selective.
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Old 07-24-18, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
I dunno, but I agree that the sprinters never get an chance to win the overall race, and as a sprinter-type rider (AKA "non-climber") this seems really unfair to me. They could easily set up the race so a sprinter wins it, just eliminate most of the mountains.

There are multiple shorter stage races like that (especially in the mid East).

Who the hell would want to watch a 3 week race that only features sprinters?
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Old 07-24-18, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Look at the monuments,, the one-Day Classics. A lot of those go to sprinters and puncheurs .... those races favor powerful riders who can accelerate dozens of times, and kick it hard for the win at the end. Some of them favor sprinters who can climb a little, a lot of them favor pure sprinters ... and looking at the lists of winners, a lot of sprinters win those races.
No monuments favor pure sprinters. Not a one. Especially the northern ones.

Even the one "purer" sprinters have won (MSR) is still a 160+ mile race with mountains to ride over.
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Old 07-24-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
There are multiple shorter stage races like that (especially in the mid East).

Who the hell would want to watch a 3 week race that only features sprinters?
It would be worth it, just to see the looks on the climber's faces, getting dusted in every sprint finish, day after day, for three weeks.

They would know how the sprinters feel on mountain stages. Seeing Chris Froome cry? Priceless.

Then again, if a team's leader is a pure climber who's weak on the flats, his team members can create an awesome draft for him on fast flat stages. But if a team's leader is a sprinter who's weak in the mountains, there's nothing his team can do to get him over those hills, he's gotta do it all under his own power. So this fact really favors the pure climbers.

Last edited by Colnago Mixte; 07-24-18 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 07-24-18, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
It would be worth it, just to see the looks on the climber's faces, getting dusted in every sprint finish, day after day, for three weeks.

They would know how the sprinters feel on mountain stages. Seeing Chris Froome cry? Priceless.

Then again, if a team's leader is a pure climber who's weak on the flats, his team members can create an awesome draft for him on fast flat stages. But if a team's leader is a sprinter who's weak in the mountains, there's nothing his team can do to get him over those hills, he's gotta do it all under his own power. So this fact really favors the pure climbers.
It's like you don't even watch bike races.

How'd Richie Porte fare on the "flats" this year?
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Old 07-24-18, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
It would be worth it, just to see the looks on the climber's faces, getting dusted in every sprint finish, day after day, for three weeks.

They would know how the sprinters feel on mountain stages.

Seeing Chris Froome cry? Priceless.
Why would the climbers have "looks" upon their faces? If the entire stage race was pancake flat, you just wouldn't get strong climbers contending for anything. Any climbers who took a wrong turn and accidentally stumbled into the Tour wouldn't take stage finishes seriously enough to care about losing; they'd just roll across the line in a procession behind the bunch sprint like they always do.

The racing would also likely be dull. GC teams currently risk allowing flat-stage breakaways to make GC gains because they known their champions can beat them by larger margins in the mountains, and sprinter teams currently risk allowing flat-stage breakaways to make GC gains because sprinters aren't contesting GC. If flat stages were forced to become GC battlegrounds, tons of teams would constantly be shutting everything down, since someone who makes even a 1-minute time gain could carry it through all the way to Paris without doing much of anything to defend their position.
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Old 07-24-18, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Does anyone here really believe that the peloton is now PED free? AFAIK, no one has tested positive for PEDs yet.

Does anyone here believe that that everyone is racing clean?
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Old 07-24-18, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Does anyone here really believe that the peloton is now PED free? AFAIK, no one has tested positive for PEDs yet.

Does anyone here believe that that everyone is racing clean?
I assume that they're all on something. I don't care if they all take PED's. I just want to watch genetic (and if they're altered, so be it) freaks climb, attack, descend, and sprint like madmen (and women too, the Giro and La Tour were amazing this year!) at the highest level. If I want to watch a clean race I'll put a GoPro on my handlebars and film all of my fat LARPing friends on Tuesday night Crits. But...no thanks. Who wants to see that.

So no, I don't believe they're clean or that they've ever been clean. I don't care. I like to watch the best be the best.

If I fancy watching "clean" sport I'll go watch my 8 year old play soccer...oops, half the team is on Adderall for ADD/ADHD-never mind
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Old 07-24-18, 03:22 PM
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I would like to see a TDF route that had 0 mountain top finished. They can still have the mountains but just not at the finish. Then we may have guys like Sagan able to compete for the title.

I hate how GC contenders all look like so frail and bony. Its just not healthy. Plus, they break bones like they are made of balsa wood.
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Old 07-24-18, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
Plus, they break bones like they are made of balsa wood.
Somehow i don't think crashing a 40 mph while your feet are attached to a bike is any better for Peter Sagan than Chris Froome.

Philippe Gilbert and Adam Yates both took high-speed falls today .... both rode on. Someone forgot to tell them to break their bones.

Also ... Sagan and other non-climbers would not win even without mountaintop finished because a lot of climbers can descend really well (Froome and Nibali come to mind) and would be Way ahead over the top of the mountain.

