*Spoliers* Tour de France talk *Spoilers*

DonDaddyD
DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
edited August 2009 in Commuting chat
So with the Prologue just finished I just have one question, why did Cavendish finish 177?

I know that it might not have been his type of race but still, please explain.

(Everything else made sense, but I'm still learning about Le Tour.
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  • by the looks of it he wasn't putting in a huge amount of effort - so either he was saving himself for the sprints or he's in terrible condition (hopefully the former).
    There was no real need for him to push it today, so hopefully he'll be back in blistering form tomorrow.

    Of course, he could also be gunning for the Lanterne Rouge classification (tough to get that and the green jersey though I reckon ;))
  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    Not exactly badly - Time Trialling is a totally different case to sprinting...... Different riders - you don't see Brad doing the sprints do you........
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    fossyant wrote:
    Not exactly badly - Time Trialling is a totally different case to sprinting...... Different riders - you don't see Brad doing the sprints do you........

    I wouldn't know, this is the first Tour de France where I've decided to actually learn the riders and the different types of everything as oppose to just wanting the pretty bikes go fast...
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  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    DDD - he's not a TTer (may be in a few years if he turns his mind to a GC finish), and not looking to finish high up in the GC (so time ain't important); he's after the Green Jersey (the sprint jersey), so he's saving energy for the sprints.
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  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Interesting, Cav also said that he's goal is to get to Paris, does that mean he is beginning to increase his repertoire?

    Do most 'tour cyclist' follow the path of Cav, that is specialise or excel in one area of cycling and then begin expand into others to become brilliant all rounders (though clearly strongest in one area)? Or are there just guys who are generally brilliant all rounders from the beginning of their career?
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  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Interesting, Cav also said that he's goal is to get to Paris, does that mean he is beginning to increase his repertoire?

    It means that he feels he's strong enough to get over the mountains and finish within the time limits rather than win any mountain stages.
    Do most 'tour cyclist' follow the path of Cav, that is specialise or excel in one area of cycling and then begin expand into others to become brilliant all rounders (though clearly strongest in one area)? Or are there just guys who are generally brilliant all rounders from the beginning of their career?
    [/quote]

    Fair to say that Tour winners develop into all-rounders (think Merckx was the last to win all three jerseys - there wasn't a Young Rider's/White jersey bak then). Contador started off as an explosive climber (see Paris-Nice 2007), and then got rather good against the clock.

    Armstrong developed too.
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    "It stays down, Daddy."
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  • Sun Dodger
    Sun Dodger Posts: 393
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    So with the Prologue just finished I just have one question, why did Cavendish finish 177?

    Apparently, he has an important appointment with the finish line tomorrow he is saving himself for....
  • Kieran_Burns
    Kieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    The comment I heard which i agreed with most strongly was that each competitor has so much energy to put into the event. If you burn out at the wrong time, you blow your chances.

    Cavandish is quoted as saying he can't win. He wants the green jersey (as a bonus!) and nothing more.

    Remember he's only 24 and already very successful, but he's learning as a professional
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  • oscarbudgie
    oscarbudgie Posts: 850
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Interesting, Cav also said that he's goal is to get to Paris, does that mean he is beginning to increase his repertoire?

    Do most 'tour cyclist' follow the path of Cav, that is specialise or excel in one area of cycling and then begin expand into others to become brilliant all rounders (though clearly strongest in one area)? Or are there just guys who are generally brilliant all rounders from the beginning of their career?

    Last year Cav abandoned before the big mountains as there was very little to gain from lugging his carcass over the hills, especially at his tender age and as he already had 4 stage wins (a record for a Brit). His job is simply to win sprint finishes, particularly bunched ones - I don't think he'll ever be a contender for high GC placings. So this year he will try and finish the tour, win flat stages and try and gain enough points to take the green jersey, plus I'd expect him to be favourite to win the Paris stage on the last day - a bunched sprint so another motivation for climbing Ventoux the day before!
    He didn't do badly at all today - he just had to get round and avoid accidents - and if he's much higher in the GC in three weeks time I'd be surprised.
    Wiggins did really well and as he's transforming himself into a climber (lost 7 kilos) I reckon he could get top 20 in the GC
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  • oscarbudgie
    oscarbudgie Posts: 850
    [/quote]


    Armstrong developed too.[/quote]

    Armstrong has always maintained that it was his cancer treatment that transformed his physique into that of an all rounder and that ironically without the chemo and massive weight and upper body muscle loss he could never have hoped to win the Tour.
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  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345


    Armstrong developed too.[/quote]

    Armstrong has always maintained that it was his cancer treatment that transformed his physique into that of an all rounder and that ironically without the chemo and massive weight and upper body muscle loss he could never have hoped to win the Tour.[/quote]

    Indeed. Although - and I forget where I read this (perhaps C+ last month in the Tour feature) - but one view was that LA would have won the Tour anyway, cancer o no cancer, because he was that good. Maybe, maybe not.

