Ted King's DSQ, a rider protest maybe?
Last Post 07/05/2013 03:24 PM by Cosmic Kid. 42 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/02/2013 06:34 PM
Velonews has a good article on Ted King's disqualification today.  The last paragraph talks of John Wilcockson's twitter suggesting the riders should take a stand tomorrow and refuse to start unless King is with them.  I hope they do.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/07/tour-de-france/editorial-kings-7-second-elimination-from-tour-sends-wrong-message_293232

Seems only fair to waive the rule for a rider who embodies true grit and determination in the face of a massive crashed caused by the same racing organization that now wants to DSQ him.  AnNd there is precedent.  Cavendish was give 2 minutes two years ago.

Riders, man up!  Plant your feet until Ted King is allowed to ride.

Ben
BuffFan

Posts:31

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07/02/2013 07:23 PM
#letTedRide
BikeCzar

Posts:53

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07/02/2013 07:53 PM
I don't get the uproar. Dude missed the time cut, sadly. If you let him continue, then you have to let the next guy who misses the cut continue and so on. What's the point in a rule if it isn't adhered to. Just because we like Ted King the rules should be overturned? Seems like an emotional reaction more than a practical one. Maybe I'm insensitive.
CarbonGecko

Posts:40

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07/02/2013 08:06 PM
I agree with BikeCzar. If you miss by 1 second it should be a miss. The problem is making exceptions for marquis riders. If Cavendish had missed by 7 seconds he'd be riding because of the revenue he brings to the ASO/UCI machine. The inequity is the problem. Ted should be proud of what he did. He left it all on the road today riding hard to make the cut while injured. I give him HUGE respect. But I think it is fair if he is left off the start list for stage 5. It sucks but it is fair.
Inferno7

Posts:280

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07/02/2013 09:09 PM
ya that was sad to watch but it is what it is.
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/02/2013 09:10 PM
Whoa, whoa! The precedent being set (if indeed Ted King was allowed to continue) would be that rules would be bent if required TO RECTIFY HUGE MISTAKES MADE BY OFFICIALS WITH VERY REAL IMPACT! (The Stage 1 finish.)

Is that really such a bad precedent? Might help keep the officials on their toes.

And CG, fair? Make a decision that takes out a large part of the field at random and allow others to claim Stage wins, yellow jerseys, etc. Again, stage 1. That's fair? I think the riders have real reason to protest. And not protesting because that 1st stage didn't affect that rider or he even benefited from it? Weak.

Ben
Ride On

Posts:454

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07/02/2013 09:21 PM
I still say if he was French they would have turned a blind eye, heck they might have even given him some kind of award for good effort.

The tour is about getting as much ink as you can. A rider protest to get him back in will create more headlines than the turning the blind eye would have It's a win win for everyone this way. Stop thinking of it as a game with rules and think about it as a business, because that is what it is.
Dale

Posts:524

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07/02/2013 09:39 PM
I'm with Ben and Ride On with this. Exceptions are made all the time and with the stupid bus mess and finish line confusion that was the genesis of the wreck allowing him to continue hurts nothing and adds a true grit story to the Tour.
cycling chick

Posts:68

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07/02/2013 10:12 PM
It seems that it may not be as clear as not making the cutoff...

King’s SRM shows 32:15 and his analysis of the file is that his time was 32:24 or less, which would be just inside the cut. The ASO claims King rode 32:32.60, but they haven’t clarified if that was based on a timing chip or some other method. King doesn’t believe his bike had the chip.

If the ASO can’t show proof of accurate timing, King should be reinstated, as the margin of error is simply too close to take a rider out of the race.


Article that bobswire posted on Facebook
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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07/02/2013 11:06 PM
Basing a decision on King's timing is never gonna happen. They have no idea when he started or stopped the file.

That said, precedent has been set for years allowing riders who grind through injury and persevere to remain in the race. The fact that his injury was at least partially caused by the poor decisions made by the ASO only magnifies the blunder.

Now.....THAT said, the reality is that the best thing for King is to not race and heal himself. Bt that should be a decision left to himself and his team.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:745

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07/03/2013 12:21 AM
+1 Ride on. Reminds me of Vaughter's bee sting a few years back. His face looked like a watermelon, but no steroids for you, because you're not French.
It is their race, so they can run it how they want, but saying "rules are rules" makes sense in this case is just ridiculous.
jmdirt

Posts:755

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07/03/2013 12:28 AM
CK, I don't know how SRM works but I have an old Garmin 60CSx that will clearly show where on the earth I start the timer and the same for when I stop it. If his SRM has GPS it would be easy to prove. Actually if the distance is correct, he wouldn't even need GPS (assuming ASO knows the distance of the stage).

