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Tour Down Under - Any Thoughts?

timoid.timoid. Posts: 3,133
edited January 2008 in Pro race
Seems team High Horse has come out of the blocks screaming. Any thoughts? What say you Iain?

Greipel to overshadow Ciolek and Cavendish?

Has McEwen jumped the shark?

Or is this just a nonesense meaningless race overshadowed ignored by the "real" cycling fraternity.
It's a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.

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  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Timoid. wrote:
    Or is this just a nonesense meaningless race overshadowed ignored by the "real" cycling fraternity.

    Every stage ended in a sprint didn't it? IMO makes it a bit boring, and no one really wins by a decent margin, won by time bonuses.

    Could have done with some difficult stages where breakaways could have stopped away.
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  • drenkromdrenkrom Posts: 1,062
    The advantage of having so many handy sprinters in the team is that you can always have one on top form, at any time of the season. I wouldn't take this dominance from Greipel as meaning much more than he was the rider who most focused on this first race of the season. It was bound to be a soft target for ProTour points (whatever that means now) and High Horses have the squad to dedicate one good sprinter solely to it. If you're looking for a sponsor, it's pretty much the best way to go about it. What else do we have to talk about at this time of the year other than how great HR are. Right, Iain?
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    I've been watching it - Too many sprints = a bit boring.

    It's a race that desperately needs a TT in it. Maybe not a long one but just something to get a few gaps and maybe we'll end up with more of a race? 15km or so would do it. I also wish it was a bit more hilly. That's why I always liked Langkawi but there is no Genting Highlands this year so it'll probably end up being lame

    It gets good crowds so I reckon they should tinker with the formula a bit.

    As for High Horse.....Greipel seems good, but he's still a 2nd tier sprinter. Ciolek must be the High Horser closest to making the leap into the upper echelons of sprinters.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    There is scope for putting in some additional hills and being a hometown boy, O'Grady had an article in the local paper during the last week suggesting that this happens. So watch this space I guess and see what happens for next year.

    In future years I'd expect a few more senior pros to attend now that it has gained Pro Tour status. I haven't seen any criticism of the organising of the event and everything seems to have went well and all the riders and teams needs well catered for.

    Overall it is a fun week and lots of families attended and many cyclists participated in the various events organised round about it - so it was a worthwhile exercise. Onwards and upwards as they say.
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    I watched it too, but other than the Rigotto headbutt, it didn't exactly provide many talking points. If the organisers want to attract better riders, then they desperately need to make the course harder. Stronger teams means the Willunga Hill stage becomes less of an obstacle.

    A TT wouldn't be that great either. Whoever won the TT would just win the overall too because the other stages would still end in bunch sprints. They either need to find some new climbs or do a Tour of Poland and use the same hill 3 or 4 times in a single stage.

    As for Greipel, 4 wins is impressive, but who was he sprinting against? Mark Renshaw and Allan Davis, who raced properly for over a year. Dunno where McEwen was... He's still behind Cavendish and Ciolek in the High Horse hierarchy.


    Iain: They took Genting out of the TdL this year but replaced it with the Fraser Highlands, which is still a 30km climb!
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 151
    It seemed like a well-run event and the Australia media coverage was fabulous.

    I don't see anything wrong with a sprinter's stage race but, I would add many more intermediate sprints to liven things up more. I definitely would not add a TT. The time of year and terrain suit the type of racing we saw.

    It was great to see some racing again in the bike news.
    www.steephill.tv bike travelogue
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    steephill wrote:
    It seemed like a well-run event and the Australia media coverage was fabulous.

    I don't see anything wrong with a sprinter's stage race but, I would add many more intermediate sprints to liven things up more. I definitely would not add a TT. The time of year and terrain suit the type of racing we saw.

    It was great to see some racing again in the bike news.

    This is the critical part. I doubt if any of the riders really want a course which will burn them out at the very start of their European campaign though I'm sure there is scope to put in a more challenging terrain without killing the riders.

    I don't agree with introducing a TT, particularly in shorter stage races. A winning margin by 20 or 30 seconds could secure the whole race by allowing the race leaders team to close down the whole race thereafter fairly easy. Even though sprinters are dominant in this race, the intermediate bonuses means that the racing is fairly lively in between.