    He still had to develop his TT skills and particularly his tactical skills.

    This body-shape transformation is something Cavendish will have to do if he harbours any GC desires.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Bugly
    Bugly Posts: 520
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    So with the Prologue just finished I just have one question, why did Cavendish finish 177?

    I know that it might not have been his type of race but still, please explain.

    (Everything else made sense, but I'm still learning about Le Tour.

    I wouldn't call a 15 km hilly time trial a prologue - the outcomes from this stage are very interesting and may be of real import for the race ahead.

    Prologues usually have the big guys hide nothing to be gained from winning a prologue, here Berte stamped himself on the race and with the form of the other Astana riders the other teams will be trying to minimise the losses going into the stage four TT.

    Its possible to see Contador with a minute plus on his rivals after that stage and then the launchpad into the Pyrenees.

    To me this was a serious TT ridden very seriously by the big boys.

    Cavendish is a pure sprinter he is not racing for GC standing - he cant win a TT but the hilly course on a TT bike could have seen him have an off. He rode carefully conserving his legs and his skin for the stages that matter to him, the big flat stages where the suicidal sprinters ply their trade in the final meters of the race,
  • Interesting stuff guys; like DonDaddyD this is the first year i've decided to follow the tour too. I watched some of the recent giro d'italia and I guess that really sparked my interest.

    Forgive my ignorance but what effect do the TT times have on the rest of the race? I've tried a quick search, but all wikipedia will tell me is that it is "a prologue, to decide who wears yellow on the opening day."

    Cheers guys
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    Forgive my ignorance but what effect do the TT times have on the rest of the race? I've tried a quick search, but all wikipedia will tell me is that it is "a prologue, to decide who wears yellow on the opening day."

    Your TT times count to your time overall.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Agent57
    Agent57 Posts: 2,300
    Bugly wrote:
    I wouldn't call a 15 km hilly time trial a prologue

    It wasn't. Yesterday was Stage 1. A proper stage, not just a pre-race TT to determine who wears yellow on the first stage. Yesterday counted towards the GC, where the old style prologues did not as I recall. They were just a prestigious win for the people who could ride a good TT.

    I think media who are reporting yesterday's TT as a Prologue are doing so out of habit; they should be calling it Stage 1.
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  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    cjcp wrote:
    Forgive my ignorance but what effect do the TT times have on the rest of the race? I've tried a quick search, but all wikipedia will tell me is that it is "a prologue, to decide who wears yellow on the opening day."

    Your TT times count to your time overall.
    Times are rounded to the nearest second. In the non-TT stages, there has to be more than a second between riders to count as a different time. So, on a sprint stage, the winner may have the same time as the guy who comes in 100th or something like that. Time gaps between the GC contenders therefore only appear on the TT's, mountain stages and in the event of odd events like crashes and late splits in the field.

    If you are pushed for time, supporting a sprinter like Cav is good. Take a look at the stage. If there are climbs with a number less than 3, and those climbs are in the second half of the stage, forget it. If its flat, great - tune in half an hour before the end of the race and either the guys in the inevitable sponsor-pleasing break will be pulled in, or not. If so, the sprinters will elbow each other in a 2-3 minute excitement spree right at the end.

    No need to spend hours in front of the telly watching your favourite rider toil up spectacular mountain climbs. There's also a good chance that your favourite sprint contender will only take part in the first 10 stages, thereby freeing up an entire week for you at the end of the race to do DIY.
  • Eau Rouge
    Eau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Interesting, Cav also said that he's goal is to get to Paris, does that mean he is beginning to increase his repertoire?

    Do most 'tour cyclist' follow the path of Cav, that is specialise or excel in one area of cycling and then begin expand into others to become brilliant all rounders (though clearly strongest in one area)? Or are there just guys who are generally brilliant all rounders from the beginning of their career?

    Actually, most tour riders ride along in the bunch every year, maybe, just maybe, getting into a breakaway in the 3rd week on a flat stage when they are a few hours down on the yellow jersey but 3/4 of the sprinters have abandoned in the mountains so there is nobody who wants to chase the break. Very few riders are even looking to try and win one of the jerseys, most are there as support riders for their team leaders.