As far as precedence is concerned, I can't remember a TdF in recent memory that they didn't allow a rider (or riders) to continue after missing the time cut.
Entheo

Posts:317

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07/03/2013 07:35 AM
the organizers will have an interesting dilemma on their hands when, in the mountains, the grupetto comes in day after day beyond the time limit (and you know who the grupetto will contain).
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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07/03/2013 08:28 AM
Jm, I don't think SRM has GPS. As for the distance, that brings into question the wheel size calibration that was used, etc. but really my point was just that no race organization is going to start to allow riders to submit timing from their own devices. Their time is the official time, no matter what.

Bt as you note, there is plenty of precedence for exceptions to the time cut, especially where injury is involved.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
jacques_anquetil

Posts:234

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07/03/2013 08:39 AM
just a point of clarification regarding Cavendish and the time cut-off. IIRC, he was in a largish groupetto on a hilltop finish, and the whole group was out of the time limit. the organization ignored that cut off because it would have eliminated too many riders. or so the ASO says...
bobswire

Posts:303

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07/03/2013 10:34 AM
He should have received and exemption but as CK stated, worked out the best for King health wise.
CarbonGecko

Posts:40

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07/03/2013 01:44 PM
It is a three week tour. How many days does this "rectify huge organizer mistake" freebie last for? Just the first week? Halfway through the second? Small organizational errors are made all the time. How big an organizer mistake has to be made to give the rider a freebie? The problem is, if you leave it as a subjective thing then who stays and who goes becomes a subjective decision of one or a group of officials. Eventually that is going to be used unfairly. The Ted Kings will get sent home and the marquis riders will be given breaks. It should be a firm rule and it should be the same for everyone. One of the biggest problems with pro cycling over the last 30 years or so is subjective, vague rules that get applied differently based on team, status, nationality, likability, etc.
jacques_anquetil

Posts:234

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07/03/2013 02:17 PM
TK must be totally gutted. VN has a piece up about the situation, and frankly, the official sounds somewhat fair in his call. can't be an easy job

http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/07/news/qa-tour-jury-president-says-everyone-must-accept-the-rules_293336
Orange Crush

Posts:1251

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07/03/2013 02:39 PM
Based on the considerations reflected in the interview, the decision makes total sense.
bobswire

Posts:303

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07/03/2013 04:04 PM
Funny how Orica Green Edge Team bus that started this whole mess is coming up roses.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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07/03/2013 09:16 PM
I just see the official contradicting himself and back pedaling. He says "the rules are the rules", but 3 questions later says "each situation is unique and must be judged separately".

Well, which is it? The rules are either "the rules" or they are essentially arbitrary and completely dependent on how the judges view the circumstances.

CG, the issue with the role of the organizers is simply an extenuating circumstance, IMO. No one is saying he should be allowed to continue on that point alone. What people are saying was that it was damn close,he showed great grit and determination to gut through the stage alone and that similar exceptions have been made in the past. In addition to all that, a good argument can be made that the confusion from Stage 1 was a contributing factor to his condition.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/03/2013 10:02 PM
And, CK, allowing him to continue (with the proper press release) could have been a great sporting gesture, a win-win for all. Granted, if he healed up and became a power in the mountains, some competitors wouldn't like it. Then again, how many roleur-sprinters are happy when Cavendish and the rest of the pure sprinters have the time limit waived? Those are competitors they ditched with their legs, not a team bus.

Ben
cabron fiber

Posts:17

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07/04/2013 12:18 AM
I know the time cut has been waived on stages where someone has crashed on that particular stage and finished outside the cut, but do you guys know of instances where a rider was injured in an earlier stage, like Ted King, then missed the cut on a later stage and was allowed back?
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/04/2013 12:02 PM
CF, if that crash was caused by rider inattention or road conditions that should have been scouted ahead of time or just racing I can see the cut, But when a massive crash is caused by the race officials, I think there is some room to make exceptions. If the officials make a mess of things as big as they did on Stage 1, the consequences may linger several days and they may have to look at doing the unusual to "get things right".

Ben
pabiker

Posts:80

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07/04/2013 12:13 PM
How do race officials "cause" a crash?
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/04/2013 12:30 PM
Move the finish line by 3 kilometers twice in the final 10 k of the race. OK, you can say that did not "CAUSE" the crash, but it's a no-brainer that it is going to happen.