    It wil take time for this ProTour status to develop but it is a well organised event and has the makings to develop a lot more. Importantly, I don't believe it will be one of these 'here today, gone tomorrow' events, the South Australian Govt put a lot of resources into it and the majority of the population take pride in it being on their doorstep.
  • well, it's downright mountainous compared to the Tour of Quatar! I suppose they do have their winds to make up for it but that is truly a boring race IMO...Boonen, Boonen, Boonen.
  • iainf72iainf72 Posts: 15,784
    Top_Bhoy wrote:
    steephill wrote:
    This is the critical part. I doubt if any of the riders really want a course which will burn them out at the very start of their European campaign though I'm sure there is scope to put in a more challenging terrain without killing the riders.

    But if you look at things like the Tour of the Med or Challenge Majorca, they're quite often very hilly. I think the challenge in general is the time of year - Like Cadel said, it's way too early for a GT type guy to do anything. Ok, if it's just a training race then it could be a sedate way to get some miles in but it's not really being promoted as a training race.

    And if people are racing it hard the bigger names will stay away. And there was that French guy who considered it punishment being send to Oz.

    It's a difficult situation.
    Fckin' Quintana … that creep can roll, man.
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    There was a snippet in the paper about the UCI asking the Adelaide organisers to move the race by a few weeks. Could just be paper talk but I can see some logic in it. February would appear to be out for South Australia as there are a variety of other well established festivals, including V8 car street racing during this period.

    It is a difficult situation but there really is a will to make a success of this event so its not improbable things could happen in future years.
    And there was that French guy who considered it punishment being send to Oz.
    , French eh, didn't he know that this was considered justice for many an Englishman several years ago. :lol:
  • afx237viafx237vi Posts: 12,630
    Top_Bhoy wrote:
    This is the critical part. I doubt if any of the riders really want a course which will burn them out at the very start of their European campaign though I'm sure there is scope to put in a more challenging terrain without killing the riders.

    ...snip...

    I don't really think burn-out is an issue. No-one is talking about monster mountain stages (not that there are any), but just something that will reward attacking riders. Just look at this year's race - top class riders like Philippe Gilbert and David Moncoutié both showed a willingness to ride aggressively, but the terrain simply made it impossible. There is no reward for attacking if you know the sprinters will still be in the bunch after the only climb in the entire race.
  • TitaniumTitanium Posts: 2,056
    There's a gap between the media hype and the reality. For riders it is a way to work on the tan and add miles but read cyclingnews.com and you'd think this was a big event.

    For sure, it is a well organised race but many more Europeans are following what's going on in Melbourne at the tennis than in this race.

    But it is growing and should become a better event. The organisers should try to respond with a better course too.
  • Dave_1Dave_1 Posts: 9,512
    Titanium wrote:
    There's a gap between the media hype and the reality. For riders it is a way to work on the tan and add miles but read cyclingnews.com and you'd think this was a big event.

    For sure, it is a well organised race but many more Europeans are following what's going on in Melbourne at the tennis than in this race.

    But it is growing and should become a better event. The organisers should try to respond with a better course too.

    I agree. Cyclingnews was an Aussie website for most of its existence, hence perhaps they cover that racing scene more, have more reporters connected to it?

    Titanium, who is the guy in Stars and Stripes on your profile? Is it you? Or who is it? Anyway, good to see you posting on here...I take back what I said before about your conclusions on Op Puerto...the media have been proven correct in full it seems
  • It looked a bit dull from where I was sadly.
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 151
    According to Cyclingnews:

    Tour Down Under to make a tougher course

    By Susan Westemeyer

    Sprinters have dominated the Tour Down Under over its ten-year history, with all six stages this year coming down to a mass sprint. Race Director Mike Turtur admitted that it was finally time to make some changes and make the race more demanding.

    He had hoped that the Old Wallunga Hill climb in the fifth stage would break things up a bit, which it did to a certain extent, but there was still a roughly 40-man strong mass sprint.

    "The race held together more so than we've ever experienced before," he said. "Certainly, we'll be looking at a more demanding course for next year. In the old days, we might have had blowouts of 15 or 20 minutes from the main group, but we didn't see any of that this year. Now our challenge is to introduce changes to the course that are going to reflect the quality and provide the challenge for all the riders – sprinters and climbers – and have a bit of everything for everyone."

    Two former winners had suggestions as to how to make things harder. Stuart O'Grady, calling the premiere ProTour version of the race a "bit of a sprinter fest," wanted the stages to be longer, but not harder. Patrick Jonker called for a mountain-top finish.

    source link: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id= ... jan29news2
    www.steephill.tv bike travelogue
  • It certainly needs something. I know it is at the start of the season and shouldn't be too challenging but let's make a race of it.
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