    Cav isn't remotely interested in where he finishes in the General Classification. He wants stage wins and the Green Jersey. His stage wins will come from bunch sprints, when the whole field gets to the end as one. Thats what he excels at, and his team, and the other sprinters teams, will be chasing down any breaks in those stages in order to have the whole field finish as one, so their sprinters can win. Cav isn't going to beat the proper TT riders, (he's actually not bad on the really short prologue ones) so his only goal yesterday would have been not to fall off and just finish.
  • Bugly
    Bugly Posts: 520
    The GC contenders are generally good climbers (but maybe not pure climbers such as Pantini) have good time trialling ability - either as a TT or chasing a dangers break, and to be likely to win they have a fantastic group of domestiques to chase down breaks, ride tempo at the head of the peloton and support the leader in the TTT.

    Cadel Evans didnt win in 2008 because he had no team to support him (of any quality) Carlos Sastre won due not only to his great climbing legs but the support of his team. This year Astana is the team to beat the biggest threats are egos inside the team or if a couple of riders test positive to drugs. Otherwise its going to be a long procession to Paris,
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    Bugly wrote:

    Cadel Evans didnt win in 2008 because he had no team to support him (of any quality) Carlos Sastre won due not only to his great climbing legs but the support of his team.

    This is where I seem to disagree with people. :)

    I thought Evans coped brilliantly with the sustained attempts by CSC to break him on the road to Alpe D'Huez, but I think Evans made a mistake letting Sastre go and that it was this which cost him victory. Sastre was a better TTer than Frank Schleck and he should have covered Sastre's move; he was capable of doing so. Sastre had won a mountain stage before (2003?) and was more than capable of staying away.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • In the Eurosport commentary yesterday they said the sprinters weren't bothering because there are no more time bonuses for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each stage. Up until 2 years ago, the winner would get a 20 sec bonus, 2nd a 12 sec bonus and third would get a 6 sec bonus (I think). If these had still been in place, the sprinters may have tried to get to within a minute of the winner (about Sastre's time - no TTer), because then they may still have had a chance of picking up yellow in the first week. As it is now they have no chance of getting yellow, so they save themselves for the flatter stages.

    I don't understand why they got rid of the time bonuses? It also makes the mountain stages less competitive as I remember in years past, riders high in the GC would sprint for the line to get third, making it much more exciting.
  • Eau Rouge
    Eau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    cjcp wrote:
    Bugly wrote:

    Cadel Evans didnt win in 2008 because he had no team to support him (of any quality) Carlos Sastre won due not only to his great climbing legs but the support of his team.

    This is where I seem to disagree with people. :)

    I thought Evans coped brilliantly with the sustained attempts by CSC to break him on the road to Alpe D'Huez, but I think Evans made a mistake letting Sastre go and that it was this which cost him victory. Sastre was a better TTer than Frank Schleck and he should have covered Sastre's move; he was capable of doing so. Sastre had won a mountain stage before (2003?) and was more than capable of staying away.

    Watching the climb on YouTuibe recently, it seemed the Schlecks were taking turns attacking out of Cadel's little group, being chased, and getting caught, t which point the whole group would slow down again to recover from the little chase, until the other Schleck attacked to wear them down further.
    While each attack and chase closed the gap to Sastre, the following lulls were more then enough to open it back up further then before.
    If nobody else would, Evans had to chase the attacks himself, which got tiring after the first couple, so he wasn't able to keep the pace up in the lulls between attacks and he didn't have a teammate to do that job for him. They may not have broke him, but the net effect was Sastre's large-enough winning margin. He wouldn't have got all that time without the Schlecks games behind him.
    Your right though, Evans should have gone with Sastre., Isn't hindsight great. :)
  • jonginge
    jonginge Posts: 5,945
    In the Eurosport commentary yesterday they said the sprinters weren't bothering because there are no more time bonuses for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each stage. Up until 2 years ago, the winner would get a 20 sec bonus, 2nd a 12 sec bonus and third would get a 6 sec bonus (I think). If these had still been in place, the sprinters may have tried to get to within a minute of the winner (about Sastre's time - no TTer), because then they may still have had a chance of picking up yellow in the first week. As it is now they have no chance of getting yellow, so they save themselves for the flatter stages.