Ben
cabron fiber

Posts:17

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07/04/2013 12:57 PM
I just don't know if there's precedent for the time cut being waived for someone with an existing injury. His team knew his condition beforehand; if they really wanted him in the race, they could have had someone wait for him. The role of the race officials in the crash? They had to make a decision in a bad situation; maybe they made the wrong one. Deciding that from then on the time cut doesn't apply to riders who were injured in that crash is a slippery slope. Dogs run onto the course, spectators interfere, team buses get stuck: the officials can't control everything. If a rider is injured, he can choose to continue, but why should he and his team expect the rules to be bent?
pabiker

Posts:80

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07/04/2013 01:19 PM
Yep, I would say that. The riders caused the crash. Indeed there was confusion on that stage, not caused by the officials, it was actually caused by the Orica team the officials were trying to come up with a solution. Had a lot of folks missed the time cut on that stage - perhaps some accommodation would be in line.

Ted King missed the time cut on an entirely different stage where there was no such event.
Sweet Milk

Posts:93

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07/04/2013 02:13 PM
+1 cabron fiber and pabiker.

I like Ted King and I feel for him, but I fail to see how his situation warrants an exemption.
ElleSeven

Posts:48

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07/04/2013 03:13 PM
The rule is in place for a reason. I've missed time limits in stage races, once at three seconds. For sure I was pissed, but not with the organizers. It wouldn't have occurred to me to beg for an exemption. One problem with this particular sort of "precedent," fudging a tiny deficit, is that it changes the tactical policies of the teams when that kind of fudging becomes established as policy. You think you have some wiggle-room; you don't send a guy or gal back to fetch your teammate in distress, because you're operating on an assumption that the race judges will turn a blind eye as long as the straggler isn't too far behind and does some teary-eyed whining for the cameras. More importantly, though, is that it changes the definition of "rule" to "something you're almost following." A serious sport has serious rules.
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/04/2013 03:39 PM
But, Elle, the Tour seems quite happy to ignore those rules if enough money is at stake. ("A serious sport has serious rules.")

Ben
ElleSeven

Posts:48

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07/04/2013 03:49 PM
I agree with you, Ben. The Tour has been far too casual with its rules in the past, to the point that for ten editions — possibly more to come — we don't even know who won the f***ing thing. This is not to equate rule-bending over, and outright abetting of, drug addiction with one-second time cuts. But Ted King is not doing Modern Dance or flower-arranging.
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/04/2013 03:58 PM
Elle, I was thinking more of the re-instating of riders, esp big money sprinters, after missing the time cut. I believe Cavendish has been the beneficiary more than once. One in particular I recall. That directly files in the face of the jury head's statement that rules are rules. So there is already precedent.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1251

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07/04/2013 05:44 PM
There's precedent for exceptions but in this case the outcome is a logical consequence of the fact that King was dropped by his team inside the first km of the TTT. To me it seems there was never any intent for him to compete in this event as such and that the plan all along was for him to go at it alone. That was a logical choice from team's perspective but end of story for King even though he fought hard and almost made the cut. Cav did not make the cut along with 87 (!) other riders and was docked 20pnts in the green jersey competition instead.
ElleSeven

Posts:48

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07/04/2013 07:04 PM
Yes, I agree with everyone or anyone that a precedent exists for giving exemptions: namely, previous exemptions. At least part of my argument is precisely that the adjudication of the whole event has turned into winks here, nods there, while palms get greased and wallets padded. So is this Big Time Cycling or Big Time Wrestling? That said, I'm not against exemptions. What I'd be against is handing them out willy-nilly without very strong consideration of why it should happen and what the insidious consequences of such actions might me. We've got guys in this race right now who basically want exemptions for not being able to negotiate a twisty descent or a sharp turn in a run-in; who whine about bumpy pavement, narrow roads, hot weather, cold weather; who believe that the press shouldn't be permitted to ask them probing questions, and so on. And the new math seems to suggest that 25% is actually 26%.

