World Cup versus Letour - some thoughts for GTs
Last Post 07/28/2014 06:27 PM by 79 pmooney. 13 Replies.
Author Messages
Orange Crush

Posts:1218

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07/25/2014 10:16 PM
The World Cup as usual was an awesome spectacle, best game in town by a mile. LeTour this year, or any year in recent memory for that matter, is like watching paint dry, and I very much like cycling. There were two days were I turned off the tube in disgust with a "man this is boring".

I would put one-day bike races up there with the World Cup experience. A stage in Tour is more like a regular season game be it soccer, hockey or whatever, you can win or lose some points (time) but overall there's not that much at stake.

SO to make GTs more exciting, the stakes need to be increased. The way to do it is to bring some form of elimination to them. Why should 150 something guys be allowed to ride into Paris? Only 10-15 of them are competitive in the true sense.

So why not bring some form of elimination to say 2nd and 3rd week of a GT? So your helpers cannot just drop back to the laughing group after burning themselves up; in order to be around the next day they would have to stay at least in the first half of the race. It would bring some interesting strategy to the game and with the prospect of elimination people will guaranteed be more glued to the screen.

Alright, there's gotta be downsides to this. What are they?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1150

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07/26/2014 11:22 AM
Well, it won't make the front of the racing any more exciting (I don't think) and that is what most people are watching.

I strongly believe in the shorter, more intense days. The other day was a grat example....4 climbs in a 120km stage. They also need to add more days with rolling hills, not mountains, in the early week / transition stages.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
jmdirt

Posts:712

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07/26/2014 11:27 AM
OC, eliminating people would change the race too much. I know that you understand the dynamics of cycling so I won't explain why. I can see reducing the time cut % though so the groupeto has to ride a bit harder, but if you start eliminating the workers, I think that the stages would be snoozers.

I think that GT stages should be 160 KM or less. That would make the stages more exciting and 'reduce' the 'need' for dope (that could be a LONG thread of its own). Stages should be alternating: flat, rolling, climbing, HC, TT, flat...

The same could be said of football: If its nil-nil at after 60 minutes, eliminate one player from each team every five minutes to make it more exciting. I love playing football because its a great workout, but I can't watch it because every 60 seconds some guy gets "mortally wounded". There should be a rule: Players get a 10 count, if they aren't up in 10 seconds they must leave the field for 3 minutes (teams can use a sub or play shorthanded). After three partial counts (you know players would jump up at 8) they also get the three minute penalty.
jookey

Posts:141

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07/26/2014 12:43 PM
Watching an entire stage is generally boring. He cobble stage this year was epic from the start. The mountain stages, I only watch the last climb. The sprint stages, I only watch the last 15k. The rest is pretty much boring.

That said, you cannot have 20 epic stages too much to ask the body to do.

The tour is simply not a made for tv event. Six hours in the saddle does not play well on tv. They need to figure out how to make it better to watch on tv. Perhaps take a queue from NASCAR. Put a couple of cameras on the bike for live shots. Show power and HR of riders live.

Or once every four years hold LeTour in another country like WC or Olympics. Make it a world event.
Ride On

Posts:442

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07/26/2014 02:49 PM
You have to figure out how to bring back the hope that an attack by a guy in the top 10 will actually work and gain him some time. Used to be that way , now not so much.
mondonico

Posts:33

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07/26/2014 03:14 PM
I don't think you can or should even try and make a GT something that is interesting to watch on TV. They were not made for TV as most American sports are. Baseball and golf have the same problem in todays world. Slow moving and lots of time nothing happens. American football and basketball are sports that have been molded over the years for a TV audiance. Soccer, at least in the US is still finding it's way and I don't think will ever be a mainstream TV ratings hog. World cup is different then MLS or other league.

They could always make a just for TV race. Sometimes I think someone will come up with a race that just uses the now famous ProFrom Tour Trainer. Everyone sitting at home in air conditioned splendor racing each other on a video screen with the stage of the day picked by an in studio host.
Ride On

Posts:442

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07/26/2014 04:51 PM
I think the US audience could get behind some type of track racing. Drinking beer, girls, crashes
Orange Crush

Posts:1218

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07/26/2014 06:15 PM
Posted By Ride On on 07/26/2014 02:49 PM
You have to figure out how to bring back the hope that an attack by a guy in the top 10 will actually work and gain him some time. Used to be that way , now not so much.


This puts the finger on it pretty good. The reason I think is that Joe Packfiller now is a much better trained bike racer than Joe Packfiller back in 80s. This has made it much harder for Top 10 guys to go on long range attacks that stick. Hence m my thinking that if you progressive eliminate the packfill support during a stage race, the top guys can actually afford to be a bit more adventurous.
longslowdistance

Posts:701

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07/26/2014 10:04 PM
Eliminate the radios. That would add some spontaneity.
jookey

Posts:141

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07/27/2014 01:23 PM
Perhaps OC was on to something. What if you eliminated half the field after stage 10? This would no doubt lose a lot of domestques. Thus making it harder to control the race. Less of them, more attacks in the top ten.

Keith Richards

Posts:743

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07/28/2014 11:23 AM
Maybe do it by team? Top 10 teams after the end of stage 10 continue?
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
longslowdistance

Posts:701

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07/28/2014 05:01 PM
Might weaken sponsorship.
SideBySide

Posts:184

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07/28/2014 06:13 PM
I think removing teams would make it more boring. Sometimes you need teams with nothing to lose to liven up the race.
79pmooney

Posts:1175

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07/28/2014 06:27 PM
The great feature of the Grand Tours is all the subplots, all the goals they have to race for. Reducing the field will weaken that.

This year: Who do we remove. The Lanterne Rouge, the first Chinese rider ever, nicknamed the break killer? (Well, maybe we should since he executed that part of his contract so well!) Eurostar, found in so many breaks?

I find all the little things going on in these Tours fascinating. Having narrators who can educate the viewers makes for great entertainment, even when the racing gets slow. (There's room for improvement at the primary US TV source. 35 years ago, we listened to better at the big New England criteriums. Fitchberg and Dick Ring.)


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