    I don't understand why they got rid of the time bonuses? It also makes the mountain stages less competitive as I remember in years past, riders high in the GC would sprint for the line to get third, making it much more exciting.
    I think the bonuses were dropped due to the doping cases in the 2007 tour. Rasmussen picked up a number of bonuses before he was withdrawn. If those bonuses had gone to someone else it could have reshaped the GC result. Worse is the hypothetical situation of riders who had taken bonuses testing positive after the tour has finished. That would have more potential to change the GC than just removing the doped rider. If there had been bonuses last year Ricco (twice), Piepoli won stages doped taking bonus seconds away from Valverde, Evans and F. Schleck. Could have changed the race... a few months/years later when the doping cases had gone through the courts.
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  • jonginge
    jonginge Posts: 5,945
    Eau Rouge wrote:
    cjcp wrote:
    Bugly wrote:

    Cadel Evans didnt win in 2008 because he had no team to support him (of any quality) Carlos Sastre won due not only to his great climbing legs but the support of his team.

    This is where I seem to disagree with people. :)

    I thought Evans coped brilliantly with the sustained attempts by CSC to break him on the road to Alpe D'Huez, but I think Evans made a mistake letting Sastre go and that it was this which cost him victory. Sastre was a better TTer than Frank Schleck and he should have covered Sastre's move; he was capable of doing so. Sastre had won a mountain stage before (2003?) and was more than capable of staying away.

    Watching the climb on YouTuibe recently, it seemed the Schlecks were taking turns attacking out of Cadel's little group, being chased, and getting caught, t which point the whole group would slow down again to recover from the little chase, until the other Schleck attacked to wear them down further.
    While each attack and chase closed the gap to Sastre, the following lulls were more then enough to open it back up further then before.
    If nobody else would, Evans had to chase the attacks himself, which got tiring after the first couple, so he wasn't able to keep the pace up in the lulls between attacks and he didn't have a teammate to do that job for him. They may not have broke him, but the net effect was Sastre's large-enough winning margin. He wouldn't have got all that time without the Schlecks games behind him.
    Your right though, Evans should have gone with Sastre., Isn't hindsight great. :)
    Possibly. Menchov blew big stylee when he tried to go with Sastre. Menchov had taken time out of Evans on previous uphill finishes (Prato Nevoso) in the tour so was in equal or better form.
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  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    JonGinge wrote:
    Your right though, Evans should have gone with Sastre., Isn't hindsight great. :)
    Possibly. Menchov blew big stylee when he tried to go with Sastre. Menchov had taken time out of Evans on previous uphill finishes (Prato Nevoso) in the tour so was in equal or better form.[/quote]

    This is one of those very rare occasions when I thought this at the time I was watching. :) I sat there thinking (despite not being keen on Evans), "go with him, go with him!".

    JG - when did Menchov slip after he tried to attack? Was that the stage Gerrans won?
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  • squired
    squired Posts: 1,153
    Cav can actually do a decent time trial if he chooses to. Lets not forget that he comes from a track background and apparently in Manchester before the Olympics he was putting in very good times over 4km (very close to Bradley Wiggins from what I remember). Of course he knows he can win in the sprints, so why put in the effort for a top 10 in a time trial?

    If my memory serves me correctly Cav has won at least a couple of prologue time trials, albeit against lesser opposition and over shorter distances. I can't recall him winning any longer efforts.
  • jonginge
    jonginge Posts: 5,945
    edited July 2009
    cjcp wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Your right though, Evans should have gone with Sastre., Isn't hindsight great. :)
    Possibly. Menchov blew big stylee when he tried to go with Sastre. Menchov had taken time out of Evans on previous uphill finishes (Prato Nevoso) in the tour so was in equal or better form.

    This is one of those very rare occasions when I thought this at the time I was watching. :) I sat there thinking (despite not being keen on Evans), "go with him, go with him!".

    JG - when did Menchov slip after he tried to attack? Was that the stage Gerrans won?
    Yep. Up to Prato Nevoso. They waited for him and he later attacked with Sastre, Kohl and Valverde and put time into Evans who was marking Schleck Sr. Sastre was the big winner that day, set him up for the attack up the Alpe.

    ^ I got the 12hr DVD of the 2008 tour with a cycling weekly subscription :D
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  • jonginge
    jonginge Posts: 5,945
    Get in. Did a bit better today :D
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  • tailwindhome
    tailwindhome Posts: 19,259
    @DDD

    Sometimes you just have to accept that you don't understand.

    Don't feel bad about it.

    People have tried to explain Rugby to me for the best part of 30 years and I still haven't a clue whats happening.
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  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    JonGinge wrote:
    Get in. Did a bit better today :D

    Heard the result on the radio. Looking foward o the highlights! :D
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    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Bassjunkieuk
    Bassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    cjcp wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    Get in. Did a bit better today :D

    Heard the result on the radio. Looking foward o the highlights! :D

    Twas excellent watching it on Eurosport - I even had to hold off going upstairs to tell the kids off for flooding the bathroom floor to watch the end :-)

    Now I wonder how many more stage victories he'll get this year?
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