Grand Tours

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Lifter
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Grand Tours

Postby Lifter » 27 Aug 2018, 10:56pm

Hi All,
Just wondered if anybody else thinks, like myself, that the grand tours are a little boring, and are more like Grand Processions?
Maybe they should get rid of the sprint competition and the king of the mountains comp for starters. The sprinters just burn themselves out and can barely finish the race anyway. Surely the races should only be about winning the whole race and, it should be a team win, not an individual win. Each stage should be contested for points for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placing, with points going to the respective teams. This would make for a more competitive and interesting race over the whole race instead of waiting for the race to be decided on the big climbs only and then shepherding the jersey to the end.
Any thoughts on this?

Postboxer
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Re: Grand Tours

Postby Postboxer » 31 Aug 2018, 11:59pm

I think they need all the different competitions to keep more people interested and to attract more teams. If the only thing to win was the general classification, there would be little for smaller teams to contest.

Lifter
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Re: Grand Tours

Postby Lifter » 3 Sep 2018, 12:34pm

Hi Postboxer,
I think even with the tour competitions the lesser teams don't get much of a look really as a sprinter team's man usually wins. And are the sprint and K. of the Mountains competitions that exciting? I think not, and to me they look like a waste of energy that could be put to better use in a team-win based tour. In all kinds of sports the minows are in the same boat. Think of football world cups or the rugby world cups for example. It's just the way it is.
If the tours were designed around a team win rather than an individual win then the race would be much more open and exciting and a stage win would actually mean something. Imagine a stage win with a purpose! In this kind of tour a minow team could possibly win a stage from a breakaway and, as well as the glory of the stage win - which is all they get at the moment - they would gain maximum points and a chance of an overall placing at the end of the tour.The top teams would have to properly contest the race over the whole tour and not just the mountain stages - they would actually have to try and win some flat stages! And also, the time trials would have to be contested by the whole team for an overall team time, not as they presently are, contested only by the GC riders with the rest of the team only needing to finish within the prescribed finishing time. I think it's a bit odd also that we have teams and yet only one rider can win? Isn't that something like only one player winning the football world cup, despite it being a team effort?////

Lifter
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Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 10:35pm

Re: Grand Tours

Postby Lifter » 3 Sep 2018, 12:36pm

Hi Postboxer,
I think even with the tour competitions the lesser teams don't get much of a look really as a sprinter team's man usually wins. And are the sprint and K. of the Mountains competitions that exciting? I think not, and to me they look like a waste of energy that could be put to better use in a team-win based tour. In all kinds of sports the minows are in the same boat. Think of football world cups or the rugby world cups for example. It's just the way it is.
If the tours were designed around a team win rather than an individual win then the race would be much more open and exciting and a stage win would actually mean something. Imagine a stage win with a purpose! In this kind of tour a minow team could possibly win a stage from a breakaway and, as well as the glory of the stage win - which is all they get at the moment - they would gain maximum points and a chance of an overall placing at the end of the tour.The top teams would have to properly contest the race over the whole tour and not just the mountain stages - they would actually have to try and win some flat stages! And also, the time trials would have to be contested by the whole team for an overall team time, not as they presently are, contested only by the GC riders with the rest of the team only needing to finish within the prescribed finishing time. I think it's a bit odd also that we have teams and yet only one rider can win? Isn't that something like only one player winning the football world cup, despite it being a team effort?////

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mjr
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Re: Grand Tours

Postby mjr » 3 Sep 2018, 12:41pm

Team competitions are available, such as the Hammer Series and the Tour Series, but they seem very confusing and haven't caught on yet. Do you like them? Enough to have watched on TV or in person?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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pjclinch
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Re: Grand Tours

Postby pjclinch » 3 Sep 2018, 1:00pm

Lifter wrote:I think it's a bit odd also that we have teams and yet only one rider can win? Isn't that something like only one player winning the football world cup, despite it being a team effort?////


This is not a Grand Tour issue so much as a road racing issue.
In any road race you'll often hear the winner thanking his/her teammates and it's not just a platitude, they very often are vital to the proceedings but at the end of the day the domestiques pick up their salaries and the team leaders pick up the glory. And while the leaders generally need the support, at the end of the day you can swap out e.g. Froome to be a domestique, but you can't swap in e.g. Rowe to bring home a GC win.

There is a team classification in a Grand Tour, it's simply that nobody is that interested in it. And people are interested in the K/QOM and sprint jerseys. If you didn't find watching Julian Alaphilippe attacking hard to take the polka dots at Le Tour I think that's pretty sad, and the current lead in the Vuelta mountains jersey is a good rider from a minor team making a difference.

Back to your original question, no I don't find GTs to be boring processions. Some are, from time to time, but that's true of just about sporting format. Take the current Vuelta, we're a week in, processions are not obvious and while we've lost a few contenders there's no serious money going down on the final outcome, because nobody has any idea. Not dull, not processional.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

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mjr
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Re: Grand Tours

Postby mjr » 3 Sep 2018, 2:33pm

pjclinch wrote:but at the end of the day the domestiques pick up their salaries and the team leaders pick up the glory.

Not quite. Traditionally, the leader's prize pot is divided among their domestiques (and the non-director workers, I think, but I'd have to go reread some rider biographies to check that) because the leaders command a higher salary and some appearance fees anyway - not only for the showpiece post-tour criteriums, but Froome reportedly got paid just to turn up at the Giro.

pjclinch wrote:There is a team classification in a Grand Tour, it's simply that nobody is that interested in it.

Maybe not many fans, but the teams are interested in it for two reasons: firstly, it's good news for the sponsors - Movistar won the TdF team prize, a nice photo-op on the Champs Elysee to go on the walls of sponsor officers; and secondly, I think the season-long team points competition is expected to become one of the conditions for WorldTour status if/when the UCI ever finally reform the current dangerously-vague system - current ETA 2020 - but I suspect the race organisers are going to dig in and refuse to change anything quickly under Lappartient, especially since the owner of the collapsed Aqua Blue Sport team has called the current wildcard-patronage system corrupt or rotten or similar. I think they'll want to show it can work or at least survive for a couple more years as if that would disprove it.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Lifter
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Re: Grand Tours

Postby Lifter » 3 Sep 2018, 2:59pm

Hi mjr,
No, I've not seen the Tour/Hammer series? Sounds interesting. Where can you see those?

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mjr
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Re: Grand Tours

Postby mjr » 3 Sep 2018, 4:09pm

Hammer Series is in May, June and October, broadcast on Eurosport, highlights on YouTube, next year's has a leg in Zagreb. Not sure if there will still be a Limburg leg, which would be the closest it gets to the UK. http://www.hammerseries.com

Tour Series is in May/June, highlights the evening after on ITV4, held in town centres around the UK. http://www.tourseries.co.uk
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.