Among the many things that make bike racing, at its best, at its toughest and most stringent, so fascinating is the way in which it is a paradigm of the larger world. We succeed sometimes; sometimes we fail. In both extremes a certain degree of heroism or bravery may be present. You guys may disagree, but I don't want to invalidate Ted King's suffering by submitting to the idea that he really didn't need to try that hard.
Master50

Posts:252

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07/04/2013 09:19 PM
What a curse officials must bear. Always being accused of favouritism and prejudice, being soft and strict, of being corruptible and too by the book. And the fans want to burn Contador for being almost indetectibly guilty of a trace of a drug and forgive a time cut for the hero's effort. Pretty tough but Ted was over the cut, he was a single rider on the day and now he is gone. By the book is defendable, back in the race while compassionate is not a particularly enforceable method. Making exceptions is fraught with trouble and often indefensible on review. The comms have a real responsibility to be strict where there is not much ambiguity and all the side issues are just not germane. He missed the cut and the comms need solid grounds to make an exception. Compassionate grounds yes, in the rules not much wiggle room in this circumstance. I often agree with Neil Rogers but not this time. Maybe he can author a rule that defines what compassionate measures the officials can make? A standard test or methodology to fairly apply compassion in these decisions and some limits to how and where the extra consideration may apply. Without this kind of methodology that every race jury can apply how can they be consistent? The officials made a correct call given the rulebook they have.
CarbonGecko

Posts:40

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07/04/2013 11:15 PM
Ted King is racing on a team that has no real chance for the general classification. They are going for the green jersey and for stage wins. They were never going to win the TTT. Given all of that if they had really wanted Ted in the race why didn't they leave one guy back with him. Their team time would have suffered slightly but with one other guy sharing the work Ted would have certainly made the time cut. The team made the decision they did. Maybe they made it hoping for a compassionate call from the judges. Whatever the thought process was he didn't make the cut. It seems like some people are arguing he should be given an exemption because he tried so hard... yeah he did but they all do. Some are arguing he should be given an exemption because he was so close... it is a race people win and lose by seconds, time cuts are time cuts. Some are arguing he should be given an exemption because he was hurt in a crash that was partly the organizers fault... a lot of crashes are partly the organizers fault. They pick entertaining stages with fast downhills, they pick stages with risky sprint finishes, they sometime put stages through bad roads, etc. When do you blame the organizers and give riders an exemption? If a crash is determined by popular opinion to be the organizers "fault" then how many days do riders injured in that crash get to be off the back? It is just way too subjective.

It is racing. It is a sport. Sports have rules. Rules should be enforced. Otherwise they aren't rules they are suggestions. Suggestions don't work because they are never adjudicated equally. I feel for the guy. I would have been happier if he was still in the race. But I think the right call was made. Hopefully if it comes up later in the race the same call will be made even if the rider in question brings in huge TV revenue. That is what is fair.
vtguy

Posts:250

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07/05/2013 05:26 AM
This thread is a fine example of the civil discourse that's been present on this site -- plus it was a good read. Well done, folks!
CB2

Posts:18

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07/05/2013 06:53 AM
Does this decision leave Ted in better or worse shape for kicking my buddy Old Horse Legs' butt for a third time @ the VT50?

 photo VT50pbn_4501_zps52e7a930.jpg
jacques_anquetil

Posts:234

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07/05/2013 09:24 AM
one question that hasn't been raised yet here: would it really have been in Ted's best interest to continue racing with his injuries such as they were? sure, he's doing his first Big Show and will give everything to stay in and realize a lifelong dream. but c'mon, can he realistically be expected to recover from a separated shoulder within a week to 10 days? likely not.
79pmooney

Posts:1192

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07/05/2013 11:12 AM
Carbon Gecko makes the point that has changed my mind. That Cannondale had no real need to do well in the TTT and chose to just drop Ted King.

Here is another scenario Canondale could have done. Place King behind his designated tow should he be dropped. If he does get dropped he shouts "I'm gone!". Designated tow drops back also. Team continues with seven riders, King makes the cut.

Since Cannondale knew in advance this could well be the scenario, for them to have not taken such action, then complain to the officials about the time cut comes off as a little hollow. Ted King himself has a valid case. He rode his heart out. I still think having the other riders step up in his defense would have been cool, but I am having much less of a fuzzy feeling with the Cannondale DS' words and actions. (In fact, I think it would be fun to hear that King's shoulder is fully rideable next week and Sagan and crew are placed in a situation where King's input would be a real help. Karma.)

Thanks Gecko.

Ben
bobswire

Posts:303

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07/05/2013 11:33 AM
I thought it was the $4its and unfair seeing him disqualified while knowing the circumstances that led to his injury but like Ben, this thread has persuaded me otherwise. Well done guys.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:1192

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07/05/2013 03:24 PM
My guess is that Cannondale did have such a plan, Ben....but not from 250m into the race. That early into it, you can't rich having 2 guys eliminated on time. So the team has no choice but to sacrifice King so that they keep everyone else in the race.

10k into the race it may well have been a different situation, but literally out ochre gate....no choice. You ride and leave King.

Again, this is probably the best thing for him, but how it was handled just sucked, IMO.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!


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