Ummmm .... you do know that Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, and other non-climbers have won a race or two here or there, right? Chris Froome will never be a World Champion, nor likely ever win an Olympic road-race medal.

it is simply this: there are many disciplines in cycling, including one-day races, short stage races, long stage races, time trials, criteriums, road races, races with gravel or cobbled sections .... different types of riders win different types of races.

I am not sure why you seem to be so hostile towards climbers, or is it thin people? What I do know is that the NFL will be playing flag football before you see a Grand Tour with no climbing stages. I am not saying that to be mean ... I mean it.
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Old 07-24-18, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Somehow i don't think crashing a 40 mph while your feet are attached to a bike is any better for Peter Sagan than Chris Froome.

Philippe Gilbert and Adam Yates both took high-speed falls today .... both rode on. Someone forgot to tell them to break their bones.

Also ... Sagan and other non-climbers would not win even without mountaintop finished because a lot of climbers can descend really well (Froome and Nibali come to mind) and would be Way ahead over the top of the mountain.

Ummmm .... you do know that Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, and other non-climbers have won a race or two here or there, right? Chris Froome will never be a World Champion, nor likely ever win an Olympic road-race medal.

it is simply this: there are many disciplines in cycling, including one-day races, short stage races, long stage races, time trials, criteriums, road races, races with gravel or cobbled sections .... different types of riders win different types of races.

I am not sure why you seem to be so hostile towards climbers, or is it thin people? What I do know is that the NFL will be playing flag football before you see a Grand Tour with no climbing stages. I am not saying that to be mean ... I mean it.
They have shown over and over that current tour riders because of their need to "make weight" have much more brittle bones than they did in the past. Bob Roll talked for about 5-10 minutes on the subject where he commented on his entire career he could only remember one or two teammates breaking a bone. But now every time a GC contender stubs his toe he is out of the race for a broken collar bone or hip or whatever. I would bet the modern GC rider has bones of an 80yr old woman.

What did I say that was hostile?

All I mentioned would be nice change of pace. The tour is just too much the same old same old. One week of sprinting, a time trial thrown in, rest day, Mountain stages rest day, a couple more flat stages then the Champs.

What if they had the tour around one of the old routes where they actually circumnavigated France. No transfers etc. How would the teams prepare and who would be their leaders if the mountains were neutralized.
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Old 07-24-18, 05:05 PM
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Abandon the thought, they arenít going to set the tour up for a sprinter to win. It goes against tradition and has been mentioned, would be boring as hell. Take away the radios and Iíll wager that would add some spice to the race.
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Old 07-24-18, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
I assume that they're all on something. I don't care if they all take PED's. I just want to watch genetic (and if they're altered, so be it) freaks climb, attack, descend, and sprint like madmen (and women too, the Giro and La Tour were amazing this year!) at the highest level. If I want to watch a clean race I'll put a GoPro on my handlebars and film all of my fat LARPing friends on Tuesday night Crits. But...no thanks. Who wants to see that.

So no, I don't believe they're clean or that they've ever been clean. I don't care. I like to watch the best be the best.

If I fancy watching "clean" sport I'll go watch my 8 year old play soccer...oops, half the team is on Adderall for ADD/ADHD-never mind


Mmm-hmmm...
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Old 07-24-18, 05:25 PM
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Alright, let's make a deal: next year's grand tours are all pancake flat, but every one of the World Tour classics needs to include at least one HC climb from this years' grand tours, and all races that would have been held as velodrome match sprints now start at Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne and finish at the Col du Galibier.

Last edited by HTupolev; 07-24-18 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 07-24-18, 05:29 PM
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Maybe that year they can try out my idea of a downhill mountain time trial on the Galibier. Give the pure descenders a chance at a stage win.
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Old 07-24-18, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123 View Post
I would like to see a TDF route that had 0 mountain top finished. They can still have the mountains but just not at the finish. Then we may have guys like Sagan able to compete for the title.

I hate how GC contenders all look like so frail and bony. Its just not healthy. Plus, they break bones like they are made of balsa wood.
Ever impacted something at 30 to 40 mph? I have a feeling your bones would break as well.
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Old 07-24-18, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Ever impacted something at 30 to 40 mph? I have a feeling your bones would break as well.
I am far from a lightweight, and I have broken bones and torn tendons at crashes at half that speed.

On the other hand, Gilbert went over a wall and fell 12 feet and finished the stage, and Yates went low-side at 40-odd mph and also finished the stage.

But as we all know, Bob Roll is never wrong. He did do a neat pirouette on Froome, though.
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Old 07-24-18, 08:43 PM
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I think it's pretty much the end for the pure sprinters this year, but next year they'll have their stages, and the year after that, and the year after that....
But since when was a three week event about sprinting, anyhow? And jeez, since when was it ever about being short?!
Complaining of how all the sprinters fall out is like complaining about "long, boring stages." If you ask me, hardly any of the stages are sufficiently long or "boring" enough to make for a proper grand tour of a country. A bunch of little stages scattered all over the place isn't a grand tour, it's a traveling circus.
I like watching sprints and fast stages as much as the next guy, and the team time trial and the stage to Roubaix were cool, but if it's just stuff I have time enough and interest enough to watch, it's just that much less impressive.
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Old 07-24-18, 11:01 PM
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